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Power steering pump groaning, intermittent low speed assist...

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by dyeager535, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    So I suspect it's the pump. Search revealed that causes could be low fluid, bad pump, bad hoses, or low on fluid.

    I'll admit I didn't check it for fluid this last time I drove it, but very recently I had, and it was full. I doubt it leaked or vented, everything is clean. (or as clean as it was when I put it together lol) The hoses are fairly new, they could be checked I guess. I know the belt isn't slipping.

    Low speed, assist is pretty weak and intermittent, pump groans, more effort to turn the wheel.

    I'm pretty sure a new pump is the answer, but any experts on these things that can answer why the groaning, and is it something you can fix with a rebuild kit or something? Would be fun to tear it apart, see the inner workings of yet another component on the truck. :)

    Any sources for rebuild kits? I wouldn't be surprised if the cost/effort is such that I might as well just buy a rebuilt one instead? Maybe exchange my old one as a core in pieces just to check out the innards.
     
  2. 1984Stepside

    1984Stepside Registered Member

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    Not exactly sure what the replacement would cost for your particular motor, but the OEM for an 86 k5 is less than $40, brand new. About a $10 core charge. So you could probably just get a new one, and keep the old one to tear apart, just for fun.
     
  3. loafer

    loafer 1/2 ton status

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    I'm having the same problems with mine, except it's a new (reman. from NAPA) pump. I replaced my old one because the front seal was gone, but the new pump has intermitent assist just like you describe at idle. If I give it a little gas it works great. I also replaced the high pressure hose when I did the pump. I'm stumped :dunno:
     
  4. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    That lack of working at low RPM to me seems like a sticky valve or too little pressure on a valve. Assuming that these pumps increase pressure as RPM builds, at least to a point.

    When it's working right it has the typical truck "too much" assist/one finger turning, but when you are doing something like backing up a trailer, it's more difficult to accomplish, not to mention somewhat embarassing hearing it make all that noise. :)

    I don't have a parts diagram, but these pumps aren't THAT complex I'm sure, I know there is an article on how to modify how much or how little assist the pump provides, and as I recall, the only real modifications have to do with the little valve/orifice held in place with pressure side hose fitting.

    If the pump is anything like an auto trans pump, if you have rotation, you have fluid movement, there is no way the pump itself can be intermittent.
     
  5. rcamacho

    rcamacho 1/2 ton status

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    Perhaps there is a problem with the power steering gear valving vs. the pump? PS gears tend to start binding with age...
     
  6. Mudstud

    Mudstud 1/2 ton status

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    You are taking about this http://westtexasoffroad.homestead.com/powersteering.html

    If you have crossover I was told by Matt, the owner of Redneck Ram, that you loose 15-20% of your power steering. This mod will hep gain some of that back. Actually, this mod if for increasing power for a ram. He told me since I don't have a ram I need to screw the lil screw all the way in and take out the copper washers (if present) to increase flow. That should help SOME!!
     
  7. Kp

    Kp 1/2 ton status

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    If the system has been opened, or has sat for a long time, you may just need to bleed it.
    My sub sat for a year before I put the new BBC in, and when I fired it up, the pump was making ALOT of noise. I picked up a new pump, and was ready to swap it out. Fortunately, Chiltons mentioned the procedure for bleeding the system, so I tried that before I pulled the old one out.
    Sure enough, now its quiet as ever. I took the new pump back and got my 70 bucks back!!
    During that entire engine swap, that Chiltons book was useless, but it did save me 70 bucks on the pump, so I guess it was worth it after all.
     
  8. Mudstud

    Mudstud 1/2 ton status

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    YES- I forgot to suggest this.
     
  9. Kp

    Kp 1/2 ton status

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    Just FYI, bleeding the system is really easy. If I remember correctly, it just involved raising the front wheels off the ground, and turning them back and forth, while topping off the fluid.
     
  10. Mudstud

    Mudstud 1/2 ton status

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    Yes. I wish bleeding brakes was this easy.
     
  11. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    If the system needs bled, does it make noise/lack assist regardless of engine RPM?

    I can try bleeding the system, won't cost me anything, just curious if the symptoms are the same or not as to what we are experiencing.

    Anyone that has played around with the piston/piston housing (step 3 in the article) does the housing have metal rings or o-rings in the grooves in the body? I can't really tell from the picture. I'm guessing it's not that precise of an assembly. :)
     
  12. roadnotca

    roadnotca 3/4 ton status

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  13. hunterguy86

    hunterguy86 1/2 ton status

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    I had the same exact problem with my truck. A new pump solved all the issues.

    I also added a cooler to keep it cool.

    I can get some pics of the cooler if it would help.
     
  14. Mudstud

    Mudstud 1/2 ton status

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    No O rings around the piston. This is such an easy thing to do it's not even funny. As long as you can access the area of the pump you don't have to even take the pump off.

    The sympyoms you describe indicate it could need bleeding.
     

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