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JPaganel

Steering rack

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I am planning to replace my rack in the near future. I found out that there are two types of racks for w-bodies: long-travel standard ones and short-travel performance ones. Apparently, they are completely interchangeable. I just though this is an interesting piece of info that is not in Shawn's upgrade section. The performance rack comes on Grand Prix, Cutlass got the standard by default.

 

Anybody replace a rack? How did the job go(looks easy in the manual)? About how long does it take?

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This reply may be way too late, but I learned the hard way as I casully replaced the strg gear last yr in an 89 GP SE. It had the FE3 suspension and stg pkg but the aftermarket company (Cardone Industries) did not catalog two applications. I would contact a GM dealer for a replacement if you want the low ratio "sport" option. I *think* the part # is 26044829

(FWIW I had to warranty the original Cardone rack. They paid my labor claim, but I am not happy with the replacement unit. The quality is questionable.)

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Did all GPs ge the high ratio? I know my 89 CS has the quicker one, my dad's 92 Lumina Euro steers quite a bit slower and heavier too. I can't remember if my other 89 steered quicker, it seems to me it did, but I can't say for sure, and that was a base model.

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I knew about the quick ratio rack, but I found 2-dozen part numbers for the rack! Different numbers based on years, but no specs as to which rack is quicker ratio. I think there were at least 3-different ratios for these racks between 88-96.

Also, I believe there's a Magnasteer variable assist rack available too, used on some 96's and maybe 97 Cutlass.

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I get a low moaning sound when parking maneuvering. There is a leak in the vicinity of the rack, cant see exactly where it is coming from. Otherwise steering is OK. I did a "flush" by using a turkey baster to suck fluid out of pump reservior, and refilled it. Any additives like Lucas good for the system? Some guy I worked with traded in his GP when the rack and pump failed at same time, what could cause that. Where do racks normally leak from, and what is normal failure mode? Also need to replace inner tie rod, garage quoted $175, is that a DIY job? If the rack is going to die soon, would make more sense to replace rack and tie rods at same time. Do replacement racks come with tie rod ends installed?

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Does anyone know the part # for the TGP rack? Was it used in any other vehicle?

 

acording to my parts manual if I am Reading this Right there where 2 HiPro gear kits and both found on cars with the FE3 suspention but no real part numbers to speak of that I can Find....

 

How ever if you go to this Rack your Turning Radius is increased not decreased. just thought you would like to know

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The people that told me about the two racks being available were PepBoys. They stock both, price is the same. I had the quicker steering in my Calais, and I want it again...

 

IM guessing NO check to see your RPO codes? do you have a FE3 or Y99?? if not then no you dont have it.

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Back a couple years ago my rack started leaking pretty bad. I was told there is seal kit that you can buy to rebuild the rack. I ended up just getting mine replaced at a shop. I haven't heard anything about this kit past the guy who told me that there is one. I just put my car up on a lift with it running and it was easy to see drip...drip...drip coming from the middle of the rack. The idiots that did my rack forgot to tighten the power steering hose clamp and a week later I lost all my fluid in the middle of the street. Didn't go back to that shop ever again.

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There is a definite difference in racks, my 90 regal steers like a friggin cruise ship while the Z34 steering is noticeably stiffer and faster. I may switch the racks between them since the Buick is so much more built up for performance.

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Does anyone know the part # for the TGP rack? Was it used in any other vehicle?

 

acording to my parts manual if I am Reading this Right there where 2 HiPro gear kits and both found on cars with the FE3 suspention but no real part numbers to speak of that I can Find....

 

How ever if you go to this Rack your Turning Radius is increased not decreased. just thought you would like to know

 

That's interesting, and makes sense, as I suspect that the limiters are either missing or broken. To get the part nos. you b=need to call the dealer. Part # changes sometimes happen for innocuous reasons.

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I get a low moaning sound when parking maneuvering. There is a leak in the vicinity of the rack, cant see exactly where it is coming from. Otherwise steering is OK. I did a "flush" by using a turkey baster to suck fluid out of pump reservior, and refilled it. Any additives like Lucas good for the system? Some guy I worked with traded in his GP when the rack and pump failed at same time, what could cause that. Where do racks normally leak from, and what is normal failure mode? Also need to replace inner tie rod, garage quoted $175, is that a DIY job? If the rack is going to die soon, would make more sense to replace rack and tie rods at same time. Do replacement racks come with tie rod ends installed?

 

The only way to effectively flush these systems is by back flushing. Use no more than 30 psi air into the return line at the pump connection while turning the wheel stop to stop. Dismantle the check valve in the pump and check for dirt. Does not take much to generte a little racket. Be careful and clean thru the process.

 

Leaks are common at the side seals, but will get worse over time. More noise and stiffer especially in cold weather. I've never seen these Sgnw racks blow out. I would pass on the additives. The pumps fail because of constant low fluid levels. Groaning sound is symptomatic of low fluid level.

 

I would seriously consider replacing the rack if it needs an inner tie rod and the rack is marginal and leaks. You'll need the toe adjusted either way. You can do it with the right tools. Many rebuilders recycle the inner tie rods and claim to have nil comebacks. Most aftermarket racks come with inner tie rods, not outer tie rods. But I would replace those also and they are not too expensive. GM sells a reman short rack. (no tie rods)

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A while ago a hose on my power stearing pump busted a leak and i replaced the hose but I didnt have any power steering fluid so I filled it up with brake fluid. I prolly should of just bought some ps fluid but I had this huge thing of valvoline dot 3 brake fluid just sitting in the garage and I thought what the heck it just another hydrolic system. Well do you guys think that brake fluid will hurt anything, and should I change it out? Its been about 4 months and I havent had any problems with it.

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A while ago a hose on my power stearing pump busted a leak and i replaced the hose but I didnt have any power steering fluid so I filled it up with brake fluid. I prolly should of just bought some ps fluid but I had this huge thing of valvoline dot 3 brake fluid just sitting in the garage and I thought what the heck it just another hydrolic system. Well do you guys think that brake fluid will hurt anything, and should I change it out? Its been about 4 months and I havent had any problems with it.

 

This is a new one on me and I would have guessed that you would have experienced some adverse condition by now. Yes, there are some similar properties in the two "hydraulic " fluids, but brake fluid is formulated to operate under xtreme pressures that racks don't quite approach even at max load. Brake fluid is lower viscosity and its properties attract moisture. Unless your filler cap is airtight, you probably have more moisture in the system than is normal.

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That's interesting, and makes sense, as I suspect that the limiters are either missing or broken. To get the part nos. you b=need to call the dealer. Part # changes sometimes happen for innocuous reasons.

 

Actually, I have all the part #'s!

 

Cutlass Supreme

88-94 FE3 = 26044830 (AC #36-9023)

88-89 FE1 = 26044830 (same as above)

89.5-91 FE1 = 26046146 (AC #36-9025)

92-96 FE1 = 26046144 (AC #36-9024)

95 3.4X FE3 = 26042018

95-96 3.1M NV7 (variable assist) 26047206 (AC #36-9042)

96 3.4X FE3 = 26047207 (AC #36-9043)

97 3.4X, 3.1M = 26055468 (AC #36-9062)

97 3.1M NV7 (variable assist) 26055475 (AC #36-9163)

 

Lumina (didn't get as detailed on Lumina)

90-94 Z34, F41 = AC #36-9021

90-94 FE1 14" tires = 26046146 (AC #36-9025)

95-96 F41 = AC# 36-9023

95-96 FE1 = AC #36-9024

97 L82, LQ1 = 26055468 (AC #36-9062)

98-99 FE1 = 26055468 (AC #36-9062)

98 F41 = 26069922 (AC #36-9205)

99 F41 = 26069922 (AC #36-9205)

 

Grand Prix

88 FE3 = 26044830 (AC #36-9023)

88 FE1 = 26024892

89 FE3 1st design = 26044829 (AC #36-9020) TGP, and others

89 FE3 2nd design = 26046139 (AC #36-9021)

89 FE1 = 26044830 (AC #36-9023)

90 FE1 = 26044830 (AC #36-9023)

90 FE3 = 26021781 1st design

90 FE3 = 26044830 2nd design (AC #36-9023)

90 FE3 = 26044829 (AC #36-9020) TGP???

91 FE3 = 26044830, FE3 STE (AC #36-9023)

91 FE3 coupe = 26046139 (AC #36-9021)

91 FE1 = 26044830 (AC #36-9023)

91 FE3 3.1T = 26044830 (AC #36-9023)

91 FE3 3.4X = 26046139 (AC #36-9021)

92 3.1T FE3 26044830 (AC #36-9023)

92-93 3.4X 26046139 (AC #36-9021)

92-93 FE1, FE3, 3.1T = AC #36-9023

94-96 3.1M, FE3 = 26044830 (AC #36-9023)

94-95 3.4X = 26046139 (AC #36-9021)

94 FE1 = 26046144 (AC #36-9024)

95 3.4X, FE3 = 26042018

95-96 FE1 = 26046144 (AC #36-9024)

95 3.4X, FE3, NV7 (variable assist) = 26047207 (AC #36-9043)

96 FE1 = 26046144 (AC #36-9024)

96 3.4X FE3 26047207 (AC #36-9043)

 

 

I didn't get any rack part #'s for Regal, but I assume it wouldn't be likely to have a quick ratio rack. It looks like the better rack available for Cutlass Supreme FE3 is the same as the base model FE1 rack used in Grand Prix. It's pretty simple until 94+ when GM used many different racks for different engines and different years. I focused more detail on GP racks, because they obviously have the more performance-oriented rack selection. I know the TGP has a very quick ratio rack (36-9020) but I wonder how it compares to 36-9021. Also I wonder if any of the newer variable assist racks are quick ratio or not.

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I get a low moaning sound when parking maneuvering. There is a leak in the vicinity of the rack, cant see exactly where it is coming from. Otherwise steering is OK. I did a "flush" by using a turkey baster to suck fluid out of pump reservior, and refilled it. Any additives like Lucas good for the system? Some guy I worked with traded in his GP when the rack and pump failed at same time, what could cause that. Where do racks normally leak from, and what is normal failure mode? Also need to replace inner tie rod, garage quoted $175, is that a DIY job? If the rack is going to die soon, would make more sense to replace rack and tie rods at same time. Do replacement racks come with tie rod ends installed?

 

I guess I'm lucky, I've never had a rack failure and our 2 Cutty's have 197k and 188k. I've personally never heard of rack failure being common on these cars.

Inner tierod can be a DIY job, but the tools to make it easy were expensive... $30 inner tierod, $30 big long socket, $75 tierod crimper, $8 pitman arm puller. The crimper was probably the best special tool, it made staking the rack extremely easy. It would have been nearly impossible to stake the rack perfectly on both sides with it still in the car without this tool. It was worth doing myself because I always say, "if you want it done right, do it yourself". That and I have many W-bodies so the special tools are worth having around.

Replacement racks can be purchased with inner tierods already installed, but I don't think they come with the outers.

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A while ago a hose on my power stearing pump busted a leak and i replaced the hose but I didnt have any power steering fluid so I filled it up with brake fluid. I prolly should of just bought some ps fluid but I had this huge thing of valvoline dot 3 brake fluid just sitting in the garage and I thought what the heck it just another hydrolic system. Well do you guys think that brake fluid will hurt anything, and should I change it out? Its been about 4 months and I havent had any problems with it.

 

This is a new one on me and I would have guessed that you would have experienced some adverse condition by now. Yes, there are some similar properties in the two "hydraulic " fluids, but brake fluid is formulated to operate under xtreme pressures that racks don't quite approach even at max load. Brake fluid is lower viscosity and its properties attract moisture. Unless your filler cap is airtight, you probably have more moisture in the system than is normal.

 

Brake fluid is supposed to soften rubber and make it swell up. Have heard of adding brake fluid to a dying automatic transmission's fluid as a "quick fix" , not recommended as internal seals may swell too much and cause even more damage.

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