Power steering rack boots

General information about the first-generation Nissan Maxima in the US. What was the Datsun 810 became the luxury leader Maxima in the US in 1981.

Moderators: plenzen, goglio704, glenlloyd, Nissan_Ranger

Post Reply
atalamark
Posts: 38
Joined: 12 years ago
Location: portland,or

Power steering rack boots

#1

Post by atalamark » 12 years ago

Hey there-

I just had the local oil change guys tell me they wouldn't change the oil on my '82 Maxima because the CV boots were torn and that it was a liabilty.
Not sure what that means but.....
I did notice that both the front CV boots are torn and I did a search here on this but didn't find too much other than it seems that maybe its REALLY hard to get the suckers apart to replace the boots and also that even with torn boots they can last a long time?
What are CV issues, as far as symptoms of ones that are bad? Isn't it a clicking sound when turning corners? I don't hear any sound from them but sometimes I do hear a weird rubbing sound from the front end at low speeds.........
Any info/advice? I'm still not sure if I want to keep this car or sell it, I'm just drving it a bunch and seeing what the problems might be.....so far the CV's are the only possible issue perhaps.....

mark kaylor

User avatar
kassim503
Posts: 1027
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Stony Brook, NY

Re: CV boots

#2

Post by kassim503 » 12 years ago

atalamark wrote: I just had the local oil change guys tell me they wouldn't change the oil on my '82 Maxima because the CV boots were torn and that it was a liabilty.
Thats BS. Mabye if the cv joint broke and flew across with such force it went all the way across the way and blew through the oil pan... :wink:
I did notice that both the front CV boots are torn and........... last a long time?
The 81-84 maximas are rwd and have cv joints on the rear. No cv joints in the front.
What are CV issues, as far as symptoms of ones that are bad? Isn't it a clicking sound when turning corners? I don't hear any sound from them but sometimes I do hear a weird rubbing sound from the front end at low speeds..
Mabye a bad front wheel bearing.
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

diesel-man
Posts: 150
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Elkton, MD

#3

Post by diesel-man » 12 years ago

Chances are you need to find a local mechanic that has a few years experience that has a private shop. You need to ask friends/coworkers etc. where they go and find somebody reputable. Going to a franchised chain of ___________ stores is going to make you the loser. The reason is that somewhere there is a regional manager that looks at the financials from "that" store and basically puts pressure on the local manager to increase profits or else....or else he gets replaced with someone who can.

81 through 84 Maximas are rear wheel drive, so the CV joints are on the rear and have no effect when the front wheels are turned to make a corner. Possibly the rubbing noise is a front brake pad worn out. Either way you need a seasoned mechanic not a kid working at Jiffy Lube that just found out yesterday that oil and brake fluid actually are different.

A diesel Maxima is the lowest cost vehicle I have seen, in my opinion. (considering it is over 25 yrs old)

atalamark
Posts: 38
Joined: 12 years ago
Location: portland,or

okay okay

#4

Post by atalamark » 12 years ago

So yeah I should have known the car was RWD so the CV joints are in the back....so I guess what I'm talking about are the rubber boots that are on the front driveshaft, one on each side. These are torn badly on my car, you can see metal through each one. How hard is it to replace these, what would the part be called? I think thats what the dude at the oil change place was talking about, it didn't dawn on me at the time the CVs are not what we're talking about here......

mark

Carimbo
Posts: 459
Joined: 14 years ago

Re: okay okay

#5

Post by Carimbo » 12 years ago

atalamark wrote:....so I guess what I'm talking about are the rubber boots that are on the front driveshaft, one on each side.
There is no front driveshaft. What you are describing are the power steering rack boots, they look like cylindrical accordion bellows, almost always torn or otherwise rotted on all the cars I have seen. They help keep the inner tierods clean which in turn keep the seals in better shape which in turn prevents PS fluid from leaking out the rack.

To replace them you need to disconnect and remove the outer tierod ends (count and record how many turns so you can reinstall them to the same length), remove the remains of the old boots, clean up the exposed inner tierods, install the new boots making sure to place the left/right pressure equalization tube in the correct position (refer to the FSM), reinstall the outer tierods, threading them in the same number of turns you counted when removing them.

This is a good time to inspect the outer tierods (and other frontend suspension wear parts) and replace them as necessary. IMHO, the FE suspension parts on these cars are not particularly robust.

User avatar
kassim503
Posts: 1027
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Stony Brook, NY

Re: okay okay

#6

Post by kassim503 » 12 years ago

Carimbo wrote: To replace them you need to disconnect and remove the outer tierod ends (count and record how many turns so you can reinstall them to the same length), remove the remains of the old boots, clean up the exposed inner tierods, install the new boots making sure to place the left/right pressure equalization tube in the correct position (refer to the FSM), reinstall the outer tierods, threading them in the same number of turns you counted when removing them.
When I removed my tie rods while changing the boot, I took some bright orange spray paint, backed off the locking nut and sprayed the threads of the rack and let the paint set up before removing the locking nut and tie rod, just tighten the tie rods until the paint line.

FYI- drivers side boot is smaller in diameter than the other, and NAPA has the left and right boot wrong when I checked online, it made a simple 15 minute job turn into a hour on the passeneger side, until I found out whats was going on.

Bad rack boots wouldnt make any grinding noises. I drove mine with ripped boots for a good 6 months, I feel that the boots have too little ribs, so they compress too much and stretch too much within the range of travel.
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

atalamark
Posts: 38
Joined: 12 years ago
Location: portland,or

I'm way off!

#7

Post by atalamark » 12 years ago

okay so my terminology and knowledge of this area of automobiles is very obvious now!

My car has a completely defunct power steering unit, to there's no way I'm gonna be leaking any fluid out.

How bad is it if I leave the boots unchanged?

User avatar
kassim503
Posts: 1027
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Stony Brook, NY

#8

Post by kassim503 » 12 years ago

ah, dirt would get into the rack and probably prematurely wear it out. Also the lack of fluid in the rack would probably not be good for it either.

Is the pump broke? If it is, disconnect the belt and fill it with fluid, just to have fluid in there, and dirt dosent get into the rack by broken boots, the boots protect dirt from grinding up the o-rings.

Ah, also I just remembered there is a inner tie rod that is protected by the pwrsteering boot, the dirt would grind up the inner tie rod, resulting in catastrophic failure (most likely).

I ran mine for about 6 months open, and had to replace the drivers side inner tie rod because of dirt grinding it up. Just replace it.
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

User avatar
asavage
Site Admin
Posts: 5347
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Duvall, Wash.
Contact:

#9

Post by asavage » 12 years ago

I apologize for not reading this thread thoroughly, I just skimmed it.

The oil filter change will drip lots of engine oil on the right PS rack boot, and when they go to wipe it off, they will have touched the bad part and they do not want the liability.

The PS rack boots are "usually" cracked. This lets dirt into the rack and makes it un-rebuildable.

A rebuilt rack is under $200. Labor to change it is probably 1.5 hours at shop rate. However, Kassim's method notwithstanding, an alignment is needed after disturbing the tie rod ends -- which have to be removed to change the boots. This is the professional method and is Good Shop Practice.

However . . . what often occurs is that the car is not align-able, due to wear (worn parts cannot be aligned). Inner tie rod ends are esp. likely with boots that have been open for a while.

Summary: change your own engine oil and ignore the front end. You are selling it: do not fix it to sell it, sell it to avoid fixing it!

Oil change does require a special new drain plug gasket: 16.4mm . Get one before you remove the plug.

Filter is Wix 51085 or NAPA 1085. Well, that's not the "correct" number, it it fits and works well. See the FAQ, Oil Filter section for more info.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest