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Power Steering Rack Replacement/Rebuild

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Old 10-18-2010, 11:58 AM   #1
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Power Steering Rack Replacement/Rebuild

old and faithful is starting to show her age at 156k mi... i changed the oil yest and noticed that both power steering boots are torn... but a bigger issue is that ps fluid is leaking from the boot... so most likely the seals on the rack are done...

has anyone replaced a rack or sucessfully completed a rebuild with a seal kit??? is this a DIY??? my mechanic said this is about an $800 job...
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:37 PM   #2
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I just replaced the boots on my 2.5TL. I bought replacements from RockAuto. They were OK.

Before replacing PS rack, I would suggest trying some Lucas PS Sealer. This stuff worked well for my Dad who had a rack leaking slightly (few drops a day on the garage floor).

I looked at the procedure once and didn't think it was beyond DIY, but jobs like this are rarely easy. Try searching google and youtube for a diy. I've found a lot of good info using them.

I would go for a used rack rather than a rather than a rebuild. Check car-part.com.

Probably should replace the inner tie-rod ends if there's any looseness at all.

good luck
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:32 PM   #3
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ty sir... i caught your post on a Honda forum when i google searched for some diagrams... so i will try the Lucas stuff first... and see if it will help with my leak... i am not sure how fast it is leaking... but if the lucas wonder product is good, then ill replace the boots...

wouldn't a used rack be suspect to an eventual leak too??? i thought with at least a rebuild i know it has new seals???

do you have have the diagrams for our car? i may look up the service manual tonight...
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Old 10-18-2010, 02:14 PM   #4
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I have a rebuilt rack (same one) but it only cost me $350 (in CA) and the stupid mechanic did not install new inner tie rods that were needed as well. He also did blow the bearing on the power steering pump so maybe cheap prices aren't always worth it. I haven't tried lucas but wouldn't it ruin something because it has a heavier weight?
I'm curious to try though. Mine was really bad though not just torn boots also the steering wheel at about 9 o'clock while driving and further while turning.
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:03 PM   #5
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i just dumped in a bottle of lucas... lets see how that goes... hopefully i won't see any more fluid loss and i can then just replace the boots...
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaMLuNg View Post
ty sir... i caught your post on a Honda forum when i google searched for some diagrams... so i will try the Lucas stuff first... and see if it will help with my leak... i am not sure how fast it is leaking... but if the lucas wonder product is good, then ill replace the boots...

wouldn't a used rack be suspect to an eventual leak too??? i thought with at least a rebuild i know it has new seals???

do you have have the diagrams for our car? i may look up the service manual tonight...
Regarding a used vs. rebuilt. Racks leak fairly infrequently, and if you buy a used rack that does not show evidence of leaking, you should be OK. Looking at car-part.com, $100 should find you a decent unit. I look locally for parts and inspect them before purchase. However, when not available locally, I have purchased used parts mail order. So far, I've only received good parts.

However, there is risk w/ both used and rebuilt parts. Infant failure of rebuilt parts is not unheard of either. OEM is undoubtedly the best, but probably hideously expensive.

good luck
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHonda View Post
Regarding a used vs. rebuilt. Racks leak fairly infrequently, and if you buy a used rack that does not show evidence of leaking, you should be OK. Looking at car-part.com, $100 should find you a decent unit. I look locally for parts and inspect them before purchase. However, when not available locally, I have purchased used parts mail order. So far, I've only received good parts.

However, there is risk w/ both used and rebuilt parts. Infant failure of rebuilt parts is not unheard of either. OEM is undoubtedly the best, but probably hideously expensive.

good luck
i looked at the manual to rebuild the steering rack and my god it looks like a pain in the @$$... i'll let the lucas stuff do its work and if no success i'll update the thread and see where i get to with a used/reman unit...
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:32 AM   #8
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ok.. lucas stuff has been in for about a week now and the fluid is still holding it's level at the top line... so far so good...

i'll report back in about a month...
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaMLuNg View Post
ok.. lucas stuff has been in for about a week now and the fluid is still holding it's level at the top line... so far so good...

i'll report back in about a month...
As usual, TexasHonda strikes again.
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:56 PM   #10
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Will be trying this out myself I only have a minor leak that only occurs within a months time.
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Old 10-25-2010, 03:44 PM   #11
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do it.. it has a money back guarantee up to two bottles... can't beat that!!!
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Old 10-28-2010, 03:45 PM   #12
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Lucas power steering w/ conditioner

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaMLuNg View Post
i looked at the manual to rebuild the steering rack and my god it looks like a pain in the @$$... i'll let the lucas stuff do its work and if no success i'll update the thread and see where i get to with a used/reman unit...

I have tried to use the Lucas power steering w/ conditioner, but still have the leak. It takes about a week or so for it to leak from the top line to the bottom line.

I jacked up the car and took the wheel off today to find that there is a leak coming through the drivers side boot.

Is it a seal? is it the rack? What should I do?

Any advice would be much appreciated.

thanks,
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:44 PM   #13
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i would try another bottle... it may take some time for it to seal the leak... if it has gotten to the point where it is leaking out of the boots, then that means that there is prob a seal that has gone bad... the boot is only meant as a dust cover not to hold in the fluid...

to rebuild the seals on the rack is a pretty complicated job... you may as well replace the rack with a remanu or as TexasHonda suggested a used one... if you can't spend the 700 to change the rack, just keep the fluid topped off and your ps should be fine as long as it doesn't run dry...
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:43 AM   #14
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UPDATE: so after 3 years of using Lucas, my original OEM rack finally sh!t itself... even with lucas, the level only holds for 1 week before the resevoir is bone dry, so i think the seals are done...

i looked on car-part and managed to get an A grade used rack from another 98 TL for 150$ shipped to my door... it arrived in two days and looks pretty good... the tie rods that were on it still looked good and it just needs a clean up... but just to be safe i ordered new outer tie rods and boots... so it should be good to go... lets see how much my mechanic charges me to have it installed and algined..

once i get my old rack off ill prob have a go at replacing the seals myself and keeping it as a backup or resell it to someone else that may need it... i'll see the condition of it once it is off the car...
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:04 AM   #15
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so i spoke too soon...

my mechanic inspected the rack at the inner tie rods and said that the used part was also showing signs of leaky seals... so with the labor and alignment at $300+, it wasn't worth the gamble to put this one in just for it just to fail in a few months...

so it looks like i'll be going with a refurb unit... arggg thought i would luck out on the used unit...
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:53 PM   #16
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Good luck, keep us in the loop, and good luck.
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:45 PM   #17
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$660 later.. i have a remanu steering rack installed and car is aligned... hopefully that is it for the big ticket items for a while... had to do a started a few months ago... old betsy is starting to show her age...
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Old 01-22-2016, 12:10 PM   #18
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my ps fluid just started leaking on my 96 3.2tl does lucas stop leak work? I'm losing a bottle worth of ps fluid every couple days but it only drains down fast to the hoses in the reservoir then slows down. I'm hoping my rack hasn't gone bad yet. how easy is it to find a leak on the rack?
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Old 01-26-2016, 02:57 PM   #19
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i find that this is a common problem with this generation... the best thing is to get a remanufactured rack and swap it in... i went through countless bottles of Lucas... it will still leak but not as fast as the regular PS fluid because it is thicker... so why not just spend the money to fix it and not have to constantly throw more money at it...
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:55 PM   #20
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countless bottles of blue devil sealant

I, as well, have used countless bottles of blue devil sealant over the last year. I definately need a new rack unfortunately. I have searched junkyards (after reading your story, I am afraid of trying the part at the junkyard), rebuilt racks, and the oem rack. It's for a 08 Tl-S. The new oem rack will cost me $644.00 , and that's the best price out there. It's been suggested for me to go with rebuilt oem, but I don't know where to find rebuilt oem for the tl-s. The oem part # is 53601-SEP-A54.
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