Unusual Steering problem

Carmine

Old Man with a Hat
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Last fall I bought a 77NYB coupe largely because I believed the low mileage claim, loved the color combo and feared it was priced in derby territory. Here and there I've been retuning it to the road. Some backstory because I believe it is relevant...

Purchased from a 90+y/o man's son. The old-timer bought it himself when he was in his later 80s. (I hope I'm doing that kind of stuff when I am as ancient.) But because of this, he likely took it to shops for work and it appears they had a field day with ripping him off and doing shoddy work. For example, it looks like the fuel tank was drained with a flat screwdriver. The mileage on this car reads 35,000 and I believe it's real for several reasons. So it stuck me as odd that it had an obviously new steering box. I could only assume it leaked and that a shop charged him thousand$ while using the cheapest-quality reman unit that a social security check could buy. Also in the mix was a home-made power steering pump bracket... (OEM parts lost during reassembly?)

Once I got the car running (which it does surprisingly well) it became obvious that the steering was one of the worst things about the car. The wheel was almost 90-degrees off and would not return-to-center at all. Tried backing off the sector shaft adjuster to little effect. Took it to a shop that I do trust and asked them to make sure the ball joints weren't seized. The said they were fine and corrected the alignment (toe). But the return-to-center still isn't right. The shop thinks this is great ("like rack & pinion") except it's not at all, requiring constant correction.

Well, one of the ways you find (and sometimes fix) problems is simply using something. So I've driven the car to/from work, a 60 mile round trip, 98% at high freeway speeds. Last Wednesday I took it to work and around the I-75 sweeper curve, I began to hear an awful noise... It didn't last long and terminated with a plume of smoke that would make 007 proud. It was the P/S pressure line exploding in a blaze of glory. So if you were near Big Beaver road around 5:15 AM, I apologize for the oil bath. I've never had something like THAT occur before so it got me to thinking... Could there be an obstruction in that shitty reman steering box that both makes the steering bind AND raises line pressure to rubber-exploding levels? Or was this just an old hose saying "I don't want to go to any car shows!"

Anyone ever have a similar issue? Pump fried itself after making the rest of the trek to work (and home) sans any fluid, so that's on the list as well. (I replaced the hose tonight... $25 investment) If I can solve this steering issue, this will be a sweet driving car. Because I know pics are required, I have attached some.

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Beautiful car. Could be they attempted to adjust the steering box slack past limit and caused it to bind thus pressure on the pump. ????
 
The few times I have adjusted the steering gear with the "top adjustment" too tight, "no self return" of the steering wheel. Normal caster in the suspension should cause self-return, too.

As to the hose, any date codes on what was left? Pressure valve in the pump failed?

Too nice of a car to not have everything working as designed!

CBODY67
 
You “might” have the little valve (name?) on top of the steering box off a little. There’s some type of fix where you just loosen it slightly and tap on it moderately so it “re-centers”. Apparently there’s a small fluid hole between the box and that little valve that can get off-center, which restricts fluid flow and does weird things to power steering. Maybe search over on for b bodies?
 
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