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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
My steering rack just started leaking power steering fluid out the passenger side boot on my 2003 ZTS (2.0). I removed the boot and oil is running out around the shaft pretty good when I turn to the right. I need to add PS fluid everyday. What I'm wondering is if I should attempt replacing this myself or pay the outrageous labor for a mechanic to do? I'm pretty hands on, having replaced my strut mounts, half shafts, etc. with no problem. I'm just worried about dropping the subframe and getting to all the lines to loosen and tighten and the steering wheel/dash disassembly! Any suggestions!! Thanks! I think I should change my power steering pump as well, as it has squealed several times while my wife has been driving it. (It's her car!)
 

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Hi,
My steering rack just started leaking power steering fluid out the passenger side boot on my 2003 ZTS (2.0). I removed the boot and oil is running out around the shaft pretty good when I turn to the right. I need to add PS fluid everyday. What I'm wondering is if I should attempt replacing this myself or pay the outrageous labor for a mechanic to do? I'm pretty hands on, having replaced my strut mounts, half shafts, etc. with no problem. I'm just worried about dropping the subframe and getting to all the lines to loosen and tighten and the steering wheel/dash disassembly! Any suggestions!! Thanks! I think I should change my power steering pump as well, as it has squealed several times while my wife has been driving it. (It's her car!)
Nothing about it is difficult-- it's just a lot of fairly easy tasks. The subframe is only held on by 6 bolts, plus the two that hold the rack onto the subframe from the top. The lines are held in place by a single bracket that is tightened by a bolt. When you re-install, make CERTAIN that you don't over-tighten that steel bolt in the soft metal (aluminum, I think) of the rack, or you will have a bad day.

As luck would have it, I will be doing this swap in a car I'm about to sell. I'll try to snap some pics if my hands aren't too dirty.
 

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I would do it if it was me. I've lowered the subframe before and its not hard at all. Just make sure you can get the car a good 1.5-2 feet in the air.
 

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Token Engin-nerd
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have done it 4 or 5 times without dropping the subframe.

you can even do your own alignment when youre done
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You need to prop the motor up a bit to drop the subframe, correct? Thanks for the info. I think I'll end up doing it myself I guess then. Save quite a bit of labor costs!!
 

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Token Engin-nerd
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what im saying is, you dont even need to drop the subframe.

one or two of the bolts are a little tough that way, but it sure beats trying to remove 4 rusty subframe bolts.
 

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You need to prop the motor up a bit to drop the subframe, correct? Thanks for the info. I think I'll end up doing it myself I guess then. Save quite a bit of labor costs!!
No. The rear mount does attach to the subframe, but it's not load-bearing. Whether or not it's better to do this without dropping the subframe is a question I can't answer. With the cars I work on I've never had to replace the rack without having a damaged subframe to deal with. But I do now, so I'll give it a go.
 

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No. The rear mount does attach to the subframe, but it's not load-bearing. Whether or not it's better to do this without dropping the subframe is a question I can't answer. With the cars I work on I've never had to replace the rack without having a damaged subframe to deal with. But I do now, so I'll give it a go.
OK, I started on it this afternoon, and I think dropping the subframe makes it much easier, totally worth the little bit of extra effort. I only removed the six bolts holding it to the body, and the lower engine mount, without disconnecting the lower control arms or the steering knuckles. In other words, it's just hanging there, and all I have to do after I install the new rack is raise the subframe up and bolt it in place. I took photos too, if anyone is interested.
 

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Ensure you do not loose the align disks that go between the sub frame and body.They lay on top of sub frame where 4 bolts go in on the back (none for the two bolts above the cv axles)tighten back bolts slowly till snug so you can make sure the little balls are seated back in their spots on the alignment disks.Do not just draw bolts up and tighten without checking to make sure sub frame is aligned with body.Make sure you do put the lines back in the clamp or you will be replacing the lines down the road.I totally removed sub frame to PSI wash and hate working on the back/above .Much easier and faster to r/r rack,ball joints,outer tie rod ends, sway bar bushings and end links (can impact off lower nuts on links without issues).Did all at same time and was a breeze with whole sub frame out rather then hanging.Just trying to fight the rack to get it out while hanging would been more time then replacing all the above.I replaced them all for PM other then Rack.took about a 1.5hrs and really wasn't that bad to replace.Found it much easier if I slid engine torque mount in sub frame loose and bolted it after sub frame was secured to frame.
 

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Do it!
I replaced mine, cost me $125 for the rebuilt rack, no core.
Its no harder than replacing half shafts.
Dont need to drop subframe completely, just lower the back a couple inches.
 

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already started it so committed now new rack on the way thanks for replying thread maybe 2 years old but i got a reply in less than 24 hrs because theres always somebody that will help thanks elsolo
 

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Y'all both realize that this thread is 2 years old, right?
Nothing in the ARCHIVES about R&Ring the rack?

What I found out about this job:

* ain't all that easy...took me two 8 hour days...I'm slow and it rained

* I bought a Cardone rebuilt hoping I wouldn't need to do the job 2xs...could have gotten one thru Amazon for 1/2 the cost and no core (Detroit Axle) but who knows?

* need to get the car up at least 1 foot off the ground...1.5 ft a little better

* do not need to pull the tie rod ends out of the knuckles...just unthread the adjusters..but do not twist the new boots hooking it back up

* good idea to just go ahead and take all 6 bolts out to drop the subframe...easier to get the rack out from the driver's side

* gonna need a strong breaker bar and pipe to loosen the back 4 subframe bolts (18 mm socket) and you'll need 150 ft/lbs to snug them up...mine had no washers...just dimples in the subframe/frame. Also 15 mm and 13 mm sockets needed

* some real small bolts holding the lines to the rack and keeping the heat shield on...will need exact sized sockets for these...5.5 mm to hold the lines...3/32" or ?? for the heat shield

* there are 2 steering column bolts that you need to keep in order...a top one and the bottom one...Ford FSM calls for a new top bolt...but you can't get them from Ford...use the old bolt and use blue threadlock for both?

* you'll need good torque wrenches to get things torqued right...espec the column bolts and the bolt holding the lines in...and don't overdo the real small ones

* hope your rebuilt rack supplies the 2 small o-rings needed for where the lines attach...Ford might sell them to you for $20 or so

* the job is do-able for the weekend mech...but there are several places where you could mess the job up if you aren't careful
 

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Rally Rev #00
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Nothing about it is difficult-- it's just a lot of fairly easy tasks. The subframe is only held on by 6 bolts, plus the two that hold the rack onto the subframe from the top. The lines are held in place by a single bracket that is tightened by a bolt. When you re-install, make CERTAIN that you don't over-tighten that steel bolt in the soft metal (aluminum, I think) of the rack, or you will have a bad day.

As luck would have it, I will be doing this swap in a car I'm about to sell. I'll try to snap some pics if my hands aren't too dirty.
Sell it too me? Miles etc
 
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