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1956 Buick Power Steering


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G’day all,


After a couple of years of very little action, I decided to take the Buicks out for a spin. To my surprise, both of them fired up, ran, and, drove perfectly, despite sitting for so long. Yet another surprise was the fact that both of them, whilst sitting, and after being driven, had not leaked a drop. So I thought to myself, all’s good. Well, like most Buick-related problems, it was ephemeral; the power steering system on the Super has got an almighty leak. Now, this could be down to a few things. For one, time; the cars have been sitting for a while, only driven rarely – about once every two or so months. Secondly, this occurred the other day, I had to do an extremely tight reverse parallel park. The power steering system got a workout then, going from left-lock to right-lock a number of times. The car-parks here in Australia are just too small! I am fairly certain that the latter of the two must have caused something to go wrong somewhere in the power steering system.


Also, a few things worthy of note: the leak is most evident when the engine is running, obviously; however, the reservoir attached to the pump was almost completely drained when I checked the following morning, despite having topped it off after I shut the car off. Thus, I think it is fairly safe to assume that it’s leaking with the engine off. One last thing, the pump itself looks pretty good, and the power steering gear housing looks good to me; the top portion of it, where the hoses screw in, is clean and doesn’t appear to be the source of the problem. In the near-future I’ll be putting the car up on the hoist and having a good look underneath.


Hopefully it’s something as simple as a few seals or gaskets. Getting parts to Melbourne is a pain. What I’m asking is, would anyone have any suggestions as to what may have gone wrong, or what’s the best way to about this? As I said, I’m fairly certain it was the stress placed on the system during that reverse parallel park that caused something to give. In any case, the seals are the best part of sixty-three years old, which isn’t bad mileage. Thanks for all your help.





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  • 7 months later...

I had the same problem on a Roadmaster I purchased as a project/moneypit. After resealing the valve to gear, discovered the input housing had a paper gasket that leaked. There isn't supposed to be a paper gasket. I pulled the gear and disassembled it only to discover there was an o-ring on the housing(old and flattened) and the "adapter" that is just inside the main housing had no seal at all! Currently trying to match up some seals from a local hydraulic shop.



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