'66 Barracuda Leaking Power Steering Fluid

Early A-Body Discussions

  1. PistolGrip

    PistolGrip Well-Known Member

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    Well, I've procrastinated enough....I've been putting this Barracuda (273 auto) together for about a year now. It should be ready to drive soon ('soon' being a relative term :)) . I've noticed it is leaking power steering fluid, but I can't tell for sure where the source is. I'm going to clean everything off & try to identify & fix the problem. If it's easy, GREAT! If it's NOT, I may need some advice on how much trouble replacing the pump, etc. is. Does the exhaust manifold need to be removed? As you know, it is a PITA all by itself. Are pumps hard to come by?
    I'd rather not do this, but is it possible to simply(?) remove the power steering stuff & steer the car the old-fashioned way?
    I've never had a car with power steering before, so this is all new to me.
    Advice welcomed!
    Thanks.

    engine in left front.jpg
     
  2. JDMopar

    JDMopar Well-Known Member

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    If it's the box leaking, spray it with brake cleaner to get it clean, so you can see where. It may be something as simple as tightening the bolts on top of the box, where the hoses connect, or a leaking hose fitting. The input shaft seal could also be leaking. That one is fairly easy to change, but you would have to take the steering column out to do it. The output shaft seal could leak too, and that one is a pain in the butt to fix! I'd swap the box out for a rebuilt Steer and Gear PS box if the lower one is leaking. You could also swap in a Borgeson PS box if you want to spend the $$$ on it. I saw a 65 Barracuda with a Borgeson box a while back, and it was a slick set up!
     
  3. PistolGrip

    PistolGrip Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the information. I'll check it out & let you know what happens. I'm hoping to sell the car, so I don't want to pour too much more $$ into it....oh well!
     
  4. Car Nut

    Car Nut Mopar Master

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  5. KitCarlson

    KitCarlson Well-Known Member

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    I did a PS reseal a few years ago on my 66 with good results. Did in/out shafts on gearbox, and pump seals. The pump was easy, big o-ring on tank, couple lathe cut seals on mount. I had heads off for engine reseal, box easy out with block in, came out bottom.
    Bought seal kit, seals at O'rileys, about $40 total. Used drywall screw to pull in/out seals.
     
  6. BillGrissom

    BillGrissom Well-Known Member

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    The exhaust manifold can stay on. A 1966 should have the TRW power steering pump. It looks almost identical to the later Federal pump (sometimes called "Chrysler). The difference is that the TRW has a longer finger on the rear bracket w/ 2 aft bolts into the pump. For photos, see the Bouchillon Performance website's brackets. You can buy a rebuild kit. I paid <$20 for an Edelmann kit at rockauto ~10 yrs ago. The most common leak is the large circumferential O-ring which seals the sheet-metal round reservoir to the pump body. Easy fix once off the car. That holds no pressure, just gravity and leaks because it gets old hard & cracked. You might buy just an O-ring at McMaster-Carr. If you make one from a kit from straight O-ring stock, install with the glued seam at the top and shouldn't leak if you don't fill the reservoir that high. If you rebuild, my trick to hold the blades in while assembling was to wrap them tight with steel wire to compress the springs, which then slid off as I pushed the rotor into the housing.

    The gearbox usually leaks from its lower shaft seal. One trick to pop it out (a former mechanic related) is to remove the snap ring (after removing Pitman Arm using the proper puller, inexpensive at Harbor Freight). Then run the engine and turn the steering which should build pressure to blow the shaft seal out into a bucket you smartly placed below. Secondary benefit is that should flush out any crud which collected in the bottom. If that works, it is easier pulling the gearbox out of the car. You can buy a re-seal kit for it too, and I rebuilt one. The trick is to turn the input shaft ccw (recall) and hold that to keep all the plates tight and in place as you slide the innards back in. If not, the plates can shift off-center and the box won't work right. The little O-rings at the top spool valve housing can also leak, and those are easy to change in the car. I used better Viton O-rings there (HF kit).
     
  7. PistolGrip

    PistolGrip Well-Known Member

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    Wow! I'll give that a shot. Thanks for the thorough assessment & solution. This is a great site. I hope I can contribute similarly on some other issue. What that would be, I'm not so sure, but I'll know it when I see it! :)
     
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