I'm working on a 98 Honda Civic. I'm attempting to replace the inner seals. These are the seals which the steering rod rides on and which keeps the power steering fluid in check at that point. Here is a picture of what I'm talking about:

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What you see looking at you is the end of the R&P unit with the outer tie rod end and coupler (is that what it's called??) pulled off. The black portion of the is the seal. It is recessed into the end of the unit a bit over an inch.

My question is: How do you remove the seal without damaging the rod or the housing? There is probably 3/8" between the rod and the housing. There isn't really enough space to fit something between the steering rod and the seal to then pull it out ... and I'd be more worried about damaging the rod (which would in turn tear up the new seal). So, who's done this and how is it done easily (or even less difficult) without damaging anything?

  • 2
    A great man once said, "if you can't fix it with a hammer, it's an electrical problem." Sep 14, 2016 at 2:46
  • Having internet trouble so not doing great at searching for the show. But Velocity channel had one of the repair/restoration shows that they rebuilt a rack and pinion unit and went through how to pull the seals. I can not for the life of me remember how. But the video is out there somewhere. Sep 14, 2016 at 2:52
  • I think it needs the steering shaft and pinion gear removed so the rack can be pushed out driving the seal out. I was trying to remember if a rack stopper was in place and once removed the rack could slide far enough using the pinion drive to move it. Sep 14, 2016 at 3:10
  • Have you got the new seal? If so, can you post a photo of it?
    – HandyHowie
    Sep 14, 2016 at 7:43
  • @HandyHowie - Here's the image from RockAuto. They are the two on the left side of the image. Sep 14, 2016 at 20:11

1 Answer 1


1. The screw.

Drill cautiously two small holes (opposite to each other) into the seal, then drive two drywall screws into then. Use the screws to pull out the seal.

Make the holes exactly in the middle of the seal band. Use a drill bit for metal, just large enough for the inner screw diameter.

Do not drive the screws too far inside, just enough that they get a good grip on the seal.

Use screws small enough so they do not touch the surfaces of the inside.

2. The hook

Same as above, but instead of the screw use a hook made of a bent nail/piece of wire.


Those are dangerous operation, if some mishap happens or you just have bad luck you can ruin the entire steering system, a scratch in the housing/rod or a forgotten metal shaving is enough to destroy it. Also clean everything thoroughly afterwards.

  • I was thinking more about this today. I have 3"+ length deck screws which would stick out well past the housing if I screwed them into a small hole as you suggest ... I'm likeing this idea more and more. Sep 15, 2016 at 1:39
  • I ended up drilling an 1/8" hole. I used an 1/8" drill bit because that's what fits in my Dremel. It only took one hole to get the seal out. I used a 3.5" deck screw, screwed it into the hole a little ways until it grabbed, then used a pair of Vise-Grips on it and it pulled right out. It came out easier than I thought it would, which might be the reason it was leaking in the first place. I still have to do the driver's side, but that shouldn't be too difficult now that I have a clue. Great suggestion on drilling the hole, so thank you! The Civic appreciates it :o) Sep 16, 2016 at 0:34
  • How did this seal replacement work out for you? I'm about to do this same thing on my Honda and wondering if this fixed your leak, long term? Any other insight you might have would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
    – CvilleKyle
    Dec 10, 2020 at 16:14
  • @CvilleKyle - It worked great for getting the seal out of the one side (IIRC - on the passenger or right side), however, I ended up replacing the entire rack because I of how the driver's (or left) side was setup. Just didn't want to cooperate. I did drill the hole and by putting a screw in it and pulling on it, the seal came right out. Dec 10, 2020 at 16:59

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