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Power steering problem

 
7DUECEGOOSE
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 3
Joined: 09/07
Posted: 09/24/07 09:46 AM

I have an issue with the power steering in my 72 Chevelle.

I believe the problem is with the gear box. I think it might be worn out due to the fact that there has been a leak in the reservoir for the past couple of months. It feels like there is no power steering at all. I dislike the current set up right now, because the belt that runs to the power steering pump sits too close to the current gear box.

Any suggestions?  

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DRyder
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 22
Joined: 05/07
Posted: 09/24/07 11:19 AM

If you are totally not happy with your current system, you can convert to a rack and pinion type configuration obtainable through Flaming River (www.flamingriver.com). While this can be pretty expensive, it is an alternate way to turn your '72. Is this a big block powered Chevelle?  

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7DUECEGOOSE
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 3
Joined: 09/07
Posted: 09/25/07 05:20 AM

No it's a small block  

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55Guy
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Posts: 1153
Joined: 07/06
Posted: 09/25/07 12:32 PM

Ok. When you're driving your car, is the steering wheel tight, or does it have a lot of left-to-right play without the wheels moving?

You said you had a resevoir leak on the power steering pump. Did you keep the fluid level up though? How often did it run dry? Does the pump squeal whine you turn the tires with the motor running when the resevoir is full?

Have you thought about replacing the whole power steering pump first to see what that does?

You want the pump close to the steering box, that way your power steering liunes are shorter, and away from the exhaust. Believe me, the engineers who designed that system put that pump there for good reasons.  

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7DUECEGOOSE
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 3
Joined: 09/07
Posted: 09/26/07 06:12 AM

When I'm driving the car the steering wheels is tight. I'm starting to develop bionic forearm strength.

I did keep level fluid, but it seem to leak quick. I replaced fluid about every 2 days. At one point all I had to do was to replace fluid and I drove and turned without a squeal. Then it got to the point that I would replace fluid and there was still a squeal.

I thought about replacing the pump, but since it been an ongoing problem, it might of screwed up my gear box.

The power steering belt is slightly off, should I replace the brackets, power steering pump and resevoir, first?  

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55Guy
Administrator
Posts: 1153
Joined: 07/06
Posted: 09/26/07 06:35 AM

I'd say go ahead and replace the pump. The box might not be damaged at all as long as you were keeping after the fluid level. A new pump for that car isn't expensive, and it needs to be replaced anyway.

See how it drives after you've replaced the pump. With that bad of a leak, the system probably couldn't make enough pressure for the power steering to work properly.

As for the belt alignment, if it's only a slight mis-alignment, and it's not throwing the belt at high RPM or under steering load, then I wouldn't worry about it.  

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mountainman2
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 3
Joined: 12/10
Posted: 12/19/10 01:44 PM

I to am having power steer problems on my 81 chevy 3/4 ton 4wd pickup. Has a 350 engine, normal ps setup for this model.

Ok, first everything worked great, then the pump went to whining at hi rpms one day. I was only a few miles from home so went ahead and pushed to the house. By the time i got home it was a lot worse. I was starting to loose the ps by that time. So i pop the hood and look, its full of fluid and had even blown it out the external reservoir lid. The steering box and lines were so hot when i spit on the gearbox it boiled the spit. So i got a diff pimp from junkyard, the kind with internal reservoir, put it on and the new brackets. It lined up better with other pulleys seemed like th fix. It worked ok for few days, just short mils trips. then started whining some again and intermittent squeaking like the pulley bearings maybe. And the heat was there again. Ive replaced both hoses.got a jy gearbox now thinking of replacing steering box...

What do you think I should do? anyone experienced anything like this before? think its just 2 bad pumps in a row? but y the heat? Ive had pumps go out but never remembered them getting the gearbox that hot.

Any advice would be appreciated, thank you.  

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waynep7122
Everything in my driveway’s a Chevy
Posts: 556
Joined: 08/09
Posted: 12/19/10 05:29 PM

a few things to check...... do you still have the old pump...  you might want to open it and see how much metal contamination there is...    it could have filled your steering box valving with debris and thats blocking the flow.. causing the increase in fluid temps...


inside the pump... behind the outlet nut... there is a relief valve piston and spring...


there have been reports of high speed operation and the pump displaces more flow than the internal bypass valve can bypass..  this can also increase heat...

there are also several different displacements in pump volume...

you really might want to get one of the power steering line filters...    run one in the return line back to the pump...   install a strong magnet inside the pump tank... so all steel and iron is attracted to it...


my guess... is debris got from the pump into your box.. restricting the flow.. causing the pump to bypass more and internally overheating..

there will be people with far more experience putting some of their thoughts down in the next few days...

power steering fluid coolers can also be installed in the return line to the pump...    an amazing amount of cars actually have them already...     i find more and more cars with power steering cooler lines tucked to the frame... just long loops of the steel tubing..  but thats enough to cool the fluid..  

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mountainman2
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 3
Joined: 12/10
Posted: 12/19/10 09:24 PM

thx for the reply. makes sense what you said. tonight I went ahead and pulled gearbox off of my truck, I had another one but it turned out to be slightly different shafts.

So before I buy a new one I thought I would bang around here for a bit more info.

I don't have the old one (pump)so I can't check it for debris. But I thought there might be something I could check in the gearbox while I have it off to confirm whether that is the problem or not.

I don't know if this means anything but before I took the gearbox off I removed the lines, when you would grab hard and turn the steering wheel fluid squirted out of the return side of the gearbox.

What can I check in the gearbox to see if it is bad?  

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waynep7122
Everything in my driveway’s a Chevy
Posts: 556
Joined: 08/09
Posted: 12/19/10 11:24 PM

checking the gear box with it off the truck requires mounting it on a test bench that power steering rebuilders have...

almost all trucks have some kind of cooler built into the return line...i don't have a power steering hose catalog handy..  but does your return line go directly from the steering box to the return port on the pump....

as a damaged.. smashed line.. would also do it..

there are several articles scattered around the magazines on rebuilding the power steering boxes...

before you go any farther....

http://www.carcraft.com/techarticles/ccrp_0901_gm_steering_box_upgrade/index.html


http://www.classictrucks.com/tech/1002clt_introduction_to_power_steering_systems/index.html  

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waynep7122
Everything in my driveway’s a Chevy
Posts: 556
Joined: 08/09
Posted: 12/19/10 11:31 PM

you might also really want to read this article...

http://www.4wheeloffroad.com/howto/3099/index.html

its about full size chevy 4x4 steering braces...


http://www.fourwheeler.com/techarticles/drivetrain/129_0801_saginaw_steering_box_rebuild/index.html


there are probably some more scattered around..  

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mountainman2
I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 3
Joined: 12/10
Posted: 12/20/10 06:48 PM

Ok, have replaced the steer-box and another power steering pump. Still squeaks when you pop the clutch. I haven't been at 60mph for any length of time to actually confirm, but possibly the box overheating problem is solved (seeing my luck lately probably not). I am at a total loss here, having replaced everything I know of to do with power steering.
Confused  Frown  

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