I used a 14" chopsaw.
Ahh...I'll give the chopsaw a spin tomorrow. Thanks!
As for the seal, I'm not sure which one you are showing in the pic. What part of the rack is that? The only seal I removed was the one on the rack itself.
The casting is almost visible in the vice in the photo above. The photo below highlights the seal location with a yellow arrow. Before you cut your housing, you probably stuck a ruler down in the housing to figure out how far down you could cut. That seal is the thing the ruler would have landed on.
I went ahead and tacked the housing back together. I put the slug and the rack back in, which held things pretty well aligned on the passenger side. I hung it vertically in the vice, and wedged some toothpicks in the driver's end at the bottom, which has a lot more slop. The toothpicks held the rack centered so I could tack the housing. The photo below is just prior to tacking.
I frankly forgot about the rubber seal when I tacked the housing.
I can grind the tacks off if I need to take it out...but unless someone says otherwise, I think I'll just let it burn up in there. My hunch is that it is for sealing steering fluid, and is not critical for the now-manual rack. Opinions?
-dave "needs a shorter shaft" hempy