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How do you know you need a rack, and not just tie rods, or power steering pump/lines? I'm currently using one that had a tie rod snapped cleanly off and is working perfectly, without any leaks, aside from the pressure line at the pump due to a shredded nylon gasket.

If your rack is leaking, you need new seals, not new racks. Yes, the seals can be bought. If the rack is out of adjustment, it can be adjusted. If the actual rack gear is bent, well...then you need one, but it would take a HUGE hit to mess that thing up. Also, you can snag one from a Tempo as it's the same thing, although '88 and later will have a slightly different one that uses a little beefier (and cheaper somehow) tie rods. I'm using one currently and like it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
my outer tierods are wore as well as both ball joints. and yes. my seals are leaking as well. im starting to think i may need a ps pump as well. hopefully the rack will cure the problem.


sometimes in left turns my ps will comeback for a second then go right back out. or when i let it sit and idle it'll kick on for a sec then go off. you can hear it whining. could the rack it's self be the problem?


oh btw. the local front end shop rated the price whit me furnishing the parts right at 500 bucks. i was in shock. i said i think i can get it. :)
 

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You don't need a new rack, but the price online is good for the one linked to. You might need a rebuild kit for the power steering pump...basically new seals. Alternatively you could buy a rebuilt pump...pretty much for whatever year Escort, or even other model cars since the pump is the same, and you must press your own pulley on.

Whining is caused by cavitation...it's sucking air. This is either because of the leaking rack, the return line leaking at the pump, or the reservoir O-ring not sealing properly.

If you do the work yourself, you'll find it's much cheaper. Tie rods should be around $25 per, and tie rod ends should be around $8-10. Just measure the old tie rod length before putting the new ones on, and that will keep headaches to a minimum. Of course, get the thing aligned asap since you'll never get it 100% right.

The ball joints also have nothing to do with your steering rack, although those alone will cause issues if they're worn and loose. Those should be about $40 or so, at the most, per side. Usually the driver's side wears out more often than passenger, unless the edge of the roads you drive on are patched, and otherwise severely bumpy (like WV).
 

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89harper said:
so you think with the ps being messed up for a week or two the pump is more than likely toast and will need rebuilding or replaced?
You don't need to replace the pump yet. Top off the p/s fluid, and turn the wheel back and forth a few times (with the engine running) to circulate the new fluid. If the cutting out stops, the pump is fine. If the cutting out or whining noises persists for days, replace the pump. Also, if the pump itself is leaking, then you should replace it, but you said your rack is leaking?

With all that said, it's still a 20 year old Escort. Unless fluid is PISSING out, just top off the fluid now and then. Is $500 plus the cost of the rack worth it really?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ha. my answer is no.



i stated it yesterday afternoon.... bam! it's back. i think it needs a little fluid where it shot a bunch out of the tank last time it went out. why is it doiing me like this?
 

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Because whoever owned it before you didn't take care of the car, dumped it on you, and you didn't know what to look for....plus not all things can be anticipated. At least the clutch didn't fall apart a week after you bought it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
yes. i am starting to realize it was mistreated. the clutch seems pretty strong knock on wood. and the car isn't worth 500 most likely; but i wouldn't part with it for 800.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
got the lines off. i cant hardly get to the steering shaft to get it off the pinion. both bolts have to come out correct? urgh... this thing is a pain in the A$s!
 
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