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Discussion Starter #1
I have been having issues with power steering on my 95 LS. A couple of months ago, I noticed that i had a power steering leak. I figured that it was almost time to change steering rack. I used some lucas stop leak, and it seemed to have slowed it down. Then it started grinding when the engine was cold and the grind went away when the engine was hot. Here lately the pump is grinding even when the reservoir is full and the engine is hot.
Today I tightened one of the power steering hose attachments(the 24mm one) on the pump, as it was a bit loose. Then I started the car and the grinding is worse now than it ever was.

The power steering fluid looks very bubbly...is this normal? Is it possible that there is too much air in the system? Are the gears inside the pump destroyed?

Any ideas or insight would be appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Bubbles in the reservoir aren't normal and usually mean you have a leak in a hose, rack seal, or the pump.

Where was the leak you found from? And what do you mean by "grinding": a physical feeling or a sound? If it's a sound, are you sure it's the rack and not the fluid bubbling in the reservoir? The latter sounds like more of a hissing, usually, but I'm not sure what you're trying to describe.

The brown reservoir has a non-replaceable filter in it. I suppose it's also possible this is clogged (the Lucas stuff would make this worse as it thickens the fluid) and is starving the pump.
 

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While the Lucas stuff does thicken the working fluid, it's main purpose as I understand it is to swell the seals a little to let them work as they should. Once that starts to happen in my 91S, I started sucking out some of the thickened fluid and replacing it with straight new regular fluid, eventually nearing the original viscosity. Eventually I will just replace all the fluid with new.

No loss of fluid now, and all seems to be working well.
 

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I suspect you have a leak on the inlet side of the pump. Its pulling air into the system and the result is what you see. Check the reservoir outlet (it goes to pump input as I recall) on both the res side and the pump side. The clamps on the bottom of res on LS are really hard to get to, check the pump connection first. Also check the ps cooling circle on the underbody lines to make sure they are not leaking. Pump inlet side leak might not show dripping fluid if its a leak under vacuum. Are you losing any fluid at all?

Also, you might start the car and turn full lock left and right (while driving slowly) a few times to remove any potential trapped air in the rack. Longshot but possible

If neither of these help, and you are sure there is no leak, then pump is cavitating and needs replacement. Did the high pressure hose get replaced recently? If so, does the new hose have the proper restrictor -- This restrictor also helps moderate the inlet side vacuum as well as the pump cavitation.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Update

ok so there is definitely a leak. It is coming from the metal bend in the top hose at the pump(24mm bolt), not the banjo bolt itself. It has a steady drip. about 1 drip every 5 to 10 seconds. Im guessing it is going to be **** near impossible to find this hose. Are they rebuildable?

The noise is the classic power steering noise u hear coming from all kinds of different cars. It is definitely not a hissing sound. There may actually be a bit of a physical grinding sensation going on as well. The sound is worse when turning the wheel or just holding the wheel turned to one side.

I removed the top hose of the pump and completely drained the fluid out and put new fluid, and now the new fluid is leaking, so im guessing that the filter in the reservoir is not clogged. It is still making the noise with new fluid in it, and feels a little jerky...like sometimes the power steering is working and sometimes its not. Can a small air leak cause that...seems kind of extreme.

I guess I will try to solve the leak before doing anything about the pump.
 

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Hose is rebuildable. Take it to a hydraulic shop and they can rebuild for you - if there is a PIRTEK shop nearby they do this kind of thing for farm equipment, etc. DO a search on this BB for power steering hose rebuild. There are some important details.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hose is rebuildable. Take it to a hydraulic shop and they can rebuild for you - if there is a PIRTEK shop nearby they do this kind of thing for farm equipment, etc. DO a search on this BB for power steering hose rebuild. There are some important details.
thanks!lots of good info!
 

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I think you are talking about supply hose banjo fitting leaking not pressure hose as only early models have banjo fittings on both hoses. Here is screen capture of hydraulic system of P/S system. Item 10 is top banjo fitting for supply hose. Item 13 is lower fitting on early models and item 9 is direct pressure line fitting on later models.

It is item 16 first picture or 13 in second screen capture. Hose 11 in second picture is supply hose and I get a 5/8" x 42" bulk PS hose from auto parts store such as a powercraft 71207 to replace it with.

Unless you are sucking air into pump through that hose I doubt a slightly dripping hose at banjo fitting fluid bolt is causing your pump problem unless that hose or outlet in bottom of reservoir is clogged/restricted.
 

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Unless banjo fitting cracked or broken if supply side its a no brainer EXCEPT the access on the 24V car to the connection at the bottom of the reservoir. On my car the hose access was really tough but I eventually got it. Its probablynot the banjo fitting but the hose above it , Ive not seen a bad banjo fitting personally -- could be the copper sealing washers tho.

www.belmetric.com is an excellent source for all kinds of Alfa stuff


That would jive to some degree with the foaming fluid.
 

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Mine has a regular hose from the reservoir to the pump, it's not pressurized anyway.

The steering reservoir filter only filters the return. With Lucas in the system, the fluid becomes so thick the small paper cartridge is disloged by backpressure. This happens because the cartridge is held by a thin sheet metal washer.

So, whatever contamination your system has, it will circulate through. If anything is shedding pieces (a hose that is collapsing) the bits may stop at the banjo bolt holes.


I have had the problem you described and I fixed it with ATP AT-205. I only poured a little at the time and changed the fluid since. It is seeping some fluid again so I'll order another bottle (as I sold the half-empty bottle).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
it is definitely the supply hose. finally got it out after wrestling with it. i believe that on my car someone may have changed this hose already. there is no #8 ... the little plastic piece(the restrictor) that goes between the 2 parts of the supply hose.

also both the supply and the return hose have a banjo bolt where they attach to the power steering pump.
 

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it is definitely the supply hose. finally got it out after wrestling with it. i believe that on my car someone may have changed this hose already. there is no #8 ... the little plastic piece(the restrictor) that goes between the 2 parts of the supply hose.

also both the supply and the return hose have a banjo bolt where they attach to the power steering pump.
Iem 8 in supply hose to pump is just a coupling between two pieces of hose not a restrictor.

Other hose is a pressure hose from pump to rack and it has the internal restrictor in it and it is hidden under outer lossely fitting sleeve which is a fire prevention sleeve if hose ruptures.

If both supply and pressure hoses at pump have banjo fittings then you have the earlier configuration.
 

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Just hook up any oil resistant hose that will give a leak free fit and secure with good clamps. That hose is under minor pressure ( head pressure only) so it does not have to be high pressure hose
 

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Discussion Starter #14
great thanks guys! i just got some 5/8 inch power steering hose from NAPA, and some new clamps..about to install now.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
found the leak!!

well i was right . the leak was coming from the metal tube at the end of the hose. took old hose off metal tube and blocked both ends of attachment to pump, submersed in water and blew on the end of metal pipe that attaches to hose....lo and behold bubbles and a clear crack....

off to rob the parts car...hopefully the metal attaching tube to pump is the same....
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
the metal tubes of course were different, due to the fact that the pumps are different. the inlet on the pumps are in different locations on the pump.

i went ahead and put it on with the metal tube from the 91 power steering pump and there is no leak. the noise is much better, but not totally gone. it is most noticeable when the car is stopped and the wheel is turned. i decided to orient the metal tube facing out because the nature of the bend would put the hose too close to the exhaust manifold if I had it facing in. It is pretty tight but there is about an inch between the hose and the serpentine belt. This is why they modified the shape of the metal pipe for the 24V power steering pump, i believe.

possible causes of noise.

a. the pump is damaged
b. the bend in the hose is constricting the flow of fluid. the hose that I got from Napa was only 3 ft long and probably needed to be 4 ft. (i now understand why the hose in the diagram is in 2 pieces) it is almost impossible to push the supply hose(5/8ths) up through the mess of wires and hoses into the area behind the false firewall where the reservoir resides. what i ended up doing was attaching a piece of the old hose to the bottom of the reservoir and clamping it and pushing it down from the top. I had taken a coupling from the 91 parts car supply hose and joined the piece of the old hose to the new hose. It is still a bit short hence the bend in the hose and the possible constriction over near the pump inlet. So ideally i need to get some more hose and redo the piece from the bottom of the reservoir to the coupling
c. there is air in the system.

there is no leak so Im leaving it for now.
:sailor:
 

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As well, the shapes of the 12v and 24v pumps are different. The 24v pump is longer. The 12v pump can be put on the 24v engine by using stacked washers, but the 24v pump cannot be put on the 12v.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Steering Rack question??

what is it that goes bad in the steering rack?

my car 95LS tends to wander a bit. when i replaced the transmission a few months back it seemed like the car started to ever so slightly pull to the right and the steering wheel is now a couple of degrees off center.

the rack is not leaking since I have had the metal tube soldered.

It seems like the tie rod ends are ok. i can grab them with my hand and turn them with a good deal of force, but there is no clanking noise coming from the tie rod ends. im pretty sure that the inner tie rods are ok as well as I can not move one wheel independently of the other moving.

should I get an alignment and should I trust the Good year shop to know if something is awry??

also the passenger side tire is worn on the inside and the outside but the center treads are barely worn at all.

any suggestions would be appreciated.
thanks!
 

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Check the inboard bushings on the A arms. My guess (total guess) is that you have bad bushings there-- can cause the symptoms you are describing
 

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I always thought wear on the outer edges and not the middle was due to an under inflated tire.
 
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