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power steering mysteriously not working anymore

Old 08-25-2018, 10:19 AM
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power steering mysteriously not working anymore

after doing some donuts in a field in my 86 22re, my power steering no longer works. i dont see any leaks and its still full of fluid so what could be the problem here? how can i tell if the pump has gone bad? i was going pretty hard on the truck but all the power steering stuff looks ok, i dont see anything wrong. what can i test or check to find what isnt working? as i drive it more and go in and out of my drive way ive found that sometimes it will work and sometimes it doesnt. its completely random.

Last edited by Charlie Nelson; 08-25-2018 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:17 AM
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Sounds like it's going south...
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:17 AM
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Is the belt on snugly?
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:26 AM
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Can try burning burping the air out of it, it's not designed for long hard cornering and may just have sucked in some air when the fluid was sloshed against the wall, could have been ran dry long enough to kill it also...

Edit: autocorrect got me.burb not burn.

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Old 08-25-2018, 11:29 AM
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the alternator belt is actually alittle loose, i already knew this though, its been making a slipping noise for the past couple days but i didnt think it would be related to power steering
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Co_94_PU View Post
Can try burning the air out of it, it's not designed for long hard cornering and may just have sucked in some air when the fluid was sloshed against the wall, could have been ran dry long enough to kill it also...
how does one burn the air out? is there a way to actually check if ive killed it or do i just have to assume its dead and try a new one?
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Old 08-25-2018, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Charlie Nelson View Post
the alternator belt is actually alittle loose, i already knew this though, its been making a slipping noise for the past couple days but i didnt think it would be related to power steering
I was referring to the power steering belt
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Old 08-25-2018, 05:22 PM
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that belt is fine, not loose or anything, only a few months old
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Old 08-25-2018, 05:33 PM
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You can bleed the system by opening the cap on the reservoir then turning the wheels back and forth. When you add new fluid to the system (if you do) you should turn the wheels all the way left and all the way right a few times to get the fluid flowing into the pump and add more as needed (without the engine running). If you let these run dry it ruins them for good. I just replaced mine and had no issues with fill at initial start because turning the wheels gets the air out and essentially primes the system with oil to ensure it's not starting off dry as it tries to suck from the reservoir. If the pump is toast some of the seals may just need replacing in it but it could also be the vane assembly is worn or the bearing is shot in in which case a new pump would probably be easiest. there is a rebuild kit available at NAPA and basically all parts retailers but a reman pump is only 82$ at NAPA with core. just make sure if you get a reman pump that you check that the spring loaded flow control valve isn't stuck like mine was... because they paint the remanufactured pump housings some of the paint prevented the valve from opening and my pump was in bypass until I removed it and broke it free a bit, now my steering is like a hot knife through butter.
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Old 08-26-2018, 10:17 AM
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outdoorjunky so i bled the system and my power steering worked again for a few seconds and then it went out again. after i bled the system, i turned the wheel back and fourth to see if it fixed my issue and it only worked for the first couple turns and then it was out again. one of the lines from the resi is also very oily and greasy from the outside https://imgur.com/a/g1wWziU?s=sms , theres some pics i took. it has always had some grease or oil on it since i bought the truck but it was never that bad. i did not try new fluid yet, could that fix my problem? it sounds to me like the pump cant be shot because it still works sometimes, am i right or am i wrong?
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Old 08-26-2018, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Charlie Nelson View Post
outdoorjunky so i bled the system and my power steering worked again for a few seconds and then it went out again. after i bled the system, i turned the wheel back and fourth to see if it fixed my issue and it only worked for the first couple turns and then it was out again. one of the lines from the resi is also very oily and greasy from the outside https://imgur.com/a/g1wWziU?s=sms , theres some pics i took. it has always had some grease or oil on it since i bought the truck but it was never that bad. i did not try new fluid yet, could that fix my problem? it sounds to me like the pump cant be shot because it still works sometimes, am i right or am i wrong?
looks like either the reservoir hose is leaking or your high pressure hose has sprung a leak and sprayed the other hose down. Your hoses look like they could use changing. If that high pressure hose bursts it can spray ATF fluid on the alternator or exhaust and cause a fire in the engine bay (your truck uses ATF not power steering fluid just FYI). Is the leak actually coming through the protective coating on the high pressure hose and leaking down on the reservoir? The hose Iím talking about Is the one with the banjo like fitting that screws in to the pump bellow the reservoir hose and then makes a loop and then goes down to the steering box/ram mounted to the frame. Trace it from the pump end and inspect it for cracks, mine looked ok until I flexed it a bit and then I noticed huge deep dry rotted cracks and went out and replaced it immediately. If that hose is leaking get a new one from NAPA asap ... the OEM one is 250$ but the Napa one is pretty high quality and costs 44$
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Old 08-26-2018, 01:11 PM
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Also did you notice lots of little bubbles in the reservoir when you checked fluid? If so that can be a sign that air is still in the system and or air is being introduced through a leak in one of the hoses.
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Old 08-26-2018, 04:50 PM
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i inspected the high pressure hose and i dont see any leaks anywhere. i think ill still replace the hoses just incase. would you by chance know the part number for it from napa? also i bled the system again and no air came out and there wasnt any bubbles in it when i took the cap off so i think by now its fully bled.
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Old 08-26-2018, 05:13 PM
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Itís good practice to replace that hose because of the risk of fire but has bleeding off the air fixed your issue? Somehow the air got in there so that tells me something isnít right someplace else. You should inspect your steering box for leakage as well to make sure that didnít quit on you. If the seals in either the steering box or the pump go you can loose hydraulic pressure and end up with no power steering. From what I read about the steering box the front seal likes to go from time to time, usually youíd see a leak though as far as I have read. Lucky for me the steering box is the one thing that wasnít Jerry rigged on my truck and the previous owner recently replaced it, however, he didnít feel inclined to replace the pump that was leaking all over the alternator when he did it lol. Anyway Is your steering sloppy at all? That can be a sign that your steering box needs replacing. Otherwise what others who commented have said could have happened ... because your reservoir was leaking there could have been room enough for air to get in and cause your pump to run dry momentarily and the vanes got damaged in the process... while you were tearing it up with the doughnuts 🍩 🤘🏻
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Old 08-26-2018, 05:40 PM
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i inspected the steering box and i dont see a single leak or even drop of grease or oil on it surprisingly. im gonna test for sloppy steering in the morning and also see if the power steering is back then, its to late right now to run it, dont wanna upset the neighbors! what do you mean by veins? are those the metal lines?
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Old 08-26-2018, 06:04 PM
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My phone was putting words in my mouth or I had a brain fart ... VANE not veins ... the vanes are these little pieces is metal that get pushed out via centrifugal force and get the fluid moving. This is the inside of the one I attempted to rebuild but I still had a leak after and I think I may have damaged an oring when reassembling andjist got a new reman for 80$ instead of rebuilding a second time.


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Old 08-26-2018, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by outdoorjunky View Post
My phone was putting words in my mouth or I had a brain fart ... VANE not veins ... the vanes are these little pieces is metal that get pushed out via centrifugal force and get the fluid moving. This is the inside of the one I attempted to rebuild but I still had a leak after and I think I may have damaged an oring when reassembling andjist got a new reman for 80$ instead of rebuilding a second time.

little pieces OF metal. Damn this site is impossible to edit from a phone browser if there are any images in the post.
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Old 08-26-2018, 06:20 PM
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lol. ok i see what you mean now. im gonna see how it is in the morning, if its not working then ill try new lines and after that ill try the new pump. wish me luckk
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Old 08-26-2018, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Charlie Nelson View Post
lol. ok i see what you mean now. im gonna see how it is in the morning, if its not working then ill try new lines and after that ill try the new pump. wish me luckk
If bleeding isnít working but for a few seconds then ďLucy we have a problemĒ (with the pump) ... but if you want the replacement pump to last you should also replace those hoses . Sounds like your steering box is okay since you say it looks super clean and bone dry (it was probably replaced somewhat recently)
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Old 08-26-2018, 07:16 PM
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Good luck...
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