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steering pump/rack noises?

1264 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Alfisto Steve

The saga continues - after fixing numerous interior fittings, cleaning throttle position sensor/idle control valve, connections etc, the car has been running pretty well, but now the steering pump and/or rack is making some funny noises at slow speeds.

I searched the forums and it seems pretty common for some "buffering" type noises to occur, especially at full lock, however what concerns me is that it has become significantly pronounced in the last couple of days. Last thing I want is a phone call from my wife saying she has lost the powering steering completely!

My 33 16v needs to have the steering rack rebuilt, the 164 is of similar vintage so I'm wondering about rebuilding it - is there anything special about the powering steering racks which means its not a DIY job? I assume appropriate rebuild kits are available (ZF?).

No doubt the great Alfisto Steve will jump in here with some excellent advice :)

PS I've just ordered a replacement TX valve and drier to hopefully repair the aircon. As the compressor is good and the system doesn't leak, hopefully this is a step towards decent air conditioning!
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Rack is TRW not ZF. Not really a home boy rebuild project even though I have replaced seals in one years ago.

I posted pix of exploded view maybe I can find them.

Here is one long thread about 164 racks I posted to:
Ok, power steering noises are getting particularly worse. It really does sound like the pump to me, as turning the wheel at slow speeds when the wheels are under considerable load makes the "hum" sound more pronounced and vibrations are felt on the steering wheel. The rack is no leaking. It's a 20 year old car, so 20 years for a steering pump surely isn't too bad? Car has done 215,000km.

What is the going rate for a new pump and are they still available?

May cars will exhibit steering pump noises when the fluid is low. They will also do this when the fluid is old. When was the last time the fluid was flushed? Replacing fluid is of course much easier and cheaper than a new pump, so try that first.
The pump was making some seriously loud noises last week so I bit the bullet and removed the pump last Monday night. Had it rebuilt by a power steering specialist here in Adelaide (a bit pricey IMO, $300Aus), refitted it and replaced the hose between the pump inlet and the fluid resevoir. An awful job thanks to the limited room but I probably saved $1000 in labour doing the work myself. No more noise! Steering actually feels smoother and doesn't make any noise on full lock either, which it has done ever since we got the car over 5 years ago.

Glad that the rack is still good, but its reassuring to know I can also get the rack rebuilt locally if I have to.

Thanks for the tips guys, lets keep these 164s on the road :)

Glad you got her back in service.
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