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Old 04-10-2020, 02:16 PM   #1
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Steering Rack R&R - What Would You Do?

The steering rack on my base '02 (151K miles) is leaking badly. It happened all at once, and the rack was making a groaning noise when the leak began (I drove it about 10 miles like that). The PS pump has occasionally made some noise before, but it was getting very noisy before I stopped the car; I'm guessing that was because it was running low on fluid.

Somewhere I read that a pump with a stuck valve can blow out the seals on PS racks, so I bought a rack and pump from a salvage yard. But I've also read of several guys replacing just their racks and everything was fine.

I've been having a hard time getting the enthusiasm up to replace the rack, and I'm guessing that replacing the pump isn't much fun either. So I'm asking the 986 mind-hive what they think!

If it were you, would you replace both at the same time, or just try the rack first?


Last edited by Racer Boy; 04-10-2020 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 04-11-2020, 08:35 AM   #2
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If it were you, would you replace both at the same time, or just try the rack first?
Racer, I removed once the rack on the 987CS and it actually was pretty simple to do, if this was my car I would first replace the rack and try it like that first, the pump may turn to be ok.

PS: I would also remove the valve altogether..
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Old 04-11-2020, 07:46 PM   #3
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Check the rack for leakage.

Remove the dust boots from the rack and look for ps fluid. Simple as that; if you see fluid inside the dust boots (any fluid) replace the rack. Still hear groaning noises from the pump then move to replacing the pump.


But at the end of the day replace the rack first if it is leaking. Because there is no sense replacing a pump while the rack is leaking.
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Old 04-13-2020, 10:42 AM   #4
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Racer, before removing the rack, you may first want to clean the area very well to isolate if the leak is from the seals on the rack itself or from the O'rings that connect the steering fluid hoses to the rack.

Hopefully are the O;rings as these are very easy to replace (also cheap..)

Good luck!
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Old 04-13-2020, 04:03 PM   #5
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It leaking from the bellows (from the rack seals). The area where the fluid hoses go into the rack is dry, so I'm pretty certain the rack seals are blown.

I'll just go ahead and try the rack first, and hope that the pump is fine.
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Old 04-14-2020, 01:40 PM   #6
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It leaking from the bellows (from the rack seals). The area where the fluid hoses go into the rack is dry, so I'm pretty certain the rack seals are blown.

I'll just go ahead and try the rack first, and hope that the pump is fine.
Racer, before you remove the rack remember that some of the bolts that attach the subframe to the body are 'torque to yield' bolts that you have to replace, and the torque they require will give you a workout.. :-)
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Old 04-17-2020, 05:20 AM   #7
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If needed I have all the torque specs since I replaced the front subframe last year!
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Old 04-17-2020, 07:35 AM   #8
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Yesterday I finished the rack replacement. It's not a fun project, particularly getting the steering u-joint coupler re-attached.

So I thought, what the heck, I'll go ahead an replace the pump. Then I looked in my Bentley manual, and saw it was a six or seven page process!

I'm going to hope it was just a 150K mile rack with worn out seals, and not replace the pump.
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Old 04-17-2020, 10:29 AM   #9
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[QUOTE=Racer Boy;615532] So I thought, what the heck, I'll go ahead an replace the pump. Then I looked in my Bentley manual, and saw it was a six or seven page process!
/QUOTE]

That should be a good motivation :-)

Hopefully the rack replacement will do the trick, Good Luck !
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Old 04-19-2020, 07:00 PM   #10
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Replacing just the rack turned out to be a good bet. No leaks, and everything works fine.

Replacing the rack has been one of my least favorite projects on the Boxster so far! Fortunately, it appears that I won't have to do it all over. And best of all, I won't have to replace the pump (knock on wood)!
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Old 04-20-2020, 04:10 PM   #11
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Replacing just the rack turned out to be a good bet. No leaks, and everything works fine.

Replacing the rack has been one of my least favorite projects on the Boxster so far! Fortunately, it appears that I won't have to do it all over. And best of all, I won't have to replace the pump (knock on wood)!
??? What???

That rack is like super easy. IIRC you drop that k member thingy, loosen the steering shaft, unbolt the pressure/return (one bolt) line, and pop it all back together.


CV axles on a tiptronic… that was my least favorite Porsche design.
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Old 04-20-2020, 06:30 PM   #12
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I replaced the rack without dropping the subframe.

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