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Discussion Starter #1
The power steering system started making a lot of noise yesterday. I found the reservoir empty. The noise resolved when I added fluid but quickly leaked out in a pool on my garage floor. I checked under the car and found the boot at the end of the steering rack had a hole and if I moved or squeezed it fluid would spray out. Should there be fluid in that boot? Is the rack gone or just the boot?
 

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It sounds like the seal is gone on the end of the rack. The boot goes over it to try and keep debris out of there so the seals last longer. There should not be any fluid in the boot. I don't know if it's possible to replace just the seal to fix the problem or if the whole thing needs to be R&R'd.
 

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Usually they will R&R (remove and replace) the entire rack. Shop point of view: You don't want the customer to come back just because the seal wasn't put in correctly, so they rely on the factory to install the seal correctly. In theory, they will have a higher % of correctly installed seals versus independent dealer techs installing a seal that they may or may not be familiar with.
 

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I followed the FSM, not super hard. Should be able to do it in a day if you're taking your time. Helps to have a second person to handle one end of the rack/guide the tie rods through.

Basically, disconnect the lines, remove both wheels, disconnect the outer tie rod ends, unbolt the rack and fish it out. I think the FSM indicates the subframe bolts or something else needs to be loosened and dropped a bit to remove the rack, but there is enough room to get it out and in without doing that. You'll likely end up marking the hardlines on the rack itself up a bit, so the FSM says to make any repairs to the paint as needed.

Make sure you have a good set of flare wrenches for the PS lines (stubby ones are preferable), since there's not a lot of room to work and you're mostly working from underneath.

Easier if you have access to a lift but not totally necessary. Took me about 4 hours to get the old one out (figure in some time farting around with the tie rod ends/nuts), and another 2-3 to get the new one in, all on the ground.
 

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^ that

Or if you look at the rack, you'll see it has an electrical connector on the steering gear (the "head" of the steering rack, where the steering shaft comes in).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
^ that

Or if you look at the rack, you'll see it has an electrical connector on the steering gear (the "head" of the steering rack, where the steering shaft comes in).
Dealer quoted 2100 for the R&R. I found refurbished ones with servo for $600. I'll try a local mechanic or do it myself.
 
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