PS rack is leaking - replace seals or or whole thing?

Magyver

Original poster
Member
Apr 9, 2012
64
I'm looking for some kind of consensus on leaky end seals on my PS rack. Steering is smooth, fluid is clean, and other than a whiny pump there's nothing functionally wrong except that both end seals are leaking. Has anyone had good results from installing new seals, or should I just bite the bullet (money and time spent on my back in the driveway in January) and get a new rack? If I can get by for 6 months or more on seals then hell yeah but if the inner seals are just as likely to be worn then fixing one leak could just start another one. BTW mileage is just over 100k.
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
Magyver said:
I'm looking for some kind of consensus on leaky end seals on my PS rack. Steering is smooth, fluid is clean, and other than a whiny pump there's nothing functionally wrong except that both end seals are leaking. Has anyone had good results from installing new seals, or should I just bite the bullet (money and time spent on my back in the driveway in January) and get a new rack? If I can get by for 6 months or more on seals then hell yeah but if the inner seals are just as likely to be worn then fixing one leak could just start another one. BTW mileage is just over 100k.

did you try some PS fluid that claims to help stop leaky seals? might get you till warmer weather when you can change the rack, and perhaps your pump.

other than that, I cannot help, I have not had the pleasure of a leaky rack.
 

Magyver

Original poster
Member
Apr 9, 2012
64
I don't like stop leak products for the most part mostly because I'm paranoid about the solids gumming things up. I'd rather fix it than hide it, and between the whole rack or the seals alone I was looking for someone who might have tried seals as the fix and see if it was permanent of if the rack had to be done anyway.
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
I get the impression the ps fluid stop leak swells the seals, instead of jamming up the leak. not like the fiber junk you can get for a radiator.

I agree that the radiator stop leak stuff is nasty and should be avoided.

I read the labels, when I looked for some PS fluid, and it did not look like it was too bad.

Just making a suggestion. you can probably google the stuff as well as I can.

http://www.valvoline.com/pdf/maxlife_psf_with_stop_leak.pdf for an example

Friday evening, perhaps you will get more informed feedback over the weekend.
 

Magyver

Original poster
Member
Apr 9, 2012
64
jrSS said:
Duct tape....that's all
LOL I gave up after the 3rd roll.

^^i agree that PS stop leak interacts with the seal to swell it, I was just saying in general I prefer not to think its fixed from a bottle. I guess i might consider it as a bridge to get through a short period before a repair though. I've just never really heard of it being worth it.
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
I guess it depends on how bad the leak is, is it running out, or just dripping? is the rack full of fluid and coming out the boots between the rack and the inner tie rods? how often do you have to add fluid? I expect if it is a drip or two, it might work, if you need to add a pint a week, time to find the warm pants and crawl under in the snow.
 

Magyver

Original poster
Member
Apr 9, 2012
64
meerschm said:

its leaking from the outer rack seal #7 on both sides. When I got an alignment after changing tie rods the tech pointed out how the boots had fluid in them and I would need a new rack. The reason I use that shop is because they have really low prices on alignments ($69) and tire swaps ($30) but they make their money by finding repairs. Their techs are good and its an honest shop don't get me wrong, but they repair at the component level which means the rack gets swapped not the seals. I like that they weren't pushy and they brought me out to see it for myself. I think of it as a free check over twice a year. I should mention that I've been battling a leaky PS line repair so I had been adding fluid as needed and didn't suspect the seals. One of the metal sections that (fortunately) are visible from the wheel well had a pin hole so I cut the section and clamped pressure hose in its place but had a hard time securing it because its impossible to flare the ends properly. I had to settle for grooving it as much as I could something the hose could grab onto. It doesn't leak anymore and now its down to seals.
Thanks for the diagram!
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
GM Parts at GM Parts East | Genuine OEM GM Parts

if you go to the site and put your vin in you can see the diagram and the nomenclature (as well as cost to order)

those are not seals, but bumpers to catch the end of travel. (called dampeners) I changed out my inner tie rod ends and can say the dampeners are just there to soften the end of travel when you turn the steering wheel all the way to one side or the other. they slide inside the tube, but do not seal it up.

the leak is deeper inside, and the choice to fix is to put a rebuilt one in or get a rebuild kit. either way i am pretty sure you need to pull the rack to fix it. might want to look at the pipes which you have leaks in while you are at it.

Rock auto has the rack for a bit over a couple hundred after core, and several seal kits for around $30.

hope the stop leak works for a while.
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
you can also use the search feature to find lots of discussion and helpful photos from folks who have changed various power steering components. these guys 9and gals) are awesome:smile:
 

Russ

Member
Jan 4, 2012
43
I had to replace my PS rack just before Christmas. Took me about 3 hours to remove and replace. Bought at NAPA. Couple hundred all together.

Just have it realigned afterwards.

HTH

Russ
 

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