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Full Version Broken steering rack - breaking my 2.5 XM estate

Club XM Forum > XM General Issues
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endorfin
Steering didn't feel right today so I called the RAC who said the steering rack has broken.

This is the end of the line for me, much as I love the car I just feel I'm not mechanically minded to keep an XM on the road so sadly I have decided to break it unless someone can offer me a decent price to sell it whole. As I feel I would get more for it than I would by selling it as it is with a broken steering rack even though its still drivable.

It has an excellent 2.5 TD engine with no overheating or head gasket issues, since I fitted the new thermostat temp stays nicely at 90. Very rare cream leather interior in very good condition. Its a VSX but practically an Exclusive with electric armrest & leather steering wheel. I feel I've spent far too much on it to just sell it as it is as I know it wouldn't fetch much so I think my only option is to break it. I can imagine a steering rack plus labour would be very expensive.

It also runs very happily on vegetable oil, which was the original reason for getting the car. None of the problems I've had have been veg oil related.

It has MOT until end of September, its taxed til the same but its disabled tax so would only be able to let the buyer keep it until he gets home & gets it taxed himself. Has full service history up to around 120k I think and current genuine mileage is 133k, I've changed the oil every 4k. All the spheres have been changed by Pliades in the last 6 months. The rear OS ABS sensor has failed but the ABS still works. The car still drives and can be steered but I wouldn't recommend going on the motorways until the steering rack is sorted out.
Ken newbold
That's really bad news sad.gif

Whereabouts are you? and any pics of the car might help give it a chance.

To the more technically minded:- What would be the easiest way to change the rack? dropping the subframe?
Also, would it be worth getting a second opinion just in case it's something easier like the steering coupling that's failed?
endorfin
I'm in Brighton, Sussex.

I'll attach some pics when I've washed the seagull poo off! But its a maroon colour and the body is excellent.

I've had time to reflect though and tried looking for another vegetable oil runner but can't really find anything feasible so I may try looking into getting this fixed. The engine is absolutely brilliant and it would be a shame to scrap it. I think I'm just feeling frustrated that this XM seems to be a bottemless pit of throwing money at it and with parts getting scarce it can only get worse.

Will see if I can take it to a local garage and get a second opinion on the rack but I would have thought a RAC bloke would know what he's talking about?

If it needs a new steering rack how much am I looking at?
XMX
QUOTE (endorfin @ )
.................If it needs a new steering rack how much am I looking at?

I have a reconditioned steering rack available which takes the larger track rod ends, (This should be the norm for the 2.5 TD models), PM sent !

biggrin.gif
noz
Hi Endorfin,

Sorry to hear about your woes. It would be a real shame to have to get rid of your XM because of the steering rack. Having replaced the rack in my 2.5TD recently I can confirm that its not the worst job in the world. I have done it 3 times recently and now being aware of the dismantling sequence I was able to get the rack out in about 3/4 of an hour.

I took photos the last time and meant to put together a self-help file. I just haven't got around to it yet. The secret is dropping the rear end of the front subframe to give you enough room to slide it out from the drivers side.

Putting the new rack back into the car is difficult in the sense that you have to get the wheels facing forwards and parallel, enter the track rod ends in the hubs and align the steering wheel straight ahead. When all these things are lined up then the splined shaft of the pinion valve should be offered up to the splines on the bottom half of the coupling. If you get it one or more splines out then the steering wheel will not be pointing straight ahead when the wheels are pointing straight ahead. This can take several attempts to get right.

If giving you a self help file would make the difference between keeping the car or scrapping it then I'd set aside some time to do it. I'd encourage you to do that if possible. Someone on Club-XM will sell you a second hand rack I'm sure.

Cheers

noz cool.gif
endorfin
Thanks Noz.

On the other XM forum its been said that it's more likely to be the coupling than the actual rack. The wheels still turn when I turn the steering wheel when stationary.

I'm going to see if I can get a mechanic to come and take a look and give me a second opinion & go from there.
citroenxm
Shame this didn't happen up here in N Wales!!

Id gladly come and have a look for you!

Paul
endorfin
I wish it'd happened in Wales, my brother has a garage at Towyn crossroads so he could have looked at it and possibly sorted it out.

Probably just a coincidence but this problem started not long after getting the trackinl,g done at ATS in Rhyl, afterwards I started on my way home to Brighton & the car didn't feel quite right and there was a rattling noise. 250 miles later I had the problem with the steering.
citroenxm
Whats the latest endorfin??

Save or let go?

Paul
XMX
QUOTE (citroenxm @ )
Whats the latest endorfin??

Save or let go?

Paul

Paul,
IIRC he stated on the other forum (Buts it's down at the mo) that he's away on holiday for 2 week's (That was a week ago) and that he'd sort it out when he got back !

However he must have been in touch with ATS just before/whilst on holiday as he also posted up (on the other forum) some reference to some dialogue that took place with the ATS Customer Service Dept. but IIRC it was the usual polite (two finger) response mad.gif

So I'm sure we will get an update when he's back from his hol's !

smile.gif

XMX



endorfin
Well the update is that I responded to ATS with a (polite) threatening email of taking things further and it seems to have prompted a response from them. It seems they are looking into having a look at the car to see if they are responsible and hopefully rectify the problem. The Rhyl ATS area manager is away apparently (aren't they always!) but they are going to put it to the Brighton area manager and see what he's prepared to do, won't hear anything until Monday.

They did ask for a description of what happened and asked if the steering failure happened on the same day as I had the alignment work carried out. It didn't it happened on the second day I used the car to continue my journey home, which was a few days apart but the car had been parked doing nothing til I continued my journey. They'll probably try to use that to wriggle out of it saying I had used the car for a week before the fault developed.

I did describe the problem on the moneysavingexpert forum but the thread has descended into a flame war as usual!

Will keep you posted.
Dieselman
Having parted the track rod on my car on Wednesday, I can't really see how ATS could damage the rack unless they had it extended and swung so hard on the rod it broke the rack, but then it would be completely disconnected.

I still think the rubber coupling has failed.
endorfin
You're quite probably right but I don't know enough to check. I'll have a look underneath the car if someone could tell me what to look for.
XMX
QUOTE (endorfin @ )
........................

I did describe the problem on the moneysavingexpert forum but the thread has descended into a flame war as usual!

Will keep you posted.


Here's the LINK to /\ !
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


QUOTE (endorfin @ )
You're quite probably right but I don't know enough to check. I'll have a look underneath the car if someone could tell me what to look for.


Here's some picture's to help (I hope you don't mind Dean) :- LINK#1 and LINK#2 you can easily identify the rubber U/J disc which DM is referring to just outside the bulk-head on the Drivers side !
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

If you can get the rubber U/J (between the steering column shaft end and the rack) inspected and find out that's it not that first ?

After that (or even maybe first) I have a question for you, have you checked the LHM tank for the correct oil level ?

I know that if its low that the warning light and information panel should highlight this (But it has been known for the float/sensor to get seized and then you get no warnings or the dash bulb has failed/faulty connection).

I'm asking you to check this out, the reason being is that I had a situation once on my 2.5 TD where the steering went rather vague and sometimes rather hard/difficult to steer in the direction you wanted to !

As I had convinced myself that there was possibly a lack of LHM fluid getting to the HP pump/PAS, but that the suspension was working fairly okay albeit a little lazy to rise sometimes so I was thinking that the HP pump was Fubared !

So after 2 to 3 week's off searching around I tracked it down to the small rubber pipe which comes out of the top of the LHM tank (IIRC which has the larger bore on the tank end and tapered down to a smaller bore) which connects to the HP feed pipe !

I'd looked around this rubber pipe before which looked initially okay (The crack was on the underside facing the tank) so after giving this rubber pipe a bit of a 'lift upwards' the pipe just sheared off across it's cross-section and on closer inspection I could see where there was an old hairline crack (As it was damp with LHM fluid) and the remaining section from the 'Fresh' break was clean and dry from where it had completely sheared thro' from the 'Lifting upwards' I'd subjected the pipe to !

Lucky I'd got some old BX rubber Octopus/pipe's from which I managed to select a section to cut from which gave the correct length and had the correct tapered internal dia's which enabled me to carry out an instant repair with out even tracking down to the main stealer for this part and I've had no vague steering issues since (At least three years ago) !

So basically the symptom/problem was, the HP feed pipe was occasionally drawing in air and not providing enough/constant fluid to the HP pump to feed the PAS on the steering rack, I have written about this scenario/problem on the other forum a few times (I'd put a link in, but the sites still down at the moment ) sad.gif

I hope that this is what's actually wrong with your XM, as it's a very simple fix and you can be enjoying driving the XM rather than thinking of scrapping it/looking for a replacement or getting involved with the dummies/monkey's/chimp's @ A*S !

I hope this may be of help to you/others.

biggrin.gif

XMX
endorfin
No, I didn't have any of those problems with the steering before this happened. Power steering was fine. The LHM level float is always between the 2 markers & definitely isn't stuck as it does move according to how much fluid is in.

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