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Power steering rack rebuild

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Power steering rack rebuild
#1
  This topic is about my 1981 Triumph TR8
sheetsofsound Avatar
sheetsofsound Brent Taylor
New Westminster, BC, Canada   CAN
Seemed like a good idea at the time.. My power steering rack was functioning as a fountain, so I thought I'd rebuild it. Got the kit, got the manual... stuck on the disassembly.

Anyone got any tricks for unscrewing the end off the rack? Tried chemicals, heat, paraffin on the threads - won't budge even a little. (Yes, I have a c-spanner.) Is there a trick to this?

From the look of the damage on the threaded collar, someone's been here before.

Any advice appreciated.



Brent

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BondoRacer Avatar
BondoRacer Roman H
Chicago, IL, USA   USA
I couldn't get the locking collar to budge with a spanner so I ended up making my own copy of the factory Churchill tool. Worked a treat.


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sheetsofsound Avatar
sheetsofsound Brent Taylor
New Westminster, BC, Canada   CAN
I take it you used 2" I.D. pipe of some kind? I think I may be following your lead on this. I have spent far too much time to no avail, not even a hint of movement. I even managed to bend my small breaker bar. The pipes are also seized, although I was able to remove all but one so far. All this effort better stop the leaks.



Brent



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2018-12-10 12:24 AM by sheetsofsound.

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Secretbuzzard Avatar
Secretbuzzard John Greenwood
Jacksonville, FL, USA   USA
Just did mine a few weeks ago. I used a brass drift and BFH and it loosened the large castle nut holding the end of the rack on pretty easily. I would like to have made one of those nice tools, but it only took two or three strikes on the drift and it was loose. I wrote up a post on how I did mine and what to look for if it has play only a week or so ago. Check it out here:

https://www.triumphexp.com/phorum/read.php?3,1452448

BondoRacer Avatar
BondoRacer Roman H
Chicago, IL, USA   USA
Brent, I think it's worth the effort to rebuild. One of the main seals in my rack gave out in July of '17 and I removed the pump belt so that I could continue using the car. I rebuilt it the rack in November of the same year and I will say that I was glad to have the power steering back. Even though the amount of assist is not great it does help parking in my garage and while driving at slow speeds.
Yes, the pipe I used to make my Churchill copy is 2" ID with. 2 3/8" OD. I went this route because the lock ring would not budge using a punch nor a spanner and I did not want to completely distort the teeth on the ring. The tool also aids in re assembly as you can torque the lock ring to the proper specification.

sheetsofsound Avatar
sheetsofsound Brent Taylor
New Westminster, BC, Canada   CAN
John and Roman - thanks to you both. I think I will probably end up making the tool, as I have some sections of pipe that I can use and friend with a shop who will help me learn how to do it. We were talking today about whether to make the square hole for the socket (my preferred option) or just weld on a steel bar. I'd like to make the square hole, but my metal working skills are just being born and I don't know how I'd do it except by drilling a hole and working with a file. Welding the steel bar seems quick and easy.

The post about working out the play in the rack was very interesting. I will see what state its in once I finish getting the damn thing apart.

i know this will be worth it in the end.... well, at least cleaner. The subframe was coated in power steering fluid.



Brent

BondoRacer Avatar
BondoRacer Roman H
Chicago, IL, USA   USA
Another option to attach a square drive to your home made tool is to find a cheep socket and weld it to the bar. I went the drill and file route. It didn't take very long to do.

sheetsofsound Avatar
sheetsofsound Brent Taylor
New Westminster, BC, Canada   CAN
Alright. Made myself one of those tools today. Now granted, the castle nut was a little damaged from the previous owner's ministrations, but I cannot get this thing to budge. Just in case I've figured this wrong, the bit on the end screws on clockwise, so I'm trying to turn the castle nut/locking ring counter clockwise, yes?

Any other tricks? Suggestions? Reference to a mental health professional? I have begun the long walk to the nearest cliff, where I will cast this accursed device into the sea.



Brent

Mr. Nuts Avatar
Mr. Nuts Peter N
Tucumcari, NM, USA   USA
The collar is right hand thread. Use a propane torch and heat the aluminum piece up pretty hot. For some reason, the ones I've seen that have been fooled with by someone else, are over tightened when they re-assemble it. If the lock collar was chewed up, you can be assured it was overtightened. But, I've always managed to get them apart with enough heat.

If you are really ready to pitch it, contact Todd, he has a basement full of them that he has offered up for sale at different times. You might get lucky and hit him up at the right time. Good luck with your project.

sheetsofsound Avatar
sheetsofsound Brent Taylor
New Westminster, BC, Canada   CAN
So apparently the sweet smell of success is the odour of aluminum heated to within 1 or 2 degrees Kelvin of Lucifer's seat at the Gates of Hell. Thanks Peter.

That, a drift, and a BFH. Thanks John.

The copy I made of the tool allowed me to rotate the end on the shaft - thanks Roman - but the locking ring was so badly damaged by the DPO that I couldn't get enough purchase to loosen it from the aluminum. I even filed the teeth of the tool to match the damage, but to no avail; the whole end would rotate on the shaft, but the ring would not budge from the aluminum. The impact from the hammer and drift was the only way forward.

Is there a way to get the locking ring off? I would like to try and repair the destruction and square up the teeth.

Glad I got it loose before I got to the cliff, and now - bonus - no need for a mental health professional. The money saved can be put into the car.



Brent



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-12-26 08:21 PM by sheetsofsound.

Secretbuzzard Avatar
Secretbuzzard John Greenwood
Jacksonville, FL, USA   USA
Remove the wire ring from the groove in the outer tube and the large castle nut should slide off the end. I cleaned everything with Brakleen and ran the nut into the end housing as many times as it took to get a smooth turn into the bottom of the threads before putting it back on the housing tube. Make sure you put tape or something on the rack gears before installing the innermost seal into the tube using the rack as an install tool. I was in a hurry and forgot that and just put the seal into the clean tube and then the rack into the seal. It can catch on the gear teeth and put a tear in the knife edge that seals the fluid under pressure. Had I thought of it I most likely would have tightly spiral wound a single layer of electrical tape over the gear teeth to slide the new seal on and then pulled the tape off. I also used brake rubber grease on all the seals. Available at most auto parts houses.

sheetsofsound Avatar
sheetsofsound Brent Taylor
New Westminster, BC, Canada   CAN
I am well and truly down the road with this thing now. Got the end housing off the cylinder, removed the lock ring (and cleaned up the damage as best I could). I have read the TWOA article, as well as the Triumph factory training manual.

Two things: It says 'remove pinion from pinion housing'. I took the pinion housing off the gear housing, but the pinion shaft is not budging from the gear housing. Should I be trying to remove the pinion shaft?

Second, does the gear housing come off the rack cylinder?



Brent

Secretbuzzard Avatar
Secretbuzzard John Greenwood
Jacksonville, FL, USA   USA
Do you have the assembly out like in this drawing? On mine there was a plastic cap around the top where the u-joint attached from the column. I had to pry that off VERY carefully as it is brittle from age. Mine actually cracked, but when I went to reassemble I epoxied it back together and it's holding up well. It appears to be just a shield for the bearing below it. Once that is off I tapped the top of the shaft (at #14 in the pic) with a brass hammer. Do not use a regular hammer, it will deform the splines and the u-joint will never go back on!! You are driving the shaft and lower bearing (#6) out of the housing. Do yourself a favor and take a lot of pictures because this can go back together wrong! I used a sharp scribe and etched a mark on the different pieces and then took pictures of the marks so I knew how it came apart. You have been warned. Probably the worst thing that could happen is that after assembly and re-installation in the car you would not have any power assist. Not deadly, but aggravating.


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tr8 pinion.jpg    24.1 KB
tr8 pinion.jpg

sheetsofsound Avatar
sheetsofsound Brent Taylor
New Westminster, BC, Canada   CAN
Thanks for the picture. I had been working from that drawing, plus a couple of others that I was able to find. Part of the confusion for me is that the smaller parts are all called different things from different authors. When I undid the 3 locknuts, the housing just lifted off, no need to tap on anything. I'm now wondering if that's where the fountain action was coming from.

Here's what I'm looking at.

I cannot get the pinion/torsion bar out of the end of the rack housing.



Brent

Secretbuzzard Avatar
Secretbuzzard John Greenwood
Jacksonville, FL, USA   USA
You will need to pull the pinion assembly out of the rack. Mine came out as one piece and I had to tap out the center section which stayed attached to your main housing. There is a ball bearing that is halfway pressed into the spool valve assy and halfway into the rack housing. You can see it in your picture adjacent to three three studs unthreaded area This has to come out as it has a circlip underneath. Grab the splined section by hand and tap on the rack housing with a rubber or deadblow hammer. Shouldn't take much.

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