The seals on my 04 Treps steering rack have finally had it. Added some Seal-Saver a while back and that cut back on the usage drastically...but eventually the effect wore off. Reached a point where I was topping the PS off every other day (about 120mi) while hoping it would last long enough while the OTHER car I've been driving would be quick-to-do for its ring job. Well neither is the case. Been driving my old Yota p/u but it has its own problems that costing me the equivalent of $5/gal despite the local 2.30/gal prices.
Got the seal kit in from AZ and immediately noticed a problem. The package was missing the instructions//diagrams that both AZ's website and the parts listing seen in-store both claim should be present. Someone either at corporate or at the shipping hub was either lazy or had his head up where the sun don't shine when making the site listing for the former...and package send-off for the latter I suppose.
One of the guys at the store spent a good 30min trying to find a diagram for me but to no avail. One result was from THIS SITE but the listing was from 2003 and any images are long unavailable.
What I need is one of those instructions//diagrams to help with the dis//reassembly. I can muddle through if need be w/o but it would help immensely if I had them.
NOTE: Would've merely posted in an earlier topic I made here but didn't see it (just a few posts below this) until AFTER this update to this specific topic.
Okay...working to remove the whole mess right now. I've gotten as far as the step to remove the roll pin. HOWEVER I am unable to get the rack to move forward enough to access the roll pin...and the rubber dust boot is too stiff to merely curl back unless I butcher it. D/c'd it from the steering column inside but now it won't stay stll enough for me to gain any progress on removing the pin...which I'm using a 1/4" roll pin punch on.
EDIT: Used a set of vice grips on the exposed shaft coming out of the rack (after making alignment marks ofc). This worked well enough to permit removal of the roll pin. Now would be a VERY good time for a breakdown of disassembly now that the rack is sitting out.
EDIT2: 1 of the plastic covers to access the internals looks as if it would take a HUGE Alan key...the other a 4-notch piece on the side opposite where the shaft protrudes.
Guess no one here has attempted to simply repair one of these? Mere seals are no big deal if one has worked with hydraulics in any shape or form...just disassembly can be a pain. The parts are =< 1/10th the cost of the whole mechanism...although no warranty applies except to the parts themselves.
Last edited by RuralTowner; 07-03-2016 at 10:28 PM.
This is the best thread I can recall where somebody planned to repair a rack. The pictures that were in that in are not from the poster on this site, and not the greatest photos but better than none.
We are currently experiencing issues with viewing pictures due to a v bulletin formatting change about a month ago (pain in the ass). My suggestion is to view the page using the Internet browser on a mobile device.for some reason I can still see the pics when I do that.
On your desktop, you can view linked photos as follows:
1. Click "Quote" on the post with the photos you want to see as if you're going to reply (YES - lie to your computer!!!).
2. Copy the URL in the "Reply to Thread" window that opens.
3. Paste URL into the URL line of a new browser window or tab and hit return.
Quick-reply ate up 2 replies...lost forever.
(They were...in nutshell)
Lost 1 - Could've had a new assembly in already and the 10x price tag probably would've been worth it. Also checked that post...one of the links showed a disassemble I've come across on other images. Guts are similar to the Treps but none showed one of ours or how to remove the passenger end of the tube from the rest since that is where the hydraulic piston is at.
Lost 2 - I have a rack from a 99 (ES I think...body style same as the SE) and what grime looks to be on it is more than likely just from the grease. Trouble is I've no idea how long it might last once installed. Paid 50$ at a Pick N Pull.
Thought I found a video on YouTube that might've worked since it covered a 97 Sebring...but they rack is nothing like the one in question. The tie-rods are end-mounted and the rest of the assembly is put together differently.
EDIT: Tried going straight to the top...DODGE itself. Unfortunately LIVE CHAT can't do anything for me but did say I should check a dealership. Makes me wonder how much they would charge for a few pieces of paper with the needed info on it?
Last edited by RuralTowner; 07-04-2016 at 01:56 PM.
Think I figured out all but 1 semi-critical step in the dismantle. Turns out on the far passenger end of the rack is a plug...has a couple holes in it for a spanner...and its held in place by a thick piece of wire that appears to get fed in through a slot in the side of the rack body and has 1 end secured into a hole in the aluminum plug. Thinking maybe the wire went only partly around i fashioned a spanner out of a piece of flat strap and drilled a couple holes in it and used 2 3/16" bolts to use in the holes through the strap.
Well I wrecked the wire but got it apart. If that 1 piece was meant to be 1-time use they should have included a replacement in the kit. Now the only way to keep that end in place since it WILL see pressure from the steering system would be to drill 3-4 holes through the steel tube and into the plug and use some fairly beefy bolts...probably 1/4". The plug has an O-ring on its innermot edge to seal with.
I would suggest trying to find a similar size/strength piece of wire. That is a fairly common method of assembling hydraulic components. I see it quite often in cylinders that get brought in off of smaller tractors. I really wouldn't try to modify something as crucial as the steering rack by drilling through the tube and installing bolts, not when power steering systems in general can reach a couple thousand PSI (not sure the exact spec on our cars). Putting all of the force on 3 or 4 small 1/4" spots is going to focus the stress that would otherwise be distributed evenly and may lead to excessive shear forces on the bolts.
That would work but I found in the MISC part of the toolbox a coil spring that had appropriate thickness. In the end however it looks like this little attempt at DYI is going to prove futile. On the far inside of the tube...where the cast aluminum rack body is pressed into place and the tube crimped on...is where the offending//leaking seal is at. Had the dad helping and fashioned up a tool to try and pull the seal out...can't get a good enough bite through the rode opening that is firm enough to even budge the thing. Tried to carefully split the seal (on the flat...not on the wall side) to no avail.
In the end even tried to carefully take the torch and heat up the tube until it started to smoke. Some of the smoke I'm sure was from the seal but the rest could have also been from fluid residue getting hot. That didn't seem to help...and seemed that any amount of heat needed to remove the seal would likely begin to damage either the tube or the cast body. Though the way it is secured it would be unlikely I think it would somehow split apart under pressure from the PS system...but this entire fiasco isn't something I'd look forward to doing again anytime soon.
The part that is really aggravating is that I'd already opened the seal kit to make sure all the parts were there so there's no way I can return it now for refund unless I can claim it's missing parts. Cost me 30$ that could have gone towards a complete rack. So much for trying to go on the cheap...
After lodging complaint with AZ about the lack of instructions claimed to come with the kit...was able to get a refund and didn't have to return the kit (since was opened). Used the 99 rack for a core exchange. New//reman//chinese-knockoff//etc is installed and seems to work fine. Will know for sure when drive it in the morning.