1955Buick

1955 Super - Power Steering Pump Noise

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Hi folks,

 

I have a 1955 Super, and have had it for 7 years / 15,000 miles. About a year ago the power steering pump was constantly groaning, and intermittently failed to provide boost.

6 months ago, I replaced this "original" power steering pump with a rebuilt pump. Not a week later, that pump started groaning (though it seemed to function well). I returned the rebuilt pump and got another one in exchange.

This latest pump also functions well, but it is very noisy when I provide steering input. If I am not turning the steering wheel, it doesn't make any noise. In other words, it functions well, but if it is being asked to do "work", it is very noisy about it.

 

I am starting to suspect the power steering gear, but only because I don't have any reason to think 2 rebuilt pumps are faulty. I don't know much about power steering gear in practice. Does anyone think faulty steering gear (or some other component) could cause this behavior in a power steering pump?

 

Thanks,
Patrick

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Posted (edited)

I did - both hoses are new. 

I also noticed yesterday that the 4 bolts on the steering gear (surrounding the adjusting screw) were all totally loose. So I tightened those. 
It makes me wonder about replacing the steering gear with a rebuilt just as a precautionary measure might be a good idea.

Edited by 1955Buick
additional information (see edit history)

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Power steering noise is an issue I have worked on in large trucks and to some degree hydraulic systems. The systems all have similar complaints. They have Noise, heat, leaks or slow and weak performance.

In most cases the noise is air entrapment in the oil, it is one of the things that is hard to get your head around why does it not leak if air is getting in the system. It can be caused by failed seals in the steering box power steering pump or hoses, I replace hoses every time and make sure fittings are not damaged.  How I would troubleshoot this, if your reservoir has a removable lid make sure it is up to level  start the engine do not turn the wheel remove lid check for air or foam, if none install lid and then work  steering left or right shut it off and check for air bubbles in the oil, foaming oil.  If you have foam in the oil make, sure hoses are tight and double check at each step make sure the lid is on enough to prevent a spill. If you have foam in the oil, does it only do it turning left or right? If the pump is new and the hoses are correct with what you have said on your other post the gear is possibly the cause seals failed and sucking air. If you have access to any test equipment like a test loop, this will help in troubleshooting the problem.  One web site to check is BAB steering out of calif they have a section on troubleshooting fluids.

Let us know what you find. 

Steve

https://babsteering.com

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Thank you for your suggestion. I have been looking for air bubbles over the months, and there haven't been any.

 

I think I resolved the issue - and it's a little embarrassing, but here goes...

I didn't realize there were both power steering fluid at play and separately, gear oil. I was reading the shop manual last night and figured I'd better check the gear oil. Unfortunately, it was virtually empty. I filled it this morning and the noise appears to be gone. 
I wonder if without gear oil the system was having to push too hard on the piston?

I also wonder if I should still get it rebuilt, even though it appears to function fine now.

Patrick

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1 hour ago, 1955Buick said:

I did - both hoses are new. 

That's your problem.  The original pressure hose (not the return hose) was choked down to a smaller diameter before the attachment to the steering gear; replacement hoses are one diameter and will be noisy.

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Interesting. Is that just "the way it is" with new hoses, or can new hoses with the original form factor be obtained? 

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On 10/5/2019 at 9:12 PM, 1955Buick said:

I don't have any reason to think 2 rebuilt pumps are faulty.

 

I know you solved your issue, but never assume that because the work was done by a professional, it was done "right". You'd be surprised.

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20 minutes ago, Beemon said:

 

I know you solved your issue, but never assume that because the work was done by a professional, it was done "right". You'd be surprised.

 

I concur 100%.  

 

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