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Leaking steering box, confused about repair options

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Jim85IROC, May 15, 2005.

  1. Jim85IROC

    Jim85IROC Newbie

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    My power steering box is leaking badly. Suddenly the other night smoke started pouring out of my hood. I popped the hood and saw a ton of oil burning off of the exhaust manifolds. After 2 days and a new valve cover gasket, I've finally realized that my power steering box is leaking and the fluid is spraying all over the ehaust manifold. Everything was so covered in dirty fluid that I couldn't tell at first.

    I haven't determined yet if the fluid is leaking out of the seal where the steering shaft enters the box, or if it's coming from one of the hose ends on the top of the box. I figure that it's leaking from the seal around the input shaft, because a leaky fitting would be too easy.

    I did a search here and it seems that every single thread has different advice, and a different procedure for replacing this seal. Some say it's easy, some say it's a nightmare and can screw up the whole box.

    What's the truth? Is this a seal that I can easily replace, or do I have to jump through hoops to collapse the steering shaft, then drill through the old seal to remove it?

    Thanks
     
  2. Jim85IROC

    Jim85IROC Newbie

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    False alarm. I had my girlfriend turn the steering wheel while the truck was running and I found a pinhole in the rubber line going up to the brake master cylinder. Thank God it's not the steering box. :D
     
  3. garlicbreath

    garlicbreath 1/2 ton status

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    Don't thank god, thank your girlfriend!
     
  4. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    hey,you lucked out!

    I bet your glad it was just the P/S hose!...but as for the original question,I personally dont bother to try and fix seals or other steering box problems myself anymore--too many of them never pan out,and leak worse,or the steering box starts binding or acting strange--only the pitman shaft seals have I changed with success--the one at the rag joint(steering colum) end is the one that gave me enough grief to say screw fixing the box--50-75 bucks for a used one at a salvage yard,or 200+for a rebuilt with a lifetime warrantee is the way I go now--usually by the time seals leak,the box has worn too....

    I dont like messing with steering boxes, or automatic trannys other than filter changes or a modulator,and I'm not exactly a novice when it comes to older GM trucks...some things you just shouldn't fix,especially in your backyard without the special tools and experience you need..I find installing a good used or rebuilt much safer,and you wont be wondering if your steering will act up 200 miles away from home on vacation or something.. :crazy:
     
  5. Jim85IROC

    Jim85IROC Newbie

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    Last night after I posted I wrapped a rag around the leaking hose and taped it up so that I could back the truck out of the garage without spraying crap all over my engine bay.

    I still wound up with drops of fluid along the path I took. That tells me that it either soaked the whole damned rag in the 50 feet I drove it, or that something else is leaking too. I'm changing the hose tonight. Hopefully that's the only problem.

    Thanks for the help guys. I'll keep this thread updated.
     

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