1998 P/A steering rack recommendations

'98 Park Ave Ultra

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'87 Turbo Regal Limited, '96 Roadmaster sedan, '98 Park Avenue Ultra
Hi Folks,

I'm looking for input and recommendations on replacement steering rack brands. I've had really poor luck with Cardone. One of their units was on my car when I bought it in 2020. It lasted about 18 months and less than 10K miles. I made the mistake of replacing it with another one of their units thinking it must be a random failure. That was in July of last year, it is now leaking. Suffice it to say I'm not a Cardone fan at this point. I do see Detroit Axle makes a replacement but there don't appear to be a host of other options. Any help would be great!

Thanks

Neal
 
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bluiewest1

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01 Park Avenue base
I installed a Detroit Axle unit on my 01 PA about 4-5 years ago and it seems to be holding up ok. One catch, you have to return your old unit for the warranty to apply
 

'98 Park Ave Ultra

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'87 Turbo Regal Limited, '96 Roadmaster sedan, '98 Park Avenue Ultra
Thanks for your feedback! I ordered a rack and pinion from Detroit Axle yesterday. I have my fingers crossed their quality will be better than the units from Cardone. :cool:

Neal
 

HotZ28

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When the previous racks were replaced, did you have a alignment done?
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BuickGirlFromMars

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1999 Buick Park Avenue Ultra (Supercharged) , 1977 Buick Electra Limited (350 SBB)
Hi Folks,

I'm looking for input and recommendations on replacement steering rack brands. I've had really poor luck with Cardone. One of their units was on my car when I bought it in 2020. It lasted about 18 months and less than 10K miles. I made the mistake of replacing it with another one of their units thinking it must be a random failure. That was in July of last year, it is now leaking. Suffice it to say I'm not a Cardone fan at this point. I do see Detroit Axle makes a replacement but there don't appear to be a host of other options. Any help would be great!

Thanks

Neal
where is it leaking
 

'98 Park Ave Ultra

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'87 Turbo Regal Limited, '96 Roadmaster sedan, '98 Park Avenue Ultra
To answer the question about having an alignment, the answer is absolutely. The current rack is leaking from the end seals and the fluid is visible on the tie rods. The drivers side is worse than the passenger side. The rack has approx. 5k miles on it.

Neal
 

'98 Park Ave Ultra

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BuickGirlFromMars

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To answer the question about having an alignment, the answer is absolutely. The current rack is leaking from the end seals and the fluid is visible on the tie rods. The drivers side is worse than the passenger side. The rack has approx. 5k miles on it.

Neal
Are the inner tie rods being struck to deform part of it, or is there
1663737607090.png
1663738365783.png 1663738379815.png
Threads must be clean prior to Loctite(R) application. Make sure Loctite(R) (or equivalent) container expiration date has not passed. Do not use too much Loctite(R) (or equivalent). Use only enough to evenly coat threads.
^Apply Loctite(R) 262 (or equivalent) to inner tie rod threads.

I would verify the inner and outer tie rods are secure, check those boots out for being okay AND sealed, and then if you have issues, fix those parts make sure your fluid is 100% fresh, you install magnetic filter, put a different pressure hose on if your original is on, I can help you with this. diameter is changed and direction of routing. ABRASIVe debris will kill a rack in short order.
And if you have been using dexron or multi-purpose DEX/MERC or you have been using Dexron VI, you killed the rack seals, but still something we can remedy easily
 

'98 Park Ave Ultra

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This is good info. As far as the method of retention of the inner tie rod to the rack itself I can't comment as the assembly came with inner tie rods installed from Cardone. Outer tie rod ends are secure and in good condition. Currently the fluid doesn't appear to be contaminated with debris. I plan to remove the pump and flush it as well as the lines prior to the new installation.

When I installed the current rack last year I used power steering fluid but didn't flush the full quantity of fluid so technically it is mixed with whatever remaining fluid was in the system. If the previous mechanic used ATF instead of power steering fluid I can't say. I believe the pressure hose is the original, why was it revised?

Thanks

Neal
 

HotZ28

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If they hadn't been loosened it would damage the boots not cause the rack to leak.

Neal
Premature boot (bellows) failure allowing contamination
(i.e., water, sand, dirt) to enter the Rack and Pinion, damaging
internal components
 

'98 Park Ave Ultra

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'87 Turbo Regal Limited, '96 Roadmaster sedan, '98 Park Avenue Ultra
Premature boot (bellows) failure allowing contamination
(i.e., water, sand, dirt) to enter the Rack and Pinion, damaging
internal components
It is true that damaged boots will allow for dirt and debris to get into the rack and cause damage. This isn't the case in my instance, the boots are in like new condition as the rack and pinion has only been on the car just over a year. Fluid is leaking out the end of the boots and down the tie rods.

Neal
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HotZ28

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I hate replacing parts that fail, but sometimes it is best to use the warranty for a new unit. Steering racks are not cheap and labor is time consuming & expensive, especially if you have to pay someone to have it done. Cardone has a 3-yr/36K warranty on the rack. Have you used that before? Of course, labor & alignment is not covered. :(
 

BuickGirlFromMars

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It is true that damaged boots will allow for dirt and debris to get into the rack and cause damage. This isn't the case in my instance, the boots are in like new condition as the rack and pinion has only been on the car just over a year. Fluid is leaking out the end of the boots and down the tie rods.

Neal
sounds like a seal OR Your system had a debris pile.
 

'98 Park Ave Ultra

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I hate replacing parts that fail, but sometimes it is best to use the warranty for a new unit. Steering racks are not cheap and labor is time consuming & expensive, especially if you have to pay someone to have it done. Cardone has a 3-yr/36K warranty on the rack. Have you used that before? Of course, labor & alignment is not covered. :(

I'm an aircraft mechanic by trade so I take down stream defects very seriously. I understand this is just a power steering rack failure on an old car but I absolutely hate doing things over. I gave serious consideration to returning the current rack to Rock Auto for a replacement which would save me money however I've had 2 failures of Cardone steering racks in the 2 1/2 years I've owned this car. I don't trust their product and it's not worth my time to install another one only to be going thru the same process 12 months from now.

Neal
 

BuickGirlFromMars

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1999 Buick Park Avenue Ultra (Supercharged) , 1977 Buick Electra Limited (350 SBB)
I'm an aircraft mechanic by trade so I take down stream defects very seriously. I understand this is just a power steering rack failure on an old car but I absolutely hate doing things over. I gave serious consideration to returning the current rack to Rock Auto for a replacement which would save me money however I've had 2 failures of Cardone steering racks in the 2 1/2 years I've owned this car. I don't trust their product and it's not worth my time to install another one only to be going thru the same process 12 months from now.

Neal
you could have yours rebuilt by someone else
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hardworkstillpays

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I have had great luck with Vision O.E. rack and pinion assemblies. If your car has magna steer then you are out of luck as they don't produce that unit anymore. My 1998 Park came with a Cardone and it was leaking. My Vision O.E. has been onboard for going on 5 years now and there are No Leaks.
 

BuickGirlFromMars

Well-known member
5,201
1,567
113
Buick Ownership
1999 Buick Park Avenue Ultra (Supercharged) , 1977 Buick Electra Limited (350 SBB)
I have had great luck with Vision O.E. rack and pinion assemblies. If your car has magna steer then you are out of luck as they don't produce that unit anymore. My 1998 Park came with a Cardone and it was leaking. My Vision O.E. has been onboard for going on 5 years now and there are No Leaks.
9b9267f6a2dcc8dda76cdd9455df992e.png
please dont lie lol
 
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