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$2,200 to repair leaking power steering rack....

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on the Volvo S80 model. Sometimes called an "executive car", the S80 was and continues to be Volvo's top-of-the-line passenger car.

$2,200 to repair leaking power steering rack....

Postby bajaman123 » 20 Oct 2009, 23:39

So....I've been noticing a small leak on my garage floor turn into a larger one. Last time this happened I took the car in and they said they found a hose with a 'loose clamp'. So they tightened it up and for months...no leak.
Now the leak has returned with vengeance, and I got a quote of $1,546 for the part, plus labor....they figured around $2,200 total.

I am NOT going to spend this on a '99 model car with 135K on the clock....I guess I am asking if there are alternatives like a seal kit or used rack (although it looks like it would be an unHoly bitch to replace....)
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Re: $2,200 to repair leaking power steering rack....

Postby DrDootz » 21 Oct 2009, 13:39

Mine was leaking a quart every 40 miles. I just had it done last week on my S80 by a Indy shop. Dealer wanted $1100 for part and $700 for installation. Indy got used part for $300 and installed it for $450. It is alot of work. The car sub assembly must be dropped and the engine supported to replace it. Good Luck DrDootz
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Re: $2,200 to repair leaking power steering rack....

Postby bajaman123 » 22 Oct 2009, 00:52

I wish I knew of someone around here who could do the repair for that!

God knows I have tackled some tough car problems over the years and have pulled countless engines and transmissions from dozens of cars in the 30+ years I have been around vehicles...but I just don't have the motivation these days to do something of this magnitude.
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Re: $2,200 to repair leaking power steering rack....

Postby DeRail » 22 Oct 2009, 01:02

Jorgen Auto has remanufactured racks with lifetime warranties for as long as you own the car. Check them out, it looks like they have S80 racks for ~$350

So, if you could get an indy to do the work, you'd be in much better shape than $2200

Probably what I'm going to do if my steering issue turns out to be rack related

http://www.jorgenauto.com/rack-pinion/volvo.html#VOLVO

-Darrell
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Re: $2,200 to repair leaking power steering rack....

Postby Magnum PI » 12 Feb 2010, 04:40

Aloha guys, I have the same problem. But bought a part from car-parts.com sight unseen, but the part I received must be for variable steering even though it was listed otherwise. I hope we can just swap the collar out because it might be just a pressure sensitive device. Or maybe the electronic harness is already there and all I have to do is connect it. Anybody know the answer to this? Thanks....I hope.
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Re: $2,200 to repair leaking power steering rack....

Postby vegasjetskier » 12 Feb 2010, 04:48

Magnum PI wrote:Aloha guys, I have the same problem. But bought a part from car-parts.com sight unseen, but the part I received must be for variable steering even though it was listed otherwise. I hope we can just swap the collar out because it might be just a pressure sensitive device. Or maybe the electronic harness is already there and all I have to do is connect it. Anybody know the answer to this? Thanks....I hope.


Can you return it and get the correct rack?
.

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Re: $2,200 to repair leaking power steering rack....

Postby Magnum PI » 13 Feb 2010, 06:32

I wish I could,the shipping from San Diego Calif to Hilo Hawaii was $125 so I am trying to save $250....
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Re: $2,200 to repair leaking power steering rack....

Postby vegasjetskier » 13 Feb 2010, 12:07

Magnum PI wrote:I wish I could,the shipping from San Diego Calif to Hilo Hawaii was $125 so I am trying to save $250....


Well since the parts supplier sent you the wrong part, they should eat the shipping, no?
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Re: $2,200 to repair leaking power steering rack....

Postby jimbo1 » 09 Mar 2010, 00:59

i went through the same thing about 3 years ago. Mine had the speed sensitive head on it and the only one i could find didn't. i checked all the part numbers on the main body and they were identical. i just unbolted the the control head and swapped them over with no issues. Usually they start leaking at the end seals of the rack system.

To change the rack is quite a job and there are a couple of tight places that you have to get into but no special tools needed. but you do have to drop the back of the subframe down and i supportted the motor with a floor jack. Good luck
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Re: $2,200 to repair leaking power steering rack....

Postby andrei3333 » 22 Mar 2010, 03:55

yup had this done on my car, paid $1450 canadian to rebuild mine, now all is well, i do suggest a rebuilt instead of a used one as you never know what you are getting
1999 Volvo S80 T6 Bought @192KM...now @224KM and counting the high priced maintenance miles ;-)
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Re: $2,200 to repair leaking power steering rack....

Postby Bluemoose » 24 Mar 2010, 17:52

Hey Guys. I know this may sound kinda crazy, but I had the same problem with my s70. It was at the age that the fix wasn't going to be worth doing for the cost. I figured if I could squeeze a week or so out of it, I could find a deal on a new car. At this point the fluid was pouring out of the rack as soon as I poured it in. I decided I would just keep filling it. I got some of the leak stopping fluid with no faith it would even slow it down. That was about 10,000 miles ago. I just checked the level after about 3 weeks of driving and I was down about 1/4 inch. You may want to try this if you are thinking about just getting some additional miles out of the car. Good luck.
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Re: $2,200 to repair leaking power steering rack....

Postby OEMVolvoParts » 31 Mar 2010, 18:47

Hi All!

I just posted on this topic in a different thread. Pretty much Volvo screwed up the replacement steering rack parts for all the early S80's. You MUST change out the pressure and return lines along with the steering knuckle when changing out the rack. They FUBAR'D it royally. You also need to know if you have what is known as speed related or standard steering gear. Either one will require the complete changeover. Buying these parts from places like car-parts.com (all aftermarket) who deals with all car brands and has very poor customer service is a bad idea. They will ship you anything, and then when it is wrong, it's your burden to return it, and they may not ever get you the correct part. Some parts just are not available on the aftermarket or used, this I believe is one of those parts.

We can provide all the parts you need but it still will be alot of money. There is just no way around it. Volvo forces you to change the whole system. Most people we see here find this is the time to sell the car, because the ROI for this repair does not add up.
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Re: $2,200 to repair leaking power steering rack....

Postby andrei3333 » 03 Apr 2010, 05:39

Well just before i had my rack rebuilt i panicked and called the dealer, they told me something outrageous like 2000 dollars for a new rack only, plus two more parts ( sounds like those line the guy before mentioned) plus labour

anyways 8 months later im not regretting a thing, no leaks and steering works, i did have the speed sensitive steering, i think all t6 models have that and the 2.9's dont, but im not sure

If you have this problem then get it rebuilt by a trust able source where in case something is wrong you can come back...
1999 Volvo S80 T6 Bought @192KM...now @224KM and counting the high priced maintenance miles ;-)
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Re: $2,200 to repair leaking power steering rack....

Postby rcannon » 01 Jun 2013, 16:32

I'm in the middle of replacing mine now (850). The Rack Doctor (rackdoctor.net) rebuilds them for $150 including new bushings if needed. Need to turn in a good core. The Haynes manual is lacking on this. There were instructions once on another site but they are gone now.

The instructions from Rack Doctor say to clean and flush the system before connecting up, and make sure no hose particles are coming loose. If so, replace hoses too. I am going to put in a filter too. Don't know if the one I got will work on the pressure side- it is metal, from Autozone. Has a magnet. No instructions though. On pressure side is better location I think.

To remove rack you need to lower the rear of the engine cradle first, (to the max of the bolts in rear, which are quite long- three or more turns are enough to hold) to allow the rack to get past the engine mount after removing the engine mount bolt (the rack also supports the back of the engine). May need to raise engine some too but don't force it. I used the trans housing and a block of wood. I put jack stands on the front of the cradle which allows the rear to pivot down but still support the car.

Getting the hyd fittings off is a very slow process- a wrench barely fits in there. Use some liquid wrench overnight to loosen them too. I had to do it while rack was loose and raised from the mount to get more clearance. Once these are loose and off, (and fluid drained) then you can remove the rack from the left side. You first need to remove the u-joint from the splined input shaft. Again a slow process to get the bolt out. Then pound with a shaft from below to drive off the u-joint. Fairly easy. Note how it goes on- the flat spot on the shaft for the bolt. I haven't put it back yet- may be difficult.

Also be careful with the rack mounting bolts- they just press in at the top, and if you push them up and out (by side loading the nut- an air wrench would be great here), there is no way to hold them. I had to carefully tighten one again and get it back in- almost did not work. Would have been a royal pain to get out then. I did not remove the bracket near the engine mount supporting the rack/engine to frame- just the horizontal bolt on the rack. The rack will slide out.

Then once the tubes are loose and the u-joint off, you have to lower the rear of the cradle much lower, supporting with a jack, and raise the engine up to where it feels like it stops. Then you can work the rack out by twisting sideways.

That's where I am now. (I set the new rack in place). Need to clean and flush system, install filter. Install lines, u-joint. Also- had to order new bolts for rack- they were severely stretched from the factory, yet extremely tight. (96 850 145k miles) Suprised they did not fail.

The rack was leaking quite a bit of oil and stop leak did not work. I think I broke something once while trying to loosen the tie rod nut- something popped in the rack.

Maybe somebody has an easier way- glad to hear it if so.
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