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Hoping to convert from power to manual steering

Hi, I am a new 944 owner and member of this forum.

I recently rescued an 83 944 from about 15 years in a barn. I have it running and have put over 1000 miles on it this past month.
But, the power steering leaks and from my research this is a very common problem. As such I would like to convert it to manual steering. But, as you probably know the parts are hard to find.
Does anybody know where to find what I will need? - most importantly, the rack
part# 944.347.011.00 or 944.347.015.00 and the intermediate shaft part# 944.347.027.01

Thank you
Old 08-08-2017, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveWash View Post
Hi, I am a new 944 owner and member of this forum.

I recently rescued an 83 944 from about 15 years in a barn. I have it running and have put over 1000 miles on it this past month.
But, the power steering leaks and from my research this is a very common problem. As such I would like to convert it to manual steering. But, as you probably know the parts are hard to find.
Does anybody know where to find what I will need? - most importantly, the rack
part# 944.347.011.00 or 944.347.015.00 and the intermediate shaft part# 944.347.027.01

Thank you
I cant help you with the rack but I do know the intermediate shaft is NLA. Ian at 944 Online has the shaft you need. It is a modified ps intermediate shaft.

Good luck!
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Old 08-08-2017, 04:46 AM
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Welcome! Great to hear you brought one back to life. Take a look here.

https://rennlist.com/forums/924-931-944-951-968/203297-944-power-to-manual-steering-rack-swap.html

You will need at the very least, inner tie rods as well. The manual inner tie rods have a female connection where the tie rods connect to the rack and the manual rack has a male end (essentially the opposite of a powered rack).





Although a bit pricey, looks like you can get a rack from Autozone. Duralast Rack & Pinion 6935 - Read Reviews on Duralast #6935

Core charge really isn't that bad all things considered added to the fact that any rack you are likely to find will probably require a rebuild anyway. They may even give you a credit on your PS rack unless you plan on keeping it.

Last edited by 87944turbo; 08-08-2017 at 06:49 AM.. Reason: pictures added
Old 08-08-2017, 06:45 AM
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Thank you jcommin and 87944turbo, I will check out Ian's converted shaft. Looks like he also has manual tie rod kits with both inners and outers and boots - just no rack.

I looked at the Duralast rack but the picture is useless (representative image) and it looks like they don't ship to Canada but I am trying to contact autozone for more information
And I have already read the swap post - that's where I got the part numbers to look for.

Is there an online scrap yard somewhere that may have racks?
Old 08-08-2017, 07:44 AM
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German Auto Dismantlers is one, but I hear a lot of bad things about them. George Buselink has been very helpful for me in the past http://www.944ecology.com/.

Have you tried a local auto parts store in Canada? Not sure what you guys have up there.

Last edited by 87944turbo; 08-08-2017 at 08:11 AM..
Old 08-08-2017, 08:07 AM
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holy **** that's not a terrible price for a fresh manual rack.
Old 08-08-2017, 08:27 AM
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Given scarcity and price of manual-rack parts, why not just tear out the PS bits? I've done this on all our 944s: pulled out the pump, the lines and such and then stopped up the ports. The steering is heavy in a parking lot but on the highway it's great. Original PS was variable assist anyway and you really only notice the lack thereof at very low speeds.

It was George B from 944Ecology that suggested this to me years ago.
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
holy **** that's not a terrible price for a fresh manual rack.
I know, if it was the route I was going, it's what I would do... Shows they are in stock and it is not a particularly easy part to find.

Was a little surprised they turned up as out of stock on Rock Auto, can usually find what I'm looking for in stock with them.




Quote:
Given scarcity and price of manual-rack parts, why not just tear out the PS bits? I've done this on all our 944s: pulled out the pump, the lines and such and then stopped up the ports. The steering is heavy in a parking lot but on the highway it's great. Original PS was variable assist anyway and you really only notice the lack thereof at very low speeds.
+1 for a solid plan B. I run a de-powered rack in my 87 951 w/255s up front, but it's not for everybody. I looked at going the manual route for mine, but the scarcity of late offset manual inner tie rods ends steered me in another direction.

Last edited by 87944turbo; 08-08-2017 at 08:45 AM..
Old 08-08-2017, 08:41 AM
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I saw a new intermediate shaft at another shop last week, sourced from SSF. I'm not so sure they are NLA.

I don't get the attraction of manual steering. You really want to make your car a pain to parallel park?
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:16 AM
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I'm sort of a purist. PS was an option in 1983. I have manual steering on my 83. It takes effort when parallel parking but the cars turns on a dime when it is rolling.

Im sure you you your reasons foe the switch, but, IMO, I would keep it.
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:58 PM
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Am I just that strong or are people that weak. At 170 lbs I have no issues turning my steering wheel in any situation ;-)

I prefer the manual in my 83 to the power in my 86..
Old 08-09-2017, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevingross View Post
...You really want to make your car a pain to parallel park?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kings911 View Post
Am I just that strong or are people that weak. At 170 lbs I have no issues turning my steering wheel in any situation...
Its perfectly fine on stock sized front tires and a stock sized steering wheel. It only becomes harder, and then only below 5mph, if you fit bigger front tires or fit a smaller steering wheel like a Momo. Iirc the manual steering cars had a larger steering wheel than the power steering cars, that would also help.
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:58 PM
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In the manual, the specifications are for dex-IID, a mineral based fluid. I would suggest flushing the system, replacing the resevoir/filter assembly, changing the feed line to the pump, the crush washers (if they are leaking) and Bruce's cooler repair line from arnworks. Probably a hundred bucks.

Off the shelf ATF, 'power steering fluid' or whale sperm is probably going to leak.
Old 08-09-2017, 05:33 PM
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In the manual, the specifications are for dex-IID, a mineral based fluid. I would suggest flushing the system, replacing the resevoir/filter assembly, changing the feed line to the pump, the crush washers (if they are leaking) and Bruce's cooler repair line from arnworks. Probably a hundred bucks.

Off the shelf ATF, 'power steering fluid' or whale sperm is probably going to leak.
Excellent advise
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Old 08-09-2017, 06:01 PM
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Taken from Ze Book...







Edit...a rebuild kit for the ZF pump is ten to twenty bucks under the mercedes part number. (LUK pumps look the same but the shaft seal is a mm too small. Pull the number off your pumps ID plate)

Last edited by thomasryan; 08-09-2017 at 06:33 PM..
Old 08-09-2017, 06:29 PM
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I have a number of reasons for wanting to go to manual steering.
First is that I want to feel the road better.
Second is to eliminate a leak source.
another is the weight reduction along with the removing the extra belt and pump from the engine - that has to use some power.

If I decide to de-power my PS rack, is there a step by step guide on how to do that?

As for parallel parking, I don't do that very often and if I did it is a small fairly light car and even with my Grant steering wheel I don't expect it to be too difficult.

Does the de-powered rack a whiny grindy noise like a PS rack with low fluid? I know mine makes a noise like that every once in a while - most noticeable turning in reverse.

At this time, I know I have to replace all the rubber suspension pieces since this car had been sitting in a barn for 15 years and I can visibly see the old rotten rubber being squished. It just seems to me a manual rack would have less maintenance in the long run.

I did hear back from AutoZone and they will ship to Canada. And I was able to see the price - not bad at all. My concern with this particular rack is that they only have a "representative picture" so I can't see the actual part. Thus I have no way of knowing whether Ians manual tie rod kit will actually fit. And his intermediate shaft price would be the second most costly piece of the swap after the rack and about twice the price of both inner and outer tie rod ends with boots.

All that is making the de-powering route seem more attractive
Old 08-09-2017, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveWash View Post
I have a number of reasons for wanting to go to manual steering.
First is that I want to feel the road better.
Second is to eliminate a leak source.
another is the weight reduction along with the removing the extra belt and pump from the engine - that has to use some power.

If I decide to de-power my PS rack, is there a step by step guide on how to do that?

As for parallel parking, I don't do that very often and if I did it is a small fairly light car and even with my Grant steering wheel I don't expect it to be too difficult.

Does the de-powered rack a whiny grindy noise like a PS rack with low fluid? I know mine makes a noise like that every once in a while - most noticeable turning in reverse.

At this time, I know I have to replace all the rubber suspension pieces since this car had been sitting in a barn for 15 years and I can visibly see the old rotten rubber being squished. It just seems to me a manual rack would have less maintenance in the long run.

I did hear back from AutoZone and they will ship to Canada. And I was able to see the price - not bad at all. My concern with this particular rack is that they only have a "representative picture" so I can't see the actual part. Thus I have no way of knowing whether Ians manual tie rod kit will actually fit. And his intermediate shaft price would be the second most costly piece of the swap after the rack and about twice the price of both inner and outer tie rod ends with boots.

All that is making the de-powering route seem more attractive
For what it's worth, which is nothing, I went through the same reasoning when I messed up my 84 944. I took a leaky power system and depowered it and then went through with a real manual conversion. It was a slow progression of taking a great car that needed a hundred bucks of parts and a few hours of work and dumping several times that in parts and labor just to make it end up more like a base 1984 Jetta.

Problems with the 944 manual system:
(1) the ratio is slow making the car a lot less fun to drive. Same as the 911 but the 911 doesn't have a ton of weight up front to plow around.
(2) all of the pinion torque is transferred through the whole steering column, greatly accelerating the wear.
(3) future parts availability is questionable
(4) road feel isn't really improved
(5) power consumed is dependent on load and above about 10 kph there is pretty much no hydraulic load on the PS system.
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:22 AM
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Off the shelf ATF, 'power steering fluid' or whale sperm is probably going to leak.
sure makes the muffler bearings run quietly...
Old 08-10-2017, 08:29 AM
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There are two different manual racks. One is a "sport" rack that is 2.5 turns lock to lock. I have one of these on my car with 17in 225 tires on the front in an 87 944, so wider track that an 83. As long as the tire pressures stay at 36psi I have never noticed the steering effort using the stock 944 turbo steering wheel.
My wife drive the car with no complaints and she is not a that strong.
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:55 PM
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Arthropraxis, Would you know where I might find one of those "sport" racks?

And just so everybody understands, I am using DEX-II fluid - I do know how to read the manual.
Old 08-10-2017, 04:34 PM
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