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Old 05-16-2017, 04:47 PM   #1
Tx Firefighter
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Texas
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Back to the Basics: How to repair a leaky power steering pump

Let me get this out of the way right up front....

If you have an otherwise good power steering pump that is leaking, fix it. An employee at the local parts store recently admitted to me that they sometimes get a period of 40% defective returns on their rebuilt pumps they sell. A1 Cardone rebuilds pretty much all of them, so it's not just that store. Hitting the easy button and buying a rebuilt over the counter runs you a significant risk of buying a worse pump than you already have, albeit, it probably won't leak. But it might surely howl and be noisy. You know your current pump works and you know it doesn't make noise, so lets make it not leak anymore.

The victim....This is a 92 model pump that came with a junkyard serpentine setup I bought. It looked leaky to me so I went ahead and resealed it.

I bought the seal kit locally for expediency, but Rockauto is always cheaper.

The first step is a thorough exterior cleaning of the pump. We don't want to introduce grit into the pump while we are working on it. Use whatever sauce you prefer. Mine is Simple Green and a toothbrush. Don't use you own toothbrush for this. Use your wife's or one of your kids or something.

Next, we start by removing the front seal. Using a small sharp pick or punch, knock two little holes opposite each other then thread in a couple of screws. Be wary that you don't screw the screws into the polished center shaft. Then alternating back and forth, grip the screws with diagonal cutters (wire cutters) to lever the seal up and out.

Find a suitable size driver tool to install the new seal. I used a socket here. A piece of conduit, PVC, socket, whatever.

Lube the new seal thoroughly on the inner lip and tap it into place.

Now, clamp the nose of the pump (the housing, not the shaft) into a vise and remove all of the bolts and fittings from the rear of the pump. Tap the reservoir off with a rubber hammer or use a block of wood with a regular hammer. Whatever you use, be gentle and don't bend the sheetmetal body.

Now we are going to change some seals. Just remove each one and match it with the like new one from the seal kit. Use a light coat of grease to hold them into place. Notice, I am serious about cleaning and making sure everything is spotless. You should be too. This is a job for brake clean or carb clean.

Change the large oring around the circumference of the pump.

Now is the time to clean and paint your reservoir housing if you're into cosmetics.

Here is the pump in the vise ready to receive the reservoir. Assure all seals are in place and none of them got knocked loose.

Now, carefully line up the reservoir and knock it into place with the mallet.

Pay particular attention that you install these in the proper order and orientation.

Replace the oring before you install it. This fitting is what determines whether the power steering pressure hose needs to be an oring type or an earlier flare type. You can freely interchange this to swap later pumps into early trucks without having to buy specially made hoses. In this case, I am installing an early flare type of fitting into a 92 model pump so the 74 model truck can use original hoses with a late model serpentine type of accessory setup.

Reinstall the bolts and studs that you removed into the back of the pump and torque everything snug.

Done deal.

Full disclosure : I did clean the pump as surgically clean as possible, but I wound up painting the exterior of the pump with engine paint to give it a nice grey finish. Allow no paint to get anywhere but the very front exposed face of the pump and the outside of the reservoir. You don't want any paint on the backside of the pump or inside the reservoir where the fluid lives. I also polished the pump shaft slightly with crocus cloth to assure there were no burrs or any corrosion on the shaft. Not too much though, the pulley is a press fit and needs to fit tightly onto the shaft.

By switching the fitting (detailed above) I was able to use this setup in my 74 model truck with a new 74 spec power steering hose. No adapters, no custom hoses. I hate to read on here where guys spend coin having custom hoses made to adapt a later model pump like this one to an early truck, or buy a commercial adapter fitting. Use good old genuine used GM parts and save your money.

Kevin -

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Last edited by Tx Firefighter; 05-16-2017 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:06 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Norfolk,Va.
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Re: Back to the Basics: How to repair a leaky power steering pump

Very good, thanks for taking the time to document.
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Old 10-10-2017, 10:51 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: norwalk,iowa,usa
Posts: 883
Re: Back to the Basics: How to repair a leaky power steering pump

thanks for the how-to !! its always nice to use stuff thats laying around ! plus the custom hoses -are hard to find -out of town or a week -end ! i always wondered about doing what you did BUT never tried ! thanks again mike
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