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Discussion Starter #1
Hi group
I finally own a fantastic 94' 164 LS 5 Speed, great car.
This is my first problem.

The PO installed a new PS pump several months ago and I have been topping the reservoir . While making a tight turn parking I noticed noises from the P/S pump. When I started the car up 4 hrs later, I heard what sounded like static from a AM radio station that was off the air?
Driving the car home .5 miles, I had NO powersteering.
Today, their's a puddle under the car on the driver side just behind the differential, with no fluid in the reservoir!

Did I damage the pump or steering-rack driving it a total of 4 blocks with out fluid? What was that radio noise? Weird!

The reservoir holds new fluid, so can I start the engine and drive it? Is there a special bleeding proceedure?

The belt and pulleys look fine, though I cannot see the pump itself.
and since there is no puddle on the passenger side should I presume the pump is not leaking?

If so, that leaves the P/S rack and the high pressure hoses.


Any references to a good 164 Mechanic in the Hartford, CT area ?


Frank L
http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/images/smilies/confused.gif
59' Giulietta Sprint
60' Giuiietta Spider
 

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Hello Frank, did you go to Limerock on Labor Day with a beautifully restored Giulietta Sprint?

Is this the blue LS from SouthEast CT?

The only way to find out where the leak is to inspect carefully. If the leak is from the rubber boot of the steering tie rod then it is steering rack end seal. The best way to fix this is to swap in a re-manufactured rack ($300-$400).

If you are lucky, it could be the cooling pipe (coil in the picture) or one of the hoses (supply or return line). There is a metal pipe right under the driver seat, it is possible that this gets rust through. Or, one of the rubber hoses (or connection) failed. If it is the high pressure hose, I would think there is a big mess if you look under the car.

I would find the leak and correct the problem first. Then I would fill the system with fluid. The system might self bleed itself. But the supply line usually has an upward loop (running from the driver side to the passenger side) that might trap some air. I suggest open the fluid inlet port at the pump and let all the air out (with the reservoir filled so gravity will push the fluid through). The rest should self bleed by turning the steering (with the engine running). If the steering is still very heavy, then the pump could have overheated and you might need to swap in another pump or have the seals changed! The noise you heard was most likely air noise when the system ran out of fluid.
 

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My son's former '92S had a gusher of a steering fluid leak once. It turned out to be the return hose fitting backing out just about where it is labeled "RETURN HOSE" in the sketch Bob posted above. In that case, it was just an application of a wrench and the leak evaporated. May your problems be as light.

Michael
 

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I would check closely supply hose which is not exactly routed as shown in picture. I find most of them sandwiched in between delivery hose and return hose on back side of rack and chaffed where it rubs through fabric covering and leaks onto area where other two hoses bolted to rack with banjo fittings again about where word return hose is in Bob's picture.

I have been getting a new piece of supply hose from Advance Auto Parts boxed with their part number that I will post tomorrow when I look at box again.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My 164 LS is white and grey and I purchased it Hummelstown, PA
My Giulietta Sprint, is original and unrestored.
Leak is near the tubes going to the coil. All the new fluid drained out of the reservoir overnight. A mess on the pavement.
Frank
 

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My 164 LS is white and grey and I purchased it Hummelstown, PA
My Giulietta Sprint, is original and unrestored.
Leak is near the tubes going to the coil. All the new fluid drained out of the reservoir overnight. A mess on the pavement.
Frank
Sure sounds like a chaffed supply hose from reservoir to pump or return hose from rack to reservoir or rust hole in cooling tube under driver's side floor board. If it leaks statically overnight it should be easy to see leak if you put more fluid in reservoir and jack up car on safety stand and inspect with flashlight. May not be as easy to change hose or tube but surely it will not be a major repair either.
 

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OK, I thought you were somebody else I talked to at Limerock!

It sounds like you might get away easy if it is just the return hose of the metal cooling tube (coil)! Replace the hose with some oil resistance hose and NOT coolant hose. I picked up some Gates LOL Plus hose (pic below) from a hydraulic shop and replaced the supply hose on a 91L. I recall the return hose coming out from the steering and going to the "coil" is a little smaller. Anyway you need long hands working from driver wheel well, engine bay and under the car to replace the hose(s). It is messy but much better than needing to replace the steering rack.
 

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OK just as I promised I the Advance Auto Parts part number for replacment hose for pump supply line from union near rack to pump fitting I used is a Powercraft 71207 pretty much the same hose as Bob shows. If hose from reservoir to union above speedo sensor is the bad one another hose of same number can be used. But if return hose from rack to cooling coil is bad or hose from reservoir to cooling coil is bad a smaller ID hose is required but again oil resitant is required.
 

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Did this repair Sunday and yesterday

Here are a few tips to make the job easier.

Replace both hoses from the reservoir at the same time. They are cheap and will make the job easier.

Empty the reservoir will a syringe.

Unbolt the 10mm bolts the hold the reservoir in place.

Remove driver's wheel and liner.

Use a dremel tool to cut the old squeeze type hose clamps off the end of the hoses. I tried for about an hour to remove the clamps, but could not get leverage. Be careful not to cut the boot on the steering rack.

After both hoses are removed in the engine compartment and the fluid is all over the floor ( a drip pan or old towels on the floor is a good idea). Pull up on the reservoir and the hoses will come up through the engine compartment.

Remove the old hoses and replace will new hoses on a workbench. I found the hoses at a truck supply shop. Autozone and advance auto said they could order the hoses, but I would need to buy many feet of 5/8 and 1/2 hose.

After attaching the hoses, cut to the same length as the old hoses, to the reservoir with good hose clamps, feed the hoses back through the top to the engine compartment. Blot down the reservoir.

Attach to new hoses with good hose clamps using a long extension on a socket wrench. Than fill with fluid and watch for drips. No drips put the wheel liner and wheel back on and drive.

Easy job, except for clean up and finding hoses. I poured dish soap and water in the garage floor and wiped it around to clean the floor. Took about 4 hours total not counting finding the hoses.
 

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Blue 164LS in SE CT

Hi, I recently bought a blue LS in Southeastern CT that leaked steering fluid. It was in the rubber hose going from the rack to the cooling coil. Tiny hole in the hose, but there is lots of pressure there! I have also change the steering boots, timing belt, and the windshield on this LS in the last 2 weeks. It is now the 10th Alfa (3rd 164) in the household!
 

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Ya got _me_ beat! We only have three (two actually) running 164s (plus two almost -- and soon to be -- runners; plus some miscellaneous metal heaps and two other soon-to-be-running Alfas). Wish us well. We wish you well.
 

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Hi, I recently bought a blue LS in Southeastern CT that leaked steering fluid. It was in the rubber hose going from the rack to the cooling coil. Tiny hole in the hose, but there is lots of pressure there! I have also change the steering boots, timing belt, and the windshield on this LS in the last 2 weeks. It is now the 10th Alfa (3rd 164) in the household!
So you got that blue LS :)! My son was emailing with seller and he said the car has steering rack and windshield problems. I believe the seller thought the car need a new steering rack! Steering rack does not scare me :p but we decided not to deal with another broken windshield since we're currently having one - the windshield on our '91L nero just started cracking while the car was sitting (perhaps from an earlier rock chip) :mad:!

10 Alfa's! Are they all running? If yes, you probably have all of us (the regulars here) beat!
 

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Sure sounds like a chaffed supply hose from reservoir to pump or return hose from rack to reservoir or rust hole in cooling tube under driver's side floor board. If it leaks statically overnight it should be easy to see leak if you put more fluid in reservoir and jack up car on safety stand and inspect with flashlight. May not be as easy to change hose or tube but surely it will not be a major repair either.
I would have to agree. Either one of Steves suggestions could be the problem.

If it is the coil you can have the hole soldered closed or I have a few sitting around if you need one.
I suggest buying cloth braided hose for this that accepts ATF fluid,.Summit racing has a great selection of Earls hose's.

I had this same problem many years ago.

Jason
 

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Bob C,
Yes, all my 10 Alfas are in what I consider excellent shape and improving everyday. I stumbled into Alfas in 1982 while still in college, and it has grown from a hobby into an addiction. I have a whole room in the house devouted to parts, (and a very understanding family)!
The '94 LS is my first 24v, but once I got into it, it is not at all intimidating. I didn't want another 164 as my wife and I both have one as daily drivers, but the price was too good to walk away. The owner's insurance company paid for the windshield replacement (I helped arrange it), and I went in expecting to put in a new rack when I noticed the leaking hose. I also did the timing belt using this BB as the sole source of information, and no special tools. The service records showed that it had 59K miles on it, and it showed some fine cracks on the smooth side of the belt upon inspection. The car is very nice otherwise, and it may replace my wife's L.
I still like my '91S much better than the LS. The engine/autobox combination in the LS while a bit more powerful than the L, feels much more sedate than my S. Frankly, I have not been impressed with the low end power of the LS 24v. I will check the plugs since they have been in for more than 60K mi according to the service records.
 

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Bob C,
Frankly, I have not been impressed with the low end power of the LS 24v. I will check the plugs since they have been in for more than 60K mi according to the service records.

Not to say your cam timing is off but if you had had timing dies to lock down all four cams to verify spot on timing you might have more low end grunt.

Even partial "tooth off" setting on just one one cam or just a little to much past true #1 piston TDC makes a big difference on these 24v engines.

I use dial indicator in #1 piston hole and timing dies to get best low end torque. With cam pulleys being a tapered fit to cams with no woodruff keys you can really dial them in.

Sport mode on auto tranny is a big plus to but it does have to move some first to bring cams up on song much more so than a 5-speed with lower gear ratio in first and clutch to get RPMs up first.

Also dragging a few more pounds around in LS trim.
 

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Steve,
Thanks for the advice. I was a bit concerned about the cam timing going into the timing belt change, but since the cam teeth were marked and the previous belt change was at a reputable dealer (along with a retension after 5K miles), I decided to skip the extra work. The tensioner gap had increased to 1/4" instead of 1/8" over the past 57K miles, but taking belt stretch into account, I was able to line up the marks, and the engine idles very smoothly after the belt change. I don't think I am off by a tooth on the belt, and I don't think it is likely that the cams could move with respect to the pulleys (even without the keys). I am sure I will have the cam covers off at some point and I will check the cam marks with respect to the TDC. Do you think a visual is good enough or are the special tools really necessary? I can certainly check the TDC with a dial, but isn't the crank pulley mark good enough?
 

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Steve,
Thanks for the advice. I was a bit concerned about the cam timing going into the timing belt change, but since the cam teeth were marked and the previous belt change was at a reputable dealer (along with a retension after 5K miles), I decided to skip the extra work. The tensioner gap had increased to 1/4" instead of 1/8" over the past 57K miles, but taking belt stretch into account, I was able to line up the marks, and the engine idles very smoothly after the belt change. I don't think I am off by a tooth on the belt, and I don't think it is likely that the cams could move with respect to the pulleys (even without the keys). I am sure I will have the cam covers off at some point and I will check the cam marks with respect to the TDC. Do you think a visual is good enough or are the special tools really necessary? I can certainly check the TDC with a dial, but isn't the crank pulley mark good enough?

Yes, TDC mark on crank pulley is accepted TDC mark and there are timing marks on ends of cams that can be used for reference points. Painted marks if not painted by yourself after using timing dies or your own visual of cams ends should be only used/painted after actual final visual sighting of cam end markings once system tensioned and final close is being done.

Just ask Myron how crappy his 24v ran from the day he bought it until I timed it with timing dies. Let me tell you painted timing marks were not even close after second shop installed new belt.

Since yours idles fine it maybe on the money and low end grunt of 24v A/T model just not what 5-speed S grunt is that you are used to is, so be it.

I find my son's S a bit for me to handle after we set up cams correctly with timing template. I have driven my B with higher gearing for 16-17 years and find S a bit too much boy racer for me just as tractor low in my 86 GTV6 and 2.5L Milano was. I play a lot of traffic light stuff in my 91 B and 93L 5-speeds against to the smart A$$ rice rocketeers and they are taken back by a 4-dr lead sled eyetalian sedan. Sure if they play the oxide game or are ready for me they smoke me but I think the surprise element of a crusty old dude in a plain sedate white wrapper in a 17 YO Alfa takes them back a bit.

Enjoy the ride and play with sport mode switch as it is your friend in a 24v A/T model.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
power steering Question

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Well, here the follow up.

The leak is coming from the hose from the rack to the cooling coil> thanks Steve et al..
The black woven hose is very soft and soaked with PS fluid. Ther is a common hose clamp on the end of the hose as it attaches to the cooling coil and it looks suspect.

The steering rack boots area both dry and ripped. The mechanic recommends that the rack be replaced and all the hoses changed. The pump is OK.

Why the rack I ask? The mechanic stated he saw, P/S fluid "peeing out from inside the boot" when fluid was added to the reservoir and pump running.

Should I replace the steering rack? If just the hose blew? His argument for rack replacement is that the inc pressure with new hoses, would worsen the steering rack leak and since the boots are ripped, d there is dirt in the mechanism and will eventually ruin the rack.

I ordered the high pressure hose [pump to rack], from Di Fatta Brothers, they list the other hoses as' " locally supplied".

So, my question is, simple. If the boots are ripped and their is PS fluid found inside the boot [per mechanic], does that automatically call for replacement of the steering rack?

Thanks for all your help, this group has been invaluable.

Frank La Sala
W. Hartford, CT
 

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Group

Well, here the follow up.

The leak is coming from the hose from the rack to the cooling coil> thanks Steve et al..
The black woven hose is very soft and soaked with PS fluid. Ther is a common hose clamp on the end of the hose as it attaches to the cooling coil and it looks suspect.

The steering rack boots area both dry and ripped. The mechanic recommends that the rack be replaced and all the hoses changed. The pump is OK.

Why the rack I ask? The mechanic stated he saw, P/S fluid "peeing out from inside the boot" when fluid was added to the reservoir and pump running.

Should I replace the steering rack? If just the hose blew? His argument for rack replacement is that the inc pressure with new hoses, would worsen the steering rack leak and since the boots are ripped, d there is dirt in the mechanism and will eventually ruin the rack.

I ordered the high pressure hose [pump to rack], from Di Fatta Brothers, they list the other hoses as' " locally supplied".

So, my question is, simple. If the boots are ripped and their is PS fluid found inside the boot [per mechanic], does that automatically call for replacement of the steering rack?

Thanks for all your help, this group has been invaluable.

Frank La Sala
W. Hartford, CT
IRT your? So, my question is, simple. If the boots are ripped and their is PS fluid found inside the boot [per mechanic], does that automatically call for replacement of the steering rack?


If you are a checkbook mech it is a trust issue with your mech.

You really need to put your car type in you signature I think you said in earlier post it was a 24v right?

As for supply hose to pump from reservoir is is a 5/8" hose (actually two hoses with union in the middle that joins them in front of rack above Left axle area. Hoses to and from cooling tube to rack and reservoir are 1/2". Yes they are just oil resistant hose you can get from Auto Zone or Advance Auto Store, etc. Advance 5/8" x 42" hose is sku# 3867366 mfg Powercraft #71207so one piece maybe almost long enough to cut in two pieces and insert union in middle or try to use as one piece. I don't have number for 1/2" hose but sure they would had one listed.

There is a AR 9943835 boot kit available from Difatta or IAP for rack (two boots, one round one oval).

Before I changed rack I would inspect inner tie rod ends for play, rack mounting rubber bushings for damage and fix hose leak (just the one leaking at cooling tube and then see if other hoses and rack are really leaking.
 

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Why the rack I ask? The mechanic stated he saw, P/S fluid "peeing out from inside the boot" when fluid was added to the reservoir and pump running.
He may have seen fluid coming out but you said "boots area both dry and ripped". The question is how much fluid is coming out. I would not worry about it if there's only a few drops of fluid inside the boots and there's no fluid coming out continuously.
Should I replace the steering rack? If just the hose blew? His argument for rack replacement is that the inc pressure with new hoses, would worsen the steering rack leak and since the boots are ripped, d there is dirt in the mechanism and will eventually ruin the rack.
I have to ponder upon this some! It does not sound like your high pressure hose (this can get a few hundreds to a couple thousand PSI) is leaking so there shouldn't be any significant pressure difference. The lower pressure return line is "more or less" open to the atmosphere so the pressure (I'm guessing likely only in the lower two digits PSI range) is not that high - it only needs enough pressure to push the fluid back up to the reservoir (not pressurized). Ripped boots should be replaced or the rack will get ruin fast if dirt get to the seals.

So, my question is, simple. If the boots are ripped and their is PS fluid found inside the boot [per mechanic], does that automatically call for replacement of the steering rack?
Well, personally (since I do the work myself) I like to take things one step at a time if I'm not sure something (expensive ones of course) really need to be replaced. But, since you're having somebody else do the work there are other considerations (like how many times you want to bring the car in and whether the mechanic is agreeable if you take a stepwise plan).

To me, the more important question is how good this "mechanic" is and whether he has done one of these 164 racks before!
 
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