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Jaguar XKE E-type Restoration: Rebuilding the Power Steering Rack 6 – Secret of replacing the driver side seal revealed!

Ok – getting to the passenger side on the Jaguar E-type power steering rack is pretty straight forward – but…. the driver side one is a whole new world of mystery!  Unlike the passenger side the seal is not located outside close to where the shaft emerges toward the tie rod. You are confronted instead with a large tube with the steering tower at the end and the seal half way down the tube between the center end and the steering tower. Yikes – How do you get to that seal!

Jaguar XKE power steering tower and rack tube. The seal at the driver side of the rack is located in a sleeve that is held in place by the high pressure tube inlet coupling that is located half way along the tube (as seen above).

Now, here is the mystery of it all. Inside the tube there is a metal sleeve that itself has rubber seals. In the interior of the sleeve is a groove and therein lies the out steering rack seal.  The metal sleeve fits firmly and tightly inside the tube and then is held in place by the high pressure coupling that screws into the rack and in turn holds a metal steering fluid tube. You can see the coupling half way along the tune in the picture.

There is no way to get the rubber seal out of the sleeve and replace it unless you can get the whole metal sleeve out of the tube.  DO NOT start pounding on it with a wood insert etc. (yet). What you need to do is unscrew the pressure coupling from the outside of the tube. That then allows the sleeve to move inside the tube. However, it is a very tight fit and there are a pair of rubber washers tight between the sleeve and the tube  – so it will not simply slide out on its own. What you need to do is insert a  wood dowel into the rack tube from the tie rod end and using a rubber hammer gently tap the sleeve down until it emerges from the center end of the tube. Carefully! It is a good idea to apply lubricant in the shaft before starting so that the sleeves moves as easily as possible.

The inner sleeve that contains driver side outer seal for Jaguar XKE Series II power steering rack.

With any luck – out will pop the metal inner sleeve and inside it you will find a rubber seal set inside a groove. You can see the threaded hole on the inner sleeve that the exterior coupling screws into and holds the sleeve and its seals in place. That seal inside the sleeve  is other one that often leaks.  You need to replace that and also the two rubber washers on the outside edge of the sleeve.

If everything has gone well you now have your rack apart and ready for the new seals!

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