MK4 Power Steering Leaking from Hard Lines

gmenounos

Vendor
Joined
Jun 26, 2003
Location
Watertown, MA, USA
TDI
'99.5 Golf GLS, '01 Jetta GLX Wagon (TDI conversion)
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.
I made a set of these: https://www.myturbodiesel.com/d2/1000q/multi/wood-block.htm
They can get the car up pretty high and seem very safe. But they're heavy to move around (and I used pressure treated wood, so even heavier). A lot cheaper than a lift, though. I used them when I replaced the transmission in my Golf a few years ago.

I replaced the steering rack in the Golf this past summer and didn't bother to use the blocks. Jack stands got the car plenty high for that job.

I've heard good things about this BendPak mid-rise lift: http://thehackmechanic.blogspot.com/2013/11/removing-installinga-transmission-using.html
I considered buying one, but my garage ceiling is pretty low, the lift weighs 800 pounds and my garage is underneath the house at the bottom of a steep driveway, so not the easiest thing to have delivered.
 

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
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.
A couple years ago, I bought a QuickJack 5000SLX (good for up to 5000lbs - which now seems to be discontinued on QuickJack's site). It's a bit of a hassle to get everything under the car and the car lifted, but really, not a whole lot more than if you had a big shop lift. Its max lift height is 21", IIRC, and which has been more than enough for everything I've wanted to do - transmission swaps, replacing steering rack being the most recent.
A few other VW guys who've come by have commented on how handy it looks - having everything in the air, super-stable, wheels off or on doesn't matter. One of the better $1500(CAD) I've spent, for sure.

If you have a Costco membership, look at their online store - even though I'd never seen one in the stores, I bought it from Costco.ca, and shipped to my door in less than a week, it was over $300 less than anywhere else I'd seen it.
 
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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
I must confess, that I stripped one of the Banjo bolts. I pulled the head assembly off of the leaking rack, and it worked out fine.
I learned a hard lesson, on getting those bolts correctly aligned!
For those dealing with the banjo bolts, take note that the two bolts are different sizes (M14 on the lower and M16 on the higher one), and as such, there are TWO different size sealing washers. The reason I ended up with a leak when replacing the bad rack is that I didn't bother to check the sealing crush washers and ended up with four larger ones from the parts dept. It didn't strike me that the smaller bolt should have a washer that fit as snugly as the washer on the larger bolt. 🤦‍♂️
 

krazykipa

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2015
Location
GTA
TDI
2003 Golf TDI (RIP), 2006 Jetta Wagon TDI
I'm in the middle of this job and wondering if anyone has a trick to getting the rusty clips off? I'll have to reuse them so I don't want to go too bonkers, but they are rust-fused to the in/outlets. No room to get an air chisel or something similar in there. Currently soaking in PB. Will pull the rack if I need to...

 

krazykipa

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2015
Location
GTA
TDI
2003 Golf TDI (RIP), 2006 Jetta Wagon TDI
Incredible, it worked! I owe you a beer... honey lager from Perth Brewery?

Took an hour of finagling, so it's a job that requires the patience of a saint, but got them out in the end.
EDIT: I didn't take the downpipe off, which is probably why I struggled so much...

Note the bottom clip was oriented towards the bottom, so I first rotated 90° using the vise grip so that it would 'eject' to the left, and then tapped at it from the right using the long blue screwdriver and hammer:

 
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UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Regarding the subframe alignment tool that Mpaw mentioned, I see there are kits with (2) pins and kits with (4) pins. How many pins are required (2)? The (4) pin kits seem to be plastic and the ones with (2) pins appear to be metal (which I'd think I'd trust more?).
 

gmenounos

Vendor
Joined
Jun 26, 2003
Location
Watertown, MA, USA
TDI
'99.5 Golf GLS, '01 Jetta GLX Wagon (TDI conversion)
Weird, when I replaced my rack I didn't even notice that there was enough play to misadjust anything. After bolting it back together I brought it to an alignment shop and it's been great ever since. I don't know if the alignment shop did anything with the subframe, but I doubt it.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Not all alignment places can adjust these subframes: my primary shop cannot, but another one (also a Les Schwab) that's not too far away can. I might have to take the wife's Golf there as it has a slight pull but is "aligned". I suppose that no sooner would I have and use the tool(s) that I'd find that I STILL needed to get things aligned (mess up the tie rods)! I'll save my money and apply it towards an alignment.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
krazykipa, did you have to remove anything other than the bits (screw+plate and clips) for the hard lines?

Anyone use the braided lines from EAA Engineering? Seems like they _might_ be easier to install (routing-wise). Never mind, they only take PayPal (stopped using PayPal). Looks like I'll have to go with the factory replacement ones.

Not quite as bad but bad enough (haven't looked at the other end yet):
 
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krazykipa

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2015
Location
GTA
TDI
2003 Golf TDI (RIP), 2006 Jetta Wagon TDI
krazykipa, did you have to remove anything other than the bits (screw+plate and clips) for the hard lines?
Not for the initial removal. For the install, it was super difficult to get the new lines to seat properly, they seem to need a very solid and perfectly perpendicular force to enter fully.

I think if I messed with it for another hour I could have gotten it... instead I chose to cut my losses, remove the rack, and also gave everything a thorough rust cleaning and Fluid Film treatment for peace of mind.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
These lines were mentioned: picture below. I'd look to buy them as I think they'd get around the possible problem that krazykipa ran in to, but they only accept PayPal and I'm NOT going to sign up for an account (I had one but dropped it). Doesn't seem like this is anything exotic. Thinking that I can find these pieces somewhere. I don't know what the terminology is for the line ends (refer to original lines; and in this case fittings/elbows). I'm seeing "beaded" as being one possible descriptor: everything that I can locate via this description looks like it has insufficient depth to accommodate a seal (as the original lines have but which are not shown for this aftermarket solution [not sure if they come with them or not]).


 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
From the photo, those look like compression fittings, Don't know what the little red pieces are.
ID Parts (very expensive) factory style lines show compression on one end, banjo bolt on the other. Believe the banjo set-up uses washers, compression should seal against the bevel where it screws in.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Bob, these are for the equalizer(?) hard lines on the rack itself (see my picture above that shows my corroded lines- BTW, I have verified that there's a crack right at the elbow of the lower line), not the pump lines.
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
O.K.,now I remember, the rack has lines just for the rack. Be surprised if you could even find those. Be a real ***** to get those off and back on. Looks like there is a collar retaining compression end pipes. I'd be getting a new rack.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Bob, people replace these hard lines (see above). I have a set ordered and coming but am looking for insurance against the possibility that I'd have problems fitting a new set of hard lines. Regardless, I'd still like to know what the technical term is for this style of line end (I _think_ "beaded" is likely it but cannot confirm- it's like line is ballooned [or shouldered]). Refer to krazykipa's pictures that show the hard lines removed (in a box).
 

P2B

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Location
Toronto & Muskoka, Canada
TDI
2002 Jetta, 2003 Jetta, 2003 Jetta Wagon
These lines were mentioned: picture below. I'd look to buy them as I think they'd get around the possible problem that krazykipa ran in to, but they only accept PayPal and I'm NOT going to sign up for an account (I had one but dropped it). Doesn't seem like this is anything exotic. Thinking that I can find these pieces somewhere. I don't know what the terminology is for the line ends (refer to original lines; and in this case fittings/elbows). I'm seeing "beaded" as being one possible descriptor: everything that I can locate via this description looks like it has insufficient depth to accommodate a seal (as the original lines have but which are not shown for this aftermarket solution [not sure if they come with them or not]).


My son installed a set like that on his wagon, came with everything needed and worked fine, but he said the extra compression fittings made them really fiddly to install and he would stick to the OEM style in future. I have installed a couple of OEM style sets without difficulty - decent lighting helps.
 

quartersaw

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2005
Location
Albany, NY
TDI
2002 Jetta Wagon, '96 B4V,'99 2 door Golf
Weird, when I replaced my rack I didn't even notice that there was enough play to misadjust anything. After bolting it back together I brought it to an alignment shop and it's been great ever since. I don't know if the alignment shop did anything with the subframe, but I doubt it.
I did the same thing. I just put the bolts back, with a battery powered Impact wrench. I did a wheel alignment, with a pair of Jack Stands, and Masonry string, and the car tracks perfectly straight!
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
P2B, is the strategy to connect up the ends toward the right side of the rack first? I'm thinking that it would be easier to do any messing about on the other end of the lines (where they go into the tower(?).
 

P2B

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Location
Toronto & Muskoka, Canada
TDI
2002 Jetta, 2003 Jetta, 2003 Jetta Wagon
I try to get all 4 ends properly seated in their sockets, then install the plate at the tower, and put the clips on last.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Thanks! Kind of what I was thinking was the best strategy. New lines won't arrive until the 9th, in which case it'll be a while before I'm able to get around to this. Likely start pre-soaking stuff this weekend: no idea what the right side looks like yet.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Well... All was all going fine until I got to the T30 bolt on the tower part. Don't have enough range to swing the ratchet and the bolt is insanely stuck (needs a straight-on impact wrench, the kind you strike with a hammer) beat on it with a small hammer. I think I stripped the bolt head.

Looks like I'm going to have to drop the cross member.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
I bailed myself out! I broke off the lines from the tower side to give me more working room (I'd already cut off the hanger mount for the cat- it was a rusty mess; that helped make room). I ended up using a 7/16"/11mm bolt extractor to get the bolt out.

Had no issues with the clips.

Also, found it easier to remove the shield bolt on the tower (left) side which is toward the engine, from the engine bay, top side. Used a bunch of extentions.

I am now all set to put the lines in as soon as they show up.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
New lines arrived*. Do/should I lube the o-rings (with steering fluid) or leave them dry?

* Interestingly they're black. Haven't had any time to look closely at them to see if they're painted or what, but suspect that they're improved over the stock bare steel.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Finally got around to completing the repair/replacement of the hard lines. I installed the short line's right side first and then the left side in the tower. I then installed the long line's left side in the tower (snugged down both lines there) and then installed the right side. I found that on the longer line the bend, which is on the right side, provided more ability to twist and flex to get it to seat. Another tip: install the top line's right side working from the front of the car: I had left my skid plate on but had to remove it because the clip shot off and I couldn't locate it (chewed up a ton of time trying to fish it out via telescoping magnet- failed at that so the skid plate needed to be dropped).

Don't know whether it's psychological or what, but the steering now feels a lot more nimble than I recall. Many thanks to all who provided the inspiration to replace the lines.
 
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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
(chewed up a ton of time trying to fish it out via telescoping magnet- failed at that so the skid plate needed to be dropped).
Haha! I hate playing that "it'll take me 10minutes to move stuff to get to [whatever]; but if I can just grab it with this tool...nope that didn't quite do it; how abou.......nope; what do I have in the garage that's kinda shaped like...nope; hmmm....maybe if I put this on that, but grind it down so it fits and then bend the end so that....." game, and half an hour later having to punt and do the 10-minute removal thing anyway. 🤦‍♂️😁
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Nuje, in hindsight things can be pretty humorous. When you're deep into creating the story the humor just doesn't seem to be there:D
 
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