Got a second hand rack from Italia Auto Parts in decent condition earlier last week, and thought in true Clarkson style "How hard can it be?"
Bloody Difficult is the answer!
Have spent the last 2 days replacing the steering rack on my 156, and honestly wish i'd took it to a garage. But spending is tight and i'm sick of seeing my poorly Alfa stuck on the lawn for the past 3 months, so i decided to press on and do it myself.
It is do-able by the amateur mechanic but you must have the patience of a monk and plenty time to spare. Not to mention a vast knowledge of colorful expletives, plenty of swarfega, and an extensive collection of tools
Access to a 2-poster lift and an engine support would be preferable, but a pair of jacks, and a pair of axle stands will do.
I took a few photos of the rack after i took it out. After taking one of the track rod boots off, i found the root of the problem
Looks like there's been water in the system and it's corroded the shaft cylinder, as a result it's buggered the shaft seals causing the monumental fluid leak.
To do it DIY, you will need:
Socket Set (mm sizes 10, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 24)
Ring Spanners (mm sizes 10, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 24)
Allen Keys (can't remember what size sorry)
Oil draining pan
Plenty of rags (i.e. kitchen roll. I used a roll and a half)
Breaker Bar (or power bar as some people call them)
Power Steering Fluid
Large stock of hot beverages (preferably with someone to make it for you i.e. the missus
40 Benson & Hedges (if you smoke)
Infinite amount of patience.
I was going to do the job with the intention of creating a How-To guide, but as it started raining quite a few times and time being a problem, i only managed a few snaps of how bad it was, and how much of a mess it made
Anyhow, Sorry for rambling on a bit
Been a long day, but thoroughly worth it