Closure on steering system

Dave Haupt quattrodave at
Mon Jul 15 22:50:09 EDT 2002

So I got the ZF rebuilt rack installed.  Got a look at
bits while it was out - tie rods look tight, bushings
up front look good, can't see anything loose.  The
rack itself was shredded, leaks everywhere and a crack
in the part that the steering wheel shaft goes into.
Not rebuildable as I see it.

With "new" rack and "old" leaky PS pump, the car
handled as before - mushy, with a wheel that was a bit
too hard to twist at low speed.

I re-sealed the leaky PS pump, and the leak became a
gusher.  I must have gotten a chip in there between
the pump halves.  The car went from "can drive it if
you watch the Pentosin level" to "don't drive it".
About that time, our daily driver decided to lunch its
tranmission - not too bad, the lifetime of a 2nd gen
RX7 trans is usually 80k miles and this one went 110k
with 50k of that on the race track.  Nonetheless, the
car is now scrap to me, so I'm cycling everywhere.

I got a rebuilt ZF PS pump from a pseudo-local
mechanic (75 miles away - closest one) and put it in
tonight.  The leaks are gone, we can drive the car

Steering is different than before.  It's still not
particularly nimble - I think the car's just plain old
too heavy, and too dialed for luxury for that - but
the steering effort is lower than before, apparently
the old pump was not delivering full pressure.  It's
still enough steering effort, though, that it
irritiates my wife's post-surgical wrists, so we'll
see if she really wants to keep the car.  There is
still absolutely zero feedback through the wheel.

My mechanic says this particular 1989 is as nimble as
any, so I think I'm just up against the fact that Audi
did not give these cars a particularly engaging feel
to the handling until the 20V in 1991.  I remember
testing one of those and liking it rather a lot.

But, for us, I believe the steering issues are done,
for the remainder of the time we'll own the car.

While I had it all apart, I also replaced the high
pressure steering hose (it had begun to leak) and the
brake bomb (we lost power braking the instant the
engine shut off) and the high pressure brake hose (on
the hope that it would quiet down the "growly" noise
the car made at low engine speeds).  As a result, the
PS leaks are gone, including the HP hose, the power
brakes now give us fully 30 applications after the
engine is shut off, and the "growly" noise is gone
from the hydraulic system.

So, it gets better....

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions from listers on
these items.

Santa Rosa

1989 200TQ Sedan, Lago Blue, 146k miles, $1.20 per
mile and counting
1991 RX-7, failed transmission, selling as parts car
1988 Trek 8500 aluminum, Deore XT, daily driver

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