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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It looks like I am going to have to replace the steering rack and pinion unit on the 1992 "Whac-A-Mole" Camry. I can see a drip coming from the boot bellows and was able to locate a small tear in that second fold - that I tried to patch but no luck. I don't think replacing just the boot would be a long term fix anyway because the seal on that end must be tired.


I have already tried using a fluid seal conditioner (that seemed to help for 18 months) and just recently replaced the fluid again. This time it isn't helping, unless it's related to the cold temps, so it may be time to correct the underlying problem.

The plan is to keep the fluid topped off and hold off a month or two for warmer weather; but since this is going to be a pretty big job I want to get it right the first time.

I may go with a familiar reman. brand like ACDelco or A-1 Cardon, but I see RockAuto has several other brands that I've never heard of too. If anyone has experience with these steering racks, I would appreciate your brand recommendations.

Also, I checked the outer tie rod ends and they seem fine. Nevertheless, is this the time to purchase and install new tie rod ends (while the rack is out), since mine are original with 247k miles? Or, should I not try and get too far ahead of the "Whac-A-Mole" for now? :starwars:
 

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Get a factory(Toyota) setup, or a low-mile unit from a junkyard... aftermarket units can be spotty....

.. ALSO.. are you 100% SURE that is PS fluid on the boot? LOOKS LIKE ANITFREEZE to me:surprise:



:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Get a factory(Toyota) setup, or a low-mile unit from a junkyard... aftermarket units can be spotty....

.. ALSO.. are you 100% SURE that is PS fluid on the boot? LOOKS LIKE ANITFREEZE to me:surprise:
:)

I agree, it did look like antifreeze to me too but it's not. My antifreeze is not that color anyway.

I put in red ATF at the top and it seems to come out the yellow/green color you see at the bottom. :surprise:

I thought about a junk yard unit but I don't know if one will have much luck with finding a low mileage unit with these cars being 15-25 years old now. One can also buy a kit to reseal their old rack but for a one time repair, I tend to believe those that do the job repeatedly have the tools and knowledge to do the job quicker and hopefully better.
 

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Based on what you read about the aftermarket replacement racks they are all a crap shoot. I had to replace mine over a year ago on my 97 2.2L and was never so confused trying to decide based on what I read online. New was out of the question based on what my car is worth. Getting one from the junkyard was a gamble and lots of extra work/time I did not have. I chose a Cardone re manufactured rack from Advance Auto (with the inner tie rods installed) and followed the Cardone installation advice. Fluid, Flush and Filter. I flushed the system with lots of ATF and I installed an inline filter and used a Cardone approved fluid. It has about 11-12K on it now. Its a full days job to replace.
 

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Also, I checked the outer tie rod ends and they seem fine. Nevertheless, is this the time to purchase and install new tie rod ends (while the rack is out), since mine are original with 247k miles?
My ends are original and they are still fine. I'd leave them as if you need replacement it's pretty easy.

I purchased my replacement rack from CarSteeringWholesale.com back in 2009 and 160,000 miles, it's been fine. Warranty is pretty much useless as you need to remove and send back the defect prepaid shipping. Doing the rack is a real pain as there's not a lot of clearance.

I will warn you about getting a front alignment as the bozos seems to ignore the fact that they need to not twist the boot. I've had this done 3 times and each time the boot was twisted to hell, the first time on the band new rack. Make sure you have the shop write on the work order - DO NOT TWIST THE BOOT!
 

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イリジウム
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How about a reman from either an online dealer? Or the local dealer if shipping cost is a problem. Yeah, aftermarket racks seem to be crapshoots. If you pick an aftermarket check out local parts stores where swapping one is easy. Or have yours rebuilt by Cardone.
 

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I will caution you about Cardone. I had had problems with almost every Cardone part I have ever bought. Avoid them. I got a good rack that was used. Its not hard to look and see if its a leaker or OK.

My car had strange looking fluid too. I think someone mistakenly poured coolant in the PS reservoir. It was some REALLY funky colored fluid I drained out!

-SP
 

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How about adding a dye into the PS reservoir. You can get from any autoparts store. Then confirm it is from PS. Yellow fluid there? At most real dirty fluid oem goes from clear to brown but yellow? Mixture of different colors of coolant?
 
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