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Discussion Starter #1
Last month I took the plunge to get my leaking steering rack fixed once and for all. After having problems getting it off myself I found a local shop who did it for me so I could send it off to one of our reputable rack reconditioners for some new seals. It came back and got on the car apparently fine. A week later I took it out for its first drive only to find it leaking again, but this time worse than the original leaks. Not only am I a few thousand lighter in the wallet now, but I'm in the same boat I was in a matter of weeks ago.

A little extra context - this is a 2014 rack on a 1988 car. A service record from the previous owner indicated they had taken the car to Bentley reporting a leaking rack in 2015. They informed him that it had the wrong fluid in it (LHM when it should have had ATF). It definitely appeared that more than the wrong fluid was up though.

Questions for the community -

1. Is it even worth spending the money again on getting this rack back to the reconditioner (assuming I can get it off myself), or am I better off swapping it out for a new/reconditioned one?
2. If I were to swap this out for a reconditioned one would I be better off with an 80's rack or another 2014 one? Is there something about the much newer racks that is totally incompatible with the older vehicle specs that might be part of the root cause here?

Would love to hear everyone's opinions.

Thanks.
 

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If you rack was not leaking at some stage in your ownership, then sent it back to the reputable people who did it before. It will cost nothing as it came back to you faulty. If it leaks again after that then perhaps the repairers may not be as good as you think.
Taking the rack off the car is around a half hour job. I always put a jack with a block of wood under the sump and remove the front engine support cross member. Also remove radiator fan blades then you can jack engine up a couple of inches to have fairly easy access to the bolts holding the rack to the chassis.
As for swapping the 2014 rack for an 80s one I don`t know but, again, if it was working ok before then keep what you have, otherwise all this could cost a fortune. Not knowing the difference between the two racks, if any, the pipe work may have been altered to suit the 2014 rack as well.
But first get that rack back to the people who reconditioned it.
 

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OK so I'm the "reputable rack reconditioner" who rebuilt Richard's rack. I am quite stunned that it has failed pretty well immediately, there's a first time for everything I guess. I've asked him to do a check on the mounting feet where the rack bolts to the subframe. The rack housing can twist when bolted down if the mounting areas on the subframe are not perfectly parallel with each other. He tells me that it leaks mostly when it's been turned lock to lock, this info would seem to confirm that possibility. I've asked him to make absolutely sure the mounting feet bolt down evenly to the subframe without any twist in the housing induced by unevenness. If the rack feet don't sit perfectly flat on the subframe with the mounting bolts loosened slightly then the 55mm end cap on the right end should be backed off, the mounting bolts tightened, then the 55mm end cap fitting tightened. I do the final assembly of the large end cap fitting with the rack clamped down tight to my milling machine table so I know the rack feet are parallel. If it is sitting properly on the subframe with no twist then something has gone wrong inside and I'm very interested to see what that is. I'm hoping that checking and possibly rectifying any possible twist in the rack housing will cure the leaking but regardless I will rebuild it again under warranty at no cost. I'll even remove the rack in my Spur and temporarily put his in to test it before I send it back this time.
 

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Well, Jim, you certainly are a "reputable rack reconditioner" and your explanation of what might be going on makes sense. If you do find something has gone wrong inside the rack, would you be kind enough to post what you find wrong.

Jake.
 

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Customer service is not when someone takes your money BUT the response you get when something goes wrong.
to hold your head above the parapet ,put your hands up and say it was me and this is what I’ll do to put it right is outstanding in my opinion
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sounds like we have a plan. I'm going to take it off and put it back on myself this time and Jim's going to do a redo (Thanks Jim!). Hopefully removing the middle man may help things here.
 
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