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Rack leak

Discussion in 'PT Cruiser' started by chuzz, Jul 10, 2016.

  1. chuzz

    chuzz Active Member

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    I noticed a small puddle under the passenger side of my GT a couple of days ago and spent a few minutes today trying to find the source. The puddle is small, maybe the size of a quarter. It's transmission fluid. So, knowing that there are NO transmission lines on that side of the GT, I get under it and discover a small drip from the rack and pinion. I am FLAT BROKE, so there's no way I can purchase a new rack and pinion. I'm thinking I'm going to try some power steering stop leak and see what happens. If that doesn't "fix" it, I'm thinking of putting a seal kit in the rack. Any of you guys ever done this and if so, what degree of difficulty am I looking at? I've been pulling my own wrenches for over 40 years, but have never done this. I'm not afraid of getting my hands dirty and am a slow, but steady worker nowadays, due to some physical disabilities. Any and all suggestions would be appreciated. In the meantime, I'm just keeping an eye on the level and keeping it topped off. And if any of you know how to find out if it's the SBA or SBB steering, I'd sure like to know how. I've looked at racks at several locations on the web and every one of them wants to know the same thing, but don't tell me how to ascertain it. Firm feel or standard? How do I know? I'm guessing it's the firm feel, just because it's the Turbo set-up. But, I'd like to know for sure. Thanks.
     
  2. voiceofstl

    voiceofstl Member

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    I had a leak in my 2005 GCaravan. I put some high end "stop leak" in it and didn't see a drop again for 2 yrs, then I traded it in.
     
  3. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator Level III Supporter

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    It may be the P/S pressure sensor leaking? I believe that it is mounted to the rack with a 2-wire connector. I have replaced these for leaks before. It may look like a rack seal leak at first.
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    I have also replaced rusted-out P/S lines, but this is NY with road salt in the winter.
    Adding a 'stop-leak' wouldn't be my first idea.
     
    Doug D likes this.
  4. chuzz

    chuzz Active Member

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    Well, I did check the pressure sensor and, of course, it's clean and dry as a chip. Couldn't be that simple. This is an original Tennessee vehicle and is still surprisingly clean underneath. I need to go out and check to see if it's still dripping. I didn't put much of the stop leak in as I don't like using things like that. I'd prefer just to replace the rack, but I have about $30 in the bank that has to last me until August 3rd. Good thing I've got a lot of beans and rice in the pantry.
     
  5. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator Level III Supporter

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    Well we tried. :)
    Is it leaking out a tie-rod boot or where the steering column goes in?
    Maybe a line o-ring leak?
     
  6. chuzz

    chuzz Active Member

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    Unfortunately, it's leaking out of the passenger side tie rod boot. If I had seen that there was ANY dampness around the pressure switch, I'd have figured that was the problem and the fluid was just traveling across. My luck doesn't run that way. I put a piece of cardboard under it instead of pulling it up on the ramps, because I went out to mow the lawn. While I was mowing, we had a big storm blow in and soaked me, the driveway and my cardboard. Now I have to wait for the storm to pass, the driveway to dry up and try another piece of cardboard. OR maybe I'll just wait until tomorrow and put it on the ramps and check it again. Probably the best thing to do for now. If it's still wet, I'll add more stop leak.
     
  7. chuzz

    chuzz Active Member

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    Well Guys, I bit the bullet. I went to the pick and pull salvage yard and got the rack from an 04 GT. Relatively easy to remove as someone else had already grabbed the head and turbo and left side LCA. The real job was putting it in my 03. Before I even started, I made sure they had the same part# and they did. 5 hours later, I was done and hope to God I never have to do that job again! I am so sore from sitting and rolling around on the concrete that I feel like someone beat me up. BUT, no leaks, no drips and no moans and groans from the replacement rack, so I'm a happy camper for now. I thought it would take me a couple of days to do and was kind of bummed as we need the car to get to church tomorrow. I finished a day ahead of time! Let's just say if someone asked me to do one for them, I'd have to charge them a LARGE amount or say no. I'd probably just say no.
     
    ImperialCrown likes this.
  8. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator Level III Supporter

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    I know the feeling Chuzz. I'm not as bendable as when I was younger, but the Doc says to keep moving.
     
  9. chuzz

    chuzz Active Member

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    I'd have been done 30-45 minutes sooner if I hadn't forced the steering column connector rod up under the carpet and vinyl under the dashboard. I didn't realize that I'd jacked it up that far and wondered why I couldn't get the sub-frame to go any higher in order for me to start a bolt. I was still 2 inches away and no matter what I tried, it wouldn't go any higher. Then it dawned on me to check that. I had to undo some stuff in order to get it down and then had to use a 6 foot long 2x4 in order to leverage it down far enough! I then decided to have my wife come out and use the hydraulic jack for me while I guided the column back up through the floorboard! I'm 60 years old and just proved (once again) you're never too old to learn! LOL
     
  10. 2004 PT GT

    2004 PT GT New Member

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    Good job Chuzz! Glad to hear it's all fixed.
     
    chuzz likes this.
  11. mr2tim

    mr2tim Member

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    The deal on the 01 PT (NA) I bought hinged on the dealer changing out the defective rack and pinion that they had the lack of ethics to try to sell some sucker. Is this a problem spot with these cars?
     
  12. djsamuel

    djsamuel Active Member Level 2 Supporter

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    I don't believe so. My 04 PT has 379,500 miles and is on the original rack. My wife has an 07 PT and my daughter an 08 PT and neither one of them developed leaks as well.