well the C-900 is well knows for having steering rack problems, it's probably that. My old rack had serious fluid leaking from it and then it started cutting out (the power part) soon after I replaced it with a "better" unit, all the leaks stopped and it worked good for a while. Now it's started cutting out again, but not leaking... :evil: look at www.eeuroparts.com for replacement rack pricing, my money is on that being the problem.
well here is another thing, I don't really know you Jon, how good are you at working on cars? The steering rack is not a real easy job and there are always difficulties encountered... the lines running into the rack 9 out of 10 times you will have one that's just simply STUCK! you may be better off buying the part and then having some mechanic you know install it.
BTW, the marvel brand is just the rack rebuilder. the rack itself is the SAAB/GM rack. you can only get a rebuilt rack affordably... the NEW racks are in the $600 range.
Interesting topic about the steering rack cutting in and out… GM (which supplies the steering gear) had a campaign a while back about this and it was in fact a clearance issue internally…
The only thing was before a technician could replace the rack assembly with a new one there were a few other things that had to be verified prior to replacement and I don’t see any of them mentioned in these posts.
First and foremost the condition of the power steering should be checked because there could be contaminants or possibly the wrong fluid was added at one time.
Under normal driving conditions power steering fluid should be flushed/drained at 80,000-100,000 miles to insure that the fluids being used are in their best condition which also provides added protection to wear items. Perhaps a simple thing as a fluid replacement using a top quality fluid would be a good starting point.
Then the belt tension is also check because a “slipping” belt will also cause the “in and out” steering symptoms.
Then the actual condition of the steering pump should be checked….. There are clearances that can be verified by a pressure check or axial end play check (axial end play is simple enough to verify by trying to move the pump pulley in and out)
Also steering pumps themselves fail from wear and or neglect.
The next check is not for the “faint of heart” but there is an internal strainer within the pump in which case it can be removed but pump would need a rebuild or a flush which could be done during a fluid change….
*Just some additional food for thought…..
Agreed on that, always a good idea to start with the basics. some stuff you will basically know if there is a problem with it. like the P/S belt slipping for example. if the P/S is cutting out because of a belt that's not at the right tension as soon as, or just before the cut out occurs, it will make a rather loud squeal. And yes, Under normal driving conditions power steering fluid should be flushed/drained at 80,000, however no one ever ever does this. the only way most P/S racks get new fluid in them is if they start leaking :?
As for the pump itself failing, I have never seen one of those start to crap out. seen them leak all the time, but I have never seen one that was the sole cause of steering problems..
Like rhich says, try changing the fluid, check belt tension, if that fails to fix the problem (don’t be too hopeful on that…) then it IS time for a rack.
Thanks for those very informative posts. There's No Belt Squeal. It's been rainig like made the last couple of days so I cant spot a Leak, The Fluid Level is good but I cant vouch for when it was changed last...although I know the original owner, there was some "misleading Maintainence information"...the Body is Mint, a Real Looker, but I think preventive or proactive maint. was not on her mind. Car has 135K on it, so Far I've replaced all Belts and Hoses, Plugs, Distributor, Radiator, AIC, AMM, Repaired and converted A/C to 134, F&R Brakes, Tires and Rims....Whew, oh and even ITG Air Filter/K&N Oil!
Yep, there's the down payment, but where's the $400 a month coming from? The way I see it, there would have to be QUITE a few things wrong with a classic 900 to even approach nearly the amount of money monthly payments for a new saab would be. Also, every car once it's got around 100,000 miles on it is going to need a major service now and then. Cars are one of the most complex machines around with hundreds of moving parts. The Saab 900 for all it's troubles if you keep on top of any problems that crop up as they occur, they can easily run to 300,000 miles+ quite economically. Sure, you may eat a few transmissions in that time and you may need the front frame welded back together because of rust, but I have seen 500,000 miles+ from C-900's. with my 88 900 SPG at 228K, it honestly feels like a car that's got 40,000 miles on it. just about every component in the suspension except the arms, bushings, and springs I have replaced due to wear, but all those parts totaled about $270.
I say keep it till it rusts out, because in the end it's quite typical for the saab 2.0 engine to out last it's own body! :shock:
Sheesh.....Just came from my Saab Guy, he wants $800 to replace the RACK, Tie Rods and High Pressure Hose, I priced the parts on Eeuroparts and the Saabsite, Rack , Inner/Outer Rods/Bushings, High Pressure hose for $328, @ $75.00 per hour x 3= 225. I would think 600 would be about right....including the allignment.
couid be, but regular P/S fluid is pretty much automatic transmission fluid with out the red coloring. thinking about this, the fact that it's all full of ATF probably means that the system had been leaking... in any case, something is not right there.