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Hydraulics. . .Summary
First, thanks for all the replies! (I got tons of them!)
Here is what I have discovered, and ordered.
I called PAP back, and the racks they sell are apparently rebuild locally,
and get some kind of nickel(and some other metal) plating on the bore. They
seem sure that my old rack was one of the ZF ones (hence the early failure).
They would go down to $259 for me.
I called Joe at Bob Ross VW and he was able to get the rack for $230. That
rack comes from Jorgen Automotive. He gave me the number for Jorgen and
suggested I might be able to order directly from them and save a few bucks
in shipping (what a gentleman!). So, I called and talked to Mary. She
said she would sell me the rack for (around)$152 plus 20% markup. The catch
is that I had to be a licensed mechanic or give them the (registration?) number
of the mechanic who would be installing the part. Since I had neither, I gave
her my shipping address and told her Joe would call her with the billing
info. So, I paid the price Joe was asking, and got it shipped directly to me.
Joe charged $15 bucks shipping (said that is the normal charge, and he wouldn't
hit me with extra charges to go to Rochester, NY).
I got the rack yesterday (ordered on Friday). The date stamped in the casting
of the rack said XX/83, so I assume the rack was originaly made back then, but
I don't suppose that matters much.
So, if you want to call them, the number is 1-800-333-0600. I *just* called
there and talked to Vikki (sp?) and asked about the warrante. It is lifetime
(I think the time the person owns the car), and covers complete replacement of
the rack. In the first year, they cover up to $90 for labor for replacement.
So far, I am pleased. I brushed snow off my car this morning, but it is supposed
to get up to 50 on Sunday, so I might put it in then. :-) (I hope that Pentosin
comes from PAP by the end of the week!)