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Pelican Technical Article:

Steering Rack Removal

Steve Vernon

Time:

1-3 hours

Tab:

$20 to $1,900

Talent:

***

Tools:

19mm, 17mm, 13mm, 10mm wrench, large adjustable wrench, pliers, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, lug wrench, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

Porsche 944 Turbo (1986-89)

Parts Required:

Steering rack or rebuild kit

Hot Tip:

Clean everything well, steering fluid is slippery

Performance Gain:

Proper performing steering rack

Complementary Modification:

New tie rods

The power steering rack and pump are a constant source of leaks on the front of the Porsche 944 and 951, making removal of an old and leaking rack a very messy job. Removal is not that difficult but add some extra time if your steering rack is really dirty.

Raise and support the front of the vehicle on jack stands and remove the engine tray and sway bar. See our tech articles on these procedures for additional information.

With the car safely up in the air and the engine tray removed, you can see the steering rack and where it mounts to the cross member (red arrows) and the spindles (yellow arrows).
Figure 1

With the car safely up in the air and the engine tray removed, you can see the steering rack and where it mounts to the cross member (red arrows) and the spindles (yellow arrows). You will need to remove the sway bar (green arrow) to remove the steering rack.

You are going to drain the fluid out from the pump and rack to remove the steering rack, so do yourself a favor and remove as much fluid as you can from the reservoir (red arrow).
Figure 2

You are going to drain the fluid out from the pump and rack to remove the steering rack, so do yourself a favor and remove as much fluid as you can from the reservoir (red arrow).

Remove the two inner ball joints by pulling the boot (red arrow) off the steering rack (yellow arrow) with your hands.
Figure 3

Remove the two inner ball joints by pulling the boot (red arrow) off the steering rack (yellow arrow) with your hands.

Use a large adjustable wrench and unscrew the ball joint end (red arrow) from the steering rack.
Figure 4

Use a large adjustable wrench and unscrew the ball joint end (red arrow) from the steering rack. There should be very little force needed to loosen the joint. There is a taper in the nut holding the tie rod on. Gently tap this back so you can loosen it. If you are worried about applying too much force or yours seems stuck, you can wrap the steering shaft in a rag and hold it with vise grips while loosening the joint. Just make sure not to marr the steering shaft joint.

Here you can see the groove that the tie rod nut sits in (red arrow).
Figure 5

Here you can see the groove that the tie rod nut sits in (red arrow).

Use a 19mm wrench and loosen and remove the banjo bolt from the power steering pump (red arrow).
Figure 6

Use a 19mm wrench and loosen and remove the banjo bolt from the power steering pump (red arrow). Use a 17mm wrench and remove the return line from the back of the rack on the rear of the shaft input. Fluid will spill out of both lines so be prepared for it.

Both of the banjo bolts should have two crush washers (red arrow, one shown).
Figure 7

Both of the banjo bolts should have two crush washers (red arrow, one shown). Make sure they are removed from the pump and rack and always replace them with new ones.

Use a 13mm wrench and loosen the steering knuckle bolt that secures it to the rack (red arrow).
Figure 8

Use a 13mm wrench and loosen the steering knuckle bolt that secures it to the rack (red arrow). It is a good idea to use a flathead screwdriver and loosen the joint and try and pry it off.

Remove the 10mm bolt that holds the supply line to the front of the pump (yellow arrow) and make sure the ground wire attached to it is free of the steering rack (red arrow).
Figure 9

Remove the 10mm bolt that holds the supply line to the front of the pump (yellow arrow) and make sure the ground wire attached to it is free of the steering rack (red arrow).

Remove the four 13mm bolts holding the rack to the cross member (red arrows).
Figure 10

Remove the four 13mm bolts holding the rack to the cross member (red arrows).

It is a tight fit but once the rack is off the steering shaft knuckle you can pull it out from the bottom (red arrow).
Figure 11

It is a tight fit but once the rack is off the steering shaft knuckle you can pull it out from the bottom (red arrow).

The rack will come out with all the breather supply and return lines on it.
Figure 12

The rack will come out with all the breather supply and return lines on it. Make sure to give it a good clean if you are transferring anything over to the new rack or before you start work on it. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Matt87944 Comments: Hello Pelican Parts, I have a 1987 Porsche 944 NA, from the picture I added what I thought the problem was is the power steering rack leaking, maybe a broken seal? Can I have your opinion on what the problem is and how to fix it, also if an amateur car guy could fix the problem. Thanks, Matt.
August 2, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Looks like the rack seal is leaking. You will need to replace the rack. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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