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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I dropped it off because it's cold as F outside now... just for an estimate unless the fix was cheap enough to actually pay someone to do it.

Symptoms:
  • 1-1.5" of play in the steering wheel where the wheels don't react
    • Very dangerous in the snow when the wheel catches snow between a lanes and rips the wheel a little that way.
  • Still no power steering
    • Replaced the PS pump and the module under the seat before bringing it in.
    • Checked the valve with 12V and it sounds like it clicks.
  • Clicking with the wheel turned to the left.
Estimate:
  • Play in steering wheel
    • Can't figure it out.. not in the steering wheel linkage, not in the tie rods, figure it *must* be the rack
    • No way to tell how long before the rack will just give up and have no steering at all... welp, gotta change this!
      • Thoughts from the experienced on this as to it's likely longevity are welcome.
    • $600 installed... bleh
  • No power steering
    • Confirmed the valve clicks
    • Probably the rack at this point because I changed the pump
  • Clicking while turning
    • Both CV boots are split open. Wow, I didn't see that last time I was under there a couple months ago, but ok... they're old.
    • $275 for a pair of NON-ABS axles installed because he can't get ABS ones! WTF? So I think I'll try to get ABS ones myself... I can change those as long as nothing is too seized (because it's too cold outside to fight with it).
There it is... $875 repair for my $1200 car that I plus ~$300 in brake stuff for (though only put one wheel's worth on so far).

I'm thinking a parts car might be my easiest fix. The cars are cheap so getting one with 200k miles but has a fine steering system and a blown turbo for <$500 would work out fine.
 

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I think at this point most factory GT steering racks are on their last legs - these racks just need to be replaced at this age in my opinion. The seals and such tend to wear out, which can be made worse due to dirt getting in torn rack boots. Are your power steering rack's protective boots in good shape or are they torn?

I think a rebuilt rack is your best bet anyhow. I wonder if the "clicking" of the solenoid valve is really a good way to test it - the solenoid valve is not a simple on/off device, it can have a range of voltages applied to it between 0-12v to slowly open the valve. But I think since you're having steering wheel play problems the rack likely has other internal issues.

You can get a rebuilt rack for about $300-400 if you want to try installing it yourself. Might be worth the extra $200 not to get frostbite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'll have to see if the mechanic was putting in a rebuilt rack for the $600 or just a JY one.

As for the valve.. the Ford Factory service manual says to apply 12V and listen for a clicking. Since that's how they say it should be done, I'm going to consider it valid.

Comments on the ABS axles being out of production?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
AutoZone shows reman'd axles for $70 each and new for $120 each. Not bad if they include the CV and boot.
 

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Jeff, if you want to come down to my shop and use the lift and any tools you're more than welcome. When I called Napa to order a new axle for my GT, they asked if it was ABS or non ABS, and said they had both. I paid $52 for the PS Drive Axle.

-Tyler
 

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Last time I was at Holland's in N. Billerica there was a first gen probe GT stacked on some cars with 139xxx miles (i think). Might be worth a look if you're going to get a parts car, or at least a relatively low mileage rack. I'm sure I'll be poking around there sometime next week durring my gas tank install, so I can let you know if it's still there. Inventory comes and goes so fast there though, I wouldn't be surprised at all if it's gone since two weeks ago.

-Todd
 
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