Porsche Boxster Steering Rack Replacement
Today I will explain how to replace a steering rack on the Boxster. The project is pretty straight forward and is not complicated. The video at the end of the article will explain how to do everything in detail. You will need many tools to get the job done and you’ll also need to get the power steering fluid. Make sure that it is compatible with your vehicle. I used CHF 11S and one bottle was enough.
The reason I replaced the rack was because it was leaking from one side. If yours is leaking, you can’t just keep adding fluid for a long time as every time you need to add the fluid, you’ll have to remove bunch of parts to access the engine.
To start, keep your steering wheel straight and jack up your vehicle. Remove two front wheels.
Now remove the tie rod end links on two sides. I first loose the nut with 18mm socket wrench. Then I used 18mm wrench and T40 star tool. You’ll need to lock the threat with T40 and remove the nut with 18mm wrench.
To actually take off the tie rod end link from the wheel assembly, you’ll have to either use a special tool or use a hammer. With a hammer, just keep the nut on the threat and beat on the nut. That will cause the tie rod end link to drop down. Obviously do that on two front wheel assemblies.
Again, make sure your steering wheel is straight.
There are two 15mm bolts under the vehicle that secure the steering rack to the body. I used a breaker bar to remove them.
Now you’ll need T50 socket to remove the bracket that holds in two power steering lines in. It is tough to get area, so you’ll need several different extensions for this job.
After removing the bracket, you’ll have to pull out two power steering lines. Try to pull them out with your hands, but if that does not work out, you may need to use other tools that would help you pull the lines towards you.
Now you have to remove the 13mm bolt. The bolt holds steering column onto steering rack. As with previous step, you may need several extensions to get the job done.
Once you remove the bolt, you’ll have to pry out the steering column. I used pry bar and big flat head screw driver. When I was doing the job again several weeks later, I noticed that inserting flat head screwdriver in the steering column, where the 13mm bolt crosses, is very helpful with removing the steering column. Another possible good advice, make sure you mark with a marker exact position of the steering column and steering rack. That may or may not help with steering wheel’s default position.
Once you remove the steering column from steering rack, it is time to slide out the steering rack. You’ll have to slide it towards driver’s side. To do that, slightly lift up the steering rack and turn it clockwise and then pull it towards you (driver’s side). It may take several tries to get it right, but don’t give up, it will come out.
At this time, my advice is to compare your old steering rack with your replacement rack and make sure that they are identical or very similar.
I also sprayed engine degreaser in the rack area to clean everything up as my previous rack was leaking fluid. You can do that as well. Just make sure you flush it down with water as leaving engine degreaser fluid for a long time can damage some materials. Also, make sure the power steering lines are clean after washing the area with engine degreaser.
Now slide in steering rack replacement through driver’s side. Make sure you turn the rack clockwise a bit in order to insert the rack fully. Once the steering rack is inserted, you can start with installing steering column on the steering rack. In my opinion you should do that before you insert power steering fluid lines just to have more work space.
Steering rack has a small black plastic cap that will contact steering column. Make sure it aligns properly with the steering column because if it won’t, you won’t be able to connect the column to the rack.
Start by inserting the steering column unto steering rack by hand. Then use a large pry bar or other long metal piece. I used socket wrench extension as well. Do not insert the steering column all the way to the rack. Leave a little space between the two.
Once you inserted the column, secure it with 13mm bolt tightly.
Next step is the installation of two power steering lines. They are different sizes so you won’t accidently insert them in the wrong spots. For me, one of the lines did not go in easily, I used a wrench socket extension to force the line in.
After that, I inserted the bracket with T50 bolt. You can secure it tightly, but you do not need to use a breaker bar or something like that.
Finally, you have to secure the steering rack with 15mm bolts under the vehicle. Just make sure rack is aligned with the holes in the vehicle and install. Secure the rack with the bolts pretty tightly.
Install steering end links into wheel assemblies. In my installation, my steering rack came with steering end links, so I did not need to assemble end links to the rack. If you do, make sure the measurements will be exactly the same as your old rack with end links.
Now you’re done with the front. Now it seems like all you need to do is just add power steering fluid in the trunk or hood or whatever. Turns out not exactly, to add power steering fluid, you need to get to the top portion of the engine, which is not as easy as on most vehicles.
Now I will explain how to get to the top of the engine. First you need to put top in the service mode. To do that you need to open your top so that there are about 3 inches between the windshield and top. That way you will have access to the engine section.
There are two straps with ball joints. One is on driver’s side and one is on passenger side. Just remove them. Also push down top fabric. You’ll have to look at the pictures or video to see where exactly it is located. Once you push down the top fabric, move it forward towards the front of the vehicle.
Now you can move the rear window to the front. When you move it, it stays in that position.
Now you need to remove two brackets, one on each side. I used two small screwdrivers to get it done. When you remove the brackets, move the lid forward. You can use a small tool or stick to make sure the lid not going to drop down.
Now remove the leather pouch or rear speaker box. If you have rear speaker box, make sure you disconnect the connector. I have leather pouch. There are two plastic brackets that hold the speaker box or leather pouch. To remove the bracket, just lift one side and twist it. The bracket should come off easily.
Now you’ll need to remove the carpet or mat or whatever it’s called. It’s under the speaker box or leather pouch. In mine, I just had to remove two more brackets and it came off.
Now you see the engine cover. It is secured by 5 metal brackets. Just twist them and then remove the cover.
I cleaned the engine with engine degreaser and water. You don’t have to do this, but I figured since I have access to the engine, I might as well do it. Also check your air filter. I did not have a replacement, so I kept the same filter. But if you have time to get replacement, it might be a good time to change it as well.
Now we’ll add power steering fluid. If you have a clean funnel, use that. I don’t, so I ended up just pouring power steering fluid without funnel. I missed sometimes and fluid ended up going down the plastic and metal parts of engine. If you are going to do it without funnel, make sure you clean everything with water. You don’t want power steering fluid to stay on plastic or rubber pieces too long.
Use CHF 11S power steering fluid. I don’t know if any other fluid is compatible with 986 Boxster.
When the power steering box is full of fluid, start the car. Let it idle for a minute or two, then start turning the steering wheel fully to the left and then to the right. Do it for several minutes. The reason you need to do that is so that power steering fluid will go where it needs to go.
Turn the car off and check power steering fluid level again. More than likely, you’ll have to add more fluid. I had to add a lot at this step. I think if you put more than enough of power steering fluid, you’ll be fine. That is my opinion though, so do that or anything else I covered at your own risk.
Now it’s time to put everything back together. First put the engine cover back on and secure it with 5 metal brackets.
Then put on the carpet and secure it with two plastic brackets.
After that goes leather pouch or speaker box. I had leather pouch with 2 plastic brackets. If you have speaker box, I believe you’ll have to connect the speaker connector and secure the box with two long plastic brackets.
Next step is partially closing down the lid. If you have some small stick or whatever that holds the lid in the up position, make sure you remove the small stick. Now you have to reinstall two brackets, you’ll have to partially move down the lid and align it with a mount on the sides and then install the metal brackets.
Now lower the rear window, slide the fabric back in and connect the strings with ball joints.
Now just open the top completely and then close it completely to make sure the top is operating properly.
You are all set. If you have any questions, feel free to let me know. You can share a link to the article on forums or anywhere else.
Here is a full video of the installation: