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Thread: A1Cardone "Rebuilt" Steering Rack - A public service announcement.

  1. #1
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    Default A1Cardone "Rebuilt" Steering Rack - A public service announcement.

    This post will summarize my experience with an A1Cardone "Rebuilt" Steering rack.
    Purchased through RockAuto.

    First off I had in initially bought a rebuild kit for the rack that is currently in my vehicle and rebuilt and re-installed it.
    Everything appeared to be fine until I discovered a very slow leak that was filling the inner tie rod boots with fluid.
    Also to point out, I purchased new inner and outer tie rods as well as all new boots and claw washers.
    This is a photo of my steering rack.
    20170305_145801_1.jpg
    So I pulled the stock rack a 2nd time and quickly tore it down to find the culprit.
    Turned out to 1 of the shaft seals had a crack in the inner teflon seal, causing the leak.
    Unknown what the cause was, could have been a bad seal out of the box.
    No other issues were noticed with the original rack after rebuild and tear down.
    20170911_224413.jpg

    At this point I don't feel like rebuilding it a 2nd time and just figure its easier to just buy a rebuilt rack.
    Right?
    Just buy a completed steering rack assembly and install it, that should be the end of it... That is what one should expect.

    Fast forward:
    Steering rack comes in.
    These photos below are of the A1Cardone unit.

    1st problem:
    - The rack looks like a 5 year old painted it.
    At this point flags are already going off, I know what a quality rebuild looks like, I do it all the time.
    This looks not good just from the 1st impression, they painted everything with some very shitty paint that flakes off on your hands as soon as you pick it up.
    They even painted over the rubber boots.
    20170916_145457.jpg

    2nd problem:
    - There is no packing material inside the box to secure the rack.
    They literally throw a huge metal rack inside a cardboard box and expect it to survive shipping companies.
    The outer tie rods punch through the ends of the box and really mess up the threads when they knock it around in the shipping process.
    The outer tie rods do not thread on, threads are that messed up.
    Need to run a chasing die down the threads, the outer tie rod pictured is my own it does not come with the rack.
    Photo: 20170916_115929.jpg
    20170916_115921.jpg

    3rd problem:
    - The hard lines on the rack are bent to shit.
    Related to the first problem, there is no packing material in the box.
    The rack gets knocked around and gets damaged.
    20170916_115939.jpg
    20170916_115935.jpg

    4th problem:
    - There is no lock nuts on the inner tie rods.
    If you do not have re-useable ones on hand you need to get some from the hardware store.

    5th problem:
    - The inner tie rod ball joints are flapping in the breeze, they used the cheapest tie rods they could find.
    To clarify, new balljoints no matter the application should be very tight.
    It takes very little effort to move the angle on the inner tie rod, not good, these aren't going to last.
    The new centric inner tie rods I purchased for my own rack are very difficult to move, those are good quality parts.

    At this point I am quite pissed, but I want a working rack now, I don't want to ship this one back and get another one of equal quality.
    I don't trust anything on this rack now so I begin taking it apart.

    6th problem:
    - THERE IS NO CLAW WASHERS - WTF!
    Both sides on the inner tie rods have zero safety measures in place.
    This is very very poor workmanship, claw washers are there for a reason, you don't just leave them out.
    Also its very clear they don't have the proper wrenches/tools to rebuild these.
    There are gouge marks on the outside of the tie rods and bracket lock nut that look consistent with a pipe wrench or similar jawed tool.
    20170916_145507.jpg
    20170916_150040.jpg

    To be continued...
    Lost more to come, the fun is not yet over.
    I rebuild / upgrade Supra Differentials - PM me for more information.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: A1Cardone "Rebuilt" Steering Rack - A public service announcement.

    This is deja vu from the AutoZone rack I tried out. I didn't even bother pulling the boots after seeing the shitty spray paint job, bent lines and damaged input splines.

    The build- Centrailia or bust........Delilahs build.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: A1Cardone "Rebuilt" Steering Rack - A public service announcement.

    Next steps:
    Swap over my good parts to make the rebuilt rack not totally pathetic.

    - Replace their inner tie rods with my new Centric ones.
    - Replace their cheap boots with my new Rabestos ones.
    - INSTALL claw washers to the rack. <- Seriously this is just awful.
    - Swap my good unbent lines to the this rack.
    - Install my steering damper bracket and lock nut, they are in much better condition than the one that's included.
    20170916_153233.jpg

    Now I am ready to reinstall !
    Should be in the clear.

    Re-mount the rack and begin attaching the lines.
    Return line tightens fine, no issues.
    Torque down banjo bolt...never tightens...keeps moving.
    Oh *uck this ...
    When you have worked with enough fasteners in aluminum housings you immediately can feel when the bolt is pulling the threads out of the housing.

    For shits and giggles I pour fluid back into the system and start the car for a few minutes.
    The system isn't even full of fluid yet, lots of air in the system still, very little pressure.

    Of course fluid begins pooling around the banjo bolt and dripping on the floor.
    (Photos are upside down)
    20170916_200645.jpg
    20170916_203925.jpg

    Our 7th and final problem (for now):
    - The threads on the pressure side banjo bolt in the aluminum housing are trashed.
    The unit shipped with damaged threads.
    Photo of thread pulled out of the housing.
    20170917_073137.jpg
    20170917_083435.jpg

    Pretty great right?

    Next steps:
    - Pull rack out of the car again.
    - Dis-assemble the aluminum housing surrounding the steering spool valve.

    Time to swap over more good parts from my own rack!
    Luckily I had already replaced all the seals in mine so its simply a matter of swapping the parts over.
    20170917_084225.jpg

    Known good threads I can torque down on a couple crush washers! Woo!
    20170917_085118.jpg
    20170917_085126.jpg

    The final product ->
    Its a hybrid of parts that hopefully will last.
    The boots I have not yet secured, I need to inspect to see if the steering rack is leaking internally or not.
    With my luck it will leak, but I have a sliver of hope left that those 3 internal seals will hold up.
    20170917_085424_1.jpg

    The rack gets re-installed and everything goes as it should.
    As of yet I have no leaks and it appears to work OK, now that I have fixed 7 problems with what should have been a "rebuilt" rack.

    Moral of the story:
    DO NOT BUY A1Cardone racks, they are utter shit.
    If you must, and there are no other options, keep your "core" as you are going to need good parts to swap from it.
    I need to confirm where Toyota gets their rebuilt steering racks from, as this may be the only other option.

    ---- Calling Jeff Lange -----
    Do you know who rebuilds Toyota OEM "rebuilt" steering racks?
    I have a very bad feeling A1Cardone does all the rebuilds for these things no matter the supplier.
    OEM's, ACDelco branded ect....
    I rebuild / upgrade Supra Differentials - PM me for more information.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: A1Cardone "Rebuilt" Steering Rack - A public service announcement.

    Detroit Axle seems to produce some quality remans. I got one for my GS400 and it was done very nicely, packaged well, return slip included.
    Jared Pink - ASE Master Certified (A1-A8) & L1 Certified.
    Toyota Factory Trained Master Diagnostic Technician & Hybrid Certified

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A1Cardone "Rebuilt" Steering Rack - A public service announcement.

    Dang, I knew about detroit axle.
    Never knew they did steering rack rebuilds though, even the price is decent.

    Where were you a month ago!

    Ah well, this one works now, and I have a great story to take to Jalopnik on a terrible parts re-builder.
    I rebuild / upgrade Supra Differentials - PM me for more information.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: A1Cardone "Rebuilt" Steering Rack - A public service announcement.

    Thanks for the information. This is excellent information.
    Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

    www.thereligionofpeace.com <------- stay in the know, religion drives political beliefs

  7. #7
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    Default Re: A1Cardone "Rebuilt" Steering Rack - A public service announcement.

    Yeah lessons learned on this one.
    Hopefully this will keep people from buying their garbage.
    I rebuild / upgrade Supra Differentials - PM me for more information.

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: A1Cardone "Rebuilt" Steering Rack - A public service announcement.

    I was considering AC Delco, which is the aftermarket division of GM. In case some of you did not know. I already have some of their suspension replacement parts on my car. 2 in fact. Perfect fit and product.
    Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

    www.thereligionofpeace.com <------- stay in the know, religion drives political beliefs

  9. #9
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    Default Re: A1Cardone "Rebuilt" Steering Rack - A public service announcement.

    Yeah we are aware of ACDelco brand, its been around since 74'.

    The question is who actually bought one of their rebuilds?
    I am curious who actually performs them for ACDelco.
    As well as the Toyota rebuilds that are 350$ + 150$ core still available from the dealer.
    I rebuild / upgrade Supra Differentials - PM me for more information.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: A1Cardone "Rebuilt" Steering Rack - A public service announcement.

    Well that sucks. I just lost power brakes, (hissing under dash) and the only booster I can find on Amazon is A1-Cardone.

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