steering rack leaking

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steering rack leaking

Postby andy b » Wed 20.07.2016, 18:06

Hi everyone i have had to top up my steering fluid up for the first time and i have a damp patch on the garage floor. must be steering fluid leak.
I have a spare rack and i am wondering weather to replace the seals in that before fitting are the seals still available. advice please.
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Re: steering rack leaking

Postby cliff » Wed 20.07.2016, 22:45

Hi Andy,

I had a leak in that area, it turned out to be the pipe from the reservoir to the rack, worth investigating first. The rack was a pita with the engine out, can only imagine what a pain it must be with it in.

I sent my rack and pump to these guys for a reconditioning so can´t help you with the seals: http://powersteeringracks.co.uk
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Re: steering rack leaking

Postby andy b » Wed 20.07.2016, 23:13

Just come in from the garage i think i will fit my spare rack once i have checked the hose from the tank to rack.
I tried Wikilec for a write up on rack removal but it is not available at the moment well to me any way am i doing something wrong i am sure i have had access before.
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Re: steering rack leaking

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Thu 21.07.2016, 02:47

andy b wrote:Just come in from the garage i think i will fit my spare rack once i have checked the hose from the tank to rack.
I tried Wikilec for a write up on rack removal but it is not available at the moment well to me any way am i doing something wrong i am sure i have had access before.
andy b


You really should check the hoses, gaiters and anything else that can leak,

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Re: steering rack leaking

Postby cliff » Thu 21.07.2016, 13:02

If you are still mad keen to do it, Candles wicki write up is very good. I removed the raft rather than lower it.

A word of caution, as well of one of my pipes leaking, the other one sheared off at the rack connector and the low pressure one was in poor condition as well so I ended up replacing all three. You might as well replace the UJ while you have it apart.

Good Luck
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Re: steering rack leaking

Postby HJ2 » Thu 21.07.2016, 14:56

I exchanged my steering rack recently.
A new rack in the after sales was cheaper then to have my old rack refurbished.

It was a LOT of work indeed. As I could not get the pipes out of the steering rack (the seal is a standard soft silicon O-seal by the way) I had to cut them, and replace the pipes too. So even more work.
I removed the raft as well in stead of lowering it.

All jobs involved are pretty straight forward, but just require a lot of work and brute force sometimes. Take great care not to mix the prongeron bolts as the pitch is different and some of the bolts a re non-standard so: unobtanium...
Remember to check the seal in the PAS fluid container as well ;-)
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Re: steering rack leaking

Postby V8vroom » Thu 12.03.2020, 12:38

I now have this problem....After just spending £5300 on the car I'll wait until next service as it will no doubt cost me handsomely to pay someone to change the rack :(
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Re: steering rack leaking

Postby Blue ass fly » Thu 12.03.2020, 18:46

Tackling mine this weekend
Hopefully the pipes come undone
Ille post my ranting once its finished
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Re: steering rack leaking

Postby Blue ass fly » Sun 15.03.2020, 10:42

Changed my rack yesterday - not a nice job
Bear in mind i had a 2 post ramp , this is how i found the best way to tackle

Remove drivers seat
Undo all the bolts from the steering column,remove the uj
Remove the pongeron
Remove lower wishbone bolts/nuts
Undo both track rod ends
Undo feed and return pipes and let drain
Remove the 2 metal pipes that are on the rack
Undo the lower ball joint and remove the outer section of driveshaft ( undo the gaitor clips and pull the joint from the cup)
Now you can just wiggle the last bolt out ,past the cup ,that holds the diagonal brace
Remove the o/s diagonal brace
Undo the 2 bolts holding the rack on,the n/s one is quite tight - i put a pry bar behind the gearbox to move it forward slightly
The rack will then slide out towards the o/s quite easily

In a fully kitted workshop i recon it was still 4+ hours and my back is in bits
Removing the rack pipes gave vital extra clearance to extract the rack and removing the shaft was the only way i could see to get the upward brace bolt that sits underneath it without stripping shocks and wishbones ( the brace blocks the gap that the rack needs to come out through )
Still need to track it up but the notchiness and play have gone so ime glad i did it

Anyone else done the job this way ?
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Re: steering rack leaking

Postby dapinky » Sun 15.03.2020, 10:58

Blue ass fly wrote:Anyone else done the job this way ?


Firstly, thanks for taking the time to do a bit of a write-up..... it's always better to have an input from a man who's done the job recently in a non-lotus workshop, with 30 year old fittings to navigate.



The steering rack job is one that I have always approached in the 'Geofsmith' manner........





...... ie, buy one, stick it into storage, intend to change it "next week", pass another MOT, so put it off for another year, eventually have to change the column lower UJ, and notice how good the steering actually is - so changing the rack becomes less of an issue.......... but I will do it one day very soon!
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Re: steering rack leaking

Postby Blue ass fly » Sun 15.03.2020, 11:22

Hi dave
I think the worst part was inside the car , not under it - but ime not a lightweight !
Not stripping suspension makes it far more doable for people without the equipment i have
If it helps give someone the nudge then its time well spent
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Re: steering rack leaking

Postby KenS » Sat 24.10.2020, 14:30

I too have a serious leak of PAS fluid, I think its coming from the top of the pinion housing, so have started taking the rack out. I have removed the drivers side suspension which gives quite good access, but hit a snag where the passenger side rack mounting bolt fouls the gearbox casing, so the bolt cannot be withdrawn enough to let the rack drop down. Do I need to remove the rear mount for the gearbox to allow it to move forward a bit - if the bolt is 110mm, I need another 5mm of clearance ? On the point of putting an angle grinder through the bolt, and then use a slightly shorter bolt when re-installing - but thats not really the right way to do things.
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Re: steering rack leaking

Postby par » Sat 24.10.2020, 16:13

Its been a while but I have definitely removed the steering rack with the engine and gearbox still in place without the need to remove any mounts.

Have you tried jacking the gearbox out the way, there should be at least 5mm of play in the compliance of the rubber mounts?
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Re: steering rack leaking

Postby HJ2 » Sat 24.10.2020, 16:40

par wrote:Its been a while but I have definitely removed the steering rack with the engine and gearbox still in place without the need to remove any mounts.

Have you tried jacking the gearbox out the way, there should be at least 5mm of play in the compliance of the rubber mounts?


Unbolt the engine mount next to the CAM belt first as this gives much more clearance when you use the jack to move the engine around.
Make sure that the jack is proper supported, the movement of the engine (tilt) is limited, but you don't want to test that out by dropping the engine whilst under it. :evil:

Judged from the picture and my memory Jacking it up will give enough clearance
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Re: steering rack leaking

Postby KenS » Sun 25.10.2020, 13:09

I slackened off the engine mount and disconnected the gearbox mount, then levered the gearbox to only just squeeze the rack out. So far I cannot see where it was leaking from, must be either the top pinion seal, the top plate gasket (unlikely) or what looks like a small bleed hole. Now out the car I guess there is no pressure or head of fluid to show the leak. I have left it on its side to see if it shows over a period of time - otherwise it will have to be an exchange rack. Not looking forward to getting the rack back in. Thanks for your support.
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