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Shakercars's 1972 Trans Am

2019 August
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Posted (edited)

Okay so last night I decide to work on Lucy after work. I find a large puddle of power steering fluid under her. So clearly after replacing the V-belt, I did something. Now that the reservoir is empty (all the fluid is on the driveway and I spend most of the remaining daylight cleaning it up as best I could), I take the brackets off the engine to look at the power steering pump. I don't see any obvious holes, leaks, or gashes.

I see that the low pressure return line is nothing more than 3/8" diameter thick hose with two hose clamps, one at the pump and the other on a fitting at the steering box. The high pressure line is a special hose and I see nothing obviously wrong with it. The rubber hose is probably old and I should probably replace it period (which I will most likely do anyway even it isn't to blame).

Right now I feel I have to clean everything with brake / carb cleaner, put everything back together,  fill it up with fluid,  put a bucket under Lucy, and run it to see where its leaking. Anyone got any better suggestions for diagnosing or detecting said leak?

Edited by Frosty

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2 hours ago, Frosty said:

Okay so last night I decide to work on Lucy after work. I find a large puddle of power steering fluid under her. So clearly after replacing the V-belt, I did something. Now that the reservoir is empty (all the fluid is on the driveway and I spend most of the remaining daylight cleaning it up as best I could), I take the brackets off the engine to look at the power steering pump. I don't see any obvious holes, leaks, or gashes.

I see that the low pressure return line is nothing more than 3/8" diameter thick hose with two hose clamps, one at the pump and the other on a fitting at the steering box. The high pressure line is a special hose and I see nothing obviously wrong with it. The rubber hose is probably old and I should probably replace it period (which I will most likely do anyway even it isn't to blame).

Right now I feel I have to clean everything with brake / carb cleaner, put everything back together,  fill it up with fluid,  put a bucket under Lucy, and run it to see where its leaking. Anyone got any better suggestions for diagnosing or detecting said leak?

Wasn’t there an obvious drip point relative to the puddle? 

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No because I moved the car to its point in the driveway on Sunday and it had two days to drain. Therefore the puddle was the width of the car and the pump was empty.

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58 minutes ago, Frosty said:

No because I moved the car to its point in the driveway on Sunday and it had two days to drain. Therefore the puddle was the width of the car and the pump was empty.

Thatsa pretty big leak to drain it in 2 days.  Clean and only put a bit of fluid in the res.  Start the car and add till it starts leaking.  Hope you don't have to fill it all the way to find your prob.

This mean no Dixieland on Saturday?

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54 minutes ago, JUSTA6 said:

Thatsa pretty big leak to drain it in 2 days.  Clean and only put a bit of fluid in the res.  Start the car and add till it starts leaking.  Hope you don't have to fill it all the way to find your prob.

This mean no Dixieland on Saturday?

Pretty much....I am suspecting I will be making a parts run to NPD Saturday morning plus I have the Michigan vs. Middle Tennessee State football game in Ann Arbor at 7:30 pm.

Pffttt...Middle Tennessee State - a night game? Seriously? Oh the things we have to do for network prime time.....on the Big Ten Network!

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Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, Frosty said:

Pretty much....I am suspecting I will be making a parts run to NPD Saturday morning plus I have the Michigan vs. Middle Tennessee State football game in Ann Arbor at 7:30 pm.

Pffttt...Middle Tennessee State - a night game? Seriously? Oh the things we have to do for network prime time.....on the Big Ten Network!

Ok, so if I step through this as best I can. The pump wasn’t running in general? Sitting it lost most of the fluid? And this was after you changed the belt? I would inspect/ look at the power steering pump/housing & the hose connections at the housing. Check the housing for a crack, on the bottom or around the hose connection fittings & around the face area were the pump inserts into the housing. The steering box and hose connections at the box would only empty the pump when it was running as a rule.

Edited by Last Indian
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I am in total agreement with you Last Indian.

I am not having any lucking finding an obvious crack or leak anywhere. I pulled both hoses and the pump off Lucy last night. I covered the steering box holes with tape for now to avoid any contamination. I think I am going to make a parts run bright and early tomorrow morning to NPD and get a new pump and hoses and be done with it. I will also re-do the mounting brackets as they sadly need some love and new paint. I will also have to scrounge up a pulley puller.

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1 hour ago, Frosty said:

I am in total agreement with you Last Indian.

I am not having any lucking finding an obvious crack or leak anywhere. I pulled both hoses and the pump off Lucy last night. I covered the steering box holes with tape for now to avoid any contamination. I think I am going to make a parts run bright and early tomorrow morning to NPD and get a new pump and hoses and be done with it. I will also re-do the mounting brackets as they sadly need some love and new paint. I will also have to scrounge up a pulley puller.

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That’s what I would do! The housing may be cracked at one of the bracket bolts or the O’ring seal at the pump to housing may have failed. That said it’s doubtful that it’s the gear box and if it was it would be the pinion lip seal. Which should have shown up as a regular drip leak.

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Thanks for the  support.

I've had occasional squealing with this gear box and pump combination over the years and it's gotten worse since I installed the new bigger tires on it this summer. So it just makes sense to me to replace the pump. If I have more squealing issues, then I know it can only be the gear box since everything else will have been replaced.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Frosty said:

Thanks for the  support.

I've had occasional squealing with this gear box and pump combination over the years and it's gotten worse since I installed the new bigger tires on it this summer. So it just makes sense to me to replace the pump. If I have more squealing issues, then I know it can only be the gear box since everything else will have been replaced.

As you know the squealing is from the belt. You might consider changing, in the down season, the pulleys to wider deeper groove pulleys as they use a wider belt. Because of this they carry more load, which is what’s needed due to the resistance being incurred. Also consider using a good synthetic fluid for the power steering.

Edited by Last Indian

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Well I hit the wall with Lucy and I am running out of time. Sunday I spent three hours trying to put the power steering back together. I had to finese the mounting brackets to get them close and managed to scrap up the freshly painted brackets and the pump in the process. Grrr..... The real rub came with trying to connect the new hoses. They won't go in. I suspect the new(er) Camaro steering gear has a different thread than the stock Pontiac/GTO threads from 72.

So I decided to call a repair shop and let them get everything together even if it means new parts again. I had to call a tow truck since the battery is disconnected, and the belts are off. It was a blow to my ego but I know that I am running out of time and I have a charity car show on Saturday. So I am hoping to have Lucy back before Saturday. 

Here ia Lucy in the street, making a mess on the driveway and street and getting hooked up to the tow truck. The fluid is coming out of the steering box. I didn't think there was that damn much fluid in it, but again I'm wrong. The wife is not happy about the mess all over the driveway either. Anyone got a recommendation for a driveway stain cleaner that really works?

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Edited by Frosty

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Dawn dishwashing soap N a stiff broom.  I was thinkin that was a bad move to go all the way to NPD for your parts.  A local Oriellys would have had ya back in the game. Should be able to return those parts, but thats gotta be 3 hrs worth of driving. hey buddy, Hope you N Lucy can make Golling.

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12 hours ago, Frosty said:

Well I hit the wall with Lucy and I am running out of time. Sunday I spent three hours trying to put the power steering back together. I had to finese the mounting brackets to get them close and managed to scrap up the freshly painted brackets and the pump in the process. Grrr..... The real rub came with trying to connect the new hoses. They won't go in. I suspect the new(er) Camaro steering gear has a different thread than the stock Pontiac/GTO threads from 72.

So I decided to call a repair shop and let them get everything together even if it means new parts again. I had to call a tow truck since the battery is disconnected, and the belts are off. It was a blow to my ego but I know that I am running out of time and I have a charity car show on Saturday. So I am hoping to have Lucy back before Saturday. 

Here ia Lucy in the street, making a mess on the driveway and street and getting hooked up to the tow truck. The fluid is coming out of the steering box. I didn't think there was that damn much fluid in it, but again I'm wrong. The wife is not happy about the mess all over the driveway either. Anyone got a recommendation for a driveway stain cleaner that really works?

IMG_4314.thumb.JPG.13d6d29a5732b470b6e19fceb96dd41d.JPG

2019468537_IMG_4315(2).thumb.JPG.ef936e8c453f902bde3c6c9430744ecf.JPG

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Sorry to hear about the mess buddy! I don’t know what year the Camaro gear box is, but if it’s from 2000 on up it is most likely metric. If that is true, and I know it’s too late, but for future reference, they make adaptors that would have allowed you to use the hose you had.

For the fluid cleanup, if you can get your hands on Textile Spirits, that and a stiff brush will remove the oil. Textile Spirits liquifies oil and then evaporates very quickly taking the oil molecules with it. It will also clean the concrete and make it even whiter, but once the dirt re-enters the concrete, over time, it will look normal again. I would then follow up with JustA’s Dawn soap, the blue one. If you can’t get Textile Spirits you can use lacquer thinner, but be careful if you use that. Textile Spirits doesn’t burn very easily, but obviously thinner does! Thinner also doesn’t liquify oil and evaporate as well as Textile Spirits!

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7 hours ago, JUSTA6 said:

Dawn dishwashing soap N a stiff broom.  I was thinkin that was a bad move to go all the way to NPD for your parts.  A local Oriellys would have had ya back in the game. Should be able to return those parts, but thats gotta be 3 hrs worth of driving. hey buddy, Hope you N Lucy can make Golling.

I searched my local Autozone and O'Reillys. Nothing was in stock, everything was special order - 2 days minimuim. NPD had everything in stock at the Michigan store. Yeah, it was crap load of driving too, but hey, the cannolis from Cantors were worth it.

I am still planning on making Golling. I got a call from the shop today. It appears it is back together. I hope to get Lucy back tonight.

I never heard of Dawn being used for driveways. I have heard of it to use on pets that get skunked. I will try it. I've got lots of Dawn lying around. I will give it a try.

5 hours ago, Last Indian said:

Sorry to hear about the mess buddy! I don’t know what year the Camaro gear box is, but if it’s from 2000 on up it is most likely metric. If that is true, and I know it’s too late, but for future reference, they make adaptors that would have allowed you to use the hose you had.

For the fluid cleanup, if you can get your hands on Textile Spirits, that and a stiff brush will remove the oil. Textile Spirits liquifies oil and then evaporates very quickly taking the oil molecules with it. It will also clean the concrete and make it even whiter, but once the dirt re-enters the concrete, over time, it will look normal again. I would then follow up with JustA’s Dawn soap, the blue one. If you can’t get Textile Spirits you can use lacquer thinner, but be careful if you use that. Textile Spirits doesn’t burn very easily, but obviously thinner does! Thinner also doesn’t liquify oil and evaporate as well as Textile Spirits!

Last Indian - where do you pick up Textile Spirits? I've not heard of this product before.

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46 minutes ago, Frosty said:

I searched my local Autozone and O'Reillys. Nothing was in stock, everything was special order - 2 days minimuim. NPD had everything in stock at the Michigan store. Yeah, it was crap load of driving too, but hey, the cannolis from Cantors were worth it.

I am still planning on making Golling. I got a call from the shop today. It appears it is back together. I hope to get Lucy back tonight.

I never heard of Dawn being used for driveways. I have heard of it to use on pets that get skunked. I will try it. I've got lots of Dawn lying around. I will give it a try.

Last Indian - where do you pick up Textile Spirits? I've not heard of this product before.

Well I get it from, well you know, shhhhh, but for you not sure. One of your GM shops  might have it. Otherwise it would have to be a chemical supplier or possibly a dry cleaner. It actually is a fairly safe solvent. Obviously you should always wear the proper PPE, but TS doesn’t deposit in the liver like most other high end aromatics.

Edited by Last Indian

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1 hour ago, Last Indian said:

Well I get it from, well you know, shhhhh, but for you not sure. One of your GM shops  might have it. Otherwise it would have to be a chemical supplier or possibly a dry cleaner. It actually is a fairly safe solvent. Obviously you should always wear the proper PPE, but TS doesn’t deposit in the liver like most other high end aromatics.

I gotcha! That also explains a lot of the Google results I was getting.

Lucy is now home. Just picked her up, the mechanic used all the parts I bought. They apparently fit. He had to tweak (e.g bend) the high pressure hose to clear the block and allow better access to the steering gear. He cleaned out the threads in the steering gear and both hoses fit.

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2 hours ago, Frosty said:

I searched my local Autozone and O'Reillys. Nothing was in stock, everything was special order - 2 days minimuim. NPD had everything in stock at the Michigan store. Yeah, it was crap load of driving too, but hey, the cannolis from Cantors were worth it.

I am still planning on making Golling. I got a call from the shop today. It appears it is back together. I hope to get Lucy back tonight.

I never heard of Dawn being used for driveways. I have heard of it to use on pets that get skunked. I will try it. I've got lots of Dawn lying around. I will give it a try.

Last Indian - where do you pick up Textile Spirits? I've not heard of this product before.

Glad it all worked out. Esp nice to use the parts you had. Save ya a ton O running. 

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Yup. So now I can play at Golling's tomorrow. Of course with all this rain, Lucy is going to need a bath between here and there too.

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7 hours ago, Frosty said:

Yup. So now I can play at Golling's tomorrow. Of course with all this rain, Lucy is going to need a bath between here and there too.

I hear ya.  Still have mudd from Labor day on the GTO. See ya there.

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