XR4Ti Archived Tech Articles

    Leaky Steering Rack Fix - Liy-Yen Hsieh's submission regarding the repair and leak prevention for the steering rack.


Post Date:    Fri, 04 Jan 2002
Subject:      Re: steering rack leak
List:         imon@lists.merkurowners.org



Mark & List,

> Later today when I have time I'll try to dig up a
> post from the archive I submitted a couple of years
> ago, that reported exactly what I went through. If

As promised...

Actually I found a couple of related posts but they are
all in the old IMON archive. I am attaching all so most
aspects of the repair is included. This should go into
the new archive and will be easier for people to get to.

Additional note: As a temporary measure I fashioned a
hanger from coat hanger to support the culprit, the 
clutch cable. One end hitches on a hole in the engine
case and the other is a loop through which the cable went.
It was so effective that 1: it lived up to the commision,
and 2. the purpose was so obvious that recently when
I had the clutch and cable replaced the shop dutifully
kept the setup (but probably wondered why 'Ford' had
such a kludgy thing.)


________________
Attachment-1: 1999/04/11 
________________________
Sender:		The Merkur Owners List 
From:		Lih-Yen Hsieh
Subject:	Repair/Replace? XR4Ti PS fuild tube leak

I found an abrasion leak in one of the fuild tubes that go from
the gear port to the rack.  This is caused by the clutch cable
rubbing on the tubing, which suprised me a bit becasue 1) I
thought these fuild tubes are steel (but no, it looks like
aluminium); and 2) the clutch cable is routed so close to these
tubings.  But, hey, my car has logged over 216k miles.

Has anyone come across this situation?  Is repairing the tubing
possible? Or do I have to replace it? If so, where can I get the
part?

The reason I thought of repairing is I had a similar abrasion leak
in a transmission line (in a Volvo) and the transmission shop was
able to cut out the bad section and 'spliced' it up. But that was
a steel tube.

Much TIA for your advices.

Lih-Yen
'88 XR4ti 5spd 216k
________________________
Attachment-2: 1999/04/19
________________________
Sender:		
From:		Lih-Yen Hsieh
Subject:	XR4Ri - Separate steering flex shaft coupling

Hi,

I can't separate the steering flex shaft coupling from the gear after
removing the pinch bolt. I also used a stubby flat blade screw
driver as the 'key' to enlarge the pincher openning. Are special
tools needed, or are there other means to accomplish this?

By the way, I have an abrasion leak in the PS fluid feed line to
the passsenger side of the rack.  I bought lengths of 1/4" (closest
to the 6mm I measured) tubing, got flaring kit, tube bender, O-ring,
etc. I found I really need to unbolt the rack from the cross member
to get access to the fluid line flare nut at the gear port.  I hope
I am doing the right thing.


________________________
Attachment-3: 1999/04/21
________________________
Sender:		
From:		Lih-Yen Hsieh
Subject:	Re: XR4Ri - Separate steering flex shaft coupling

> I can't separate the steering flex shaft coupling from the gear
> after removing the pinch bolt....

I got a suggestion to soak the splined joint with liquid wrench,
which I gladly followed.  I also unbolted the drive side steering
rack retaining bolt. About 15 minutes later, I was able to simply
slide the rack forward, separating the gear from the flex coupling.
Thanks!

It was infinitely much easier to remove the power and return
lines from the gear first then to remove the fluid feed line.

>...I have an abrasion leak in the PS fluid feed line...

I thought I could fabricate a feed line by flaring the ends of
tubing stock, bending, and reusing the original flare nuts. But
it doesn't seem very easy once the tubing assembly came off for
close inspection.  I also found the tubing is made of steel.
This lends itself easier to be spot-welded for repair.

The difficulties are due to two things: the rather
complicated flaring pattern and a nylon/plastic insert at the
gear end. There is a compression ring like barb away from the
regular single flare at the end, together they form a grove in
which the 5mm ID O-ring rides. The nylon insert could be a flow
restrictor, I think.

For quick fix I am going to have the broken line welded, but am
not giving up playing with the tubing assembly fabrication.

Rough ascii drawing:left half cross section. 'O' is the O-ring.
   __
  (_  \
  O_|  |
  |    |
  |_   |
    |  |


________________________
Attachment-3: 1999/08/03
________________________
From: 		Lih-Yen Hsieh 
Subject:	Re: XR power steering/rack and pinion


>        If there isn't a great lot of pressure exerted in the line, you
>might fix it yourself with some sandpaper, sheetmetal, and some JB Weld or
>similar cold weld. [...]
>cured.  JB weld is good stuff--  I used it to fix the OE radiator in my
>'85

What Mark talked about is the power steering fluid feed line
that has a leak. The PS pump has a pressure relieve valve that
opens at a very high pressure, 750 psi or so I think. Even after
flow restriction these lines still carry lots more pressure
than a radiator. Just remember that this is a hydraulic line.

I removed the line from the rack, took it to a welder and had
the leak braze-repaired. If the welder knows the trade he/she
should set the power very low. The cost is almost nothing for
that (my friendly welder did it for free.) You must use new
O-rings for the end fittings, and a lot of elbow grease is to
be expected.

The most time consuming part is to remove the line. You need to
unbolt the rack, and separate the flex joint coupler to gain
access to the gear port. You than need to disconnect the power
and return lines from the gear before you can loosen the flare
nut of the line at the port. The other end (on the rack) is easy.
Take note on how the line is threaded to help with assembling.
Use flare nut wrench. Keep the whole thing really clean. Plug
up any hole that may be exposed. Blow clean the tube before
assembling.

Before you put it back investigate what caused the pin hole and
correct it. In my case, one, there'd been PS return hose leak
coating the whole area with a mixture of fluid and sand, and two,
the motor mounts sagged so much the abrasive compound coated
clutch cable sheathing hung down far enough and actually
abraised up a hole.

----------

I found an abrasion leak in one of the fuild tubes that go from
the gear port to the rack.  This is caused by the clutch cable
rubbing on the tubing, which suprised me a bit becasue 1) I
thought these fuild tubes are steel (but no, it looks like
aluminium); and 2) the clutch cable is routed so close to these
tubings.  But, hey, my car has logged over 216k miles.

Has anyone come across this situation?  Is repairing the tubing
possible? Or do I have to replace it? If so, where can I get the
part?

The reason I thought of repairing is I had a similar abrasion leak
in a transmission line (in a Volvo) and the transmission shop was
able to cut out the bad section and 'spliced' it up. But that was
a steel tube.


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