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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I'm getting ready to replace the leaky seal at the bottom of the steering box on my 87's ZF box.
When I first bought the car in 2011 and started going through the fluids, and topped it up, it immediately starting leaking.
With bigger fish to fry back then, I elected to just use that molasses thick engine additive "stop smoke" in there and its been great until recent, hence where I'm at now.

I've reviewed the couple DIY's for the Burman box and the S4 ZF for PS box. I even had a look at the shop manual and still have a few questions as I prep.


1. How do I hold the entire steering assembly in place when trying to loosen and tighten the 32mm nut? Can this job be done with the wheels on the car and sitting on ramps?
2. Do I need to separate the inner and outer tie-rods from the steering arm? Or is there enough maneuverability in the assembly for the steering arm to drop down off the output shaft?
2. Is there just a single seal in there, unlike the circlip, washers and o-ring seen in the PS box?
3. Are the alignment marks similar or different than the other boxes?

Thanks
 

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Hi all, I'm getting ready to replace the leaky seal at the bottom of the steering box on my 87's ZF box.
When I first bought the car in 2011 and started going through the fluids, and topped it up, it immediately starting leaking.
With bigger fish to fry back then, I elected to just use that molasses thick engine additive "stop smoke" in there and its been great until recent, hence where I'm at now.

I've reviewed the couple DIY's for the Burman box and the S4 ZF for PS box. I even had a look at the shop manual and still have a few questions as I prep.


1. How do I hold the entire steering assembly in place when trying to loosen and tighten the 32mm nut? Can this job be done with the wheels on the car and sitting on ramps?
2. Do I need to separate the inner and outer tie-rods from the steering arm? Or is there enough maneuverability in the assembly for the steering arm to drop down off the output shaft?
2. Is there just a single seal in there, unlike the circlip, washers and o-ring seen in the PS box?
3. Are the alignment marks similar or different than the other boxes?

Thanks
MAKE your own mark, that you can see later .. just pull seal out, easy to do, and you can remove the 32 mm nut on the ramps...my suggestion.. do not refill with oil.. clean box out well first with paint thinner ( leave seal in for this... 2 cups will work well, steering wheel lock to lock a few times , let sit over night.. pull seal,, and drain the mess out..you can pull the box cover off easy, with out upstetting it.. clean with paint thinner.. as clean as you can get it.. refill with red lithum grease.. it works better.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply and info.

I re-read the DIY on the Burman box and it said no need to disconnect the tie-rods and needing to turn the steering wheel a little to allow the steering arm to drop. Yes, was thinking I would leave the wheels on ramps to crack and re-tighten that nut.
I checked my box of parts, and it is just the one seal. And definitely make my own marks for insurance!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I finally got around to doing this, and freshened up the idler box also.

I did it all with the the car on ramps and wheels planted so removing the 32mm nut was easy.
A 4" 2-arm puller was sufficient to pop the pitman arm off, but I'm sure the leak helped the lubricate the assembly.
Needed to turn the steering to the right for the pitman arm to drop down past the a-arms (I didn't disconnect the tie-rods).
The shaft and pitman arm are factory marked as shown in Vintre's DIY.
There is nothing more than the seal that has to come out, which took a bit of picking to get it out.
I was expecting the old fluid to come out, but nothing did. There is too tight a clearance between the shaft and bushing, plus I have real thick molasses consistency in there. So I just shoved the new seal in. I think 80w90 wouldn't come out easy either though.

After I was done with the steering box, I turned the steering all the way to the left, and loosened the top of the idler shaft. With the tie-rods still connected I was only able to drop the shaft about 3/4 of the way out. This allowed me to wipe clean the top 3/4 area of the box, and fill with new grease, and then wipe down the bottom portion of the shaft and slide it back in and snugged it back up. It was surprisingly dry in there with virtually no wear in the bushings.

I didn't want to drop the idler box per the DIY's mainly to get the shaft right out and to install a grease fitting because I didn't want to upset the frame stiffener and potentially the wheel alignment. I think the service I did on it should be good for the next 20+ years.

Hopefully some of this will help somebody one day.
 

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