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Old 08-15-2008, 05:09 PM
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3 months, 3 blown racks?????

My son drives his 02 dodge ram pickup like his hot rod, and I can't find an answer anywhere else, so here I am.
Blew the seals on his rack and pinion (at 110,000 miles, so no big deal). Replaced the rack and drove it a month, maybe 800 miles, blew the seals on that rack. Thought it might have been a poor quality rebuild, put in another. It lasted 3 weeks, about 500 miles.

Anyone got any ideas?

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Old 08-15-2008, 05:14 PM
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On the Mustang II racks hot rodders use, blown racks are usually due to too much power steering pump pressure. I suppose the same would hold true for your son too.

Short of putting a gage on the high pressure line, you might just try a replacement pump.
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:32 PM
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Sounds like too much pressure or...don't get upset at me saying this

Your son is holding the steering against the stops.

I am not sure of any way to check the pressure in the line. I am sure there is a way. I am just a shade tree mechanic (when I can find a tree to work under).

Heidt's makes an adjustable valve for the steering kits on our older vehicles. You can lower the pressure and adjust the steering.

That might help....

http://www.heidts.com/index.cfm/page...rod/prd210.htm
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:41 PM
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blown racks

No offense taken Brian, I thought the same thing. He swears not, but when I was 17 I didn't tell Dad everything, lol. But logically, the original rack lasted a long time, but he's gone through the last two faster than a fat chick in a buffet line.
What would cause such high pressure?
I'm going to replace the return line, but I checked it last time and seemed OK.
This is a stock pump (with 100,000 miles on it) and the stock rack. Why would it suddenly put out too much pressure?
I'm not opposed to putting a new pump on it, but the parts house is opposed to replacing the rack again. I need to show I have fixed the problem.
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Old 08-15-2008, 09:28 PM
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I'm just curious, are these lifetime warranty parts made in china that you have to spend your lifetime replacing?...lol
I'm on my fourth radiator (free replacement) on my 96 dodge truck. They've griped and complained about it, I've checked everything I can think of as well as added a ground strap, checked all the ground connections, added the proper fluids and everything else they've recommended, to no avail. Within six months it blows pinholes in the new radiator.
How long will they keep replacing this junk until they say enough is enough?
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldguy829
No offense taken Brian, I thought the same thing. He swears not, but when I was 17 I didn't tell Dad everything, lol. But logically, the original rack lasted a long time, but he's gone through the last two faster than a fat chick in a buffet line.
What would cause such high pressure?
I'm going to replace the return line, but I checked it last time and seemed OK.
This is a stock pump (with 100,000 miles on it) and the stock rack. Why would it suddenly put out too much pressure?
I'm not opposed to putting a new pump on it, but the parts house is opposed to replacing the rack again. I need to show I have fixed the problem.
This could be solved simply. These vehicles had a problem with bad Upper ball joints. There was a recall 4, or 5 years ago with this problem. I do know that the pressures from lock to lock, side to side, should be even. I had 1 that kept aerating the power steering fluid, and it turned out to be a bad rack.

The ball joints do not have a lube fitting, they can become dry, and cause steering problems.
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Old 08-16-2008, 06:13 AM
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3 blown racks

I will check that today, however, We gave it a brake job recently and with the two rack installs we had the tie rods loose, seems I would have noticed any binding on the ball joints. Also had the front end aligned at a very competent shop. They wouldn't have aligned it if there was any play or problems with the front end.
As for the parts warranty.... I didn't buy them at auto zombie, etc. Went to my locally owned parts house where he knows the difference between a steering rack and a luggage rack. BTW. The rack is a rebuild from A1 Cardone.
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Old 08-16-2008, 06:50 AM
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Install a pressure gauge on the pressure hose where the pressure switch mounts. At idle the pressure should be below 125 psi, it is normally between 50-80 psi. Lock to Lock it should be between 1550-1650 psi.

I wonder if it has a lift kit, and over size tires on it.

Last edited by carsavvycook; 08-16-2008 at 07:06 AM. Reason: wrong wording
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Old 08-16-2008, 07:19 AM
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From what I'm reading, about 800 pounds is good for MII racks, with conventional steering boxes around 1000(?). Are you sure about that lock to lock pressure you mentioned? Seems high to me. At any rate, seals can blow from hydraulic failure from overpressure or mechanical reasons. Seems like the mechanical reasons have been investigated so now it is time to focus on pressure.
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Old 08-16-2008, 07:41 AM
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All things being equal, what you got is 2 bad rebuilt racks. The pump didn't change...the racks did. Bad rebuilt racks are NOT that hard to find. Try a good used, low mileage, rack, and see if that doesn't do the trick...
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:30 AM
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3 blown racks

Carsavvy - got a response from A1 cardone. Their reply was similar to yours, they suspect high pump pressure. they thought 100 to 200 at idle was OK. up to 1350 at lock.
Very astute about the lift and tires. Yes, he has both. We checked that pretty thouroughly the first time. The lift is a full frame lift that included new spindles. With the tie rod connections relocated to keep the tie rod ends level, so no binding or angled resistance is present. The tires are 35 inch, but the tread width is actually smaller (9inch) compared to the stock tires (10 inch). He doesn't offroad in rocks, but likes to sling a little mud. I've gone with him, and its so slick there is less resistance than on the street. He hasn't been offroad since the last rack install (I can tell), plus - the original rack, with 110,000 miles took a lot of that before blowing. Also, there is no indication anyone else has had a problem, nor do they make an aftermarket rack. Which is the first thing I looked for when the first rack went out.
I'm leaning strongly towards a pump issue. Can you explain how the pressure relief switch works? I've manipulated bypass pressure on the old chevy pumps, to make them work with cavalier and mustang racks, but Dodge is new to me?
Made some calls this morning and haven't found a pressure gauge that would hook up and read to 1500 pounds. Any suggestions?
And thanks for all the time and effort. don
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Old 08-16-2008, 09:00 AM
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oldguy, A pressure gauge that might work would be used on a diesel engine for checking fuel pressure. Personally I use a 5000 psi transducer hooked to my Snap-on Vantage. I have seen power steering pressures on a Dodge Dakota up to 3750 psi on right lock, and 1800 psi on left lock. This was a problem with the rack it's self. The high pressure on right lock was causing the fluid to aerate, and make the pump noisy.

I believe the valving is in the rack it's self, and not adjustable. A1 Cardone is a good rebuilder, but their idle psi spec's are too high per your vehicle application.

I had to make a adapter out of a AN fitting to hook up to power steering systems.
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