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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1993 164QV24 that has a leaking steering rack which needs to be fixed before the annual inspection (c.f. MOT in the UK). It is a RHD in Hong Kong so it has been quite difficult to find parts new or re-manufactured for it. Six or seven years ago, my mechanic helped me remove the steering rack and send the steering rack to the US for a professional rebuild. All was fine and I even found the rare mounting bushings (one round and one in hexagon shape). Five years later, not only did the leak recur but the bushings again deteriorated and the steering wheel started failing to centre, occasionally skewed to the right or left when rolling straight line. Managed to control the leak and passed the annual inspection for a year and then the leak continues, so bad that it has to be fixe this time before taking to the annual inspection. I noticed that the previous rebuilld service in the US now offer permanent guarantee, but I hope to avoid having to remove it, ground the car for a few weeks, and shipping it back and forth. How do fellow 164 owners in the UK deal with the leaking steering racks. Are rebuilt steering racks readily available, and if so, where best to find them?
 

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Alfissimo.com might be able to help even if it is rhd. I bought a rebuilt unit from him years ago. Still perfect. Drop him a line!
 

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Yes, in fact my steering rack was shipped to Alfissmo for rebuild some 6-7 years ago. It lasted for 5 years exactly for the full period of the guarantee. I have no complaint, just don't want to go through the same procedures again - removing the steering rack, grounding the car for a few weeks, wait for its return and reinstall. The workshops here in HOng Kong do not like clients disabling their space-limited business and inconveniencing other clients. There are only a few independent Alfa specialists in Hong Kong, and there is great demand on their service, and the typical waiting time for service is two weeks, and yes clients need to source their own parts, except common consumables like filters, lubricant oil, etc. I actually asked this question before deciding on using Alfismmo's service, that is why is there little response to my question about steering racks in the UK forum. It is supposed to have the largest number of RHD Alfa in the world. Anyway I was fortunate as Alfissimo also helps rebuild RHD steering rack, just needing to send it over and wait for its return. I just wished that I can do an exchange if re-manufactured ones are available in the UK. I asked the Netherlands' group as well - their response is they rarely have problem with the steering racks. Many of them have never seen the hexagon and round bushings before.... I search the Internet and recently learn that there is a specialist shop in Ukraine that offers rebuild service for Alfa steering racks, but was advised that if my steering rack has been re-built before the radius would be different and they are not sure if another rebuild would be as long lasting..... Oh well, these are out of my depth. I have to get the steering rack sorted to pass my MOT here in Hong Kong.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I attach a picture of the steering rack bushings for members' reference. The picture was borrowed from the US 164 site Alfabb. Typically these bushings decompose after a while and the steering mounts will become loose and the steering wheel will never be able to centre correctly. So the problem is two fold. First deal with the oil leak from the steering rack (needing rebuild - mainly replacing the rings and seals inside) and to replace these non-durable bushings with something suitable. The steering rack is a pig to remove and reinstall as the engine will be in its way needing lowering or tilted to make room for moving the rack in and out, so this won't be an easy task.
 

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Hi Hong Kong

I am sorry you are not getting much help here.

In the UK we would usually try and source a rack from a broken car.
There are a multitude of different part numbers for steering racks and it would be useful to identify the numbers for your fit.
I have a sneaky feeling that there are no substantial differences between them - Alfa have a habit of revising numbers for different models without actually modifying the part.

However, to play safe if you can identify the part number(s) required I will make enquiries for you.
It would be a shame to condemn such a rare car for a fluid leak.

Bear in mind that steering rack failure is extremely rare on a 164. I have though experienced a PS pump fail.

Kind regards
Aggy
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Hong Kong

I am sorry you are not getting much help here.


Kind regards
Aggy
Good of you to help. According to the EPer, the parts number of the steering rack is 60594890 or 60614475, but I think the power steering racks of all Alfa 164 24V are the same, but mine has original damper. I attach a picture of the actual item when it was last rebuilt and returned from the US.
 

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The biggest complaint I have on the 164 is its turning circle, and typical small parking space and tight corners in a densely built area is a great test of patience and parking skills. This may explain why steering racks are not as durable on 164s in Hong Kong than anywhere else, as most of the time require steering lock-to-lock to get in or out of a space. The humidity and heat during summer are not helping with the rubber cushions.
 

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The biggest complaint I have on the 164 is its turning circle, and typical small parking space and tight corners in a densely built area is a great test of patience and parking skills. This may explain why steering racks are not as durable on 164s in Hong Kong than anywhere else, as most of the time require steering lock-to-lock to get in or out of a space. The humidity and heat during summer are not helping with the rubber cushions.
Private message sent
 
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