Power steering leaking fluid

Submitted: Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 at 09:06
ThreadID: 135525 Views:3945 Replies:5 FollowUps:1
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A couple of weeks ago after the 1200km return trip to Perth from Kalgoorlie, the power steering on our aging 2007 NS Pajero was awfully sluggish, having lost most of its oil. Topped it up but leak quite noticeable on garage floor.

Mechanics looked at it and said it was leaking from the rack, which would need to be replaced. Cost is $4,748 for the rack alone plus $580 to fit. Seriously! The car would barely be worth $10,000!

Noted comments online at Pajero forum re exchange units so looked at that and found Pedder, who have a local agent. Their price around $1250-odd or $1580 fited. Except they don't seem to have one.

Back online, found Steering Solutions selling refurbished steering racks for all sorts of vehicles, including NP Pajero (ie not NS) for $550 with 18 month guarantee. Seem to have 100% 5 star satisfaction ratings from other purchasers.

Waiting to hear if the NP unit also fits the NS and if not, whether they have an alternative solution before I start to look around the wreckers yards but wow, $4748, $1250 or $550 to achieve the same purpose? You gotta love supply & demand economics.
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Reply By: Ron N - Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 at 09:53

Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 at 09:53
Yeah, don't you just love the pricing on some parts?
Fortunately, it doesn't take long for innovative people to find ways around manufacturer rorting, and offer much more satisfactory pricing on replacements.

We live in a global manufacturing world, and so many of these components are made cheaply, new - but marked up beyond belief, when it comes to parts.

The following eBay seller states the NS and NP racks are interchangeable between 11/06 to 2016 Pajero models.

Used Pajero steering rack - eBay

Just be careful buying used - if the component is prone to suffer from premature wear and needs total replacement, then any used unit on offer, is quite likely to be in little better condition, than the one you already own.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 613561

Reply By: Dean K3 - Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 at 10:40

Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 at 10:40
As Ron mentioned I'd be careful with 2nd hand racks you never know the history of the vehicle it came from. A overhauled unit at least you have some form of warranty quality of workmanship.

Twice I have personally been involved with situations involving damage/2nd hand steering racks.

Most recently was prado (2014) left hand side was impacted causing excessive free play so any corners took multiple bites to track around a corner (even on bitumen). The fortunate bit was able to replace the section affected with few hours on hoist cursing and swearing. trying to seal the rubber boot being hardest took both myself and brother to clip up the banjo ring. (similar to hose clamp but locks into place using tabs and then folded over itself

Many years prior folks colt took a collision to front end vehicle repaired but had a knock when turning wasn't cv joints turns out they had replaced steering relay with 2nd hand unit, which was in worse condition than one they binned, if it wasn't for fact brother is a mechanic (apprentice at time) and had another mechanic look at it the car would be in a unroadworthy condition.

AnswerID: 613562

Reply By: RMD - Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 at 11:21

Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 at 11:21
Where is the rack leaking?
At at one or both ends or the input shaft?
If the bushes (if fitted) at each end are worn then the rack may require replacing.
Hopefully the rack ends aren't scored and a new seal in both ends may restore the unit to serviceable if the rack shaft to housing, doesn't have too much slop.
They are ony a double ended hydraulic cylinder.
Do you hold the rack at full lock at ANY time in it's life? If you do, you are making the power steer pump create full pressure and then everything internal and the pump & drive belt and hoses all have to run at, FULL relief valve pressure, while it is held on full lock.
That makes the seals have to operate at maximum pressure instead of almost nothing. Doing that wears the seals more and causes leaks.
Just turning the system to near lock and held there is far less pressure than held ON LOCK.
AnswerID: 613566

Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 at 13:08

Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 at 13:08
Thanks very mmuch. Not sure where it's leaking as I wouldn't know one end of it from another, but I'm interested to hear you say it can be repaired.

In a town like Kalgoorlie, that is absolutely awash with mechanics and fitters and hydraulic repair places, it ought not be difficult to find someone who can do it.

In relation to whether the wheel is held at full lock, I'm sure it has been from time to time, but I don't know that it's a regular practice.
FollowupID: 884078

Reply By: Member - cruza25 - Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 at 14:26

Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 at 14:26
You can get seal kits on eBay for $100 . Would need to get yours stripped down first to make sure no mechanical damage or worn parts.

Sydney spareparts may have one

Or try centralparts.com.au in Perth. They show a listing of a 2013 ns Which appears not to have any impact damage.
Hope you find a good economic solution.
AnswerID: 613572

Reply By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Monday, Oct 09, 2017 at 17:07

Monday, Oct 09, 2017 at 17:07
Just to tie up the loose ends here, I got a reconditioned rack from Steering Solutions in Sydney for $650 plus $70 freight to Kalgoorlie and my mechanic charged just under $350 to fit it, including fluid and wheel alignment. It's a good outcome, although I have since discovered a thicker type of power steering fluid that leaks less, allegedly. It might have been nice to have known about that a bit earlier to have tried it out.
AnswerID: 614253

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