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friend of mine has a steering rack leak on her 900, it's not bad but would like to get it done.
Was told the repair kits were not available(they are, at PFS £28.00) and a new one would cost £480 inc genuine part, which is about £180 (PFS)which works out £300 for labour. now in the past i have taken one out of a car i was breaking so did not worry about time etc, but would i be fair in saying about 5hrs out and new in= £60 per hr.and this is from an independant garage.
So is there anyone who lives in the worthing west sussex area who knows of a good mechanic who is reasonable. probably just be the repair 2-3 hrs?.

thanks 16
 

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Yeah that's one job where most mechanics aren't going to give a good break on labor, it's a heavy job. I think a "fair" price is about all to hope for...my tuppence any way.
 

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16saabs said:
(...)Was told the repair kits were not available(they are, at PFS £28.00)
I'd sure like to hear from someone who's done that... successfull or otherwise. Places I've seen 'em for sale say special tools needed... seems to me there were discussions here saying needed tools were well beyond most DIY's tool boxes.

I recall Matthew citing rebuild failure rates very high... mine is 6 months old and seeping already. :eek: For better or worse, one of the things on my 2-do list is check around w/local machine shops to see what they can do w/one of those kits.

be fair in saying about 5hrs out and new in= £60 per hr.and this is from an independant garage.
So is there anyone who lives in the worthing west sussex area who knows of a good mechanic who is reasonable. probably just be the repair 2-3 hrs?.
Our 2 local independent SAAB mechs quote 4 & 4.5 hrs, respectively.
 

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jdmckay said:
I'd sure like to hear from someone who's done that... successfull or otherwise.
Raul says he's done it, you can see it on his project thread (although there's not much detail there), or maybe ask him (login name=El_Raul_Turbo_Freak).
 

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I've done a few. I've done many Jaguar racks. The old Jaguar racks had a cast iron control valve housing, so they were rebuildable. I only did a couple of SAABs, and then only because warranty wouldn't buy a new one.
Failure rate is high because the aluminum control valve housing gets worn and ruins the new seals. You don't really need any fancy special tools; they exist, and make it easier, but it's easy enough to find substitute tools.
Modern rebuilders install a steel sleeve in the bored out housing to create a new, durable sealing surface . This is impossible without a machine shop.
With air tools and a lift, you can replace the rack in an hour, but it's such a filthy nasty job, nobody wants to do it cheap.
 

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There are 2 versions of the control valve housing on the power steering rack for the c900. Earlier versions had the aluminium control valve housing and later ones had cast iron. Pic below shows a RHD rack. The type of housing can be identified from the top with the different orientation of the hydraulic pipes. Racks with the aluminium control valve are not worth rebuilding as more often than not, the housing is worn as Jim described.



 

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Matthew said:
Power Steering Services in Greenwich will sell you a rebuilt rack(...)
Thanks Matthew... I've already pretty much decided I'm going to get rebuild kit and find machine shop to do work Jim suggests. I've wasted a lot of time/$$ on various critical rebuilt parts that have been s***, and am pretty much @ the point where I choose to not bother w/'em any more.

Shan said:
There are 2 versions of the control valve housing on the power steering rack for the c900. Earlier versions had the aluminium control valve housing and later ones had cast iron. Pic below shows a RHD rack. The type of housing can be identified from the top with the different orientation of the hydraulic pipes. Racks with the aluminium control valve are not worth rebuilding as more often than not, the housing is worn as Jim described.

<snip>

Very good info Shan... 1st I've heard of thit. Do you know break-off yrs or part # distinctions? Have you rebuilt that later (cast iron) one? Are you suggesting the cast iron will reliably take a rebuild kit w/out machining... eg. that the seal seats remain tight?

Any other tips appreciated... thank you very much!!!

...

Must say, this forum is wonderful... just an amazing resource. So nice, so useful to have. My SAAB would be way behind current state of gradual, quality repairs w/out it. Precise information I've needed along the way shows up here again & again, often contrary/not included/supplemental to Bentley. Very often I find much better info show up here than from our (ABQ, NM) best local independent SAAB shop mechanic of +/- 30 yrs. (he's still pretty good... not meant to trash him & he's a great guy).

So anyway, just wanted to say a big thanks to all and those who make this place go (which now that I think about it, I have no idea who they are). If there's a donation method to keep this thing up and running please let me know... I'm very happy to drop a few coins in the kitty.
 

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How could you Shan? Do you know how filthy we are all going to get trying to figure out if our racks are rebuildable or not?... :eek:
Shan said:
There are 2 versions of the control valve housing on the power steering rack for the c900. Earlier versions had the aluminium control valve housing and later ones had cast iron. Pic below shows a RHD rack. The type of housing can be identified from the top with the different orientation of the hydraulic pipes. Racks with the aluminium control valve are not worth rebuilding as more often than not, the housing is worn as Jim described.



 

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I'm wondering How the Track rods come off to get the new seals in. I looked at mine recently and there is a staking on rack end of the track rod.

I'm interested since I need a new track rod (inner)

Anybody know ?
 

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barrydoran said:
I'm wondering How the Track rods come off to get the new seals in. I looked at mine recently and there is a staking on rack end of the track rod.
You're supposed to remove the rack and do the repair on the bench. The reason for this is to allow you to work on the rack/tie-rod without applying torque to the rack itself. Twisting the rack while removing the track rod can apply pressure to, and damage the pinion and its seals.
 

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jdmckay said:
... 1st I've heard of thit. Do you know break-off yrs or part # distinctions? Have you rebuilt that later (cast iron) one? Are you suggesting the cast iron will reliably take a rebuild kit w/out machining... eg. that the seal seats remain tight?
Unfortunately, I don't have the break-off years between the aluminium and cast iron housing. If you have the cast iron type, it would stand a better chance for a successful rebuild compared to the aluminium type, as the cast iron type is less prone to wear. Personally, I haven't seen a cast iron housing wear out.
 

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Shan said:
Unfortunately, I don't have the break-off years between the aluminium and cast iron housing. If you have the cast iron type, it would stand a better chance for a successful rebuild compared to the aluminium type, as the cast iron type is less prone to wear.
Thanks. Any chance to get a part # from your iron one? My EPC lists
the following:

'86-'89

Article : Rack
PartNo : 8937047
Usage : LHD, NLS-USE 4106514
Up to and incl. code --6 A 051.

Article : Rack
PartNo : 9106022
Usage : LHD, NLS-USE 4106514
From code 6 A 052--.

Article : Rack
PartNo : 8939191
Usage : RHD, NLS-USE 4106522
Up to and incl. code --6 A 051.

Article : Rack
PartNo : 9106030
Usage : RHD, NLS-USE 4106522
From code 6 A 052--.

'90-'93
Article : Rack
PartNo : 9106022
Usage : LHD, NLS-USE 4106514
Ch. --L3004087
Ch. --L5000813
Ch. --L7011584

Article : Rack
PartNo : 4106514
Usage : LHD
Ch. L3004088--
Ch. L5000814--
Ch. L7011585--

Article : Rack
PartNo : 9106030
Usage : RHD, NLS-USE 4106522
Ch. --L3004087
Ch. --L5000813
Ch. --L7011584

Article : Rack
PartNo : 4106522
Usage : RHD
Ch. L3004088--
Ch. L5000814--
Ch. L7011585--
Hard to tell from that when this change happened, I'm guessing '90. Gon'a put this top of list for next trip to U-PULL yard.

Personally, I haven't seen a cast iron housing wear out.
Do you mean they're always rebuildable, or never leak? :lol:
 

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In the US, you'll only find the cast iron racks on automatic transmission 99s and a few very early 900s (1979-1980?).
It's not the control valves that leak, it's the rack end seals. You can't replace them without taking the control valve apart. Just buy a rebuilt unit.
 

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Jim Mesthene said:
In the US, you'll only find the cast iron racks on automatic transmission 99s and a few very early 900s (1979-1980?).
so they're earlier ones... great:eek: (much harder for me to find here).

It's not the control valves that leak, it's the rack end seals.
I understand that.

You can't replace them without taking the control valve apart. Just buy a rebuilt unit.
I have, and it leaks. :roll: It was not damaged during installation: I put it in w/my motor bay empty & I was very careful. It just leaked... but I did get 5 mos. clean service out of it!!! :lol: It had no over bored/pressed inserts you describe.

For my purposes Shan has established some real credibility on this issue... 1st time I've ever seen mention of differences in these racks, and his restoration quality/expertise speak for themselves. He says aluminum aren't worth rebuilding. My request here for anyone w/experience rebuilding these things (eg: did rebuild hold up?) turned up -0-, couldn't find anything in archives here or "that other site", so I'll run w/Shan's best advice.

In last 10 days or so, I've contacted more than 1/2 dozen rack rebuilders... email & phone. I inquired about their procedures/standards/testing etc. I asked if their inventory distinguishes between the aluminum/cast iron tie end casings... asked if they machine/press inserts in aluminum ones (as you've described): no email responses whatsoever, and no useful or even mildly convincing info over the phone.

I want a rack that will last, and willing to pay extra and scrutinize/investigate to insure (as much as possible) that indeed, that's what I get. I've had several experiences in recent months receiving **** re-built/manned parts, and have developed a very healthy scepticism for any claims of quality on these things.

I want to find one of these cast iron ones, get it rebuilt (if necesary), but it will be at least 2/3 weeks before I have time to scavenge for one... was hoping to get cast iron part #(s?) so I could make yr/model associations to narrow focus of "the hunt".

I did have a phone conversation (they didn't answer email) with the "master builder" @ SteeringRack.com (Bryan). He gave me a lot of details on their process, just what I wanted to hear. They will do over bore/press process you describe. He also says they inventory/will deliver cast iron racks upon request. They replace control valves w/brand new OEM parts, according to Bryan (I pressed him hard on this, given my experience lately with "OEM" quality **** parts). He will produce one to my spec as well... $350 max he said given what I asked for. Their standard ordered c900 PS rack is $220... a little more than SAAB Web stores, but has lifetime warranty. If he's telling the truth (and I have no reason to think otherwise, other than NAPA & a few others I've dealth w/lately sure do :)) about all this, then it's well worth it to me for a few extra $$.

If I can't find a cast iron one, or find one and can't find local machine shop to do whatever may need doing, I'll roll the dice w/these guys.

Thanks for your suggestions Jim, as always.
 

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jdmckay said:
My request here for anyone w/experience rebuilding these things (eg: did rebuild hold up?) turned up -0-...
From post #6


I've done a few. I've done many Jaguar racks. The old Jaguar racks had a cast iron control valve housing, so they were rebuildable. I only did a couple of SAABs, and then only because warranty wouldn't buy a new one.
I seriously doubt you'll find a left hand drive, cast iron rack.
Most quality rebuilt racks last more than 10 years but if you want something special, you've obviously done your homework.
Good luck
 
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