’91 V8 Steering Rack R&R

bhowell at rmi.net bhowell at rmi.net
Tue Oct 24 12:42:11 EDT 2006

I JUST did this job 4 weeks ago, so I might be able to comment a little
bit. For reference, I was working on a 5 speed car, so I am not sure if the
bigger bell housing of the automatic would make a difference, but I doubt

I went into the job much the same way you did, not sure what to expect. You
hear all kinds of stories about what a bad job it is and you never know
what to expect. Previously, I had done a few on 20vt 200’s and one a 10vt
5kq. I have to say, the V8 was much easier than all of them. I think the
combination of the shorter (in length) motor and the lack of "Stuff" around
the rack (wastegate, downpipe, etc etc) made the job much easier.

Some tips that come to mind:

1.As the manual suggests, it must come out and go in the passenger side
wheel well. Visually, it looks like going out the driver side would be
easier because of the "Steering Box" section, but I couldn’t make it
happen. It’s pretty easy to get it over to the passenger side opening, but
it took a little manipulating to get the splined shaft, that the column
attaches to, through. It's doable though. 

2.I removed the rubber flaps that cover the tie rod hole in the passenger
wheel well. It, obviously, could be done without doing that, but I was
SOOOO concerned about not tearing the rack boot, that I wanted to make sure
that I could see very well as I installed the new rack. Just make sure that
you put them back on before you attached the tie rod to the strut housing.

3.I pulled the dist caps, plug wires and the plug wire holder that’s
underneath the air box, but saw no need to pull the distributors. Unless
you want to do dist. seals, I was able to work around them pretty easily.

4.I found a 13mm wobbly socket and a LONG extension very useful for getting
the bolts that hold the end of the rack to the D/S wheel well.

5.Make sure you break the two banjo bolts loose BEFORE you get the rack
loose. By that same token, when you are reinstalling the rack, make sure
you start (and get them threaded most of the way) them before you push the
rack back into place.

6.Getting the two fine thread bolts that hold the tie rods to the rack
started, REALLY sucks! Maybe someone has a tip for those, but I had a hard
time with them. The combination of the angle you have to work at, the
weight of the tie rod itself and the fact that the boot naturally wants to
be centered, make it VERY difficult. I cursed Hans and Franz several times!

7.Unless you have done it recently, I would consider a steering damper. You
have to remove it anyway and it’s almost certainly shot. 

I am sure that there are some other useful tips that aren’t coming to mind
right now, but I’ll reiterate: It was MUCH easier than I was expecting.
Basically, once you have the air box (and intake tubes) and the dist.
caps/plug wires removed, everything is right in front of you, plain as day. 

HTH in some way or another. 

91 5 Speed

Original Message:
From: Joe Griffith jsgriffith3rd at yahoo.com
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2006 08:24:55 -0700 (PDT)
To: v8 at audifans.com
Subject: ’91 V8 Steering Rack R&R

I plan on replacing the leaking steering rack on my ’91 V8 next week and
have been searching the archives for info.
  I have the Bentley instructions, the info from the Knowledge base, and
searching the archives but still feel ill prepared to tackle the job.
  I saw mention of a write-up by Dave Head, but have not been able to find
it yet.  Anybody have any idea were I might find it, or any other write-up
that might help?
  Also, if anybody has any BTDT that might save time and aggravation I
would greatly appreciate it.
  Thanks in advance
  Joe Griffith

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