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Steering Rack Pinion Leak

smaceng

Jedi Knight
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Does anyone have a better idea to seal the BE rack pinion other than the felt factory type "seal?" My car leaks a quarter of a teaspoon of grease on a 200 miles run. Did I overfill it, and how can I tell? How do I drain it, if it is too full? Cheers,
Scott in CA
 

nomad

Yoda
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Let it leak, it'll seek the correct level. After all, it's British, it's suppose to leak!

Kurt.
 

The_architect

Jedi Trainee
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Hi Scott--
I use John Deere Corn Head Grease in my BE rack. It is really a gear oil that has a medium to keep the oil from running all over the place, so it stays where you need it.

A bunch of companies make a similar product. Chevron Dura-lith NLGI 000; Mobilith SHC 007;AMSOIL Spy Grease Synthetic Lithium Complex 00; Castrol SHL 00.

Here is one product description: "Castrol SHL 00 is a synthetic, semi–fluid NLGI 00 grease that combines the stay–put power of a grease with the consistency of a gear lubricant."

Charlie
ps
Here is a short promo on the stuff that is kind of interesting:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEwk_sYP6A8
 

lbcfan

Jedi Trainee
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I have just developed the same problem, but worse with 90 weight oil. The new seal from Victoria is a joke- similar to what they use in asprin bottles. It actually seems to wick the oil out of the rack...

I've ordered a seal from Moss Europe to see if it is any different, but given the design of the joint I don't have great expectations. I can say that over the last 40 years that I've had the car it never leaked the grease that was in the rack. The trouble started when I cleaned out the grease and went to the oil.

I noticed that Victoria is selling an entire rack for $120. Has anyone had any experience with that?

When the Moss Europe seal arrives I'll let you know if it is any different.

Michael
 

lbcfan

Jedi Trainee
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Charlie-

You didn't mention if the oil that you recommend stopped the leak or just slowed it down. Also- did you replace the pinion seal with any particular product? My rack is from a 1960 bugeye.

Thanks,

Michael
 

The_architect

Jedi Trainee
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Hi Michael. I put this product in when I replaced the boots--all of the oil had run out at that point. So, I didn't have the pinion apart. So far so good.

It is a little hard to describe cornhead grease--looks like a light grease, but when you rub it between your fingers it is oily, not like sticky like grease. It stays put. Check out the video if you haven't already. You put it in a grease gun and pump it into the zerk, rotating the steering wheel back and forth to distribute it.

I found out about it when I was working on a tractor steering box--these are also notorious for leaky oil seals. When bought my Bugeye I read on this site others have used it for this purpose. The good thing is it doesn't get stiff when the temperature drops.

Charlie
 

jlaird

Great Pumpkin
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Has worked fine in Miss Agatha, recommended.
 
OP
smaceng

smaceng

Jedi Knight
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thanks Charlie, I'll put this on my winter list. I assume one coats the gears with the stuff, sort of like one greases the front wheel bearings.
Scott in CA
 

lbcfan

Jedi Trainee
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Just an update regarding keeping the 90 weight in the rack before I resorted to replacement with grease...

I tried two seals- one from Victoria BM and one from Moss Europe.

The Victoria seal leaked for several days, but then swelled sufficiently to stop the leak. I have not mounted the rack yet, but no seepage.

The Moss seal was more expensive and seemed more dense initially, but the center hole is larger than the steering column diameter. It never swelled sufficiently to stop the leakage, even after a week.

Between the two seals I lost one ounce of oil (out of 10) before I finally gave up on the Moss seal and re-installed the Victoria unit.

I've looked for an oil-resistant grease that I could pack into the seal, but couldn't find any. If I could locate some I would consider adding that to the seal when it is new and dry.

Michael
 
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