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Old 08-26-2023, 07:42 PM #1
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Steering rack metal transfer lines?

Salt Life has claimed one of my rack transfer lines at 282k miles in NJ, the ones that go from the rack to the steering head. Two rust bubbles that ruptured outward and are spraying fluid as shown in the pic (engine off dribbling).

These are not the lines that run to/from the pump, they are the two which are attached to the rack itself.

Toyota does not sell these separately from the rack. Not finding aftermarket options.

Any ideas or suggestions appreciated, it's deadlined.

I also see similar early warning signs on one of the transmission pipes leaving the case (I replaced the cross-pipes a few years back when one rusted out). These are readily available so I'll do both while I'm in there, along with the power steering pump lines.
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Last edited by waypoint; 08-26-2023 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 08-26-2023, 10:29 PM #2
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You maybe able to used brake line type fittings and tubing to replace the power steering lines if you can find the correct size fitting and tubing, or look for a shop in your area that specializes in hydraulic lines and they maybe able to make them for you.
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Old 08-27-2023, 07:34 AM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuSeeker View Post
You maybe able to used brake line type fittings and tubing to replace the power steering lines if you can find the correct size fitting and tubing, or look for a shop in your area that specializes in hydraulic lines and they maybe able to make them for you.
Good feedback as always, greatly appreciated. I'm getting a heavy duty flare wrench and crows-foot today to help get the existing tubes off the rack, this will be my go/nogo step. If they come off, the project is line replacement...if not, it's steering rack replacement.

I found a local NAPA open on Sunday which lists hydraulic hose fab, will call them when they open. Otherwise there are several shops in nearby cities open on weekdays. If the tubes come off, I'll get new ones fabbed in stainless steel.

Plan B: car-part.com lists a few salvage yards with steering racks available for ~$150 and up, and I can inspect them before purchase. If my current 282k mile rack comes out, it's not going back in.

I'm also going to replace the pump supply & return lines while it's opened up, they're factory and nasty looking despite years of Fluid Film, Woolwax, etc. I'm the second owner and it spent the first 10 years with no treatment, but decent car washing as the guy owned 3 car wash places. The stuff above the skid plates was the only rust I found...horizontal salt spray while driving, but only vertical wash spray.

Last edited by waypoint; 08-27-2023 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 08-28-2023, 06:17 AM #4
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did you check this, also tried rock auto? power steering pressure hose?
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Old 08-28-2023, 02:58 PM #5
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Any luck with a solution for this? Iím having a similar leak and I donít want to replace the whole rack.
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Old 08-29-2023, 08:47 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FerdTerg View Post
Any luck with a solution for this? Iím having a similar leak and I donít want to replace the whole rack.
Update: the fitting broke at the rack while trying to loosen the transfer tube, even after Kroil soaking and modest torch heating. It's getting a rack.

I'll add pics of the transmission cooler tubes which show early signs of the same failure due to rust weakening the external surface, looks like a bulge on a tire sidewall waiting to rupture. Lots of road salt here in NJ, and these pipes are above the skidplates...they get horizontal spray while driving, but the vertical spray at the car wash does not wash them effectively.
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Old 08-29-2023, 08:59 AM #7
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Bummer. I live in PA so very similar road salt situation. I already had to replace the transmission cooler lines and the power steering return due to rust. Iíve got 168,000 miles on mine. Starting to get some frame rust too. Not sure how much longer Iím going to keep it. Still runs perfect and I love it but I donít want to dump a bunch of money into a 17 year old truck.
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Old 08-29-2023, 05:17 PM #8
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Quote:
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Update: the fitting broke at the rack while trying to loosen the transfer tube, even after Kroil soaking and modest torch heating. It's getting a rack.
Broke how? Isn't that setup similar to a brake line nut? If so, I generally cut the line close to it and stick a proper 6 point socket on it to remove. Then you can get the old tube out even if it has to be drilled out. BTW, I like copper nickel tubing as it doesn't rust and is super easy to work with.
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Old 08-29-2023, 09:09 PM #9
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Quote:
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Bummer. I live in PA so very similar road salt situation. I already had to replace the transmission cooler lines and the power steering return due to rust. Iíve got 168,000 miles on mine. Starting to get some frame rust too. Not sure how much longer Iím going to keep it. Still runs perfect and I love it but I donít want to dump a bunch of money into a 17 year old truck.
Woolwax on the metal that doesn't get direct road spray, and CRC Marine Corrosion Inhibitor on the ones that get sprayed. Drop the skids once a year, hit the radiator support crossmember inside & out. Frame rails, any exposed metal.
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Old 08-29-2023, 09:14 PM #10
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Quote:
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Broke how? Isn't that setup similar to a brake line nut? If so, I generally cut the line close to it and stick a proper 6 point socket on it to remove. Then you can get the old tube out even if it has to be drilled out. BTW, I like copper nickel tubing as it doesn't rust and is super easy to work with.
Cracked at the elbow into the rack housing. I considered cutting the tube and using the impact gun, but I really needed that line intact so I could get a replacement fabricated.

I'm about halfway into pulling the rack and it's not horrible work. Going to replace the steering shaft as the U-joint is pretty fragged even with years of layered Fluid Film, then later switched to Woolwax.
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