Steering rack issue - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Old 04-02-11
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Steering rack issue

Right people i have been getting a weird knock/pop sound when turning the steering wheel at different speeds. A local mechanic has narrowed it down to the steering rack bolt on the Near Side that is loose. Its basically the bolt that holds the steering rack to the subframe. Thing is this has come loose before and that tells me the bolt is probably damaged. Could anyone give me an estimate to replace the bolt ? Unfortunately i have it booked in with an alfa dealer and they will charge for the investigation even though my mechanic is probably right. I'm going with an alfa dealer because they will have the part on hand if needs be.
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  #2 (Post Link)  
Old 04-02-11
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Why don't you order that bolt and give to your mechanic to replace?
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  #3 (Post Link)  
Old 04-02-11
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It crossed my mind but it sounded as though he wanted a second opinion. Either that or he didn't want to do the job. He said if the bolts ok he was use loctite on it.
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Old 05-02-11
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Brought the car to two more garages and they have said the actually vibration and grind noise is coming from the rack itself they checked ball joints and all of suspension. So it looks like reconditioning the rack is on the cards. Let's hope it lasts another 40 days as that's when I can afford the £390 bill. It's lasted 3 months already like this, so fingers crossed.
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  #5 (Post Link)  
Old 05-02-11
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Have you checked how much is new rack?
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Old 05-02-11
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Originally Posted by cona View Post
have you checked how much is new rack?
not cheap!
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Old 05-02-11
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fairly common problem though I believe
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  #8 (Post Link)  
Old 05-02-11
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Looking at £700 new. Not worth it when the car is only worth prob 7 g's.
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Old 06-02-11
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What about a scrap yard? I bought a rack from a scrap yard for one of my previous cars. It was in very good condition, it performed like new and it was cheap.
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Old 06-02-11
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You could try asking autolusso if they have any racks in
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Old 06-02-11
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159 steering rack is £581.81 inc VAT and P&P from shop4parts plus fitting.
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Old 06-02-11
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The vast majority of the problems with these racks are as you describe and due to worn and corroded inner rack ends which Shop4parts sell them at £23 each.

Fiat & Alfa Romeo Parts Specialist.Alfa Romeo 159 Inner Rack End

They are easily fitted by any competent mechanic and all you need other than them is the tracking done. Alfa only sell whole racks so the dealers will never suggest replacing these.

Hope this helps.
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  #13 (Post Link)  
Old 06-02-11
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Where does the wear occur on the inner rack end?
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  #14 (Post Link)  
Old 06-02-11
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Well I have been quoted 390 for recondition plus fitting. Which is pretty good tbh. It may be the inner rack ends either way I'm taking it to a power steering specialist so they can give the heads up to what is actually up with the rack.
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Old 07-02-11
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Yep a well known and increasingly common problem on the 159/Breras. Poorly designed and far too easily worn out.
Look for lot sof worn steering rack threads over the next year or so.
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Old 07-02-11
Nev
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We should have a sticky thread!

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Old 07-02-11
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Let me know if you do want one stuck up top, and which one!
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Old 07-02-11
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Going to take it to an alfa dealer knowing my luck its the rack and tie rod ends
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Old 07-02-11
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Just reading this as my 159 SW has started making a strange noise on slight turns like a servo sound on the last 2 days.

When I pulled up outside tonight the missus said it sounded like metal grating on metal. Crikey, it didn't sound that bad in the car.

KERCHING!
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  #20 (Post Link)  
Old 08-02-11
chacker
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I think I have this problem as well. There is no noise but i can feel a slight vibration when I turn the wheel - especially noticeable in car parks.
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Old 08-02-11
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Evening Gents
Well, if it weren't for this forum, I can honestly say i would have been wide-open to Alfa Service's "Yes sir, looks like your PAS Pump/Steering Rack are screwed. Bend over & we'll shaft you many a £££££". I got the same symptoms as BlueJez & Chacker, read the forum, checked my Power steering fluid & it was the red variety. Popped over to the stealers, bought a new reservoir bottle & 2 bottles of the Tetula GI/R oil & flushed my system out. Absolutely A1 now. Thank you, thank you, thank you AlfaOwner members
I know it won't resolve the problem in everyone's case (I was one of the lucky ones), but I'm really grateful for everyone's thoughts & advice. Really has proved invaluable!
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  #22 (Post Link)  
Old 08-02-11
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Originally Posted by doogie View Post
Evening Gents
Well, if it weren't for this forum, I can honestly say i would have been wide-open to Alfa Service's "Yes sir, looks like your PAS Pump/Steering Rack are screwed. Bend over & we'll shaft you many a £££££". I got the same symptoms as BlueJez & Chacker, read the forum, checked my Power steering fluid & it was the red variety. Popped over to the stealers, bought a new reservoir bottle & 2 bottles of the Tetula GI/R oil & flushed my system out. Absolutely A1 now. Thank you, thank you, thank you AlfaOwner members
I know it won't resolve the problem in everyone's case (I was one of the lucky ones), but I'm really grateful for everyone's thoughts & advice. Really has proved invaluable!
Maybe red & green fluids and reservoir issue should be the sticky tread as well!!!
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  #23 (Post Link)  
Old 09-02-11
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Originally Posted by doogie View Post
Evening Gents
Popped over to the stealers, bought a new reservoir bottle & 2 bottles of the Tetula GI/R oil & flushed my system out. Absolutely A1 now.
Dougie, thanks for the info. Out of interest did you DIY, and is it a fairly easy job?

Thanks.
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  #24 (Post Link)  
Old 09-02-11
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Cheer Doogie, interesting. Given I can feel no play in the steering it make me believe it must be a pump/fluid thing, but I'm no expert...but then who the hell is?

I did read this thread and this sounds like what I have - a whine at low speed/idle. Is this what you had too? And is the green fluid GI/R or GI/E??

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-...ing-whine.html (159 power steering whine)

Got it booked in at Sunnyside tomorrow so hopefully they'll do the right thing. Best experts I've met!
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  #25 (Post Link)  
Old 09-02-11
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Hi Stuart, I done it DIY (with the help of the forum postings + a copy of the Alfa Repair CD off of FleaBay). All I needed to have to hand were:
1) The new reservoir bottle
2) 2 x bottles of the GI/R fluid from Alfa (2 litres worth)
3) A 99p turkey baster/syringe from Poundland (to suck out the old dirty fluid from the reservoir bottle)
4) An empty ice cream tub (to catch the remaining old fluid in)
5) A 13mm long socket to undo the 3 bolts holding down the reservoir bottle
6) A small flatblade screwdriver to unclip the 2 hose clips on the reservoir bottle hoses (i'm buggered if I could get them clipped on after replacing the bottle, so I cheated & replaced 'em with bog-standard jubilee clips afterwards

Although all of the above sounds like a Blue Peter wish-list of how to make something out of crap, it took 30-45 mins to do from start to finish

Funnily enough, the Alfa Parts guy said they now keep the reservoir bottles & Oil in 'as stock' & they're seeing alot more coming through the doors which need this changing. Good old Alfa
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