A DIY Guide to Installing a Steering Rack Seal Kit
If oil lubricant seeps out from your car's steering system, this will spell trouble for your steering components. This is because without proper lubrication, your steering components will go head-to-head with each other, wearing each other out in the process. To prevent this, you need to change your sealing components using a steering rack seal kit, which has all the sealing components that would prevent oil lubricant leakage in your steering system. Installing a steering rack seal kit on your own isn't a particularly hard task. It will only take a little of your time and a clean work area.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Things you'll need:
- Steering rack seal kit
- Large table/large workspace
- Jack stands
- Ratchet and sockets
*Note: There are three ratchet sizes—¾ inch, ½ inch, ? inch, and ¼ inch. The ?-inch ratchet is the most popular and handy among the ratchet sizes. The ¼-inch ratchet is only useful for smaller repair tasks while the ¾-inch ratchet is for very large vehicles. Sockets, on the other hand, come in standard and deep lengths, and six-point or twelve-point faces.
- Allen key
- End wrench
- Spanner wrench
- Steel wrench
- Snap ring pliers set
Step 1: Remove the steering rack from your car and put it on a workspace or a table that is big enough to hold the disassembled steering rack so that you can track where the parts should go. Before you start installing the steering rack seal kit, clean the steering rack using either a cloth swab on a long steel rod, cleaning solvent and a brush, or a cloth tied to a wire. This is to prevent dirt and road filth from getting inside your steering rack while you're installing the steering rack seal kit.
Step 2: Take the rubber mounts off from the body of the steering rack.
Step 3: Using an Allen key, remove the metal hoses that are on the steering rack. If the metal hoses are lodged tight, you can use an end wrench to pull them off. Just be careful because they detach all at once. On the ends of the metal hoses are eight O-rings, which you should match up now with the pieces from your steering rack seal kit.
Step 4: At the point where the body of the steering rack converges with the gear casting, there is a small ring with two notches. Remove this ring using a special spanner wrench. After you have taken out the ring, remove the rack housing from the steering rack.
Step 5: Take out the three bolts on top of the gear casting and wrench off the flat piece, where you can find an O-ring and one of the wiper seals. Match the O-ring and the wiper seal with the ones in your steering rack seal kit.
Step 6: Dismantle the piece from where the rack housing has been removed using a snap ring pliers set. This piece should slide off the steering rack's open end. Also, take note that this piece has one band seal and three O-rings that need to be changed. To avoid possible confusion, match up the seals in your steering rack seal kit now with this piece.
Step 7: The disassembled piece on step six has one wiper seal inside of it, a copper stop ring or a hard plastic under it, and an O-ring and a plastic band on its exterior. Tap or press out the wiper seal and the copper stop ring or the hard plastic, and match them up with their corresponding parts in your steering rack seal kit. Furthermore, match up the O-ring with its respective piece from your steering rack seal kit and keep the plastic band.
Step 8: Pull the spline that is on top of the gear casting vertically. This spline should lightly spin when it detaches from the gear casting. Then, match the four band seals in this spline to the four band seals and four O-rings from your steering rack seal kit. Additionally, remove the wiper seal at the bottom of the gear casting from where the spline was pulled out, and then match it with the one in your steering rack seal kit.
*Note: There are bearings and rings around this spline so be sure to take note of where each one is located to avoid hassle in reassembly.
Step 9: Take out the rack from the gear casting and clean it before reinstalling it. During reinstallment, you may need to loosen the plate on the front of the gear casting by slackening the two bolts on the face of the plate.
Step 10: The interior of the rack housing contains the last wiper seal, which you should pull out. After you have done this, tap out the ring and seal evenly, and then match it with the corresponding wiper seal in your steering rack seal kit.