Blog post from The Modern Collectible column, Skinned Knuckles Magazine, August, 2014by Oremainder Lazarowich


The power steering pump is propelled by a belt that may also drive various other engine accessories. A reservoir has the hydraulic liquid for the system. The fluid supplied have to be of the form recommended by the car manufacturer. In some instances Dexron III ATF can be used; however mixing fluids may cause damages to the power steering pump, hoses and also steering gear. A pair of hoses carries the fluid to and also from the pump and also the steering equipment. The smaller sized of the 2 hoses is the high pressure line. The bigger line is the return line for the liquid coming back to the reservoir. In most devices, once the liquid circulates and reach-es a precollection limit, the circulation manage valve opens which permits the fluid to recirculate through the pump as soon as the engine is at high speeds without elevating the push in the remainder of the mechanism. The power steering pump is comparable, whether a rack and also pinion or a rotating steering equipment is used. Rack and also pinion uses lighter weight and also even more specific regulate, yet the rotary steering gear is more sturdy and also toleprices stormy therapy far better. 

Check the front suspension and also steering link prior to you troubleshoot the power steering mechanism. Wear safety and security glasses to defend your eyes from unexpected crashes. Be sure that the mechanical connections are lubricated and also not worn out. Excessive play in the steering wheel deserve to be brought about by a loosened steering gear coupler/global joint. Relocation the essential components. Adsimply the steering gear, if tright here is more than 1 inch freeplay at the steering wheel. Check the power steering liquid, and also if it is low, check for a leak at the steering equipment, hoses/lines and also fittings, reservoir, front seal and also reservoir seal. Correct these leaks as soon as possible. If the power steering pump is leaking fluid previous the shaft seal and pulley-block, you may have the ability to readjust the seal through the pump in area depending upon pump area and also the amount of working space in the engine compartment.

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Check and change tire pressure. Roadway test the vehicle. A car with an operative steering equipment that steers hard all the moment might be an indication tright here is a trouble in the power steering system. Erratic steering, which might cause the steering wheel to jerk while turning the wheel, can be caused by low power steering liquid or a loose pump drive belt. It can likewise be led to by weak pump press or a sticking flow manage valve. A squealing noise as soon as the engine is start-ed might be brought about by a loose (slipping) V-belt. A loose belt will slip causing it to wear much faster (glaze), and it might likewise break. Locate the belt, and check it for wear and also anxiety. Inspect both sides of the belt for glazing, cuts, fraying and cracks. Flex the belt to open up up any kind of cracks. If the old belt requirements to be reput, the pivot bolt(s) need to be loosened. If it is the outer belt, push the pump inwards until the belt is sabsence sufficient to remove it. Do not try to pry off the old belt bereason you might damage the pulley-block. If it is an inner belt, you have to rerelocate the other belt(s) first. Check these belts for wear, and also replace, if crucial. When you have actually the belts off, check the pulleys of the various other pushed units. The pulleys must turn easily by hand also, and also tright here must be no wobble or play in the pulleys. 

When buying a new belt compare it via the old belt and the parts book listing to make sure it is the appropriate form and also length. Check the sheave alignment via a right edge. Fit the new belt, and make sure it is properly seated. Pull the pump outwards, and change the anxiety. Do not pry versus the power steering reservoir when tightening the drive belt, as this is most likely to damages the reservoir and also produce a fluid leak between the reservoir and also the pump body. Refit and also re-stress any type of other belts you had to rerelocate and/or relocation. Sometimes a belt is okay at low rpms but starts to slip once the automobile gets as much as rate. Proper stress and anxiety, measured without a gauge, must be around 1/2 inch deflection in the facility of the belt in between the pulleys. Too much tension reasons premature wear on the belts and on the water pump bearings, alternator or generator bearings and power steering pump bushing. 


Keep the hood up, and start the engine. Listen for any abnormal noises. Remember the engine is running so save your hands, loose apparel, and lengthy hair amethod from moving components. A grinding noise is the result of damaged bearings. Isolate the noise by loosening the drive belt. When you are certain you have actually situated the resource of the noise, which could be the water pump or alternator/generator, it must be removed for repair. A chirping noise is resulted in by sheave misalignment and also is loudest at idle speed and diminishes as the engine rpms go up. Pulleys should run true. It deserve to be corrected by replacing the drive component utilizing shims or transforming the push fit of the pulleys. Tbelow is always some noise as a result of friction induced vibration, and you will certainly have to learn to live with it. A whining or moaning sound from the pump as soon as you revolve the steering wheel all the method in one direction deserve to be led to by low fluid or air in the system. Check the liquid level, and also road test. If the steering action is still erratic, check the power steering pump pressure and the circulation control valve.

You require a collection of gauges to examine the power steering pump push, however if you uncover it hard to rotate the steering wheel as soon as parallel parking, this is a great indication that the power steering pump pressure is weak. Saginaw power steering pumps have a line pressure of about 1,000 to 1,200 pounds per square inch (psi). The flow rate can be as much as 4.5 gallons per minute (gpm). To remove and also inspect the circulation regulate valve disaffix the press hose and cap it. Remove the pressure hose fitting utilizing a 1 inch socket. Remove the circulation control valve and the spring utilizing a pick or a magnet. The flow valve must slide smoothly in and also out of the bore. Disassemble the circulation valve by unscrewing the end cap. Do not lose any type of of the components. If tright here is one shim in area, the valve is set to about 1,200 psi. There will likewise be a really tiny round bearing, a limiting stud and a spring. Wash the hose fitting with the O-ring rerelocated and the circulation valve via lacquer thinner, then rinse and also blow dry. Assemble the flow valve. The end cap must be tight. Install the spring then the circulation manage valve with the end cap toward the spring. Thcheck out in the pressure hose fitting and also torque 30-35 foot . pounds. Reattach the pressure hose. Check the fluid level. Start the engine, and also check for leaks. Road test. If the steering has actually not enhanced and the power steering pump continues to whine, tright here can be air trapped in the device. The air should be bled out. Adding power steering conditioner to the reservoir will certainly not sheight this pump noise. 

Bleeding Air From the Power Steering System

Air should be bled out of the power steering mechanism to prevent pump damage (metal to steel contact), speak pump noise and ensure prop-er system operation. All hose relations should be tight as loose connections may not leak yet can admit air right into the device. Do not over tighten O-ring hoses as the O-ring might be crumelted. Check flare form relations for specific fit. To prevent noise the hoses have to not touch any kind of component of the car. Raise the front wheels, and collection the auto on safety and security stands. Wipe the liquid reservoir clean, and also remove the lid or cap. If the liquid appears foamy, tbelow is air in the device. Fill through apconfirmed power steering liquid to the "cold" level. Leave the lid or cap off. Slowly rotate the steering wheel from lock to lock to cycle the system. Check the liquid level, and add liquid as essential. It may take 15-20 cycles till the liquid stabilizes and no aeration appears in the reservoir. If you revolve the steering wheel quick, the trapped air will certainly bubble up the fluid and overflow the reservoir. When the fluid level stabilizes include fluid as essential, and also start the engine. If the pump runs smoothly and no air bubbles appear in the reservoir, the steering wheel have to relocate easily. Rearea the lid or cap. Lower the automobile.

If this automobile is a new purchase for you and the power steering is erratic (jerky) and also the pump is noisy, flush the old liquid out, and also fill with the form recommfinished by the manufacturer. Raise the front of the auto on safety and security stands. Use a suction pump or turkey baster to empty the reservoir. Disaffix the return hose/line from the pump and straight the hose right into a plastic jug. If the hose is not lengthy sufficient, usage a size of clear hose to extend it so it will certainly reach the jug. Cap the return line fitting in the reservoir. Turn the steering wheel progressively earlier and forth a variety of times simply emotional the stops to drainpipe out more fluid. Fill the reservoir with recommended fluid, and start the engine. Run this fresh liquid via the pump and also steering equipment. DO NOT let the reservoir run dry. It might take as much as a quart to flush the old fluid out. Keep adding liquid until the shade changes. Shut the engine off. Connect the low press hose/line. Fill the reservoir complete of fresh liquid. Start the engine, and let it idle. Turn the steering wheel ago and forth a number of times. Check the liquid level in the reservoir, and also add as essential. Repeat this action till no even more air bubbles show up in the reservoir. Check for leaks, and also reduced the auto. Road test. If there is no difference in steering performance, the pump has to be removed for inspection and/or redevelop.

Tbelow are a number of manufacturers including Saginaw, Thompchild, Federal and Eaton that supply PS pumps. This procedure will discuss the vane-kind Saginaw PS pump with integral reservoir that was offered on GM assets and also on AMC and also Jeep, Chrysler cars and Dodge trucks, Ford cars and also pickups and also IHC trucks approximately 1974. The reservoir architecture was changed in midyear 1971. The old reservoir is round with a lengthy filler neck. The new architecture is tear-drop shaped through a really short filler neck. This is the just difference between them. Although the pump pressures vary among applications, the pump real estate, interior parts and also pump procedure are the exact same. Reconstruct and seal kits are available from auto parts stores. The redevelop kit consists of a power steering shaft bushing. These pumps are straightforward to determine because they provided a threaded 5/8 inch diameter pulley-block shaft through a woodruff key. Later models use a 3/4 inch shaft with a press-on pulley-block and also no keymeans. The fittings and also fasteners readjusted to metric in 1980. The older pumps use inverted flare fittings and also the newer ones use an O-ring fit-ting. These fittings are interchangeable so you deserve to usage a more recent metric pump through the original invert-ed flare hoses. If you are planning to visit your local recycler to purchase a low mileage power steering pump, the last 2 digits of the casting number identify SAE and Metric pumps. SAE pump numbers end in 19 and Metric are 47. Use the original press valve and also spring to keep the correct press for the steering equipment.

Rerelocating the Power Steering Pump

On a longitudinally installed engine the power steering pump is placed on the front of the engine. In this instance it is at the optimal left of the engine and not at the bottom. Disattach the negative (ground) cable connection at the battery. You can have to remove a radiator shroud. Loosen the adjustment bolt(s), and press the pump in toward the engine. Remove the drive belt(s). Examine the belt. If it is damaged or oil soaked, it need to be replaced. Slide a drain pan under the engine to catch any kind of liquid. Free the power steering hoses from any type of assistance brackets. Wipe the area clean approximately the hose connections. Disconnect the press line from the pump making use of a flare nut wrench. Cap the line to prevent dirt from entering, if you are reutilizing the line. Disaffix the rerevolve line. It is typically organized in location by a clamp. Cap the line. Rerelocate the pump from its brackets, and then pull it out of the engine compartment. Rerelocate the filler cap, and also empty the reservoir into the drainpipe pan. Dispose of the old power steering fluid at the regional recycle center.

Disassemble the Pump

Clean the outside of the pump. Work on a clean bench. Decide just how you want to reconstruct the pump. If the interior components are not scored or worn, you have the right to install a redevelop kit. If the reservoir is not bent or cracked but the pump demands rebuilding, you can exadjust the pump and usage the old reservoir. Or you have the right to exreadjust the old pump assembly for a remade pump assembly. Whatever before you decide the sheave should come off initially. In this procedure the Saginaw pumps up to 1974 offered a threaded pump shaft. Remove the nut and also washer, and pull off the sheave. Pumps after this day offered a pressed on sheave. If you are exchanging the pressed on wheel pump assembly, the service shop will certainly rerelocate the old sheave, and if it is in good problem, press it on the exreadjust pump. Do not attempt to try and pull the pulley off through a 2 or 3 jaw puller. The pulley-block will distort, and you will certainly end up buying a new pulley-block. See if your club or a club member has actually a puller easily accessible. If not, have the business shop rerelocate and install the sheave for you. It is not practical to buy a puller kit to organization one pump.

Clamp the pump in a vise via the shaft pointing downward. Rerelocate the mounting studs, and also note their place if they are various lengths. Caretotally remove the press hose fitting, however do not let the push valve and also spring fly out. Rock the reservoir back and forth to unseal the O-ring. Do not pry it off via a screwdriver because you will distort the edges of the reservoir and it might leak on assembly. Rerelocate the reservoir. Examine the inside of the real estate, and also you might find a magnet attached to the flat part of the pump housing alongside the mounting stud threads. Mark the place, and remove the magnet for cleaning. Rerelocate the lock ring by inserting a little punch in the hole at the bottom of the spreading to force the lock ring out. Press down on the finish plate, and also pry out the lock ring. Remove the end plate. Rerelocate the push plate and also the pressure plate spring. Locate the arrows on the eccentric housing, and note whether they are positioned at the front or the back. The housing should be put earlier in the very same place on reassembly. Tip the pump over, and tap the shaft finish via a soft-challenged hammer to rerelocate the pump ring, rotor assembly and thrust plate. Rerelocate the tiny snap ring on the pump shaft. Slide the rotor and also thrust plate from the shaft. Be mindful to not lose any kind of components, and also do not drop any of the steel vanes (10). Rerelocate the 2 O-rings in the real estate and the shaft seal.

Wash all the components in clean solvent, and wipe them dry via a lint totally free fabric. Inspect for wear and damage. Check that the flow control valve moves freely in its bore. Inspect the pres-sure plate, ring, and thrust plate for scoring. Check the pump shaft for cracks, and if there is any side-to-side activity when fitted in the bushing, rearea the bushing. Check the pump vanes for cracks, and also make certain they relocate openly in the rotor. If the parts display incredibly little wear, install a seal kit and also bushing if necessary. Service the flow manage valve. Examine the reservoir for nicks, warweb page, deep rust spots and also dents. If it is suitable for reuse, paint the exterior gloss babsence. If the pump components are worn, cracked or scored, reassemble the pump minus the pulley, and order the remade pump just if the reservoir deserve to be reoffered. If the reservoir have the right to not be supplied, order an exchange remade pump assembly.(

Pump Assembly

Lubricate all parts through power steering fluid before assembly. Install the pump shaft oil seal using a 15/16" socket to drive it right into area until it bottoms on the bore shoulder. Lubricate the O-rings that fit right into the real estate, and also install them. Place the shaft, splined end up, in a soft jawed vise. Install thrust plate on the shaft via the smooth, ported side up. Slide the rotor and also the respond to bore down over splines. Install the brand-new rotor snap ring. Make certain it is in the groove. Install the 2 dowel pins right into the holes in the pump real estate. Insert the shaft, the rotor and also thrust plate assembly right into the housing. Align the locating holes via the dowel pins. Slide the pump ring over the rotor and onto the dowel pins via the arrow on the ring encountering toward rear of the housing. Install the vanes in the rotor slots via the radius edge encountering out towards the pump ring inner surconfront. Position the press plate on the dowel pins with the circular spring depression dealing with the rear of the housing. Using a 1 1/4" socket in the groove of the push plate and also push dvery own on the socket with both thumbs to seat the assembly on the O-ring in the pump real estate. Place the spring in the groove in the push plate. Place the finish plate lip edge over the spring. Using thumbs push the end plate down below the retaining ring groove. While holding the end plate dvery own, evenly seat the retaining ring in the groove. Use a punch, and tap the retaining ring ends around in the groove till the opening is opposite the circulation manage valve bore. This ensures the maximum retention of the retaining ring. Install the body to the reservoir O-ring. Position the magnet, if provided (NOS GM 5692682). Install the O-rings to the reservoir mounting studs and also the flow manage valve. Place the reservoir on the pump body, and align the mounting stud holes. Install the studs. Do not pull the reservoir onto the pump making use of the studs because the reservoir have the right to bend and also reason leakage. Using a soft challenged hammer tap the reservoir dvery own on the pump. Check that the O-rings are in area. Tighten the studs. Install the circulation manage valve spring and the flow control valve through the finish cap toward the spring. Install the O-ring on the push hose fitting upper most groove. The reduced groove will restrict relief outlet orifice. Torque to 30-35 foot pounds. Install the sheave. Torque the pulley-block nut to 60 foot pounds.

Install the pump into the car. Start the push hose fitting by hand also, and then tighten it via a flare wrench. Do not cross thread the fitting. Connect the return hose. Install the belt(s), and also tighten to manufacturer"s specifications. A belt that is over tightened will cause premature belt faientice. If the mechanism does not have actually fresh fluid in it, perform not connect the return hose. You will need to flush the device via fresh liquid, and also then bleed the system. Connect the battery. Raise the front of the vehicle on safety stands. Get a buddy to assist you as the steering wheel has to be turned gently from lock to lock position. Start the engine, and also include fresh liquid till the rerevolve line spouts fresh fluid. Connect the rerotate line. Bleed the mechanism. If the system was charged with fresh power steering liquid throughout a previous test, fill the reservoir through fresh fluid, and bleed the system. 

Installing a Filter

To extend the life of the power steering fluid and the power steering system, take into consideration installing a magnetic in-line filter in the return line whether tbelow is a magnet or not in the reservoir. It is much easier to service an in-line magnet and also filter than to remove the reservoir. Most of these filters contain a document element and also a magnet in the filter. Some have a by-pass valve which will certainly open, if the filter begins to clog through debris. Check on-line carriers for a broad selection of filters. Purchase a great quality filter through the hose end the exact same diameter as the rerotate line on your auto. Install the filter appropriately. The filter is marked "IN" and also "OUT" . The "OUT" end need to be closest to the pump without showing up as well conspicuous in the engine compartment. Remove the rerotate hose, and also cap the reservoir opening. Empty the return line. Tright here will be a little of fluid loss, so absorb it via a towel. You will certainly need to shorten the return line the correct size to prevent kinking the line. Attach the filter via stainmuch less steel screw clamps. Position the clamps so they won"t rub against anything. Attach the rerotate line to the reservoir, and secure via a hose clamp. Check the liquid level. Start the engine, and cycle the steering wheel a variety of times. Lower the auto. Road test.

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Happy motoring.

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