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Bocken

Convert PAS Rack to Manual Rack?

11 posts in this topic

I got a 1997 S70 2.3T5  last summer and after a couple of months the steering started to get crazy heavy and sometimes inconsistent.  I figured I'd just add it to the list of things to sort on the car and wait to see how it would do on MOT.

Unfortunately the steering rack is buggered, the seals are gone, it's leaking fluid and the pump has died too.  From what I have read aftermarket and reconditioned racks can just fail again within a couple of years and Volvo dealership charge ~£900  for a replacement rack (assuming still available).

So I am thinking just kill the power steering?  Go to manual and not have to worry about throwing more money down the drain in the future.

Has anyone here done the conversion before?  In principle it seems simple and I know the car will be harder to move at parking speeds but at the moment I'm almost putting my back out fighting the broken hydraulics so at least it can't be that bad :D  Should even get a tiny performance and mpg gain B)

Edited by Bocken

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You'd be mad to remove it, if fixing it is too much then the car's not suitable for you. 

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They are heavy cars and a large chunk of that weight is up front i think if you did manage to convert it to a manual rack you would soon find it more agro then its worth to drive and then you would find it un sellable as who would want a fast luxury car thats a pita to drive

 

replace the rack with either a recon one or a 2nd hand one and be done with it 

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3 hours ago, Tim Williams said:

You'd be mad to remove it, if fixing it is too much then the car's not suitable for you. 

Thanks for your reply.  Mad because the steering would become more effort or other reasons?  If the cost was for another new steering rack with 20 years of life in it then whatever but for a refurb unit or aftermarket unit which could go in another couple of years I am just seeing if there is value in other options...

2 hours ago, tingy said:

They are heavy cars and a large chunk of that weight is up front i think if you did manage to convert it to a manual rack you would soon find it more agro then its worth to drive and then you would find it un sellable as who would want a fast luxury car thats a pita to drive

 

replace the rack with either a recon one or a 2nd hand one and be done with it 

Thanks, they are deffo heavy.  Any idea if there are good recon out there?  From what I hear the reliability isn't great but I am thinking could replace belt driven pump with an electric one that could be switched on at low speeds, that way the rack wouldn't be pressurised like 95% of the time and would presumably live longer...

Edited by Bocken

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At slow speed in the event of you not avoiding an accident the lack of assistance would be classed as a contributory factor. I tend to fit secondhand racks off N/A cars with smaller wheels as they don't get as hot or the same shock loading. A new belt, seals and fluid with used pump and rack should cost under £100.

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racks can be picked up fairly cheap if you should around ,i just changed the rack on my P2 only paid £32 for the rack plus some fluid, i'm very wary of recon racks sometimes they are just painted up racks.

i had a mx5 without power steering great when moving but a pain at low speeds , i wouldn't think it would be even possible to drive a Volvo without power steering.

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23 hours ago, Tim Williams said:

At slow speed in the event of you not avoiding an accident the lack of assistance would be classed as a contributory factor. I tend to fit secondhand racks off N/A cars with smaller wheels as they don't get as hot or the same shock loading. A new belt, seals and fluid with used pump and rack should cost under £100.

Sounds points.  Am I correct in thinking there are spacers on the failed rack that would be need to be donated to the replacement rack if it comes from a N/A car with smaller wheels?

19 hours ago, dave65 said:

racks can be picked up fairly cheap if you should around ,i just changed the rack on my P2 only paid £32 for the rack plus some fluid, i'm very wary of recon racks sometimes they are just painted up racks.

i had a mx5 without power steering great when moving but a pain at low speeds , i wouldn't think it would be even possible to drive a Volvo without power steering.

Yeah, I had heard the same thing about some recon racks.  Not sure I'm gonna be able to get these prices down in Cornwall but will ask around and see what I can find :D

Given the weight of the car I guess it's wishful thinking, will be safer and easier around town with power steering for sure.

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I'm a huge fan of converting little Clios to manual steering but balls to trying it on a big heavy car :blink:

As Tim has said, it'll be a contributing factor in the event of an accident. I experienced loss of power steering on my Accord when it blew up at Combe, 100+mph, mid-bend, total loss of everything & it was scarily difficult to keep the car away from the concrete wall at the side of the track as the steering was so heavy and the car was completely unresponsive to any kind of steering input or attempt at a change of direction with anything less than a massive brute force yank of the steering wheel

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25 minutes ago, 16v_paddy said:

I experienced loss of power steering on my Accord when it blew up at Combe, 100+mph, mid-bend, total loss of everything

That's some crazy shit man!  I had a similar thing at lower speeds and public roads when mine started to fail and was also scary the prospect of a head-on at combined speed of 60mph or something.  I guess that's another reason I thought reliability of a manual rack may be good but like others have said there is a trade off in drivability and safety in evasive maneuvering :mellow:

I hope I can get an EPS rack retrofitted one day apparently it feels super smooth and the extra MPG wouldn't hurt :D

Edited by Bocken

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Thought I'd update this.  Did managed to get a 2nd hand rack and pump delivered for £100 from some random breaker on eBay.  Came from a slightly younger V70 fortunately it doesn't leak.  Forgot how nice it was to drive with a functioning power steering :D

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Driving a S/V70 P1 without Power Steering is nigh on impossible...... I had a union fail on rack at combe, totally unaware I had dumped all steering fluid  until i slowed down in pit lane and effort to steer at end of pits was immense as IIRC Robbie will confirm (Think it was him in car with me) and me suddenly saying 'my steering has gone'

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