Help! My steering quit! (PROBLEM SOLVED)

Suspension, Steering and Chassis

  1. cruiser

    cruiser Well-Known Member

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    I just changed the power steering pressure hose on my 1974 Duster 225 auto. Suddenly, there is no low speed power steering boost. Once the engine speeds up, the steering power boost seems to return. The pump is full, there is no air in the system, and the belt is properly adjusted. All I did was to change the pressure hose, and I no longer have low speed boost. Any ideas?
     
  2. cudascott

    cudascott Now I have a Hemi

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    sounds like you have still have air in the system.
     
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    • cruiser

      cruiser Well-Known Member

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      I drove it for 30 minutes after the hose change. Then I went into a parking lot and did several 360 degree low speed turns with the steering wheel deflected full left, then full right. No help. How long would it take to get the air out of the system? I changed the return hose last week and it worked perfectly right away. Ideas?
       
    • bcschief

      bcschief Well-Known Member

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      Lost the pressure relief valve most likely.
       
    • Phreakish

      Phreakish Well-Known Member

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      Jack up the front end, run the engine (idle or just above is fine) and turn the wheel lock-to-lock several times until low speed boost comes back. It can take 20-30 full lock-to-lock travels sometimes to get it all.
      Even then, it's still possible for air to get stuck. The fluid can also aerate (foam) while you've got air in the system and make it even tougher to get it all. Keep checking the reservoir and keep turning the wheel from lock-to-lock until power assist comes back.

      It's possible something else broke or is going on, but is most unlikely. Do the free stuff first...
       
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      • cruiser

        cruiser Well-Known Member

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        Phreakish - tried what you recommended and it didn't work. I still have the same situation. When I start off turning, there is no power boost. As soon as the engine revs come up when I accelerate out of the turn, the boost comes back and everything is normal. Belt is tight, reservoir stays full.
         
      • Phreakish

        Phreakish Well-Known Member

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        Why did you replace the low pressure hose?

        Sounds like the pump could have run dry, worn the rotors, and doesn't make much pressure until up in the revs.
         
      • cruiser

        cruiser Well-Known Member

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        I replaced it because it was 47 years old, and original to the car. I'm planning on taking the car on a long road trip and didn't want to blow a steering hose in the middle of nowhere. I keep thinking about what happened to those guys in the movie "Deliverance". Anyhow, the pump worked perfectly until I replaced the pressure line a week later. That's when it stopped working at idle. But it was working perfectly after I initially changed the return hose.
         
      • cruiser

        cruiser Well-Known Member

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        Does anybody know what the "flow control valve" on the bottom of the pump does? This is what the pressure line screws into. Could this be the problem?
         
      • bcschief

        bcschief Well-Known Member

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        I assume that this is a Saginaw pump if you removed the fitting from the pump there is a spring and a plunger behind the fitting one or both of these may have fallen out. I would take it apart and see if they are missing.

        Here is an illustration
        Saginaw Power Steering Pressure Valve assy - Bing images
         
        Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
      • cruiser

        cruiser Well-Known Member

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        Okay, I'll check. But the guy who replaced the pressure hose didn't remove this assembly. He merely unscrewed the old hose end from it, then screwed the new hose end into it.
         
      • bcschief

        bcschief Well-Known Member

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        You may want to remove and clean and reinstall it maybe it has a piece of trash stuck in it. Also make sure it moves in the bore ok.
         
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        • Phreakish

          Phreakish Well-Known Member

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          I asked why just in case there were other symptoms.

          Man, I hate doing preventative maintenance and then having something else go bonkers..

          If it initially worked after the hose swap and then stopped, I would definitely do like suggested above and remove both lines to ensure they're clear. When hoses degrade they can shed bits and pieces into the fluid stream and block or clog stuff.

          Might be worth removing the flow valve to make sure it doesn't have something in it causing a low pressure problem.
           
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          • cruiser

            cruiser Well-Known Member

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            All you guys lobbying for a problem with the flow control valve were right. My mechanic removed the pump from the engine, then removed and replaced the flow control valve in the output side of the pump. Problem solved. He said that the existing flow control valve had become stuck bottomed out and was contaminated with some crud, likely from the earlier replacement of both hoses and flushing new oil through the system. No problem with the existing pump. He just put in a new flow control valve and it steers like a new car now. Well not really like a new car. It steers like a 1974 Plymouth with the typically vague and overassisted steering feel from Mopars back then. Anyhow, all is well and I'm happy. Thanks for everyone's input! BOB
             
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            • cudascott

              cudascott Now I have a Hemi

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              thanks for the follow up:thumbsup:
               
            • bcschief

              bcschief Well-Known Member

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              Yes thanks for the follow up. I always like to see an end to a problem. Someone else may be helped by reading this latter.
               
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