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> Steering Rack Id / Suspension Rebuild
wherwagen240
post Feb 29 2008, 04:20 PM
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hey all,
im new to this forum and I am about to start tearing apart the front end on my 91 240 wagon. I have a few questions regarding this:

first up, ipd sez that there is a plaque between the grille and radiator which indicates the code for the steering rack. I find no such plaque, except for one on the passenger side wheelwell which has the VIN at the top and a few unlabeled fields. the bottom most one simply contains the number 2. is this the code? (which ipd sez indicates a CAM rack) if not how do i find out what rack i have?

secondly, i am essentially replacing all the wear parts in the front end as it is long past due and the car bucks like an angry bull above 40 mph, should i replace said steering rack along with all the usual suspects (struts ball joints etc.) ? how does one check a steering rack to make sure it is OK, and finally, should the steering U-joint also be replaced?

finally, i was thinking about dropping the car an inch in front, but i cant afford lowering springs, is cutting coils really such a bad idea? a buddy of mine did it to his chevy and it seemed to be fine.

thnx guys
-MF
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wherwagen240
post Mar 5 2008, 02:49 AM
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bump
anyone?
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240on280
post Mar 5 2008, 10:00 AM
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The easy way to identify the rack is to look at the steering rack boots. If the opening at the track rod is small (~1 cm) it is a Cam rack if they are large (> 2 cm) it is a ZF.
It's impossible to tell what needs to be replaced without inspecting everything. If the rubber boots on the track-rod ends or the ball joints are torn they are going to fail. If you jack the car up, start looking around and pull on different parts to see if they are knocking. The easiest way to test the struts is to lean sharply on each side and see if it recoils smoothly. If it rocks several times the strut is bad. Also check the front tyres carefully as you could have a blister on one of them that is causing the vibration.
If the steering U-joint is O.K. leave it alone.
Don't know about the wisdom of shortening the stock springs but you will have to upgrade the struts as the standard ones cannot accommodate lowered springs. If you lower the rear it is recommended to get adjustable torque arms and an adjustable panhard rod to get the rear axle oriented correctly.
Honestly the biggest improvement you can make to the suspension is putting on stronger sway bars. If you can't afford the IPD set, the 23 mm/21 mm set from a turbo sedan makes a huge improvement in handling.
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wherwagen240
post Mar 5 2008, 01:08 PM
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thanks volvo whisperer!

how does one tell if the steering u-joint is O.K.?

also, i will definitely be replacing the struts with bilstein twin tubes (not the H.D.)
will these accommodate lowering springs?

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wherwagen240
post Mar 5 2008, 05:10 PM
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ok so, the track rod at the boot end is about 1.5 cm, i am assuming this means i have a CAM rack, right?
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OldSchoolEuro
post Mar 7 2008, 07:09 PM
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Your 91 SHOULD have a CAM rack its hard to say but the tag you need to look at is in your trunk. There is a tag near the right trunk hinge. Look for the line where it says steering. If it says 2,4,5 then you have a CAM rack. If you have a 3 its a ZF rack. You will need to buy a Bentley manual and they will tell you all you need to know about how to check your front end for play. As for cutting springs? There has been a lot of discussion on this topic just because some say it will blow your struts out sooner, cause ride discomfort...etc. Others will say it's fine. I am running cut LOWERING springs on my 240 Turbo and the ride is harsh but I am comfortable with it. But for cutting a stock spring you should be okay if you will be changing your struts soon. Look around for some used but good lowering springs. Should cost you around 100 bucks for front a rear lowering springs.
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wherwagen240
post Mar 8 2008, 09:08 PM
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QUOTE(OldSchoolEuro @ Mar 7 2008, 07:09 PM)
Your 91 SHOULD have a CAM rack its hard to say but the tag you need to look at is in your trunk. There is a tag near the right trunk hinge. Look for the line where it says steering. If it says 2,4,5 then you have a CAM rack. If you have a 3 its a ZF rack. [right][snapback]73750[/snapback][/right]


its a wagon, so tailgate hinge? i found a plaque under the hood with a line that said "2" but there were no labels on any of the lines

QUOTE(OldSchoolEuro @ Mar 7 2008, 07:09 PM)
But for cutting a stock spring you should be okay if you will be changing your struts soon.
[right][snapback]73750[/snapback][/right]


i was going to change my struts and cut the springs in one fell swoop
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nice86
post Mar 8 2008, 10:03 PM
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In the wagon the service label is on the right side of the rear floor panel sill. Open the tailgate, open the storage compartment, look on the right side. Mine says "steering-gear 2," which is cam gear.
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