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Power steering fluid leak - bad steering rack?

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

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SonicAdventure
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Re: Power steering fluid leak - bad steering rack?

Post by SonicAdventure »

Schuylkill Haven, PA about 25 miles west of Reading, PA. Other than the sudden rack leaking, the car is generally running good but high miles and needs odds and ends. I really don’t want to part with it - I’m sure we all feel that way though. Thanks.
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Re: Power steering fluid leak - bad steering rack?

Post by tardcart »

half the Volvos junked are for rack or head gasket. The math is not on the side of repair. However if making sense is not your thing, I would either get a used rack or try and rebuild yours. The cheap rebuilds most garages won't even install due to about 50% return rate.
I notice Volvo sells a rebuilt one for 800 but thats not much better that 1300 for a new one. make sure you never put power steering fluid in, only dextron 3 (depending on year) The only part that fails is the end seal . I suppose excess play could have caused that but since they are sealed and fluid filled there is no wear usually. maybe some one who has replaced the rack end seals could chime in.
Ive been thinking of practicing on my old TRW rack. especially if you have done it while the unit is in the car.
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Re: Power steering fluid leak - bad steering rack?

Post by abscate »

I’ll search for the definite thread on how to differentiate TRW and SMI racks on these cars and link.

Clipped from Marcos thread but I don’t want to credit him since he blew the Amazon deal

IPD has a great explanation for this information here:
https://www.ipdusa.com/techtips/10015/w ... it-tell-me

So, for example, here's an inner tie rod:
https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/volvo- ... -9191410oe
1998 Volvo S70
Position: Front Inner, SMI - Product Plate Marked "5"

or

https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/volvo- ... -3546266-1
1998 Volvo S70
Position: Front Inner, TRW- Product Plate Marked "4"

Of course, if your steering rack has been replaced, it could be either one!

Good luck figuring it out!




viewtopic.php?f=1&t=54721&hilit=steering+rack&start=20
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Re: Power steering fluid leak - bad steering rack?

Post by tardcart »

the racks are interchangeable as a whole unit including the tie rod ends. (tie rod ends are different) the quickest way is to look at the boot which will be marked TRW if it is one. You can look at the build plate too. I think it safe to assume its a TRW in the USA.
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Re: Power steering fluid leak - bad steering rack?

Post by crlande »

Why not try a bottle of ATP-205? Nothing to lose now. I have seen it stop some leaks. Schuylkill Haven is 33 miles northwest of Reading and just south of America's oldest brewery.
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Re: Power steering fluid leak - bad steering rack?

Post by abscate »

I’ll ping both of you guys with my cell. Have to stop in Reading Thursday morning and Bethlehem afternoon if you plural are free for a driving compatible beverage

Sonic...if we can find you a place to work, Harrys in Hazleton will sell you a rack for $40. If it looked dry I would put it in as is, or you can do the seals before installing.
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Re: Power steering fluid leak - bad steering rack?

Post by SonicAdventure »

crlande wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:53 am Why not try a bottle of ATP-205? Nothing to lose now. I have seen it stop some leaks. Schuylkill Haven is 33 miles northwest of Reading and just south of America's oldest brewery.
Yeah, lol, I agree nothing to lose now...what is the best way to “apply” this stuff; siphon as much fluid as I can out of the system first, and pour in full strength, or keep it diluted with what’s in the system?

One problem is that when I first heard the rack and pump making noise (aka low on fluid) and I checked it, I could not determine what fluid was in there. I siphoned as much out of the res as possible with a baster and put in a clear jar to assess. The fluid looked like cappuccino; dark, swirling with translucent brown and black streaks and smelling extremely burnt. Very close to old trans fluid but even more burnt smelling so I couldn’t be sure. Like I said, I have not touched this system once in four years. After siphoning, I topped it off with regular Castrol red import transmission fluid per the owners manual with my car and the recommended list at the store. I hope I didn’t make it worse by adding this fluid if by chance whatever burnt up crap that was in there was something else but I had no way of telling. My instinct at this point says to siphon out all the new stuff and go full strength with the ATP205 but I wanted to share those other details. I don’t want to think I hurt it by putting in the regular ATF as it must have already been leaking by that point, right? How else could it have been out of fluid?
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Re: Power steering fluid leak - bad steering rack?

Post by abscate »

The whole capacity of the POWER STEERING system is one liter so see what the recommended concentration on ATP is. Eric knows a lot about ATP. I would not go full strength.
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Re: Power steering fluid leak - bad steering rack?

Post by tardcart »

If the leak is making puddles stop leak won't work. Its just for drips. I think the new fluid hurried the bad seal along probably. If you are ever at an estate sale check the garage for old dex 1 and 3 for your trans and steering.
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Re: Power steering fluid leak - bad steering rack?

Post by 800artfreed »

I too had a PS rack leak. After reading forum info I used Lucas Stop Leak. This is a thick ATF like fluid. You just follow directions. Over time you keep adding the fluid to top off the reservoir until the leak stops. I wasn't clear if you have a pre 99 car. I used it on a 98 s70-t5. I figured I had nothing to loose. It worked. Took about 3/4 of the bottle and the leak stopped. Steering effort was increased somewhat. It has been about a year. I am thinking of starting to replace this fluid with ATF and see if the steering effort returns to normal without a leak. IF you have a 99 with the reservoir mounted on the inner fender you need CSF-11 or CSF-202 PS fluid. There is some debate whether the owners manual reference to use ATF is incorrect until the 2005 change in the manual for cars with the fender mounted reservoir. I don't know if the Lucas product would work for that. Good Luck.
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