MK4 Power Steering Leaking from Hard Lines

mrrhtuner

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Location
London Ont Canada
TDI
2003 Jetta Wagon TDI, 2015 Passat TDI, 2015 Touareg TDI
Hello everyone,

My MK4 Jetta has a bad leak from one of the hard lines at the back of the power steering rack. I've done a bit of searching and the hard lines can be available for purchase but I'm wondering how many of you had actual success in removing the hard lines and installing new ones with the rack on the car?

I'm thinking of just picking up a spare rack to swap in but that is a bit of work with dropping the subframe.

Anybody here previously replace the hard metal lines on the MK4 rack?
 

PakProtector

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Location
AnnArbor, MI
TDI
Mk.4 and the Cummins-es
I had a bit of an issue getting the bolt for the rack end high pressure started. If it does not go in smoothly, and you cross thread it you will be hating life. This after removing a perfectly fine, not-leaking, not rusty, hardly even dirty auto line so I could stick in a manual's feed line.
cheers,
Douglas
 

burn_your_money

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Location
Missouri
TDI
99 Beetle, 96 B4V, 05 Passat wagon
I’ve done it. Way easier than dropping the subframe. Mine was a rebuilt unit and they sliced the o-ring when they were rebuilding it. They sent me new hardlines and o-rings. You’ll want to disconnect the downpipe from the turbo and subframe and you’ll need to remove the heat shield off the rack. Ratcheting swivel head wrenches are your friend.
 

Mpaw

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 21, 2018
Location
Germany
TDI
Caddy 2005 1,9 105 ps; Polo 2015 90PS Bluemotion
If you do end up, dropping the subframe, put in alignment bolts before/as you undo the bolts which hold the subframe on. Will save lots of stress later.
 

burpod

teh stallionz!!1
Joined
Nov 27, 2004
Location
cape cod, ma
TDI
82 rabbit vnt ahu, 98 jetta vnt ahu, 05 parts car, 88 scirocco.. :/
I've replaced them without dropping rack. Not even sure if that would help that much. However, I had a heck of a time getting the new lines in, it was a total PITA. I also used non-oem lines (a gates, and a sunsong) and had to do a little bending, they just were not lining up like the old ones, no matter what I did!! Maybe OEM ones would have fit better?

Two main things:

1) take careful note of exactly how they are routed, as in which other hoses etc they go around and through. I didn't do this, thinking it would be easy, but it turned into a nightmare, possibly compounded by poor fitment of the non-oem lines.

2) had a heck of a time getting a couple of the banjo bolts threaded. Very tight finger spaces, even the one up top by the AC drier which looked like it would be easy, turn out to be incredibly difficult!! I thought I would never get it in! Took me forever :(

Just be prepared for a total sucky job. Much harder than I anticipated, mostly due to how tricky it turned out to be to get those banjo bolts to start threading!

Edit - and after finally getting them on, had a major leak a crush washer at the rack. And had to redo it! Man I was pissed. Very hard to clean there, and very easy for the new crush washer to get hung up on a little grit or corrosion. Keep clean! I ended up using a thinner (smaller OD, same ID) to ensure no leak due to corrosion lip
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
You guys are funny. The subframe is silly cake easy to drop down on these, rack and all.

Go inside the car, and remove the lower plastic cover (two clips that unscrew). Then take the bolt out of the lower shaft and slide the shaft up (super easy since it is inside the car so free of any environmental effects, and they only go on one way). Center the steering first, BEFORE sliding the shaft off, and make sure the steering wheel is not turned while it is apart.

Then, zip out the two roll mount bolts from the bottom of the gearbox, then four bolts for the subframe and you can lower the whole shebang down as far as needed to do whatever you need to do, plenty of room.

All of that takes maybe 10 minutes (aside from lifting the car and removing the splash shields).
 

burpod

teh stallionz!!1
Joined
Nov 27, 2004
Location
cape cod, ma
TDI
82 rabbit vnt ahu, 98 jetta vnt ahu, 05 parts car, 88 scirocco.. :/
Ohhh. The ones that are part of the rack?...
Can a normal person even source those? Could probably be fabricated, do they use the same connections as brake lines?
 

burn_your_money

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Location
Missouri
TDI
99 Beetle, 96 B4V, 05 Passat wagon
Ohhh. The ones that are part of the rack?...
Can a normal person even source those? Could probably be fabricated, do they use the same connections as brake lines?
Yes you can buy them. They have a flare about 1/4” up from the end that a o ring rests against. A metal locking tab pushes on the other side of the flare and holds it in the rack.

You guys are funny. The subframe is silly cake easy to drop down on these, rack and all.
you’ll need to do an alignment if you drop the rack though right?
[/QUOTE]
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
It is difficult to get the alignment back exactly, but if you are careful and make use of witness marks you can usually do OK but ideally yes, it should be aligned.
 

PakProtector

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Location
AnnArbor, MI
TDI
Mk.4 and the Cummins-es
Aligned by somebody willing to move the sub-frame to equalize the camber. SO they'll need the bolts. And likely instruction. And supervision.
cheers,
Douglas
 

Zak99b5

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Location
Albany NY
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI
I'm assuming the A4 chassis doesn't have the holes (for alignment pins) that the B5 does on the subframe?
 

gmenounos

Vendor
Joined
Jun 26, 2003
Location
Watertown, MA, USA
TDI
'99.5 Golf GLS, '01 Jetta GLX Wagon (TDI conversion)
Ohhh. The ones that are part of the rack?...
Can a normal person even source those? Could probably be fabricated, do they use the same connections as brake lines?
Kind of pricey, but here are a couple options:


 

Nuje

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Location
Island near Vancouver
TDI
2015 Sportwagen; Golf GLS 2002 (swap from 2L gas); 2016 A3 e-tron
Edit - and after finally getting them on, had a major leak a crush washer at the rack. And had to redo it! Man I was pissed. Very hard to clean there, and very easy for the new crush washer to get hung up on a little grit or corrosion. Keep clean! I ended up using a thinner (smaller OD, same ID) to ensure no leak due to corrosion lip
Is there room for another member to join your club? 🤦‍♂️
Just discovered today that the PS fluid leak I thought was confined to the base of the reservoir (which is definitely leaking) is also (and more significantly) at the PS line connection down at the (recently replaced) rack.
Could the leak have been the higher-up of the two bolts so I'd only have to remove that one? Of course it *could* have, but no - it's the lower one. And with no way to get at that lower bolt head without removing the upper bolt, too, well.....yay 🙃.
😡
 

csstevej

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 12, 2004
Location
north nj
TDI
2001 golf tdi 4 door auto now a manual, mine, 2000 golf 2 door M/T son's,daughters 98 NB non-TDI 2.0, 2003 TDI NB for next daughter, head repaired and on road,gluten for punishment got another tdi 2001NB,another yellow tdi NB
I changed mine and didn’t have any issues at all , mine corroded near the banjo fitting.
Just make sure you clean the area with brake cleaning fluid to keep clean.
I think it was harder to route the line around everything than it was to get the banjo fitting started.
 

quartersaw

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2005
Location
Albany, NY
TDI
2002 Jetta Wagon, '96 B4V,'99 2 door Golf
You guys are funny. The subframe is silly cake easy to drop down on these, rack and all.

Go inside the car, and remove the lower plastic cover (two clips that unscrew). Then take the bolt out of the lower shaft and slide the shaft up (super easy since it is inside the car so free of any environmental effects, and they only go on one way). Center the steering first, BEFORE sliding the shaft off, and make sure the steering wheel is not turned while it is apart.

Then, zip out the two roll mount bolts from the bottom of the gearbox, then four bolts for the subframe and you can lower the whole shebang down as far as needed to do whatever you need to do, plenty of room.

All of that takes maybe 10 minutes (aside from lifting the car and removing the splash shields).
If you are laying on the ground, and using hand tools, it's a rotten job.
 

P2B

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Location
Toronto & Muskoka, Canada
TDI
2002 Jetta, 2003 Jetta, 2003 Jetta Wagon
Anybody here previously replace the hard metal lines on the MK4 rack?
I have done it twice, once using OE replacements and once with aftermarket braided lines, and I'm pretty sure the job is in my future again soon - fluid was low in the wagon during pre-winter checks last week :mad:

The braided lines are more expensive but a bit easier to install as they are flexible. Access is tight but the job is doable on jackstands without taking anything else apart.

Germanoem.ca sells the OE lines individually if you want to replace just the one that's leaking, but they are usually both pretty crusty here in the salt belt.
 

Nuje

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Location
Island near Vancouver
TDI
2015 Sportwagen; Golf GLS 2002 (swap from 2L gas); 2016 A3 e-tron
The braided lines are more expensive but a bit easier to install as they are flexible. Access is tight but the job is doable on jackstands without taking anything else apart.
When you say "without taking anything else apart", does that mean you were able to get to the banjo bolts without dropping the subframe?
 

P2B

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Location
Toronto & Muskoka, Canada
TDI
2002 Jetta, 2003 Jetta, 2003 Jetta Wagon
When you say "without taking anything else apart", does that mean you were able to get to the banjo bolts without dropping the subframe?
What banjo bolts? The hard lines are held in by a plate (one T30) at the shaft end and steel clips at the rack end.

Like I said, tight but doable. Access would be much easier if you dropped the subframe but then you likely need an alignment and most shops don't want to adjust the subframe.
 

csstevej

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 12, 2004
Location
north nj
TDI
2001 golf tdi 4 door auto now a manual, mine, 2000 golf 2 door M/T son's,daughters 98 NB non-TDI 2.0, 2003 TDI NB for next daughter, head repaired and on road,gluten for punishment got another tdi 2001NB,another yellow tdi NB
Yeah…… I think your talking about two different lines……
 

csstevej

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 12, 2004
Location
north nj
TDI
2001 golf tdi 4 door auto now a manual, mine, 2000 golf 2 door M/T son's,daughters 98 NB non-TDI 2.0, 2003 TDI NB for next daughter, head repaired and on road,gluten for punishment got another tdi 2001NB,another yellow tdi NB
Ahh I missed that , I saw people talking about the banjo fitting….. not the hard lines……
 

Nuje

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Location
Island near Vancouver
TDI
2015 Sportwagen; Golf GLS 2002 (swap from 2L gas); 2016 A3 e-tron
Oh yeah - I missed that, too; my bad. I thought we were talking about the "hard" lines that have "soft" sections between the hard (banjo-bolted) ends.
As you were.
 

Mpaw

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 21, 2018
Location
Germany
TDI
Caddy 2005 1,9 105 ps; Polo 2015 90PS Bluemotion
If you are laying on the ground, and using hand tools, it's a rotten job.
Exactly!!! That's the main reason I want a hydraulic lift thingy. In principle, it's not a difficult job as long as the car is high enough up, you have a good jack/support for the subframe and you use locating bolts to align it when you reassemble. If you just have axle stands, it’s manageable but certainly not comfortable, at least at my age.
 

mrrhtuner

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Location
London Ont Canada
TDI
2003 Jetta Wagon TDI, 2015 Passat TDI, 2015 Touareg TDI
Well as an update, I decided to drop the subframe and check out the rack.

I've ordered a replacement set of lines from Roseland VW. Looks like I need a few other things to replace on the car.


Thanks for all the comments. I tried to get to the hard lines with the rack installed but the struggle was too much for me :)
 

Mpaw

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 21, 2018
Location
Germany
TDI
Caddy 2005 1,9 105 ps; Polo 2015 90PS Bluemotion
Can you elaborate? There are only two bolts attaching the subframe to the body. Where do you place these "locating bolts" ?
Sorry - I didn't see that til now.
Basically they are equivalent to VW T10096 (it's easy to find similar, very cheap copies, e.g. "US PRO 4PC VW T5 Sub-Frame Locating Pin Set Subframe Alignment Locating Pins" ). They are called 'locating pins' by VW
You screw them in immediately into the hole that you have taken the bolt out of as you take each bolt out which holds the subframe (one by one). The outside bit of the locking screw becomes 'fixed' by tightening them (only about 15nM) and then subframe comes off. When you put the subframe back, it can only fit in one position.
There are rubber bands which hold on the movable outside bit - I found it easier to take them off, although then you need to make sure the outside bit doesn't fall around / is in the right place before tightening it up.
First time I did a subframe it was much work to get it back in right place, check wheel alignment etc. But with these at least the subframe goes back in same place quite easily.
(and I think there are fours bolts altogether)
 
Last edited:

quartersaw

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2005
Location
Albany, NY
TDI
2002 Jetta Wagon, '96 B4V,'99 2 door Golf
Exactly!!! That's the main reason I want a hydraulic lift thingy. In principle, it's not a difficult job as long as the car is high enough up, you have a good jack/support for the subframe and you use locating bolts to align it when you reassemble. If you just have axle stands, it’s manageable but certainly not comfortable, at least at my age.
I feel your pain. I am 68, and working on the ground is getting really 'old'. I've seen portable lifts on E Bay, but @ $1200, I'd like to get some feedback, on how strong they are. Having a lift, and air tools, and the work can be done over a few cups of coffee.
 
Last edited:

quartersaw

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2005
Location
Albany, NY
TDI
2002 Jetta Wagon, '96 B4V,'99 2 door Golf
I must confess, that I stripped one of the Banjo bolts. I pulled the head assembly off of the (original)leaking rack, and it worked out fine.
I learned a hard lesson, on getting those bolts correctly aligned!
 
Last edited:
Top