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Ask Chris (aka-Moose) Your Own Question
Chris (aka-Moose)
Chris (aka-Moose), Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 47955
Experience:  16 years of experience
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how can i tell if my rack and pinion needs replaced or ...

Customer Question

how can i tell if my rack and pinion needs replaced or if just the boot needs replaced.... the boot is torn and the b2500, 1998 pickup goes through about a quart of power steering fluid per day. I have pulled the whole rack and pinion out at this point so replacing it is 6 of one half dozen the other accept for the 140 dollar cost for the whole system and the 30 dollar cost for new boots. as well when i replace it old or new is there a bleed valve to get the air out of the system and if so where is it? Thank you
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 10 years ago.
You need a rack. The boot is just to keep dust out of the outer rack seal and the inner tie rod joint. Replaceing the boot will accomplish nothing and not cure the leak. There is no bleed val ve just fill the system and turn the wheels to the right and to the left while running to rid the system of air.
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Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Chris (Moose)'s Post: When I replace it is there any o rings or such things i should replace other then what comes wit hthe replacement rack? how many quarts should it take to refill the new rack system.
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 10 years ago.

2 quarts will do just fine. You can use trans fluid Mercon 3 since it is the same as P/S fluid.

Most racks come with the new seals. There is normally 2 teflon seals on the in and out side lines that attach to the rack. If it does not come with these 2 seals most dealers keep them in stock for about 2-5 $

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Thank you forthe answers
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 10 years ago.
any time
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Chris (Moose)'s Post: i put the new rack in however i am unsure if i have connected the hi pressure to the correct port. what is the best way to figure it out. this again is still on a mazda B2500 1998 PICKUP
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 10 years ago.


Item Part Number Description
1 — Oil Flow — Left Turn
2 — To Left Turn Port
3 — To Right Turn Port
4 — Return Port (Out)
5 — Pressure Port (In)
6 — Oil Flow — Right Turn
7 — Air Transfer Tube (Between Bellows)

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Chris (Moose)'s Post:

ok i checked the valves they are in the correct location as far asin and out ports. However the vehicle still makes the hi pitched noise that is ussually associated with low fluid. the fluid is at the correct level. it only took about 1/2 a quart to fill the reservoir back up after i changed the rack and you said it should take about 2 quarts this is the first sign that something doesn't seem right to me. not sure if the pump went bad over the time to fix the rack how can i tel the steering wheel turns as easy as expected if all was in working order. I'm a little stumped on how to get the noise fixed. before i cause another problem.

Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 10 years ago.
A noise is normally caused by a failing pump or air still in the sytem. If the previous rack ever drained enough fluid to cause the pump to run dry then it is ruined. If the P/S system was completly dry then 2 quarts would have been needed since it only took a 1/2 then that meant there was still fluid in the reservoir, lines, and the new rack.
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Chris (Moose)'s Post: so how do i tell if the pump is bad... Don't want to replace a good pump.... noise i can live with as well would the truck still turn easily with a bad pump because it turns normal.
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 10 years ago.
If it whines loud it needs to be replaced if it is some what quiet then I recommend you suck some fluid out then add fluid and run the vehicle left to right with the engine on. Do this a few times to flush some of the fluid out.
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
how and from where should i extract the fluid out...
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 10 years ago.
You will need a suction gun or syringe and pull it out of the reservoir to the pump
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Chris (Moose)'s Post: ok so i am replacing the pump first i need to remove the serpentine belt unlike the cars i am use to working on it does not seem like the alternator is the point that i loosen the tension on the belt. so what is the lever to loosen the tension so as to remove the belt and then the pump.... also what is the repercutions of not replacing the pump immediately... i ask because i am getting new tires put on the truck tomorrow and thought to wait until after i got that done incase i did not finish in time for tommorrows appointment...
Expert:  Chris (aka-Moose) replied 10 years ago.

If the pump is whinning bad then in may disperse metal into the new rack. If it is slightly whinning don't sweat it you can wait.

There is a tensioner that has to be rotated to remove the belt. Look at all the pulleys there will be a fairly small one with an arm that you turn with a socket or ratchet to remove belt tension.