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Author Topic: 1994 Espace 2.1TD Steering rack leak  (Read 5800 times)
GrahamT
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Posts: 46


« on: November 29, 2010, 06:26:12 pm »

Hi everyone,
I have got quite a bad leak coming from the steering rack. I think it's where the steering column goes into the rack. The reservoir will empty in about 2 to 3 days and an obvious pool of red oil is left on the road whenever it's left for any length of time!

I would like to know if anyone has changed a rack and if there are any tips to be shared . Access looks dreadful, as usual!  Grin

I can see 2 bolts on the bottom half of the rack, are there another 2 directly above them? i.e. 4 bolts holding it to the bulkhead? If so, how to get to them?! Once unbolted and the column released will it slide out the side via the wheel arch? What about the hydraulic pipework?

I then need to either fix the rack or replace it. Is it serviceable and are parts available to the home mechanic?
I guess it is easier to just replace the rack with a known good one, is the rack on the petrol models the same (to widen my potential donors!)?

I also have a weeping pump so will do that at the same time. I have removed that before (looks much easier!) so am happy to proceed with that but, again, same question as previous, is the pump on other models the same? What about the R21 (Savanna) too?

It's a RHD U.K. model Mk2 1994 (L reg) 2.1L diesel manual gearbox.


Any help is very much appreciated!
Thanks,
Graham
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roy4matra
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Posts: 869



« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2010, 08:40:50 pm »

Hi everyone,
I have got quite a bad leak coming from the steering rack. I think it's where the steering column goes into the rack. The reservoir will empty in about 2 to 3 days and an obvious pool of red oil is left on the road whenever it's left for any length of time!

I would like to know if anyone has changed a rack and if there are any tips to be shared . Access looks dreadful, as usual!  Grin

Well sort of... I have an Espace 1 Quadra, Graham, which is similar and I changed my rack recently.  I haven't checked the manual yet, but if it is the same as mine, the best way is NOT to follow the manual anyway! :-)

Tip about the power steering rack - I bought a new one for under £90 including delivery which is probably less than a quarter what Renault want.  In fact it was relatively so cheap that I didn't even bother to take mine out to find out what was wrong with it - something in the valve I suspect, but as one tie rod ball end was also worn, and these come with the new rack it made changing the complete unit cheaper and simpler.  The only thing you need from the old rack is the track rod ends.

The top bolts are hidden inside the top cross member and they are Allen bolts which is why you can't see them.  You need to empty out the fluid from the system, remove the link pipe on the top (just for access) and the hydraulic pipes; and you will need to remove the steering column covers and slacken the column inside so you can lift it away from the U/J connection.  Remove front wheels, track rod ends, and unbolt the rack.  Then you can slide it across to the left and out through the N/S.  It is a tight fit passed a bracket on the Series I and may be the same on the Series II but as I said I haven't checked the manual yet.

Contact me directly by email for anything further, not here.

Roy
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GrahamT
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Posts: 46


« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2010, 04:38:57 am »

Many thanks Roy, some confidence to begin with anyway.
I'll give it a go when things warm up a bit (snowing well here right now!) and I'm not working nights!
Cheers,
Graham
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GrahamT
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Posts: 46


« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2011, 12:10:29 am »

Well, what a job. I knew it would be awkward, terrible access. This must be the worst car I've ever worked on. Some really bad design  Angry  Grin

I cannot get the rack out! It is totally disconnected but it won't slide out the passenger side because the bulkhead and the crossmember it bolts too are too narrow for the rack to fit through.
To get it out of the driver's side means removing the bracket that the brake servo/master cylinder sits on and I don't really want to start messing with the brakes!!

Someone please tell me I'm missing something obvious (like the bit where the rack splits in half???)

I'm dreading putting the new rack in!

Help! Please!!


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roy4matra
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2011, 01:13:41 am »

I cannot get the rack out! It is totally disconnected but it won't slide out the passenger side because the bulkhead and the crossmember it bolts too are too narrow for the rack to fit through.

First there can be two different length valve units on the rack - either 50mm or 60mm and on a LHD car the rack with short valve is meant to come out on the right.  However, if it is a long valve it has to come out on the left.  The official Renault manual does not mention the RHD (typical French!) but since the LHD would have the servo and master cylinder on the left I can see why removing the short valve type from the right would be easier.  However, since our RHD has the servo and master cylinder on the right, it should make it easier to get out on the left and since this is the correct side for a LHD car with longer valve, then it should be the way to get either long or short valve type out for a RHD.

Quote
To get it out of the driver's side means removing the bracket that the brake servo/master cylinder sits on and I don't really want to start messing with the brakes!!

Unfortunately that is probably what you are going to have to do.  On my Series 1 it actually tells you to remove the master cylinder and the servo since you have to remove the servo mounting bracket to pass the steering rack out through the right side.  But I found it would come out on the left with a bit of fiddling, and so I didn't have to disturb the brakes.  However, on your Series 2 it actually states that on the left you may have to remove two brake pipes to get the rack out through the left hand side.  So whether you remove the master cylinder and servo to get it out on the right or the brake pipes to get it out on the left, you may have to disturb the brake system.

You need to contact me directly, to my Matra email, and I will send you the pdf technical notes, explaining the removal and refitting.

Roy
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george
Newbie
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Posts: 16


« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2011, 08:28:49 am »

I once had the same leak on same car.
Not wanting to remove the rack I got the correct seal from local rack reconditioners.
Fitted in situ.
It was a bit of a stand on your head job but completed and worked fine.
Took around 2 hours work.

George.
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GrahamT
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Posts: 46


« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2011, 01:50:31 am »

Hi George, thanks for your reply. I already have the rack practically out and a replacement rack to go in but I will remember your tip for the next time!  Grin

Hi Roy, thanks for your offer of help, email on it's way!

Cheers,
Graham
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ross
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Posts: 98


« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2011, 11:18:38 am »

hi Graham, if you need to keep the rack going until you get up the nerve to replace it then there is some "stop leak" that in my experience does seem to work. My neighbour has a 1993 2.1 td that sprang a leak from somewhere down around the rack pipework connections, it was very dificult to pinpoint exactly where, so I got him some of this "stop leak", bought it off ebay for about £12, as I remember, and over a period as the rack leaked you top it up with the "stop leak" and it seems to have cured the problem, and has been fine for at least a year now. obviously this is a bit of a bodge, but it does seem to work and is a lot easier and cheaper than a new rack.
regards
Ross
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2005 Grande Espace 2.2DCi
1994 2.1Td Espace
2005 Kangoo 1.2
1977 Renault 16TL
1974 Renault 16TX
GrahamT
Jr. Member
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Posts: 46


« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2011, 03:03:57 am »

Well, what a nightmare job! I have replaced the rack with a known good one but considering what was involved it's a no brainer to fit a £90 recon rack!
The major points to making this job possible...
Undo all 5 (there's a secret small one in the middle at the top!) nuts holding the servo bracket to the bulkhead (involves removing the lower panels under the steering wheel and removing the upper part of the steering column made this a bit easier too). Also undo the brake pedal from the push rod. Lever the bracket forwards as the rack passes it. I used a long tyre lever.
Undo the gearbox brackets and allow the gearbox to drop an inch or so (it all helps!)
And remove the rack through the driver's side.
It does get a bit brutish at times and every other nut, bolt, screw (torx of course!), pin, etc. is nigh on impossible to reach or manipulate unless you're a double jointed midget with the strength of hercules and a degree in gynaecology!!  (credit Jim H for that gem LOL!)

My very grateful thanks to all who replied, to Roy for supplying the detailed technical note on how to do it properly!! And to the Matra forum founders for this great resource!

I'm smiling again!  Grin see Cheesy
Cheers,
Graham
P.S. UK car!
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