removing rack and pinion

1998 Mercury Sable 24V station wagon. (AKA Ford Taurus.)
The power steering rack and pinion (Haynes calls it a steering gear) is leaking power steering fluid out of the left tie rod boot.
Is there any hope of repairing that?
I assumed there was no way to repair it, and started to remove it following the instructions in Haynes, but it tells you to remove the exhaust Y-pipe.
Is this absolutely necessary? The bolts on the exhaust system are rusted to the point that they don't even have threads anymore. Is there any way to do this job without removing the exhaust pipe?
Also, one of the bolts on the headpipe is so deep inside that I don't think I could even get to it - and it's rusted too.
It says to lower the engine cradle at one point by 4 inches - is this why it says to remove the exhaust pipe?
    -Ariel
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to that bolt with a deep 15mm socket on a wobble and an extension. Spray some liquid wrench or something like that on the nuts pryor to removing them. They will be stuck but once you break them free you should be ok.
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On Mon, 3 Nov 2003, Scott wrote:

with these modifications:
It is not necessary to remove the exhaust - if you can remove the nut that is right above it. (One of the two nuts that bolt the rack to the subframe). There isn't much access, but it is possible. Get a long tool that will fit, whatever you need to pay for it will be worth it to not touch the exhaust.
Loosen and remove the drivers side nut first, then loosen slightly - but DO NOT remove the passenger side nut. Take a hammer and bang upward on the drivers side bolt until it loosens from the rack, then remove it from the rack (if you have room - do it whenever you have room, probably after lowering the subframe). Now remove the passenger side nut. This single step will save you hours of frustration trying to get the rack to slide out of the car.
If you can't manage to loosen the hose connectors to the rack (you will need a crows foot wrench), you can do this as an alternative - disconnect the line at the pump. If you can loosen the connector at the pump do so, but if you find you have no room, then remove the belt, then the power steering fluid reservoir, then the bolt that holds the line to the engine then the 3 bolts that hold the pump to the engine (put your tool through the holes in the pulley). Then turn the pump over, and you will have room to loosen the connector.
For the return line, it's rubber, so if you remove one of the holders that hold it to the subframe you will give yourself enough slack that you can pull the rack out and then disconnect the line.
It is not necessary to remove the heat shield.
Do not be afraid of lowering the subframe, something seems to hold it up and prevent it from lowering too much, so don't worry about the entire engine falling on you. It is much easier to put the stands under the subframe and them jack the rest of the car up to lower the subframe, rather then putting stands on the car and the jack on the subframe. You only need one jack actually, lifting just one side of the car will work fine (the drivers side). Make sure to lower the subframe as much as possible, or it will be impossible to remove the rack.
Before sliding the rack out move the electrical wires completely out of the way (the ones that connect to the rack, and the O2 sensor wires) - they seem to have been designed to catch the rack and prevent you from pulling it out.
When attaching the actuator to the rack, do yourself a favor and use RTV on it, so you don't need to, like I do, do the entire job again because it is leaking. Don't use RTV on the fluid line fittings though. And don't get any inside the rack.
    -Ariel
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