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Power Steering Rack Removal

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Just thought I'd post up a thread for future reference on the removal of my leaking Power steering rack from my S4 as I couldnt locate any previous thread for this procedure on the Power Assisted Racks.

Ill post up some pics shortly to help explain.

Basically I have spent probably about 1 day just trying to remove the two large rack mounting bolts which were badly rusted only to end up with then badly rounded. The key problem is access and getting enough leverage to get them to move. So here a breif on what I did.

1- Remove front Wheels

2- Remove Track rod ends from hub - best to use ball joint splitter.

3- Unblot steering column from rack - 1 bolt.

4- Disconnect Feed and return pipes to rack from underneath the car.

4- Attempt to unbolt two securing bolts, one either side, from inside front of chassis :blink:

5- After many hours, got pissed off and cut off nuts (not my own!) and end of bolts with power saw (15 minutes). :P

6- Trying to remove rack, it gets stuck on return feed pipe as it loops over two large metal coolant pipes

7- Just managed to get power saw to cut through return pipe :P

8- Rack now stuck on rack feed pipe

9- Just managed to get power saw to cut through feed pipe :P

10- Few wiggles and rack slides out after a couple of minutes. B)

If I'd of used the power blade saw in the first place I could have had the rack removed in about 30 minutes all in. Im replacing the power steering pipes anyway so chopping the feed and return didnt matter. The only other way to have achived this would be to disconnect many of the coolant pipes in this area at the front of the car and remove at least 4 other large and very rusty bolts that hold the rads in place. I now expect the replacement of the rack to take no more than about 20 minutes.

Pics to follow shortly.

Edited by CarlC
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"... and in 'Carl's Chops' next week, he'll be using a hydraulic 'jaws of life' cutter to get those pesky spark plugs out, then showing us how to weld new ones in when the threads get all crossed up".

Only kidding Carl - that's exactly the kind of job that made me realise I was useless with spanners. It all LOOKS so straightforward, but I have even less patience than mechanical skill!

Proud recipient of the LEF 'Car of the Month Award' February 2008

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: "Wow, what a ride!!"

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I now expect the replacement of the rack to take no more than about 20 minutes.

:blink: You'd think replacement is easy and I guess relatively it is. Mind you I haven't pressurised my system yet and watched for leaks.

I like your removal style though and congrats on getting it out!

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Hi Simon,

Thanks for all you input without which Im not sure Id would have attempted the rack removal myself. I've always been a pint half full sort of person so Ill report back how long it takes to put the rack back. :blink: Im planning to use flexi hose for the feed to and from the rack and stainless steel to replace the pipes under the car. Hopefully using the flexihose will be the key to getting the rack back in as it was the steel version of these that prevented the rack removal in the first place. Fingers crossed.

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I admit I looked at stainless and nearly fell over at the price.

So my local hydraulics expert suggested flexi hosing from rack all the way to the pump and reservoir end. Removes the need for all the special lengths and joints.

They can be stowed in the p-clips as the originals were. All good fun!

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Im told that it will be very cheap to replace with stainless steel. But if not I will opt for the flex to run the full length as you suggest. It would also save on picing the two sections together too. Ill see what the man from the hydrolic place thinks and get a price.

Thanks Simon.

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