Non-VAPS Steering System Issue

Discussion in 'Gen 1 & 2 - Emergency Issues - Help & Maintenance' started by myotis1134, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. myotis1134

    myotis1134 Member

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    1992 MTX

    -New steering rack - Detroit axle - check valve cleaned and transferred to pressure port
    - All new hoses - Car Quest/RockAuto
    - New steering sensor - SHO Source - correctly hooked up to connector
    - Did not replace - pump, cooler, or reservoir - cleaned out cooler and reservoir
    - Approximately 3 bottles = 1 qt Royal Purple steering fluid added

    I added two steering fluid bottles last night, which filled the reservoir. The level was slowly going down into the pump/lines, so I left it alone until today.

    Today, I started the engine, and began to turn the steering wheel left - to flush out air. Immediately the wheel began forcefully turning to the right, and fought me when I attempted to stop it. I killed the engine and checked the reservoir level - adding the last bottle of steering fluid - figuring an air pocket was the cause.

    Started the engine and got the same aggressive turn to the right, so I let it go. After turning all the way right, I lost power steering, and saw fluid on the floor.

    I haven't crawled under to see what is leaking yet - gonna let the kitty litter soak up the puddle for another 30 minutes. I looked at the reservoir/pump area - no leaks or signs of pressurized steering fluid - same for the cooler. I'll post again when I find out what blew.

    I had everything including the intermediate steering shaft disconnected during the replacement, and the steering wheel got spun a few times during installation of new parts. Is there a sensor on the steering wheel that I may have aligned at "turn right like a bastard"? or is something else going on here?

    I'm certain the pressure and return lines are correctly connected to the rack. I did put a tiny amount of black gasket maker on the bottom 1/4 of the sensor threads - to make sure none of it would get into the port. All the new hoses have nylon or some sort of plastic o-ring gaskets, but I made sure everything was tightened firmly. I inserted the check-valve with the cap-end towards the outside of the port - facing the hose - hopefully that isn't backwards.

    Any opinions are appreciated.


    Hose diagram I referred to:
    Power Steering System Schematic.png
     
  2. myotis1134

    myotis1134 Member

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    Entirely possible I forgot to leave the reservoir cap open to atmosphere too... That sounds like the most likely scenario to me...
     
  3. myotis1134

    myotis1134 Member

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    My next thread will be titled "Oh shit I started my car with the pressure switch disconnected - What have I fucked up now?"

    Whoops.1.jpg
     
  4. myotis1134

    myotis1134 Member

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    The majority of the fluid appears to have originated from this area.

    I'm almost positive that cap isn't actually a pressure-relief valve, which means that's a bad sign...

    Whoops.2.jpg
     
  5. blk\blk90

    blk\blk90 SHO Member

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    I have no idea about the PS system. But you seem to be on the right track. If fluid came out there instead of flowing through the system, that would lead me to believe the system is blocked somewhere and not cycling through the rack.
     
  6. myotis1134

    myotis1134 Member

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    Jacked the other side up, threw a pan under the rack, and dumped another bottle in the reservoir. Didn't even have to start the engine - fluid began leaking from the top - where the steering shaft mates to the rack.

    Rack Schematic.jpg

    Is this something I can repair with a seal-kit? the damn thing is brand new... If so, can anyone recommend a brand?
     
  7. sperold

    sperold Last to Know Supporting Member

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    Be aware that the steering wheel has a center point in its hard left to hard right locations.

    The one thing that can go wrong with the wheel spun while not connected to the rack, is the clock spring can break when you go to one of the extremes. That will result in an air bag light.

    You may have gotten away with it if your wheel was at the center when you reconnected, but be aware of the grief that can befall you when that spring breaks.

    It is doubtful that the new rack has missing parts or was rebuilt poorly, so I would concentrate on the supply and return lines. And if it leaks with no pressure from the pump, that suggests something is really wrong with the fittings, perhaps, that should be obvious.

    Use the Type F automatic transmission fluid (from Walmart of all places) until you figure out what is wrong, it is the recommended fluid and will be a better price since it is hard to recover.
     
    PaulTAutoX, SHOdded and myotis1134 like this.
  8. myotis1134

    myotis1134 Member

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    This is what happens when you leave your reservoir cap on, while attempting to bleed the air from the IMG_0747.JPG power steering system...
     

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