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Thread: Steering fluid leak

  1. #11
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    Just realized this thread needs pics.

    First, to find the leak...

    The pressure line at the pump was barely wet but it sure appeared there was a leak from the rack running down the k-member.
    IMG_1459.jpg

    Upon closer inspection, you could see the drip from the line fittings at the rack right above the drivers side mounting bolt.
    IMG_1460.jpg

    IMG_1462.jpg

    It appeared to be the return line from the rack was at least one of the leaks.
    IMG_1465.jpg

  2. #12
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    Time to remove the lines. I borrowed a wrench from work that had been modified to get the pressure line disconnected from the pump. But that wasn't going to help much with the fittings at the rack which were buried deep behind the k-member.

    Here is the camera stuck up above the front sway bar to get a pic of the lines going to the rack. The return line and hose on the left and the pressure hard-line on the right.
    IMG_1466.jpg

    You can barely see the nut at the rack for the pressure line.
    IMG_1468.jpg

    Here is the hose connection to the return fitting.
    IMG_1470.jpg

    After much perseverance and patience... victory!
    IMG_1477.jpg

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    With the lines removed it was fairly easy to remove the rack.

    IMG_1481.jpg

    Somewhere along the way I preemptively ordered a manual rack on faith that it would somehow work...

    IMG_1482.jpg

    (Should it not for some reason, I will replace the entire system with a reman rack, new pump and new lines.)

    The manual rack mounting holes measured the same and the inner tie rods were the same thread. The overall length measured to be the same spread as the Mark VIII. However, the input shaft to the rack was immediately noted to be different.

    IMG_1483.jpg

    IMG_1484.jpg

    The new rack had an obviously smaller shaft. I knew from prior experience the shaft on the Mark VIII rack was a 3/4"-36 spline. After measuring and some online research, it was determined the new rack was a 5/8"-26 spline. That necessitated getting a Flaming River steering joint from Summit. For reference, it was part number FR1709DD - Steering Universal Joint, Steel, Nickel Plated, 9/16 in. 26-Spline, 3/4 in. DD. It should be a direct replacement for the Flaming River steering universal joint with a 3/4"-36 spline already on the car.

    While we wait on parts, we move on to remove the reservoir and pump and figure out what to do with the serpentine belt now with the power steering being deleted.

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  5. #14
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    Very interesting progress, Driller.

    How did you find this manual rack? was it listed for a specific vehicle?
    Mike Martin

    1997 Mark VIII LSC 5.0
    1999 Town Car Signature Touring
    2001 Dodge Dakota

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    Very interesting progress, Driller.
    I think that's a sanitized translation for "WTF?"

    Our MN12 brethren over on the SCCOA site clued me in on the manual rack. As it turns out the '93-'96 steering racks interchange with the '89-'97 T-birds/Supercoupes, with power steering of course. So far, the only difference I have found is the shaft diameter and spline.

    Several MN12s had been successfully converted to manual steering in the past with a Flaming River manual rack (Mustang?) with some modifications. The newest source for the manual steering rack conversion is available from Kauffman Products. You have to call and talk to Jake.

    Update... it appears a Gates 060480 serpentine belt (6 rib / 48" length) is the short belt of choice IF you delete both the power steering and AC. I got this information from researching the FFR forums. Just so happens our local NAPA had one in stock and while it does fit, one of the mounting bosses on the Thump tensioner will need a bit of 'massaging' for clearance. Worst case is going back to a stock tensioner?

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    Quote Originally Posted by driller View Post
    I think that's a sanitized translation for "WTF?"
    Pretty close.. like it or not, it seems that all of your projects result in "deep dive" types of posts...

    Quote Originally Posted by driller View Post
    and while it does fit, one of the mounting bosses on the Thump tensioner will need a bit of 'massaging' for clearance. Worst case is going back to a stock tensioner?
    We all know that there's only one answer here..

    Find another accessory to delete and re-route the belt once again to avoid this new-found interference.

    Mike Martin

    1997 Mark VIII LSC 5.0
    1999 Town Car Signature Touring
    2001 Dodge Dakota

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    Quote Originally Posted by tixer View Post
    ... it seems that all of your projects result in "deep dive" types of posts...
    LOL... yes, this is definitely turning into one of those projects.

    I measured the number of turns on the manual rack lock to lock and it was 3-1/2 turns. I centered the rack at 1-3/4 turns from one extreme. (I meant to check the number of turns lock to lock on the '96 steering but forgot. )

    I then set the two racks on the bench individually and measured everything to transfer the appropriate tie rod settings from the old rack to the new rack and I found another difference. The old rack had 3-1/2" of thread length on the inner tie rods while the new rack only had 2-1/2" of thread. That unfortunately left little to no room for the jam nuts on the inboard side of the tie rod connector.

    The solution will be to shorten the tie rod connector(s) by 3/8" to 1/2" and use 7mm thick stainless steel M14-1.5 jam nuts. This should give adequate adjustment on the inboard side should the toe need to be adjusted in slightly without taking too much length off the tie rod connector.

    Of course I had to order the jam nuts. Click, boom, done.

    Quote Originally Posted by tixer View Post
    We all know that there's only one answer here..
    Ahhh... but there is another answer.

    I started to remove the tensioner for "massaging" when I suddenly had an epiphany. What if I found a smaller idler? Hmmm... a quick search on the Thump Racing website showed yes indeed, they offer a 70mm diameter pulley in lieu of the stock size 76mm diameter pulley. Click, boom done... again.

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  11. #18
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    There's also a 3rd option of Electric water pump, no alternator, and race on battery only..

    Alternators and tensioners are heavy, after all..
    Mike Martin

    1997 Mark VIII LSC 5.0
    1999 Town Car Signature Touring
    2001 Dodge Dakota

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    Quote Originally Posted by tixer View Post
    There's also a 3rd option of Electric water pump, no alternator, and race on battery only..
    thats where i figured this was going.
    1996 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC Opal Opalescent on grey
    1995 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC Indigo Lights on black
    2002 Ford Focus SVT Sonic Blue on black

  13. #20
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    You guys are a bad influence on me.

    I know a couple racers who run on battery only and recharge in the pits. I think that's taking things to the extreme.

    Of course I remember not long ago that removing the power steering from a Lincoln would be considered extreme. LOL

    On a unrelated note, I don't know how Summit does it. I ordered the Flaming River steering joint yesterday afternoon. I received an email confirmation of the order at 2:24 PM. At 5:32 AM this morning, I received an email notice of shipment and at 2:45 PM this afternoon it was delivered - standard shipping.

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