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Old 04-09-2014, 10:22 AM   #1
skep18
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Default HELP: (VIDEO) Air Entering Power Steering Rack

I have a track vehicle which is STI powered with an MY06 STI steering rack. This vehicle sits for a couple of weeks between use typically. All components have less than 65k miles on them.

Recently I had to replace the front crossmember. As such, the steering rack had to come out and be installed on the new crossmember.

Prior to the crossmember job, at start-up sometimes I would get steering wheel shudder when moving the car, but only briefly then it went away.

Upon replacing the crossmember, I followed the Subaru FSM instructions and removed line A before line B or B before A or whatever, to disconnect the steering rack from the power steering pump. Refilled the system with some Castrol Transmax ATF IIRC. It was Dextron III rated. I used M1 ATF before, but it was no longer available to me locally.

My problem is now I can not get the system to bleed correctly. I jack the car up and turn lock to lock and I keep getting bubbles in my reservoir. I have read STI Power Steering Hose Repair - Pictures and have searched for days, but my issue seems a bit different than most others, but it might not be, Idk. What happens is when turning the car from rack to rack, I can hear a squishing noise at first, like air and fluid is being forced through a valve. Following the squishy noise, not touching the wheel anymore, I can also hear what sounds like a sucking noise as if air is being sucked into the system. All these noises are coming from the area around the steering wheel input shaft. In particular, I can place my finger on the hardlines and it feels like the air is passing through the hardline shown below.

This is not my photo nor my rack, just a result from Google which I added an arrow to.


Thus far, I have replaced the suspect PS pump o-ring with a new one and have had the same results.

I have seen a lot of feedback saying replace the spring clamps with new ones or with standard worm clamps. I have not done that yet as I'm not positive that's the issue. I have handled them and they appear snug. In the above thread he mentions if that were the issue, you'd feel play in the lines. I plan on possibly doing that, but it doesn't make sense to me why I would be getting the audible symptoms of squishing and sucking in the rack itself and not somewhere in the lines. Perhaps the noise only comes in when the aerated fluid passes through a valve?

I'm wondering if maybe I'm not doing something in the bleed procedure correctly? However, I have gone lock to lock perhaps 200 times at this point, maybe more. I am constantly generating air in the system and the fluid level, when wheels are straight forward, is not changing. The vehicle remains turned off during all this as I do not want to run air through my PS pump.

Also, I am not seeing any fluid leaking throughout the rack itself. All the hardline connections are bone dry.

Any help would be very much appreciated. Thanks.
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Last edited by skep18; 04-10-2014 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:27 PM   #2
skep18
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bump for some experience in this area.
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:43 AM   #3
skep18
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Recorded a video. I tightened the hose clamps, but given the vehicle is never turned on during these latest bleeds, the clamps shouldn't be an issue as there is no large negative pressure to draw air through slight leaks. I'm getting a lot of air...

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Old 04-10-2014, 09:42 AM   #4
dirtx
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If you hear the hissing sound around the fitting at the rack. I suspect you need a new oring there. I see you replaced the one on the power steering pump. Those orings are small and can be damaged easily. I just did my rack, used the old ones and got lucky, no leaks. I think you have to go to a dealer for them. I dont know the size so it would be hard to find them at local auto parts store.
Its a PITA to take out the rack again. Hope you find it.
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtx View Post
If you hear the hissing sound around the fitting at the rack. I suspect you need a new oring there. I see you replaced the one on the power steering pump. Those orings are small and can be damaged easily. I just did my rack, used the old ones and got lucky, no leaks. I think you have to go to a dealer for them. I dont know the size so it would be hard to find them at local auto parts store.
Its a PITA to take out the rack again. Hope you find it.
Thanks for the response.

Do you know where abouts in the rack the o-rings are? I'll search for rack rebuild or something. Sound is definitely coming from the area in the photo above.
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:56 AM   #6
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I'm considering a rebuild if its possible. LMK if anyone has experience rebuilding a MY06 STI steering rack.
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:03 AM   #7
dirtx
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http://www.cardone.com/tech-help/ste...e-buddy-system

That is the flushing procedure i used. The orings are on the end of the threaded bushing on the hard lines (at least on my 01') some types are a flair, and dont need o rings.

as for rebuilding it can be done, you can buy kits. but the biggest problem is getting the cylinder bore good again. I think a seal kit would only be a short term fix if you cant hone or resurface the cylinder. IMO.

If that flushing tip does not work, id look into another rebuilt rack.
gl.
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:08 AM   #8
skep18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtx View Post
http://www.cardone.com/tech-help/ste...e-buddy-system

That is the flushing procedure i used. The orings are on the end of the threaded bushing on the hard lines (at least on my 01') some types are a flair, and dont need o rings.

as for rebuilding it can be done, you can buy kits. but the biggest problem is getting the cylinder bore good again. I think a seal kit would only be a short term fix if you cant hone or resurface the cylinder. IMO.

If that flushing tip does not work, id look into another rebuilt rack.
gl.
Thanks. Only reason my guess is its not a flush issue is I've produced hundreds of bubbles which probably means its not just trapped air... Its coming from somewhere. But with such low mileage, I'm admittedly surprised to see this...
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:13 AM   #9
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F***...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardone
For the first few minutes of driving my car, the steering is hard. Is the rack and pinion bad or the power steering pump?

This symptom is classified as "morning sickness". This condition is caused by Teflon sealing rings on the spool valve wearing grooves in the aluminum housing of the rack and pinion resulting in an internal bypass of pressure. Once the housing warms up, the metal will expand and reduce the pressure loss. The rack and pinion must be replaced. Cardone Industries rack and pinions have steel sleeves installed that prevent morning sickness and are backed by a lifetime guarantee.
Sounds like what I had before I messed with everything. Brief moment of shudder for the first 10 seconds of driving then OK...

On the same note, if I had an air leak from a bad seal that somehow got worse in the transition of parts, that could explain the issue as well.

Last edited by skep18; 04-10-2014 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:20 AM   #10
dirtx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skep18 View Post
Thanks. Only reason my guess is its not a flush issue is I've produced hundreds of bubbles which probably means its not just trapped air... Its coming from somewhere. But with such low mileage, I'm admittedly surprised to see this...
Your right, your rack looks ok and you said its not leaking. Maybe try replacing all the orings on the fittings. including where it connects to the lines in the engine compartment. You would be out only a few bucks and some time if that does not work.

Did you replace the short return hose at the pump, it could be cracked. just a thought.
gl

Last edited by dirtx; 04-10-2014 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:33 AM   #11
dirtx
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also look at this vaceume bleeding.
http://www.cardone.com/tech-help/ste...acuum-bleeding
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Old 04-10-2014, 12:01 PM   #12
skep18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtx View Post
Your right, your rack looks ok and you said its not leaking. Maybe try replacing all the orings on the fittings. including where it connects to the lines in the engine compartment. You would be out only a few bucks and some time if that does not work.

Did you replace the short return hose at the pump, it could be cracked. just a thought.
gl
I haven't replaced anything other than one o-ring at the pump inlet. I'll check the hose more closely tonight. I readjusted the spring clamps, but I figured without the increased negative pressure of the power steering pump being on, surely no air could be getting in through these clamps... right? lol. Idk how much negative pressure is generated without the pump on...

In the video you can sort of hear it, but throughout the turning, at one point you hear air being pushed through some reduced flow passage. At another point, it sounds like the negative pressure build-up is sucking air into the system somewhere.

Maybe you're right. Maybe removing those hardline connections and resealing those might be it. That's something I have suspected. Unfortunately, most/all of those connectors, the threads are rusted up pretty well.

I'll probably just throw on some worm clamps in place of the spring clamps just to try that out for $2. Other than that, I've been debating adding some fluid somewhere to try and see if I can see it getting sucked into the lines...

Out of ideas almost and trying to make sure I don't buy a new/used rack when its something simple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtx View Post
also look at this vaceume bleeding.
http://www.cardone.com/tech-help/ste...acuum-bleeding
Saw that. Not sure what that would do if I did have a leak, but maybe it'll help me identify/find the noise making spot... I do have a pneumatic one, but not a manual vacuum.

Thanks for all the words dirtx.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:45 AM   #13
skep18
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Well, I think I solved the problem. I'm at least on the right track.

Sure enough, yesterday I cut ~1" of the end of each hose and used new worm clamps and the car bled much better. Squishing noise remained until I actually idled the car and went lock to lock intermittently.

I say "think" because there is almost no shudder. Only shudder I get is when I just begin the steering wheel movement each time. Hoping that's just a little bubble somewhere working its way out.

I have not driven the car yet, so maybe some driving will help clear things up. But overall, it's 95% better.

Now time to relocate the reservoir and add a cooler for autoX.
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