Steering Rack removal

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MetBlue
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Steering Rack removal

Post by MetBlue »

Has anyone removed a steering rack from an otherwise fully assembled and working car?
Manual dedicates 4 paragraphs, totalling 14 lines and culminates with the classic, old as time "Remove the two rack fixing bolts, Remove front road wheels and withdraw the rack assembly through the wheel arch".

Well I've spend probable around 14 hours ( one for every line) on the job and can categorically report there's no way that racks coming out through the wheel arch ( at least the variable rack won't - don't know about the earlier rack).

In the end, the oil cooler got raised as far as possible without disconnecting, the carrier plate for the cooler removed, the Off side radiator fan removed and the ARB dropped from the chassis mounts.
Threading rack as far as possible into the near side arch, including disconnecting the farthest bundy pipe form the rack, so the pipe went one side of the chassis whilst the main rack went the other and eventually I managed to get it out from underneath the car.

I like 3D puzzles, but not this one.

Next job - work out what needs fixing and put it back in !!!
What goes together.... Must come apart.

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Re: Steering Rack removal

Post by AndyC »

I recall doing that job, and yes it is a PITA, but don't worry, there are worse jobs on these cars. :D

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Hawaiis0
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Re: Steering Rack removal

Post by Hawaiis0 »

Engine out might be quicker.
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Re: Steering Rack removal

Post by Lotus-e-Clan »

I got mine out through the driver's wheel arch about 18 years ago. I put a manual rack in same way. Then recently I put the variable rack back in, but I had the engine out doing a clutch at the time. But it does come out through the wheel arch. 👍
Peter K

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Re: Steering Rack removal

Post by ianhateswork »

Taking one of the track rods off the rack makes life a whole lot easier, unscrewing was not as tight as I expected either.
I did have the rad and cooler off at the time , which also makes life easier.

ian

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Re: Steering Rack removal

Post by Sirclip »

I couldn't get mine out (Excel SE, 1989, with A/C) via the wheel arch. At the time, I posted a request here for some help then Lotusbits responded and told me to call them. Dave told me it would come out directly from below with some wiggling. I'll see if I can find my original post and link it here. But basically, if my mmeory serves me correctly, you have to 'rotate' the rack so that the pinion faced downwards, then, just like a Chinese puzzle, it drops out downwards.
Martin.

P.S.
Found my previous thread : viewtopic.php?f=7&t=11027

P.S.#2
Just read this post again and realised that you've managed to get it out already :-)

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Re: Steering Rack removal

Post by MetBlue »

Thanks all for the feedback. I'd done a search on power steering, but got a lot of hits. Went back about 10 pages of 180 , but didn't find much. Good to see your link Sirclip.

I'd have rung LB to speak with Dave, but it was a Sunday morning. The sense of euphoria though when it finally pulled out was palpable. Felt like running round the cul-de-sac, holding it above my head and shouting Eurica. Not often had that sense of satisfaction when working on any car before.

Summary seems to be it either comes out from the top or drops through the bottom, but either way, oil cooler needs at least moving up. On a non A/C car, if there's a next time I think I'd be tempted to drain the oil, removed the filter and hence remove as a unit the oiler cooler and hoses. Then out though the top.

But the A/C hoses are a nuisance so on an A/C car, I'd drop from below like this time.

Rack and 2 Saginaw pumps I have are now in Birmingham at Kiley-Clinton, a specialist in power steering systems - thanks Richard W for posting to the contact somewhere in a post I found.

They didn't seem too phased by the state of my rack and the fact the pipes couldn't be removed due to intermetallic corrosion. They'd seen it all before. 🤞

I'll report on what they find either in my resto thread or the recent thread about cheap Saginaw pumps on eBay.

Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

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Re: Steering Rack removal

Post by Hawaiis0 »

My rack is about to come out. Will be interested in to know outcome; quality and price etc.
Nothing is fool proof. Fools are clever!

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Re: Steering Rack removal

Post by moriniman »

Getting the rack out is easy if the radiator is out, which in itself is not that hard.

Sometimes the long way round is the quick way.

Of course, you might discover that your radiator is on it's last legs and have to replace it, but that's still much better as a planned job, rather than as a result of a roadside stranding.

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Re: Steering Rack removal

Post by TrevorK »

I just can't get the picture be of Tony running around his cul-de-sac with the rack held over his head while he shouts, "Eureka!" out of my head. :lol:
What car is that?

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