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Old 01-07-2011, 11:40 PM   #1
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Steering Rack Replacement - Is this a DIY?

The front end of my '02 S (~80k mi) has been feeling a little loose lately so I decided to undertake a complete overhaul including the tie rod ends, steering rack boots, etc. For many months I've noticed a slight leak from the RH rack boot and have had to periodically add fluid for a couple of years. When I pulled that boot off at least 4 ounces of fluid leaked onto the floor. Because the rack seals aren't serviceable, I understand replacement of the r&p unit is in order.

Is this a DIY job? This is an $800 part so I'd like to tackle the job if possible, but I wouldn't classify myself as highly skilled. 3 wrenches out of 5 is about my limit.

Can anyone steer me (ha ha) to a site with step-by-step instructions? Haven't had a chance to look at the Bentley; presumably it has something. From all the usual sources I'm coming up with a zero.


Last edited by gschotland; 01-07-2011 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:01 AM   #2
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It's not that bad. Hardest part actually is getting it lined back up with the steering wheel LOL. As expected, you'll make a mess of Pentosin as well.
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:39 AM   #3
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I'd look at everything very closely first, the racks rarely fail unless the front end took a side on hit..........
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Old 01-08-2011, 12:10 PM   #4
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I've checked all the other possible sources for leaks and it's without question coming from the RH end of the rack itself; all other connections up front are tight and leak-free. The new Pelican 101 Projects for Your Boxster book specifically says that if there's of fluid in the boot, the rack's in trouble. The LH side was absolutely clean.

I'm not the original owner, so I have no idea whether the PO had a curb encounter or did something else to damage the rack. While I've noticed the spots on that side of the rack for only the last few months, fluid has been slowly disappearing since around 45k miles, a few thousand miles after the car was purchased. I guess I should have taken a closer look a long time ago, not that I would have done anything differently to deal with leak until other work up there was needed.

Other than the leak the rack feels fine - or maybe the deterioration has been so slow that I haven't noticed it. I supposed I could continue nursing it along for a while, but thought it would be best to deal with it now since everything is apart and I'm planning on owning the car for a while.

Is replacement of the steering column u-joint advisable as this point as well?

Can you suggest any techniques for getting the steering wheel alignment right?
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:56 PM   #5
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I wound up swapping the rack on my last Boxster after seeing drips here and there, and then pulling the boots and finding both full of fluid. No damage ever to the car.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gschotland
I've checked all the other possible sources for leaks and it's without question coming from the RH end of the rack itself; all other connections up front are tight and leak-free. The new Pelican 101 Projects for Your Boxster book specifically says that if there's of fluid in the boot, the rack's in trouble. The LH side was absolutely clean.

I'm not the original owner, so I have no idea whether the PO had a curb encounter or did something else to damage the rack. While I've noticed the spots on that side of the rack for only the last few months, fluid has been slowly disappearing since around 45k miles, a few thousand miles after the car was purchased. I guess I should have taken a closer look a long time ago, not that I would have done anything differently to deal with leak until other work up there was needed.

Other than the leak the rack feels fine - or maybe the deterioration has been so slow that I haven't noticed it. I supposed I could continue nursing it along for a while, but thought it would be best to deal with it now since everything is apart and I'm planning on owning the car for a while.

Is replacement of the steering column u-joint advisable as this point as well?

Can you suggest any techniques for getting the steering wheel alignment right?
If the rack is leaking, yes, there is a problem and it needs to come out.

I've never had to replace the steering column u joint. If it isn't loose, leave it alone.

Alignment requires a properly equipped shop, and a knowledgeable staff; this is best left to the pros. You can get the car close enough to drive it to an alignment shop using a tape measure; just don't drive it anywhere else until it is properly aligned.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:51 PM   #7
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For wheel alignment I know have to go to an experienced shop and I have a great one not too far away that's done my car in the past.

My concern was getting the steering wheel lined up. When it's off it's really annoying, but I guess that can be dealt with at the same time as the wheel alignment.

Thanks for all the advice.

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