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Power Steering Pressures and Front End Wows

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by backlash, May 11, 2001.

  1. backlash

    backlash 1/2 ton status

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    To date, I've replaced the steering box 2x, tierods, a ball joint, done the wheel bearing thing, converted to manual hubs, and of course the best improvement was the ORD Steering Brace. The steering is pretty close to right, but the wheel is so easy to turn. As a matter of fact, while just hitting a bump while going down the road, the weight of your arm pulls the steering wheel. If I just keep my hands off it ... or steer with just my fingers ... it'll go in a straight line.

    Is it possible That the pressures in the power steering pump are too high. How do you check this?

    Almost feels like I'm turning on two bicycle tires ... very little resistance.

    The Caster checks out correctly ...

    Thanks
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Are you using a steering stabilizer? If you are it may be completely worn out. The stabilizer will provide a little more resistance in the steering. Tire pressure has an effect too, if you like a lot of pressure in your tires they may be riding on the center of the tread only...

    I don't know how the power steering line pressure could be adjusted, I've never looked into it.

    Rene

    [​IMG]<A target="_blank" HREF=http://jules.coloradok5.com>http://jules.coloradok5.com</A>
     
  3. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    The valves for the power steering pump are different, depending on application. V6, V8, etc. Is this something that one day just all of a sudden started, or has it always been like this? I know if sitting, and the truck is idling, it takes a bit of effort to turn the tires...but if I am on the freeway, the assist is way too much, and is like driving a boat..no resistance to turning. Just the nature of the beast...strong power steering is why the trucks break the frames at the box.

    Dorian
    My K5 and Chev/Olds tech/links page: <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.dorianyeager.com/index2.html>http://www.dorianyeager.com/index2.html</A>
     
  4. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    I just went through the same thing, replaced the box 2x, still loose. I am currently back on the original box, feeling identical to the 2 new ones. I can definately tell you the pressure is high; problem with one of the new boxes stopped up the flow. The high pressure line exploded (all over my jeep parked next to it)... Pretty powrful stuff...

    How much did you pay for the brace? What's involved with install? The mental patient I bought my truck from did some horrifying welding hack all over the frame, and it's still a little weak, so a brace would be a good idea...

    Ratch
    I could swear there was a trail around here... Right around where those new condos are...
     
  5. backlash

    backlash 1/2 ton status

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    Piece of cake! This thing has saved a lot of folks. Look up ORD (Off Road Design) on the Main Board under Aftermarket Stuff.

    Good Rep here from the guys. Check out Blazzinor Page(Frank can't remember the correct name). He did a sweat write up on instalation with nice pics the week after I did mine. Who said timing is everything.

    About $100 and half hour work. DO IT!
     
  6. backlash

    backlash 1/2 ton status

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    Rene,

    I'm using a stabilizer. The long story is ... I had a bad proportioning valve since new. Stomp on brakes &gt; pulled Right&gt; weakened frame&gt; causing what you call the "infamous frame flex." On a stock vehicle no less. Well used to replace the stabilzer annually b/c no one at any shop I took it to had a clue what was causing the wandering. I even began to run high pressures in my tires to reduce the sidewall flex. At first the flex would cause the outside of the tires to wear first ... now of course in the middle. Have not driven it since the new tire rods installed (yesterday). Need to back down on the air pressure and see if it is corrected.

    To answer your question: Yes, I run a stabilizer. Replaced it about 8 times in 13 years. I am running air pressure too high. Again will check tomorrow and report back (too much traffic here during the rush hours).

    Thanks
     
  7. backlash

    backlash 1/2 ton status

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    Dorian,

    First off not sure if you saw my thankyou for the help on my tranny (the other big helpers did respond).... the TCC solenoid fixed the problem. Still have an issue with third gear (where the tranny shop jumped the lock up), but will add to the Ta Do list.

    This has been an on going problem ... see what I wrote to Rene ... same thread.

    I do have the air in the tires too high for the above reasons, but it is too easy to turn even when stopped. (i.e. can turn with my index finger when stopped) I'm sure once I set the air pressure down a bit I can tell more.

    Again ... thanks.
     
  8. backlash

    backlash 1/2 ton status

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    Ratch,

    Was thinkin ... If that frames been welded, they make a separate brace for those already broken. Talk to Frank about this ... I think on his webpage he mentions not having confidence in that truck since the repair.

    Good Luck
     
  9. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Yeah, I don't typically respond to things like that, not being elitist (jeez no lol) just my way of trying to conserve bandwidth and cut down on useless clutter. Glad that it appears fixed though : )

    I have my tires (the 33" BFG TA KO's) aired up to 45psi now, up from the 35 before. I really don't notice any difference in steering feel. Maybe a bit with ride feel though. At idle, I still really have to muscle the thing, but I try not to steer before the truck is rolling either...

    maybe someone actually took the valve all the way out or something, and there is no pressure restriction anymore?? No clue, don't have the factory service manual handy, someone that does have it handy shoul dcheck the PS troubleshooting section and see if "too much assist" or something similar has some causes...



    Dorian
    My K5 and Chev/Olds tech/links page: <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.dorianyeager.com/index2.html>http://www.dorianyeager.com/index2.html</A>
     
  10. backlash

    backlash 1/2 ton status

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    In the name being too verbose and stuff (hehehe).... looks like I have some homework! Will break out the manual tonight.

    PS. Had it since new and still running same altenator, P/S(never touched) pump guess they'll go next.


    Thanks again
     
  11. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    The valve in the pump is mainly for pressure relief. It sets the maximum pressure output of the pump. At idle, your pressure should be below that. You could try to find a valve from a lighter vehicle that used the same style pump, but that could be hit or miss, trial and error. The main way that the oil flow rate is determined for these pumps is by the size of the fitting on the pressure side. A bigger one flows more, a smaller one flows less. The only other way to adjust the steering feel is to use a box with a different torsion rate, but I'm afraid I can't help you figure out what vehicle would have a box like that.

    The assist is actually the same at low and high speed, it just takes a lot less effort to turn the wheels at high speed (think about driving a car with no power steering). The exception to this is when the engine speed is low enough that the pump is not at full pressure, then the assist will be a little less.

    Your other option would be to put a bigger pulley on the pump, which would make it turn slower and would keep the pressure lower up to a higher engine speed. Then you would have to look into a different length belt.

    I think that it is worth while looking into putting a restriction in the pressure line, either by finding a smaller fitting or coming up with an inline adapter that has a small passage in it. Assuming that your setup holds pressure and doen't leak, the only drawback would be that the hiss could be annoying. Some cadillacs have an EVO (Electronic Variable Orifice) speed sensitive power steering system and it is basically just an electronically controlled restriction in the line.

    Let me know if you have any other questions about power steering: I work at Saginaw Steering.

    <font color=green>"Do not replace belt while engine is running" --Warning on a Kelly Srpingfield package</font color=green>
     
  12. 87K54WD

    87K54WD 1/2 ton status

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    I've got the exact same complaint. I've thought about the ORD brace but I'm not sure if I would really notice a difference. In addition, I've had the brake pull to the right situation as well. Seems llike a lot of K5ers have. I was told from this site that it was not the prop. valve because that only controls front to rear brakes not side to side on the front brakes. So, did your new prop. valve fix your problem with the brake pull? If so, maybe I need to replace mine. I put a new steering stab. on as well but didn't really notice a difference there either. The P/S has never been touched on mine and it has always been this way since new (including the brake pull). Seems odd that we all have the same problem. Has anyone tried the hex nut adjustment on the box? If so, was it worth it? It sucks to have this problem. This exact problem almost caused me to flip the truck when I was pulling a U-Haul trailer. Let me know if the ORD is really worth the time and money. Thanks! FYI: Bone stock ... no lift and no adjustments.
     
  13. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    A good solution would be to put on some 38x14 tires to increase their steering resistance [​IMG]

    <font color=green>"I don't have the brains for business. I want to go into politics" -Mao Xinyu </font color=green>
     
  14. backlash

    backlash 1/2 ton status

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    Hey Blue85,

    Good stuff ... Is there a way to actually check the pressure? May have been high since beginning (In the Beginning There was Blazer!). Need more sleep at night.

    Or do you just as you say experiment?

    As far as steering boxes. This 3rd one is a dealer rebuild! It still has play in it. Perhaps it's not adjusted right? Again it may be fine with the tie rods and alignment. Can't wait till the traffic dies down!

    I'm so impressed by the dealer this time. When I got off work I went to let the air down in my tires. There were some smudge marks on the rims. They actually did as was supposed to ... checked the air pressure before alignment.


    Faith restored!
     
  15. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Everything described sounds like my Blazer EXCEPT that it doesn't 'steer' when I hit bumps. That sounds like an alignment problem maybe....?
    Dave
     
  16. backlash

    backlash 1/2 ton status

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    Ok ... on to something! Just drove it out on the interstate ... pretty damn good! Actually could relax a bit ... been many years since I could do that!

    But still need to know if there should be any play in the steering box. Rag gear, tight, just a little play in the box. When I move the steering wheel 3-4 in. The front wheels move. When I move it 1 1/2-2 in ... the wheels do not move. Is this the cause of a little ?creep when hitting seems in the road?

    I know I'm sounding way anal, but keep in mind I've paid the dealer to check this out and have been back many times. It's OK now, but will that little slop cause the box to end up like the others in time.

    Thanks
     
  17. mich89k5

    mich89k5 Registered Member

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    Somebody needs to figure this one out. I have the same problem with super loose steering, but I've replaced everything. Plus I have 2 steering stabilizers and the ORD brace. have replaced my gear box twice in the last 2 months(Autozone) nad no luck. I've adjusted the hex nut with no luck. I pull a trailer everyday for work and it's really pissing me off. Dealers aren't worth a damn and I get free diagnosis because I work for about 50 dealers. Most of those mechanics don't want to figure it out when it's not staring them in the face. This is the first time I've heard that the pressure may be a factor. My pump doesn't squeal or anything so I haven't replaced that yet, but what is the correct pressure for the steering pump? I don't post much on this board, but I wake up quick when I see this topic covered since I have spent many hours under my blazer replacing crap that apparently didn't need to be replaced. Do you guys think that the brakes pulling to the right problem is related to steering slop in the gear box? I literally have replaced everyhting brake related and that hasn't helped so I'm looking to other possible causes. I can't believe that this is so common yet nobody seems to have answers for this.

    Mich89k5
     
  18. JoeAngelicchio

    JoeAngelicchio 1/2 ton status

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    Is it possible that your truck may be squatting towards the back? That would lighten up the front and give a light steer feeling. Just a thought.

    <font color=green>Joe Angelicchio
    86 Jimmy 4+3, 35-&gt;39.5 tires,4spd
    </font color=green>
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  19. FastEddy

    FastEddy 1/2 ton status

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    I have discovered over the years on my 2wd 1 tons and 3/4 tons that the 73-some 74 steering boxes have a very light feel, where you can turn the wheels of my one ton dually with your pinky finger. didn't like it, so switched the box again to a 77 and it was back to normal. My friends 74 chev 3/4 4x4 tow truck has this "light" box as well, but he likes it. He even put a 73 box on his 85 chev 1/2 ton 4x4, but had to use the pump as well because of the different hose ends (o-ring verses flare fitting). maybe you have old steering boxes somehow? I would also like to know what is different from the two setups to make one easier, just for curiosity sake....just my two cents..ED
     
  20. backlash

    backlash 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the response ...

    Actually, was told the loose front end was b/c the springs were sprung, so had them rebuilt. They ended up with too much arch, therefore increased the "bounce" in the front end. I really liked the ride, but was pretty scarey on back hilly roads! I do need top mention that this spring stuff occured before I put on the ORD Brace ... Those arched springs with a 1 0r 2" pack in the back may have been perfect. Also gave them too much height in the front. Took it back and they "de-arched" the springs (made them flatter) which took care of the bounce! But, now it's possible that the springs are the reason for the slop ... again.

    To answer:

    It sits lower in the front now! Not even flat ... looks cool, but who knows if it has an impact?
     

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