Steering rack replacement and O-ring problem (2005)...

Shingo3130

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My car has had steering issues for a while now, and after eliminating everything except the rack itself as a possible cause, I have decided to replace it with a used one while the engine is out for repairs.

I read through the service manual to see if I'd need (or might want) to replace anything else while I'm at it. O rings on pressure and return lines must be replaced. Ok, seems simple enough... the manual, which is actually for an '07 I believe (more on that later) provides the part numbers for these O ring seals. 3L2Z-3F886-AA and 3L2Z-3F886-BA. Combined, Ford wants about 40 bucks for them. Seems a bit steep. Looked into finding a "generic" replacement. Bit of research says power steering O-rings are likely 90A durometer Buna-N or Viton... unfortunately, I can't seem to figure out what standardized size (if any) the O-rings on the rack lines are. The dimensions that Ford claims (6 and 7.5mm) correspond with neither the inner nor outer diameter of the actual O rings. I can't even figure out if they're supposed to be metric or standard - none of the sizes on sites like McMaster-Carr nor in commercially available kits *quite* seem to fit the bill.

Now, I bring up the year in the manual because I was considering simply replacing the entire pressure line and the "connector" section of the return line... and discovered that RockAuto lists the return line seperately for 2005-2006 and 2007-2010. They look like different parts for sure, though I'm suspicious that they've mislabeled their inventory and both are in fact different sections of the same system... the car is an '05, the rack is from an '07, and up until now I was confident that they remained the same throughout the entire production run?

Does anyone have the sizes for those rings, or any advice? I fear replacing them as the manual suggests is necessary... They look pretty compressed, and I've already pried one out to take measurements. And I haven't even though about the Teflon ring on the pump side yet (which is why I was considering just purchasing the whole line with seals already installed on both sides)
 

VGMStudios

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I have a 06. I took out my steering rack and replaced it with a EPAS. Your welcome to it if you want. Or have you thought about replacing it with a EPAS?? Frees up some space I the engine bay and you don't have to deal with fluids.
 

GriffX

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Usually it is always the inner diameter + the thickness, which is missing. 6 and 7.5 mm means they are German, French or Swedish norm size, usually not in the typical sets. And, which material exactly?

I had the same odyssey last year with a Mercedes rack, don't wanted to pay 10€ for a 10ct O-ring. Ended up at a farm supplier which had an O-ring measurement device and payed 5€ each. My own measurements of the size were wrong because of the deformation. The prices for O-rings are ridicules.

I there an overhaul set available for our racks?

PS: If you got replacement could you be so kind to measure the size and post it? It looks like this is a common problem on several Fords. Thanks
 
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