Steering Rack Lines Removal

Discussion in 'Gen 1 & 2 - Suspension, Brake Systems, & Body' started by sperold, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. sperold

    sperold Last to Know Supporting Member

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    Done a lot of searching and this topic does not get a lot of press.

    I am removing a rack on a 90 SHO, I need procedural help in removing the supply and return hydraulic lines at the rack.

    There is an electrical connection on the supply line (I think), and I don't know why it is there, as there is no variable assist on these early units. Any explanation would be welcomed.

    My main issue is getting the line fittings off the rack, so that the rack can be removed. It seems to be possible from the top, after removing the intake snorkel, the air box top, and a hose from the master cylinder to the ABS reservoir (I think).
    Is there a special tool to get those hose fittings separated from the rack.

    I am pretty well stopped, and could use a lot of advice on how to do this. Mostly, is this a top or from below activity, are there trick tools to use (like short wrenches), and how much other stuff should I be removing to get to these fittings?

    Thank You.
     
  2. blk\blk90

    blk\blk90 SHO Member Supporting Member

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    Following. I'm pretty sure I'm in the same boat as you and will have to tackle this soon.
     
  3. zak

    zak SHO Member

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    With a jack and jackstands for protection, carefully loosen the front subframe bolts. You want at least 4 full threads (bolt rotations ) of engagement, but on the front you only need to drop it down enough to allow some tilt (a little bit of a gap bewtween the upper mount dust sheild and the fame of the car).

    On the rear suframe bushings lower the rear bolts as far as possible remembering to make sure you have four full rotations of bolt engagement; use a jack to support the rear of the subframe so that it doesn't drop suddenly. Even then don't go under without a couple of spare jackstands under the subframe. Should get you just enough access. From what I can recall pulling the front swaybar helps. Remember that you may be putting a bit of strain on the steering coupler.
     
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  4. sperold

    sperold Last to Know Supporting Member

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    After removing the drivers side front wheel, you can see into the engine compartment where the tie rod comes by the front frame rail.

    After a lot of trying various wrench sizes, the pressure supply hose (Gates 359370) was removed with a 17 mm open end wrench. I cut the box end off so I could apply a small diameter extension to that end, as it was too difficult to just reach in and turn it.

    Then I discovered the return line (Gates 364720) uses an 18 mm hex size, but the same procedure worked with it, without removing the box end, but using an extension just the same.

    These 2 fasteners are supposed to be tightened to 10 - 15 ft lb torque, but they were brutally hard to undo, maybe something to do with steel adapters in aluminum castings.

    I can already tell it is going to be hard.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
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  5. sperold

    sperold Last to Know Supporting Member

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    For years, I have heard rumors that the steering rack can be removed and replaced without lowering the sub frame.

    I am going to investigate the truth of these rumors.

    I am not looking forward to disturbing the exhaust studs and the sub frame bolts, which always causes extra grief.

    Has anyone else heard this claim about the sub frame.
     
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  6. zak

    zak SHO Member

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    Shouldn't need to disturb the exhaust
     
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  7. BaySHO Performance

    BaySHO Performance SHO Member

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    I've installed some 25 steering racks over the last 19 years. Most of those have been on an MTX, although the one I did earlier this month was an ATX.

    The electrical connection on your '90 rack is for the power steering pressure switch. Please go through anything I've written that you have already handled. I've included it so that I can add an article to Wiki SHO. So let me know of any corrections I need to make once you are done.

    Inside the car:

    Center the steering wheel and make sure that it doesn't move too much throughout the process.
    Remove the kick panel from under the steering wheel with a torx bit.
    Uncouple the steering shaft 1/2 way down and separate the two halves. 13mm IIRC.
    Remove the dust boot. three nuts, 11mm.
    Remove the pinch bolt at the bottom of the shaft. 10mm IIRC.

    Jack up the car and put it on jack stands.
    Remove the front wheels.

    Remove the Y Pipe to access the hoses more easily. 8mm / 15mm / 18mm. 22mm for the front O2 sensor. No need to remove the rear one. Give the manifold studs plenty of penetrating oil. Work the nuts loose with your 15mm attached to a breaker bar and ease them back and forth. If really rusty, you might want to run an M10 x 1.5 die up the exposed part of the studs, and clean up the nuts when off.

    If you have trouble getting the Y Pipe off, it's because the manifold studs have splayed. Once off eyeball the studs and bend back with a 12mm deep socket (impact preferred) on a long 1/2" extension bar. For complete accuracy, fab up one of these in thin sheet metal, two 7/16” holes drilled 3 ¾” apart as a template. Corner cut off to clear stuff: IMG_20180620_160033443 (1024x448).jpg

    If you have a cable shifter, disconnect the vertical cable and swing out of the way. 8mm.
    Remove the two hoses, noting which hose goes where. 11/16". Although 18mm can work, you run the risk of rounding the nuts. Once loose, I use a shorty 18mm ratchet wrench to get them off.

    Loosen off the locknuts between the inner and outer tie rod ends. 22mm. Use a white paint pen to mark the inner tie rod end just inboard of the nut so that you know roughly where the outers need to be positioned on the inners on the new rack.
    Remove the cotter pins with a pair of wire cutters (lever them out).
    Remove the castle nut from the end of the outer tie rod end. 18mm stock, some aftermarket 19mm.
    Reverse the nut and reinstall on the tie rod stud such that it is flush with the bottom of the stud.
    Use a 5 lb. hammer to whack on the knuckle around the outer tie rod to loosen it. GENTLY tap on the nut to see if has loosened. The nut is there to protect the threads. If not loose, repeat the process.
    Remove outers from inners. Remove lock nuts from inners. Makes removing the rack easier, and probably need transferring to the new rack, anyway.

    Remove the nuts holding the rack onto the subframe. 24mm.

    Position a jack with a wooden plank on it and put it under the oil pan to hold the engine in place.

    If you have the original rubber subframe bushings, remove the rear subframe bolts (18mm) and lower the assembly on to jack stands. You need to come down around 3". No need to touch the front subframe bolts: there should be enough flex in the bushings. Might also be the case with solid subframe bushings.

    HOWEVER, if you have to loosen off all four subframe bolts, the whole subframe will shift, throwing off the caster and camber. In that case, use your paint pen to mark around all four bushings before touching the bolts to get it back where it was.

    Raise the rack off the subframe and remove it via the driver's side wheel well.

    Now take a look at the pressure port. You should see a domed jiggle valve in there. If what you see looks the same as the return port, it's fallen out somewhere.

    Put the old rack side by side with the new one. Taking measurements, make sure that the new one has the same amount of inner tie rod end sticking out each end as the old one. Transfer the studs over. Transfer the pressure switch over. You might need a new rubber O ring.

    If your new rack doesn't have a jiggle valve, transfer from the old one. If a pencil magnet doesn't remove it, it's being held in place with a washer that also needs to be removed. Install in the new rack, domed end facing you.

    Peel back the outer dust boot end that's over the inner tie rod ends. Grease that area and put back. This will stop the dust boot twisting when turning the inner for toe alignment.

    Installation is the reversal of removal....

    100 ft. lb. on the 24mm rack nuts.

    Subframe bolts, 85 ft. lb. If you had to loosen off all four bolts, reposition the subframe according to your paint marks. There are holes in the subframe and body just behind the front bushings to facilitate this.
    Outer tie rod ends, 34 ft. lb. then turn more to line up the cotter pin hole. 1/8" x 1" pins.

    Install new Teflon O rings on the hoses. 388-898-S from Ford. Aftermarket available, but I don't have the part number. Dribble a little power steering fluid over the hose nuts and work them back and forth. Makes turning them by hand easier. Don't over tighten them. The hoses are supposed to rotate.

    Anti seize on the O2 sensor.

    Front Toe alignment: a lot easier if you have wheel dollies you can put under the front wheels. If not, roll the car back and forth to settle the front wheels. Make sure that the steering wheel is dead center throughout the process.

    Horizontal white paint line on the front of the front tires, below the level of the body. Makes it easier to distinguish between the front and rear of the tire. Sight along the tires. The wheel has the correct amount of toe when you can see around 1/4" of the rear of the front tire just as the rear tire disappears from view. Once done, you might want to have them professionally aligned. Toe should be zero. You will have noticed that the inner tie rod ends have flats for a wrench, or are serrated for pliers.
     
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  8. sperold

    sperold Last to Know Supporting Member

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    Since I was after the fluid transfer solid lines mounted on the rack, I purchased a low cost Cardone 22214 rack for around $60.00 and no core return. It is my plan to swap these onto my existing SHO rack, which by the way, was around $200.00 to replace.

    These racks seem to follow some kind of cycling like the stock market, sometimes they are a great buy and other times they are high. In the past, I have bought the SHO rack for less money than the regular Taurus rack.
     
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  9. sperold

    sperold Last to Know Supporting Member

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    I have changed the rack on my 90 SHO. Should be the same for 89 to 91 and maybe 92 (as no VAPs until 93).

    I did not remove the exhaust Y-Pipe.

    I did not lower the sub frame.

    I will do a short write up of the procedure, in the fullness of time. As I am moving on to doing a 93 with VAPs which so far looks do-able as the racks are not radically different. But time will tell.
     
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  10. DavidT

    DavidT SHO Member

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    Did you change out the hoses too? So did you reuse your old rack, and just replace the metal lines that are part of the rack, with the tubes from a new rack? I am weighing out changing my rack and hoses vs having a mechanic do it for $200-$300...
     
  11. sperold

    sperold Last to Know Supporting Member

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    Bought hoses, but left the old ones in place.

    The new rack had the little washers (teflon on something) that go on the hose ends but have to be streached over the threads to sit on the flat surface that does most of the sealing.

    Despite my good intentions, I used the low cost new rack in its entirety. This was not the plan, but that is how it went.
    So far so good (one day of driving), but I do not regret it so far.
    I looked up the pressure output of the Taurus pump and the SHO pump and did not find a difference, so that contributed to the decision.

    The 2 to 3 hundred is labor, I assume, and that is not a bad price.
    You need 2 people when you haul the old rack out and thread the new rack in from the drivers front wheel well, to make it efficient.

    Getting the old hoses to release is difficult as they are done from the bottom, but the most aggravating task was removing the swivel off the top of the rack (that goes to your steering wheel).

    You can do it yourself if you have lots of time, and I would suggest getting a fixed price if you farm it out.

    I will cook up a how-to when things slow down.
     
  12. DavidT

    DavidT SHO Member

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    How much time did you have in your new rack?If I take the rack and hoses to a mechanic, do the new orings come with the new hoses? And how much type f is needed to perform a flush and fill?
     
  13. sperold

    sperold Last to Know Supporting Member

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    I have at least 20 hours in the rack swap. That is because I was super careful about every step because I did not know what I was doing. And it took a long time to sort out which wrenches (metric, American, Torques,) to use, as everything is hard to reach and difficult to break free,

    And a disclaimer, my speedometer quit working a day or two after the install. I did not remove the speedometer cable from the transmission and the rack must have hit it on the way through (it sits just inside the cast housing of the transmission that you see when you peek through the fender opening).
    It broke the cable housing on the transmission end of the system but the inner cable is ok. The cable sheath was rotted and did not take much to bust it.

    The part of the job that has you inside the car under the gas - break - clutch pedals may have been the most difficult as I took too much apart, then had trouble getting it back together.

    The little O-rings come on the hoses and they are also included in the new rack packaging, usually on the paper tags they put on the input shaft. So you will end up with extras if you get both of them new. If you use the ones in the rack package, you have to heat them in hot water to expand them enough to get them over the thread of the hose ends. The old ones are always destroyed when you remove the line.

    I have taken a preliminary look at the 93 up racks and they look much more difficult to remove. They have a large "actuator assembly" bolted to it that adds to the bulk. I think this is where the lowering of the subframe comes in. Interestingly enough, my actuator assembly was disconnected electrically, so I was on maximum pressure all the time anyways.

    It took less than 4 quarts of type F, maybe only 2, and it does not need much flushing if it has been leaking for some time.

    I think a good shop could change the rack (with 2 guys, one in the interior and one underneath) in 2 hours.
    I had one changed a few years ago for $300.00 which was the best price I could get, and they lowered the sub frame. Just remember, that method puts you DIS module in jeopardy as there is no one up top to monitor the engine situation. It can get damaged by the brackets for the engine shock absorbers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019 at 4:33 PM
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