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Power steering rack brand opinions and experiences, Feb 2022

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.

1992 - 1997 850, including 850 R, 850 T-5R, 850 T-5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

This topic is in the MVS Volvo Repair Database » P80 Volvos Steering Racks & Price
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FireFox31
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Volvo Repair Database Power steering rack brand opinions and experiences, Feb 2022

Post by FireFox31 »

For remanufactured power steering racks, which brands are good and which brands should be avoided? What about new aftermarket steering racks? Please share your experiences with the brands, prices, new vs rebuilt, etc.

brunocerous had a rebuilt power steering rack temporarily seize while driving. That thread refers to many instances of Cardone racks seizing up. The problem was so common that FCP stopped selling Cardone rebuilds. The rack brunocerous had may have been Cardone or BBB, so I'm inclined to avoid both of those brands.

AAE is carried by many retailers. They're now a CRP brand, so does that increase our trust in them? They offer new and rebuilt racks, but I'm suspicious of the wide variety of prices for each. I'd love to know how they define "new".

Searching for my 2000 V70 NA FWD, I found the following racks:
Volvo:
Rebuilt for $740 at eEuroparts
Rebuilt for $880 + $50 shipping at VolvoPartsWebStore
Rebuilt for $1090 at FCP

TRW:
Rebuilt for $400 at FCP - not available
Rebuilt for $490 at eEuroparts - not available

Maval:
Rebuilt for $330 at FCP
Rebuilt for $370 at Pelican

AAE (Atlantic Automotive Engineering), a CRP brand:
New for $300 at RockAuto
New for $340 at eEuroparts - back ordered
New for $590 at IPD. Page title contains "reman" but description says "new (not rebuilt)".
Rebuilt for $220 at eEuroparts
Rebuilt for $425 at RM European
Rebuilt for $545 at Pelican

Rack Doctor:
Rebuilt for $260
Lifetime warranty, free shipping, no upfront core charge.

BBB Industries: Be wary of?
RockAuto mentions "BBB Industries markets and sells their products under various brand names, including Genco, Vision-OE and Wilson. The product inside the box is the same, no matter what brand name appears on the box."
RockAuto mentions these have a 3 year, 36k mile warranty.
New for $710 at RockAuto but VIN requirement doesn't match mine.
Rebuilt for $200 at RockAuto

Cardone: Do not buy
Rebuilt for $200 at RockAuto

Part numbers:
Part 8251305 for FWD is used by most retailers. It replaces 5003968 (used by AAE), 9140421, 8602270, and many others
The rack is identified by the chassis plate, right column, line five, final digit. VolvoPartsWebStore lists part 9169210 for chassis plate marked 5 (which my FWD is) and part 9140422 for chassis plate marked 4. usparts.volvocars.com lists part 9461279 for $1760. VPWS and volvocars.com have lots of part number cross references.
RockAuto offers different racks when the 11th digit of the VIN is 1 or 2. A VIN info page says 1 was made in Sweden and 2 was made in Belgium.

Rebuild it yourself:
Rebuild kits at PSKits.com. They currently have SMI racks for 850 and S/V/C70 for about $50.
850 RHD rebuild DIY by xb corp. Backup link on MVS.
SMI right seal replacement attempt without rack removal.
TRW right seal replacement without rack removal.
"The driver side seals are behind the pinion and cannot be replaced unless the SR is removed from the car." per cn90

Rack removal and install tips:
The Haynes, AllData, and VIDA have the procedure for the difficult process of removing and installing the rack. The forums have many tips scattered across threads. Here are some:
2000 S70 SMI rack removal tips.
Remove the sway bar and more.
Last edited by FireFox31 on 18 Aug 2022, 18:24, edited 2 times in total.
FireFox31
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Post by Bob Morton »

This is a great idea. Thanks for the bit of research you did on finding all these.

I'm also in the market for a rack by the end of March. I've been hoping the TRW becomes available, otherwise I'll go with the Maval. I've read positives about both of those brands around the 'net.

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Post by rguzz »

Does FCP have the Volvo reman unit? Then you'd get the "lifetime warranty" as well though that's how long it would take me to to do the job twice. There were some reputable rebuilders but not that I know of anymore. I wouldn't go cheap on this one cuz facing this repair as an encore would be an unpleasant prospect. Make sure you get the right one, research database for info on this. TRW remanufactured are likely to be gone forever.

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Post by foggydogg »

Detroit Axle lists one for our P80s,
https://www.detroitaxle.com/part-finder ... -assembly/
But it looks like they mostly distribute parts made offshore. It's not clear if they have an in-house rebuilding operation.
Abscate went through some musical chairs on his rack torture last year.
Somebody may be able to chime in here, but I seem to remember the only difference between the two racks is the threads on the inner tie rods into the rack, although the fluid lines may differ too.
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Post by BlackBart »

This guy is good, we've purchased from him in the past for a BMW. In SC.

https://rackdoctor.net/Home_Page.html

I see a listing for 850....
https://shop.rackdoctor.net/category.sc?categoryId=421
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Post by FireFox31 »

FCP has the Volvo rack for $1090. Since eEuroparts has it for a surprisingly low $740, you're paying $350 for that warranty (the price of a Maval or AAE rack).

Volvo rebuilt calipers have bad powder coated finishes which are already rusting in the box, and their rear calipers utilize boots with cheap external spring clips. I would hate for Volvo rebuilt racks to be of the same low quality. Does anyone know where Volvo racks are rebuilt? Should say on the box.

In 2010, I had an unknown brand rack installed by an independent mechanic. It started leaking after five years. I had a dealership replace it with a Volvo rack. In the remaining three years I drove the car, it was perfect. That's my experience with racks.

I found some info suggesting that AAE was based in NC at one point, perhaps before CRP bought them. I don't know if they still work there.
BlackBart wrote: 02 Feb 2022, 13:28 This guy is good, we've purchased from him in the past for a BMW. In SC.
https://rackdoctor.net/Home_Page.html
Can you tell us more about Rack Doctor? Where are they rebuilt and who does the work? I'm suspicious of them offering such a vast array of racks, with lifetime warranties, and even showing great photos of each (admittedly generic pics), all at low prices. How could they manage this?
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Post by BlackBart »

They rebuild them there onsite. You send them your factory rack, they use factory or high quality parts. Fast turnaround, friendly guy.

On some higher volume units, they have them in stock and yours is just a core.

(Tell him the dental floss tycoon sent you)
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Post by abscate »

Link to recent work on the 1999 2000 power steering lines and hints On this job.

viewtopic.php?p=597398&hilit=P80+steering+rack#p597398

I think I would go with Rack doctors at $260 for a FWD P80 at least
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Post by scot850 »

When I was working at the local Volvo dealer about 6 years ago, the accountant there had a Maval replacement rack fitted. It leaked out of the box. The replacement one was also bad (direct from Maval). She was so pissed she had a Volvo one fitted.

These days I am less and less impressed with the quality of Volvo parts. No idea where the re-built units are sourced from. If you are paying that much for one, it is worth having them fit it as it has a lifetime ownership warranty if they fit it.

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Post by abscate »

scot850 wrote: 01 Apr 2022, 12:34 When I was working at the local Volvo dealer about 6 years ago, the accountant there had a Maval replacement rack fitted. It leaked out of the box. The replacement one was also bad (direct from Maval). She was so pissed she had a Volvo one fitted.

These days I am less and less impressed with the quality of Volvo parts. No idea where the re-built units are sourced from. If you are paying that much for one, it is worth having them fit it as it has a lifetime ownership warranty if they fit it.

Neil.
If you can get thst done at book rate of 3.9 hours , take that deal ASAP
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