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Power Steering Rack

ldixonldixon Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Volvo
I have a 1985 Volvo 760GLE Turbo. Old, but with 75,000 fairly easy miles. It started to stall when I would back out of the driveway, making a sharp turn to avoid the neighbors mailbox. Then would stall at the first stop sign where making a sharp left turn. Then would be OK during the day. The power steering was also getting "stiffer". It was a bit harder to turn. The mechanic - who I don't really trust says I need to replace the power steering rack. I took it for a second opinion - stupidly saying what the first opinion was-and they too said to replace the rack.

What is a power steering rack? What indicates it needs replacing? Do the mentioned problems seem to reflect the need to replace the rack?

Thanks for any help ....


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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    The steering rack is a hydraulic "ram" cylinder that using hydraulic forces to multiply your steering efforts.

    I can see a relationship between steering effort and a failing steering rack, but I can't really believe a bad steering rack would somehow stall an engine....there is some load on the power steering pump, belt driven by the engine, but I just can't imagine the pump dragging so much as to stall the engine.

    So you could have two separate problems. Maybe some of the techs online can speculate further.
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    seeligseelig Member Posts: 590
    but usually a rack needs to be replaced, if it is leaking or develops play that can no longer be adjusted out. most have a check valve in there as well that may be servicable. might be worth going to a couple of shops that are reputable. sometimes your local BBB can offer suggestions on good repair shops......also note that i used the word "sometimes".
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    seeligseelig Member Posts: 590
    "try increasing the engine rpm when the steering gets hard. ride the brake at the same time to maintain speed. do it in an uncrowded street."

    hmmmm....me thinks the word "backyard mechanic" comes to mind........LOL
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Mastermechanic....please don't put your logo in your posts.

    Thank you,

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    alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Lisa, the stiff steering problem you describe is referred to in the trade as "morning sickness", a lack of assist after sitting overnight but improving as the system warms up . It's almost always caused by internal wear and leakage in the rack and pinion assembly's valve housing (assuming drive belt tension and fluid level have been checked). To verify, check the condition of the fluid in the pump reservoir. Oxidized aluminum particles from the valve housing will turn the fluid black. If that's the case, there is internal wear and the unit will gradually deteriorate to where the steering's always stiff. The only fix is assembly replacement and pump/hose flush.
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