Another steering rack woe story! - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 3 Old 19-09-14 Thread Starter
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Another steering rack woe story!

So, I was on my way to work one morning and felt the steering get heavy accompanied by increased whine noise presumably from the P/S pump. When I pulled up I could see that P/S fluid was leaking from both the steering rack gaiters. There was a Indie garage right beside work, so left car with him, and he diagnosed that a replacement rack would be needed, or current rack be rebuilt.
The mechanic removed the rack for me, and I brought it to a rack rebuilder-specialist who informed that the rack was unrepairable. This was due to the slider rams having pitted corrosion, and so that even if new seals were fitted, the rack would leak straight away.
I tried sourcing second hand racks in servicable condition but had no luck- 159 rack is very scarce I was told by all breakers and rack rebuilders I contacted. So I had to bite the bullet and got the mechanic to order a reconditioned rack from Alfa. 750Euro for the rack, and ordered a new pump while I was at it, another 350 euro.
With the new rack fitted, and tracking done, the steering feels much better, tighter with no whining at full lock. So although I spent a lot of money on getting this fixed, Im happy enough with the outcome. Even though I carried out the preventative maintenance of fitting new P/S resevoir and correct Tutela G/IR fluid, I am dissapointed that the rack failed.
Anyway, I am not looking for any answers, just throwing my story out there, and advising other owners about their steering racks.
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The problem is that there is no vent pipe between the 2 gaitors to allow the air to move from side to side as the gaitors close and expand with the steering so they draw in air and moisture which builds up and causes rust.

I had a new rack fitted for the same reason as you about a year ago and at the last service I pulled both the gaitors off the rack and cleaned out the moisture that had already started to build up and brushed the rack bar with pas fluid to hopefully stop it from rusting.
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(Post Link) post #3 of 3 Old 19-09-14 Thread Starter
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That sounds like a possible cause alright, though Ive never seen any type of vent pipe like you described on a steering rack before.
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