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Old 07-18-2018, 10:39 PM   #1
Chuck W
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Default ZF (Type 3) PWR Steering Rack Rebuild/Diagram Help

So, a couple of years ago, I swapped a used ZF (type 3) rack (from KJets on a Plane) into the '80 264, to replace the dead CAM rack that was in it.


Everything was groovy until over the past month or so.

It's developed a rattle on the pass side going over bumps. Not so much when everything is loaded, but more low-speed, straight stuff.

At first I was figuring maybe tie rod, or even ball joint. The car doesn't wander at speed, and the steering doesn't feel loose at all.

I got under it today and started messing around, and it looks like the rack itself on the pass side has a little play in it. I can get it to knock and I see a slight bit of movement when I have the boot pulled back.

I'm guessing there is a bushing or a bearing in there that *could* be replaced, but I can't seem to find any diagrams or info on the Type 3 ZF power rack.
The seals are all good, and there are no leaks, just the play in the rack causing the noise.

My Google-fu has only yielded info on the ZF manual rack and rebuild threads on here for another one of the ZF racks, but not the Type 3.

I've found seal/rebuild kits for it, but can't tell if there are any replacement bushings/bearings in the kits.
Would THIS be one?
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:06 PM   #2
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The inter tie rod fails and is replaceable. I have had significant play in more than one.
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Old 07-19-2018, 05:37 AM   #3
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The inter tie rod fails and is replaceable. I have had significant play in more than one.
I pulled the boot back to verify that it wasn't the inner tie rod. The tie rods are good. The movement/knocking is in the pass side of the rack itself.
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Old 07-19-2018, 09:21 AM   #4
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Doing more searching.

Info in THIS thread , cross-referenced with THIS SITE, gives the the info that it would use the seal kit 271562-1 and the rack should be marked with 1329694 and my tag on the back shows 7832955106, which is the "Type 3" ZF.

I still can't find any breakdowns of the Type 3 rack like mine (without the extra pass side housing).

Last edited by Chuck W; 07-19-2018 at 10:25 AM..
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Old 07-20-2018, 08:44 AM   #5
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OK, so a little more searching netted THIS THREAD HERE.

Not a whole lot if disassembly info, but at least there is someone who has pulled one of these apart.

Looks like there is a bushing of sorts on the far side of the tube. Hopefully it's in the kit. If not...guess I need to make one.
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Old 07-20-2018, 11:42 AM   #6
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Give Jorgen Automotive a call. They rebuilt a ZF type 3 for me and should be able to provide parts and any advice you might need.
Phone: (734) 971-6700 Roger is the guru.
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Old 07-20-2018, 02:52 PM   #7
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It's in the green book how to take it apart, but honestly if you don't have the tools/machining capabilities to remake/rebush an odd assortment of NLA parts and know what you're doing, just let Jorgen do it if your core isn't absolutely trashed/they don't reject it IMO (ask them to be picky and source another core ZF if it's at all questionable). Sure, you can put new cheap seals/o-rings in it, but if there's any play anywhere or the directional valve housing is worn out (needs to be bored/sleeved often times on higher mile cold weather cars), seals alone won't fix it/won't fix it for long anyway. They're one of the few places that'll actually bother to address those issues if you ask them to/generally. That said, that kit in the babbit.bearings thread should have the passenger side guide bushing and the seals, from memory, for a quick fix.

Shortest way home.

Just been using dry ZF racks that don't have any obvious play with low miles with some known history before junking the car has been the most lasting strategy so far ( after trying a couple other methods and wasting time, incurring general irritation and malcontent a couple times for people that drive and like these cars as they come a bunch of miles/use them as intended), then get them rebuilt by Jorgen if they develop any leak / morning sickness (uneven / lacking assist on cold startup) and/or play on the passenger side.

The better of the ZF racks are only installed in some models and never after 1987 (not before or after that I've seen at least original to the car...if someone swapped one in or some mechanic installed some ??? rebuilt at this late date who knows but according to the sticker in the trunk and ID tag on the rack anyway), so cores with viable housings/gears (what you can't remake cheaply or easily) are starting to dry up.

ZF has MUCH better quality gears and road feel than the late CAM/TRW racks, I just toss those/keep them for metal/cores only.
It's really really rare to find a ZF with worn out gears (not impossible on the real higher mile abused cars running around with no splash pan that makes the boots develop cracks/splits/tears that let road grime in, as does leaking fluid dissolving them. Vicious circle/perfect storm at this late date...often some mixture of splash pan going missing/getting broken/mechanic/home mechanic not wanting it in their way/to reinstall it, cheap owner continuing to drive the car with the rack leaking some and/ or engine leaking on the boots, and/or continuing to drive the car with various loose worn / warped/bent (rotors, wheels/hubs/whel bearings/sticking calipers/brake fluid not returning) bad alignment and bushings / general parts/service malaise in the front end.

Gears cost $ to grind/are the problem piece of the puzzle, no one repops them for (often cheapass lowlife) volvo owners (unlike if you buy a shiny new rack for a Vanagon (just an example) where the cars are worth enough to justify repop gears, the customers insist/demand on quality over price, and where good used gears are harder to source (no one parts and crushes a vanagon with good core rack gears on the regular/they sold fewer vanagons in the first place, even if more survive than 200 series Volvos today ), CAM racks with worn gears and the like are much more common, hence them all being scrap metal/throw-away cores to me.

Best you can do for anymore for any reasonable $/not wasting your time it would seem.
Or source ZF guts from $ellholm while the $ is still fairly strong to the SEK and get 2.5 turn guts for it...I shouldn't say replacement gears "don't exist" (that's not quite true), but only appear to exist in Kool-aid ratios/limited production and you might not like the price...

Usually someone can get down the road another ~4-10 years in my experience with a low miler ZF from not too cold/warm (cold makes the seals hard and wear aluminum housings, hot makes the seals shrivel up/grease run out) climate with smooth cool highway roads/no salt/limited traffic/parallel parking/but splash pan required in the rainforest to keep the car from stalling from water in the alternator/moisture under the dist cap (OR/WA basically) if they're unfortunate enough to have an car with a CAM in it that's got worn gears/not worthy of rebuild and then they can rebuild it in 4-10 years once it starts leaking a little/develops morning sickness from a worn directional valve housing/seals/develops some play on the passenger side but isn't run around that way for long/is a core worthy of rebuilding has been the M.O. for the last decade or so here...

Wish you luck, sorry to hear you didn't get another whole decade outta it!
At least you didn't find this out as painfully as I did (spend $200-250+ on just a bare (no tie rods or anything) random 'rebuilt' rack and have them last anywhere from DOA to 2 years and/or 20-30k miles at the very very most and often have some play/other issues not diagnosed correctly but seals replaced and a cheap coat of spray paint applied as far as I could tell after examining them some more. Then have to remove them from the car and have to eat crow on the job. On the bright side, it only takes making this mistake once or twice to be "over" this experience...unfortunately first try at the roulette wheel it was the "it lasted over a year" end of the spectrum, so we did this dance more than once, would have been nice to get DOA once or twice earlier in the saga or one that drove poorly enough/problems obviously not diagnosed/repaired correctly in the 'rebuild' from the outset and have had the brains to closely examine/think about what was happening first try/right away...hindsight being 20/20 and all that...

Obviously, the rebuilder's cost on seals/passenger guide bushing may not be $80-100+, but presumably that just means they use cheaper seals/cut out the 1-2 hours of skilled labor ($90/hr or whatever) + decent testing/machining equipment that it's going to cost/going to be required to be worth rebuilding/testing a core rack properly and have little reputation/incentive to reject non-viable core racks with the "lifetime warranty" business model firmly in place...
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Last edited by Kjets On a Plane; 07-20-2018 at 03:45 PM..
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Old 07-20-2018, 04:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kjets On a Plane View Post
It's in the green book how to take it apart, but honestly if you don't have the tools/machining capabilities to remake/rebush an odd assortment of NLA parts and know what you're doing, just let Jorgen do it

Wish you luck, sorry to hear you didn't get another whole decade outta it!
If you can point me in the right direction on WHICH Greenbook, that would be helpful.

The only stuff I've found in any Greenbooks (Or other diagrams) I've been able to dig up are for manual racks (ZF and CAM), power CAM racks, and every other Type of ZF rack but the Type 3.

I'm not afraid of any of the work, just trying to find some info on it.

I installed this rack just under 2 years ago and I checked my records...I have MAYBE 2,000 miles on it after the install. (The car is a nice-weather car, but nice weather also means I ride my bike to work, instead of drive, so...)

The rattle is more annoying than anything at this point, but I want to address it. Other than that, the rack is solid and leak-free.
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