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Old 04-10-2011, 03:47 PM   #1
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Default Depowered Rack Seal Question

Hey everyone,

I'm in the middle of depowering my steering rack the "proper" way. I have the newer style JKC rack (the one with the pinion in the two piece housing) and I'm confused on whether or not I have to remove this seal:

from the dave coleman miatabusa link, he removes this seal



from the flyin miata link, they keep the seal



so, which seat should I take? I mean which route should I go with? Also what's the consensus, leave some PS fluid in or keep that bitch greased and dry
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Old 04-10-2011, 06:20 PM   #2
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My racks are the earlier version, but I've come to the conclusion that the various seals create insignificant friction, but do an excellent job of keeping crap out of, and lubricant in, the rack.

I used to eliminate various seals and then had to use grease where the much thinner hydraulic fluid used to reside. Now, by keeping the seals, I've found I can use hydraulic fluid where hydraulic fluid is supposed to be, and grease where it's supposed to be, and the overall friction is much less.

The greatest contributor to friction, by far, is the adjustment of the rack pre-load. Get this correct and you're rack will be as good as it gets.
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:18 PM   #3
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so even leave the seal on the rack itself?

Although I have to say, I'm having a bitch of a time trying to get the rack out of its housing. Might be easiest to just loop the line lol
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:58 PM   #4
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Don't loop the line. You will regret it. I left that large seal in. Just slathered it in grease and put it back in. No idea which was is better, but I was also too lazy to weld the shaft while I had it apart, so whatever.
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baron340 View Post
Don't loop the line. You will regret it. I left that large seal in. Just slathered it in grease and put it back in. No idea which was is better, but I was also too lazy to weld the shaft while I had it apart, so whatever.
yeah I'm not sure if I'm welding that shaft or not. From what I've been reading, it does improve the slop but I'm not sure I want to risk breaking the shaft because it's heat treated
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redfred18t View Post
so even leave the seal on the rack itself?
If you mean seal ring on the rack piston, no, that seal is the one you do want to remove. Removing that rack seal keeps the air within the rack from pressurizing. It's almost certainly overkill, but I remove the piston as well.

You can loop the lines, but then you're pumping the air within the rack cylinder from one side of the rack to the other through tiny orifices. It's probably not a major problem, and lots of folks do it, but I doubt it's the optimum solution.

The end result of a properly de-powered rack is worth the extra time and effort. Half way solutions will give half way results. It's really not that hard to do it right, so why compromise?
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:07 PM   #7
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Oh, I thought you said just leave all the seals in your first post
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redfred18t View Post
Oh, I thought you said just leave all the seals in your first post
Sorry if I misled you. I thought you were asking about the seals in the parts you show in your photographs.

So, to recap, take out the ring seal on the rack piston. Leave everything else. Use a bit of hydraulic fluid where the hydraulic fluid used to be; use grease where the parts were greased.
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:00 PM   #9
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That black barrel is not a seal, its the PS bleed valve gate. Remove it, throw it away, weld the coupler.
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:54 PM   #10
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Hustler, did you finish your rack, and have you tried it out?
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thucydides View Post
My racks are the earlier version, but I've come to the conclusion that the various seals create insignificant friction, but do an excellent job of keeping crap out of, and lubricant in, the rack.

I used to eliminate various seals and then had to use grease where the much thinner hydraulic fluid used to reside. Now, by keeping the seals, I've found I can use hydraulic fluid where hydraulic fluid is supposed to be, and grease where it's supposed to be, and the overall friction is much less.

The greatest contributor to friction, by far, is the adjustment of the rack pre-load. Get this correct and you're rack will be as good as it gets.
Resurrecting this thread. Is there a how-to or a thread that I've missed clearly delineating how to get from a virgin NB powered rack to this properly de-powered version? I plan to do this soon.
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