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Discussion Starter #1
I need to remove my rack to get it overhauled and have a couple of questions for those who've done this a few times:

1. To remove, the Workshop Manual states to 'clamp the feed hose from the remote reservoir' and then disconnect the pipe unions from the pinion valve assembly. To help clarify, does this means I need to clamp the hose from the reservoir to the steering pump OR the line from the pump to the rack which appears to be a hard pressurized line? If it's the latter, how do I go about clamping it?
2. How do I go about depressurizing the system before disconnecting the lines from the valve assembly? The way I understand things is that the system is not pressurized until the engine is on and the steering is activated. The harder the steering, the greater the pressure. If the engine is off, battery disconnected, wheels facing straight forwards, does this mean there is no pressure in the system, and I am therefore safe to disconnect the lines without worrying about there being any pressure?
3. Can anyone recommend a suitable way to blank the lines and the pipe unions for transit.
4. If I plan on shipping it to get it overhauled (hopefully to someone working to Richard Treacey's standards), how do I drain the rack once it's off? Is iot a simple case of disconnecting the rack lines and tilting it?

Thanks for any advice folks.
 

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1. There is a flex line and a return line at the pinion from the pump, that is where you clamp it but I recommend not clamping it and draining all the fluid out and refilling it with fresh when you install the rebuilt rack.
2. There is no pressure in the system with engine not running.
3. Ideally plug them with plastic cap plugs but rolled up aluminum foil threaded in works pretty well. You want to drain as much oil out of the rack as possible. Before you remove the rack, there is a drain plug on the bottom of the rack, remove and let drain from there. Place the steering wheel straight ahead, wheels straight, and place witness marks on the pinion and lower coupling before disconnecting it. A white paint pen works well for this.
4. Once it's out, loosen one end fitting two or three turns and hang the rack vertically for an hour. Tighten that fitting and do the same to the opposite side. That along with the drain bolt on the bottom of the rack will get most of the oil out. Wrap some rags around the rack then wrap it completely with cling type plastic wrap, like Saran wrap. That should catch any residual oil that leaks out in shipping. Best way to ship is to wire tie it down to a piece of 1/4 inch plywood then build a cardboard box around it.
 

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Yepp, remove as much fluid from the power steering reservoir 8with a seringue/turkey baster/horse sperm inseminator), then simply disconnect all lines from the race and let drip the rest. Reinstalling: fill the reservoir with engine off, then run the engine while you replenish the reservoir as it bleeds the air. With your third hand, exercise the steering. Please do so with the front raised up (or tires removed).
I sent my rack to Flying Spare 5y ago and it is still dry after 20k miles.
 

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Running the pump drags in more air and trying to fill the reservoir while running results in a mess.
From experience: I lift the front wheels off the ground at the front center point.
Rotate the steering wheel lock to lock several times and have an assistant notice the bubbles in the reservoir. When they die down, add more fluid to the cold mark.
Road test and check again.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks folks. Horse sperm inseminator on standby, though I may use the turkey baster as a first choice.

Quick question - once the rack is off and I need to plug the holes where I disconnected the lines - what size plugs do I need for these holes? Need to get some from Amazon before starting, but could do with knowing what size I need. Anyone have some dimensions from previous experience?
 

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I would drain the old stuff out of the system.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I would drain the old stuff out of the system.
Definitely going to drain it, and plan on wrapping it well, but suspect there may be some still in there hiding in the corners I'd rather not end up on the outer packaging in the event of an abusive shipper.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I can't get the lines connecting to the pinion valve housing off for love nor money, or WD40.

1) Is there a special procedure to follow here I might be missing that anyone can think of - e.g. does the pump to anti-joggle valve line have a reverse thread or anything unusual like that? I'm assuming I need to disconnect the line from this and then disconnect the anti-joggle valve itself as well before I can disconnect the other line.
2) Do I need the wheels off or wouldn't it make a difference?
3) It looks like my rack is one of the later (post 88) racks with the adapter kits fitted, which means its been replaced at some point (my car is an 88). Given that this should theoretically only be 20-30 ft lb of torque and might not have been tightened too long ago, am I safe to give the spanners a few hits with a hammer to help encourage off, or is this an absolute no-no to disconnect these lines.
4) If no, does anyone else have any other ideas??
5) Given that the mounting bolts are going to be 42-45 ft lbs and much tighter than these, does anyone have any suggestions on getting these off without David Banner living nearby?

Any ideas would be super appreciated. Am scratching my head without much to show for my day.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
That's the manual. Instructions make sense. Just can't get the unions undone. 11/16 looks like it may be slightly too big but 5/8 or 17mm are too small. No idea how to get this thing off. Must be another special tool I'm missing.
 

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Yes the steering rack pipes are metric just to add to the glamour of mixed bit and thread sizes on the car a real character building exercise mastering the removal of the pipework, take plenty of photos or mark the pipe location
 

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Metric line wrenches are what you need, use another box end wrench hooked onto the other end of the line wrench for more leverage. If you take a brass drift and tap the line nut on the flats that sometimes helps loosen them. Some idiot mechanic probably over-tightened them in the past, they shouldn't be overly tight. Good quality line wrenches like Snap-on or Mac are what you really need, regular open end wrenches flex too much.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Metric line wrenches and Kroil on order. Fingers crossed. Thanks for patiently bearing with me folks.
 

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A 50/50 mix of acetone and automatic trans fluid works as well as if not better than Kroil. I doubt that your tight fittings are a result of corrosion though, much more likely that they have just been over tightened.
 
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