84 S3 Steering Rack leak

I am chasing a persistent leak from my steering rack in my 1984 S3.

Does anyone have the procedure for replacing the seals at the lock nut junction? I have already replaced the seal at the top of the stem where the steering shaft enters. Really hoping to not have to drop the rack.

There should not be any power steering fluid at the tension block. If there is, there is a leak on the main shaft seal or the lower pinion seal. There should only be grease under this fitting (see grease fitting).


That is a very unusual arrangement for an oil filter on a Series III XJ6. The oil filter should be on the right side of the engine. What engine is that?
BTW I removed and replaced leaking steering racks in my Series III XJ6s after reading in the archives about how difficult it was to remove and replace seals in an DIY rebuild. I am glad that I dropped the steering racks and removed and replaced them rather than trying to rebuild them myself.


Norbert’s engine is a V8, Turbo and all…!

Yes, LS V8, fits like a glove.

Is there a seal o ring behind the tension block that can be renewed? I need to dig into the parts catalogs…

So, back to the beginning…still chasing a leak on this rack. It seems to have stopped from the tension block, but now the left boot is pouring fluid when under load. I am on the fence about a DIY rebuild as my reseach indicates it’s a finicky process. Last thing I want is to spend $100 and a couple days on a rebuild just to have it leak again.

Is there a reliable source for rebuilds? I am trying to avoid buying a whole new expensive rack.

IIRC @Dick_Maury has an excellent write-up on how to do this.

I’m assuming it’s this one


I appreciate the resource but still am not sure I want to tackle a rebuild - the question still stands for sourcing a reman rack or having a 3rd party service rebuild it for me.

I appreciate the reference but the article is for a V12 E-Type. The XJ6/3 is a totally different rack.

Hmm, that’s an option, but quite pricey for a rebuild.

I am striking out on finding sources for refurbished racks in stock - my usual sources (Autozone, NAPA, Advance Auto, and Rockauto) show no inventory of anything.

Even the big parts houses on Ebay, etc are not showing anything. It’s looking more like I will have to either rebuild it myself or find a specialty rebuilder that can handle it without charging an arm and a leg.

I wonder if racks from the XJS or newer models are interchangeable? RockAuto shows nothing at all for my 1984 XJ6. I see that a rack from a 1990 XJS is listed as CARDONE 26-1916, and for a 1996 XJS: BBB INDUSTRIES 3070108. Just eyeballing it, the mounting points look the same.

Kind of a blanket statement but all XJS racks are interchangeable from 1976-1996. They are will also interchange with the XJ6 from 1980-1987 also with the tie rod change. They are different in design from the XJ40 (1988-> and X300. They are made by Adwest or ZF. Hose fittings and mountings are the same. Tie rods changed from SAE threads to Metric along about 1983 so your tie rod ends and nuts should go on the new rack. Worst case is another set of tie rod ends and nuts. Later racks have a slightly firmer feel to them but hard to notice unless you are looking for it.

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Not against changing tie rod ends and nuts, in fact that’s quite easy. I ordered the wrong type last year, and may still have them somewhere.
The problem is finding any rack for any of those applications.

It’s highly specialist work, Norbert - which is why DIY repairs seldom lasts. Whether the ‘arm and leg’ cost fairly reflects work/parts/quality involved is arguable - but for rack rebuilds; I’ll pay…:slight_smile:

xj6 85 Sov Eirope (UK/NZ)

Having ideas now, I always put a very little amount of Gourilla
glue around the seal or ring seal or etc…
That seems to work most of the time.

                                                                X type Jaguar 2002

What you could try as a temp solution. Remove the adjuster nut and clean all the threads scrupulously then apply an anaerobic pipe sealant to both surfaces then refit the adjuster.

This works well on the steel supply and return lines on the XJ racks and should work for you but no guarantee. lol!


The rack adjuster area should not see power steering fluid, just grease. If there is fluid there, sealing it will just cause the leaking fluid to accumulate in the boots.


True but the leak looks minimal and might give the owner some breathing room until the piston seals in the rack are replaced. The rack boots could be burped but again just delaying the inevitable.