Teach Me about Power Steering

Brakes, Suspension, Rims and Tires

  1. bajajoaquin

    bajajoaquin Senior Member

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    My Imperial has always had a bit of a leaky power steering system. I replaced a hose, but it still leaks. Now, after I’ve driven it a bit, it doesn’t have much power at idle (like when parking) and makes noise. The reservoir is low-ish but not low. It’s over the vanes in the pump and just needs a little topping off.

    What are the symptoms of steering boxes going bad? Just the pump? Aren’t there two types and one can (should?) be converted to the other?
     
  2. jeffsunzeri

    jeffsunzeri New Member

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    Worn out PS pumps show the symptoms you describe: poor performance at idle, belt chirping.
    You should not convert one pump type to another. Stick with what the factory installed.
    Fix all the leaks, especially if in the high pressure hose.
    The pump will usually go bad before the box does. When the steering box goes bad you get wandering steering, inability to maintain alignment, leaking at the box and overall sloppy steering.
    Make sure to use the correct fluid so you don't ruin the seals.
     
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  3. Davea Lux

    Davea Lux Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    Avoid buying a rebuilt pump from Blotto Zone or similar low quality suppliers. Most of the low end pumps by Cardone and others are rebuilt overseas and the quality is very poor. If the fluid in your existing pump is contaminated or the wrong type, it will also cause the symptoms you describe due to the fluid foaming. Start by purging the old fluid and replace it with the correct type.

    Dave
     
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  4. rags

    rags Senior Member

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    the above can not be overstated. better with junkyard used o.e.
     
  5. bajajoaquin

    bajajoaquin Senior Member

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    Is there a correct power steering fluid other than “power steering fluid?” I’m guessing that ATF is a no-no.
     
  6. Davea Lux

    Davea Lux Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    The correct Chrysler power steering fluid was part #2084329. It has anti foaming additives and other additives to keep your power steering pump from overheating. You should never use ATF in mid 60's to mid 70's Chrysler products. This oil is now an obsolete item unless you happen to get lucky and find it on e-bay. I have been using the modern semi-synthetic stuff which seems to work ok. If you decide to go that route, flush out as much of the old oil as possible.

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
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  7. Davea Lux

    Davea Lux Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    Lucas oil power steering fluid #10823 pints,#10824 quarts. is the one I have been using.

    Dave
     
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  8. bajajoaquin

    bajajoaquin Senior Member

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    So a specific recommendation for Lucas or a general pointer to specifically-labeled power steering fluid is what I think I read there, right?
     
  9. bajajoaquin

    bajajoaquin Senior Member

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    Maybe I don’t have a leak any more. Maybe I am just roaming out the top because (yes, I’ll admit) I was using ATF.

    Flushing.... best way?
     
  10. jeffsunzeri

    jeffsunzeri New Member

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    ATF type F is specified and correct for early Chrysler and Imperial power steering systems. What year is your Imperial?
     
  11. bajajoaquin

    bajajoaquin Senior Member

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    1967. I was using type F.
     
  12. jeffsunzeri

    jeffsunzeri New Member

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    By 1967, MoPar was recommending the MoPar fluid. Using Type F ATF is not going to hurt anything, but it would be a good idea to change it out during your next maintenance interval to the modern synthetic PowerSteering fluid available on all the parts store shelves. ATF+4 will work well too.
     
  13. 70bigblockdodge

    70bigblockdodge Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    Anything but a Saginaw ps pump should be for restorations only. No reason to put up with those garbage federal and TRW pumps on a driver.
     
  14. Davea Lux

    Davea Lux Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    The Lucas oil power steering fluid is the best I have found so far as an after market product.

    Dave
     
  15. 75LandYacht

    75LandYacht Yank Tank FCBO Gold Member

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    I’m glad you brought this question up Bajajoaquin.. my 77 NYB power steering chatter and wines when turning at idol sometimes, not all, but enough to concern me. Fluid is topped off, no leaks. My high pressure line needs replacing, it’s frayed a bit.. so the above info is greatly welcomed.. thx guys.. But! If “Part store” pumps are Taboo! Where does one get a new / replacement or have my existing one rebuilt????
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
  16. Davea Lux

    Davea Lux Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    AC Delco reman pumps are generally pretty good. You will need to see if they have your particular unit. Saginaws are usually no problem, the Federal and TRW units they sometimes do not have. I have also found the less common pumps rebuilt at www.powersteering.com. www.larescorp.com as does quality custom rebuilds. If your pump is just leaking, a lot of times you can simply buy a reseal kit to repair it.

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
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  17. Davea Lux

    Davea Lux Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    The easiest way to flush the power steering is to disconnect the return line from the pump and block off that port. I use a splice connector to hook a piece of 3/8" transmission cooler hose to a capture container on the floor from the return line. Next start the engine and run it until the return line stops spitting oil. Refill the PS pump and repeat until clean fluid is all that comes out. Be sure to move the steering wheel back and forth to get old oil out of the gear. Reattach the return line to the pump and you are good to go.

    Dave
     
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