Thanks for the info.......good pic.........I believe if you look at the number 3, click on it, it may be called a bellows or a boot. Either way, is item 3 the boot that is torn? If so there is no grease behind this. You can take a good visual and verify.
I included below a pic from a Ford Taurus for you to also see a little bit better break down. The red arrow pointing to number 23 is the boot for this tie rod. Is this what is torn on yours?
When we speak of CV boot, (Constant Velocity) this usually means the boots on the drive axles that come out of the transmissions and go into the center of the wheel spindle. Of course Jag didn't provide us a good pic so what I did was put a pic of the CV boot below from a Ford Taurus for you to see. If you look at number 4 that is circled, you will see a joint that has some ball bearings. The CV boot, number 6 goes around these and fits over number 1 and is held in place by clamps 5 and 7 and is full of grease since this a joint and is spinning at high speeds.
Compare yours to this and so if you are sure there is no grease in yours and it is the tie rods coming out of the rack and pinion, then we can press from there.
Now if it is the tie rod boot and not the CV boot, then I would say yes, it is safe to drive if there is no damage to the tie rod itself. The only thing I would do is take some plastic and wrap around it and secure with plastic ties. Make sure the plastic is loose enough to expand and contract as the tie rod goes in and out.
Okay, I know that is a pretty crazy temp fix but I have done it before. Looks stupid. But you are just wanting to keep dirt etc out of that as best as possible.
Now the pop you heard is what concerns me. That could be a ball joint, tie rod end etc. That needs to be checked before your trip.
As for the PS leak. As I said, just worked on one that had a leak........you need to wash the engine down really good especially anything connected to the PS pump and lines and where they go and connect.
Once clean start the car and have someone slowly turn the steering wheel from one side to the other with the front on jacks. Then check really good for any leaks to see where coming from. If on jacks, please use all safety precautions, jack stands, wheel blocks etc and don't just hold the steering wheel to each stop........
If the rack is damaged as you see on the pic below from the Ford, item 26, fluid can start leaking from that area. So you need to do a really good visual after the wash to see where the fluid is leaking from. The rack, the pump or one of the lines may be damaged.
So, my suggestions..........
Make sure the boot is torn on the rack not the CV boot per above. If the tie rod okay.
Take to a reputable front end shop and have them check out your front end, tell them you heard a pop. Most of the time these shops will check for free and then provide you with an estimate of whatever. If they tell you a bad ball joint then I would get that fixed before the trip. That can come apart and the pop concerns me. If they can't find anything and says all is well other than the boot on the rack. Then say thanks.......get an estimate for them to fix that and press on home.
Then wash and really do the good check for the leak per the above also looking for any leaks from the rack since boot is torn and the other places per the above. Hopefully located and easy fix.
THEN, put the temp fix plastic around the tie rod to keep dirt etc out of the rack and press. Again, if trash gets inside that rack it may cause damage.
Saturday, December 19th, 2009 AT 10:35 PM