Don't get suckered into replacing your entire hydraulic steering system if all you need is a rack and pinion seal kit. Sure, you may notice leaking power steering fluid in one or more locations while your engine is running; but unless your car or truck has been in an accident the culprit is almost always a couple of bad seals or O-rings. Make no mistake, this is not a problem that can go unattended or unfixed for long. In time, you will experience partial loss of control over your vehicle when making tight turns or maneuvers. Eventually, a complete loss of hydraulic fluid will lead to a noticeable failure to steer your vehicle under normal driving conditions. If you are having to top off your power steering fluid often, or if you hear grinding or whining coming from below your feet when you steer, then there is a leak threatening the maneuverability of your car or truck. What you need is a new rack and pinion seal kit installed as soon as possible so that you can prevent the necessity of replacing the complete rack. That is something no one wants to do or pay for.
Depending on your steering rack, there could be anywhere between a half-dozen to two dozen power steering rack and pinion
seals and O-rings in a kit. There will be several on the pinion itself, along with a couple that seal the gearbox housing, and a few more small O-rings that seal the connections where the hydraulic lines enter and exit the body of the rack. Lastly, there are a couple of end seals on the rack itself. This may seem like a lot of components in a rack and pinion seal kit, but don't be overwhelmed... they are just seals and are very easily identified once you have disassembled it.
When it comes time to replace all the rack and pinion seals and O-rings
, we definitely recommend having a professional mechanic with experience perform the procedure. If you already possess this knowledge, then go for it yourself.
- First, your vehicle will need to be lifted or raised. This is the best way to remove the rack and pinion unit.
- Next, disconnect the power steering hoses from the gearbox, unbolt the outer tie rods from the steering knuckles, and remove the bolts holding the rack to its mounts. This will allow you to drop the rack and work with it on a bench.
- Now, unbolt the gearbox housing and expose the pinion gear. You will see seals here that you need to replace, as well as large housing seals on the top and bottom.
- Then, replace the small O-rings that seal the connections of the hydraulic hard lines to the box as well.
- Lastly, there are a couple of end seals inside the rack for the pistons that you will change out before installing the rack.
You are now ready to re-install your steering unit with all new rack and pinion seals and O-rings. Remember to replace the fluid and test the pressure. There should be no leaks.
Again, a quality rack and pinion seal kit will fix most power steering leaks. At Car Parts Discount, we carry complete kits from brands like Gates and Edelman; top quality manufacturers of rack and pinion seals and O-rings for your car or truck. Get your vehicle back on the road as soon as possible with the right parts at the right price.