[s-cars] PSA on Steering Rack - was <braces inbox for flood> '02 //S6 - Bueller?

jtoms493 at comcast.net jtoms493 at comcast.net
Fri Sep 21 17:41:11 PDT 2007

Teddy, have replaced the steering damper on a couple of S4's. One at 160K and current vehicle at 115K. 
I can't say that I felt or noticed a difference in handling, but I can tell you that both of these dampers were shot! Also, if you have an OE Audi damper (431 425 021A) there is a date of manufacture            (week #/year) on it. The only way I could the view the date with the damper on the car was with a mirror placed behind and below the damper. (Bought current damper from Autohaus AZ - Boge version.)
After replacing the damper on my current S4 I was still having issues with what I felt was the front suspension. Had a clunk when I turned either right or left and taking corners aggressively was not as solid as I thought it should be. Steering wheel wandered from tdc a few weeks after alignment. 
Found that both sides of the steering rack needed to be repaired. Bought the reinforcement bracket (443 809 489) for the driver side and had a metal brace fabricated for the passenger side. Both the driver's side and the passenger side had tears in the metal near the rack securing points. Even the driver's side bracket was torn in numerous places. Once the cracks were welded and brackets put in place steering is great. The bracket that attaches the steering rack to the firewall was fine.

So S-heads as has been mentioned recently, go out and check the connecting points on both sides of your steering rack for tears in the metal, as well as the condition of the driver's side rack reinforcing bracket. Also check the securing bracket on the firewall. This may be the answer to your suspect steering or your mystery "clunks".
John Tomlinson
93 S4  

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