5k hydraulic hose woes - UK perspective

Paul Heneghan paul.heneghan at bbc.co.uk
Mon Sep 18 19:15:25 EDT 2000

From: Mike Arman <armanmik at n-jcenter.com>
>New crush washers, obviously. . . .

I'm in the middle of an interesting power-steering problem at the moment.  I
have a UK spec 1989 Avant (5k Wagon to US readers) which has a leaking rack.
When the leak turned into a gush, I decided it was time for a recon rack.  I
vaguely remember years ago somebody saying that the racks changed slightly
in the late 80s and that they moved from copper crush washers to banjo
connections with inset o-rings.  However, when I ordered the rack, the
suppliers assured me that there was only one rack used between 83 and 90
(444 422 065F).

Taking the old rack out was very difficult.  Bentley was useless.  Haynes
slightly better.  There was no way I could undo the hydraulic connections as
they were very close to the bulkhead and there were loads of brake lines in
the way.  In the end, I undid all the nuts and bolts, left the return hose
attached (having disconnected it at the reservoir end) and pulled the rack a
few cm away from the bulkhead.  This gave enough space to get at and loosen
the supply hose from the pump.

Next problem: how to get the rack out of the engine bay.  The Haynes manual
said "remove it through the apperture in the wheel arch".  There are two
wheel arches (Duh!) and the driver's (remember this is a UK spec car) side
has far fewer restrictions.  However, if you choose this one it almost
squeezes through, but the splined bit sticks out a few millimeters too far.
I almost got out the angle grinder to enlarge the opening in the wheel arch,
but thought I would give it a try on the other side first.  Having removed
the tie rod, it came straight out through the opening in the passenger's

Next problem: before I installed the new rack, I thought I would compare all
the mounting points and connections.  These were all fine except that the
rack in the car (casting number 7832 163) had a large section milled flat to
accept the very large banjo joint with the inset o-rings on the hydraulic
feed from the pump.  The recon rack (casting number 7832 191) had a very
small section milled flat to accept a small copper crush ring.


I went up to the loft where I had stored all the bits of my dismantled 1983
Avant, got the old hydrualic hose that went between the pump and the rack
and found that although the rack end was correct for the recon rack, the
banjo at the pump end was much too small.  I then realised that between 1983
and 1989, Audi in their wisdom have changed the banjos on the racks, pumps
and probably bombs as well (see
http://www.sjmautotechnik.com/brake.html#bomb on Scot Mockry's web page).
This has resulted in identical looking, but completely incompatible racks,
pumps and bombs. 

I rang up the suppliers (Euro Car Parts) who assured me that according to
their books there was only one rack used between 83 and 90 - the 444 422
065M.  When I told them that the number on the rack in the car was was 444
422 065F they looked up the number and said that 444 422 065M was a suitable
replacement.  They then suggested that I ring up Audi to see if there was an
adaptor kit available.

Audi told me that there were FOUR different racks between 83 and 90 and that
they were all virtually identical except  for hydraulic connector
differences.  They also said that there was no conversion kit.  A recon rack
from them would cost GBP327.  The rack I had bought cost GBP170, so I reckon
I can afford to spend a few pounds coming up with an adapter hose.

I plan to bring the new and old hose to a hydraulic hose specialist and get
them to make up a custom one by reterminating the ends.  Thanks to Mike
Arman for suggesting that I remind them to include a restrictor.

I think I have found a way out of this mess, but if anyone has been through
this before and has any advice to offer, I'm all ears!


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