steering rack failure
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2004-2007 Cadillac CTS-V Performance Mods Discussion, steering rack failure in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2004 - 2007; The seals in my steering rack have failed. Here is a pic where I cleaned the area for inspection: Take ...
  1. #1
    philistine's Avatar
    philistine is online now Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    steering rack failure

    The seals in my steering rack have failed. Here is a pic where I cleaned the area for inspection:


    Take notice of the lower control arm. I sprayed it with brake cleaner - driver side.


    Here is driving it 20 miles after just one day. The power steering fluid is weeping through the bellows boot wrapped around the inner tie rod.


    The leak is coming from the seals where the inner tie rod fastens into the rack. I searched the forums here and elsewhere (and some help) and I noticed this is not an isolated occurrence. There is some confusion where to source another rack - many choices. It seems getting a brand new OEM replacement is not only expensive but also difficult to source. The refurbished units come in a variety where you could end up with something that doesn't fit or encountering the same leak soon after install.

    I contacted Turn One and spoke with Jeff and discussed my options. Basically, they rebuild a lot of steering racks. He quoted me $200 for the entire service and includes dyno testing - they also use all OEM parts/seals. I was puzzled why my steering rack took a dump and he explained he was familiar with the cts-v and explained the steering pump produces excessive heat and is a root cause. It breaks down the seals over time and the cooler is insufficient for maintaining a safe operating threshold esp for sporting events.

    Anyways, to avoid getting a wrong part or a 'lemon' replacement, I decided to have the steering rack rebuilt. It is not a quick turnaround time - 3-4 weeks as they have high volume this time of year when sporting events are over and everyone is scrambling to replace/rebuild components. Instead of replacing the steering pump, I'm installing a bigger Fluidyne power steering cooler and replacing all the weeping lines.

    Just thought I would pass it along - thoughts/comments are welcome.

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    UnsafeAtAnySpd's Avatar
    UnsafeAtAnySpd is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: steering rack failure

    Mine crapped out on me too. What sucks is that somehow it partially locked up and broke where it mounts to the cradle. Irreparable apparently... Needless to say, more expensive than you're looking at. I too think my issue was related to the undersized stock PS cooler. I used to boil over the reservoir all the time on the track. Haven't had any issues since upgrading to the much larger PS cooler and synthetic fluids.

  4. #3
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    verywhitedevil is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: steering rack failure

    so are you guys using the Fluidyne PS cooler listed in the Cadillac FAQ?

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    Re: steering rack failure

    That one is discontinued I believe. There's a newer (larger) model available. I don't recall the part number off hand. I have pictures of it on here but it's hard to search on my phone. It's a cheap, easy mod though.

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    FuzzyLogic is offline Banned
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    Re: steering rack failure

    Quote Originally Posted by verywhitedevil View Post
    so are you guys using the Fluidyne PS cooler listed in the Cadillac FAQ?
    The successor to the FHP-10026 identified on the FAQ is the larger FHP-10029. Here's where most of us bought ours:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Genuine-Flui...2f0570&vxp=mtr

    As you can see, based on my earlier post, I was able to get it for $28:

    http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...l#post11153778

  7. #6
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    Re: steering rack failure

    Good info to know. Thanks for posting.

  8. #7
    UnsafeAtAnySpd's Avatar
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    Re: steering rack failure

    Found this picture of mine in my build thread. Size comparison:

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    jmargo is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: steering rack failure

    How does the larger one fit ? Any problem with twisting the stock re purposed mount ?

  10. #9
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    Re: steering rack failure


    My only other picture, but reusing eusing the mount wasn't a problem at all. This honestly was probably one of the easiest andmost straight forward mods I've done.

  11. #10
    jmargo is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: steering rack failure

    Quote Originally Posted by FuzzyLogic View Post
    The successor to the FHP-10026 identified on the FAQ is the larger FHP-10029. Here's where most of us bought ours:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Genuine-Flui...2f0570&vxp=mtr

    As you can see, based on my earlier post, I was able to get it for $28:

    http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...l#post11153778
    Tried to make a $35 and $40 offer....both immediately declined.

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    FuzzyLogic is offline Banned
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    Re: steering rack failure

    Quote Originally Posted by jmargo View Post
    How does the larger one fit ? Any problem with twisting the stock re purposed mount ?
    Nope. It's about as close to plug and play as you'll ever get. You'll need a drill to remove the stock rivets, enlarge the holes in the OEM rail, and a pair of matching nuts/bolts to attach the cooler to the rail.

  13. #12
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    Re: steering rack failure

    Quote Originally Posted by UnsafeAtAnySpd View Post
    Mine crapped out on me too. What sucks is that somehow it partially locked up and broke where it mounts to the cradle. Irreparable apparently... Needless to say, more expensive than you're looking at. I too think my issue was related to the undersized stock PS cooler. I used to boil over the reservoir all the time on the track. Haven't had any issues since upgrading to the much larger PS cooler and synthetic fluids.
    All the signs were there but I didn't think it would fail my steering rack. I would have to carry a bottle of power steering fluid to every event and top it off. There were no leaks except for the weeping cooler lines but not a drop on my garage floor. I just got it off the ramps about 2-3 weeks ago after a long upgrade period of 2-3 months. It just sat there and finally decided to leak with very light driving.

    I believe the power steering fluid is ok up to 375F so in order to eat through the seals in the steering rack it must have been around that temp or higher - still trying to wrap my head around how the hell power steering fluid can get that damn hot. Anyways, the cooler upgrade is a nice alternative to replacing the power steering pump. The word I got was the power steering pump is undersized so it was equipped with a smaller pulley. In order to 'fix' the root cause of the problem is to replace the power steering pump with something more robust and a larger pulley combo - something like that.

    Seems everyone is ok with just replacing the power steering cooler with a Fluidyne transmission cooler. The power steering pump info was not internet/forum wisdom - it came from a shop that services high performance steering systems and a bulk of their customers are from NASCAR. They build/modify and design steering systems for high performance purposes and understand GM engineering and their shortfalls.

  14. #13
    mackey is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: steering rack failure

    hm i may need to put in that PS cooler sooner than later.

    what fluid is everyone using?

  15. #14
    philistine's Avatar
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    Re: steering rack failure

    I have the V suspended. Here is what it looks like when you give that boot a firm squeeze:


    If you were waiting to install that larger cooler let this serve as some inspiration.

  16. #15
    UnsafeAtAnySpd's Avatar
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    Re: steering rack failure

    Oh yeah, that reminds me. My pump crapped out on me too. I think that's what caused the rack to have the issues it did. Added note on that for anyone who might need to replace their PS pump. Don't forget to remove the fluid first. The alternator does not like PS fluid... :/

    Quote Originally Posted by philistine View Post
    All the signs were there but I didn't think it would fail my steering rack. I would have to carry a bottle of power steering fluid to every event and top it off. There were no leaks except for the weeping cooler lines but not a drop on my garage floor. I just got it off the ramps about 2-3 weeks ago after a long upgrade period of 2-3 months. It just sat there and finally decided to leak with very light driving.

    I believe the power steering fluid is ok up to 375F so in order to eat through the seals in the steering rack it must have been around that temp or higher - still trying to wrap my head around how the hell power steering fluid can get that damn hot. Anyways, the cooler upgrade is a nice alternative to replacing the power steering pump. The word I got was the power steering pump is undersized so it was equipped with a smaller pulley. In order to 'fix' the root cause of the problem is to replace the power steering pump with something more robust and a larger pulley combo - something like that.

    Seems everyone is ok with just replacing the power steering cooler with a Fluidyne transmission cooler. The power steering pump info was not internet/forum wisdom - it came from a shop that services high performance steering systems and a bulk of their customers are from NASCAR. They build/modify and design steering systems for high performance purposes and understand GM engineering and their shortfalls.

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