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need opinions on power steering.


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24 replies to this topic

#1 maozebong

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:41 PM

so, i have an issue at my hands. my power steering is basically done. rack, lines, and maybe the pump too.

the steering rack on the drivers side is cavitated and needs to be replaced, resealing is out of question.

the hard lines and soft lines are done. hard lines are cracked, does anyone know the diameter and length of these (local parts shop has pre-flared lengths, id ideally like to get those, and not flare them myself if anyone knows the length.

the pump is making a light whining noise, i assume from air in the lines. its become louder now that it is more cold. it also leaks a bit, but nothing insane.


third dilema: im moving on christmas to seattle from ohio... i dont want to buy a pump or a rack new when i will be able to get a good used one locally in two weeks, but i also dont want to be on the side of I90 trying to fix my car.



guys! should i just replace lines and see how it goes, or what? just get a shorter belt now?

#2 grossgary

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:48 PM

what is wrong - what does it physically do or not do?

it would be nearly impossible for the rack, pump, and lines all to fail at the same time. so it's probably not all as bad as you think.

a few options come to mind.

1. If you want to limp it along a few weeks - remove everything and simply plug the power steering lines so it's just simply full of fluid but no hoses, no power steering pump, etc. insert bolts or cut the ends of the power steering lines and weld them shut, reinstall like a bolt. then you got a manual rack that's really tough to turn since power racks converted to manual aren't advantageous but work fine and aren't a big deal on the interstate so the traveling part would be easy assuming the rack functions.

2. install a manual steering rack, no lines or pump to worry about.

3. maybe just the hoses are bad - try replacing those and hope for the best - it's limped along this far, why not another few weeks.

#3 maozebong

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:59 PM

thats what i was thinking. the only noise the pump makes is the noise that air makes when it is in hydraulics. i assume its coming from some seriously leaky hard lines on the rack.

the rack is definitely bad, the rod that the inner tie rods screw in to is cavitated... it has pits that are an 1/8" deep, from torn boots and ohio salt. it has been limped along fine, but i had to poke a small hole in the rack boot to allow fluid to drain, otherwise it builds up and pops the boot off the rack.


i have looped many steering rack lines before, on my own and customer cars, i know its more difficult than a manual rack... and i still want power steering, the car is lifted on 27" tires, and i dont want to muscle it while offroad.

grossgary (or anyone else), do you know the diameter of the rack hard lines, so i can make them, or get a pre-flared length?

#4 djellum

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:06 PM

id plug it and run it. also worth it to get some 13's for the trip probably, then its barely noticeable without power steering and you get better mileage.

I have 4 13 inch rims that you can have if you want to take them out of my driveway. has 2 decent tires on them even. $50 for 2 mounted someplace and you will likely save that much in gas.

#5 grossgary

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:28 PM

okay - you have a leak at the power steering rack output seals - good to know.

1. try to replace the seal in the end of the rack that's leaking. i posted a link today in another thread on this forum that documents, with pictures, how to take a rack apart and rebuild/reseal it. might get away with a new seal to get you out there?

or

2. dump two bottles of some power steering "sealer" magic in a bottle. i generally avoid that stuff at all costs but this is the perfect situation - if it plugs the leak for you to drive out there then golden, get a new one once you're to your destination.

3. the manual rack is cheap and would get you out there. that's a great price and usually someone actually wants those that wants the simpler manual system, folks have looked for them before.

check rockauto for power steering lines - they have some insanely cheap prices sometimes, might not even be worth building your own.

www.car-parts.com to look for power steering racks, though i didn't see any close to you but i didn't do all possible searches. XT, Loyale, Other, should all include EA racks that would work in your vehicle (though you haven't told us what vehicle yet).

#6 maozebong

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:34 PM

i already get 30+ mpg h-way on 27's. no need for stock wheels.

ported heads and a wideband o2 controller wired to the stock ecu, and special low rolling resistance grease in the wheel bearings, and special axles, among other things.

it will probably be a bit less on the trip because of extra weight, but nothing that im worried about.

again, anyone know the size of the hard lines on the crossmember? or possibly the year/model the manual racks came in?

edit: i have a 91 loyale. also, its not the seal, it is the actual toothed rod that the tie rods thread into. it is cavitated very badly and would leak regardless of the seal's quality, whenever the car is pointed slightly to the right. it has to go, plain and simple. i just want to get the car across the country to washington, and then i dont care, ill get brand new everything once i have a job again.

Edited by maozebong, 12 December 2012 - 06:38 PM.


#7 TomRhere

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:54 PM

I'm roughly 4 hours North of you.

I have a good PS rack or 2, PS pumps, should have lines but would have to double check on those. (sold some).
All out of various years of EA82 bodied vehicles.

PS line fittings are different fittings than what you would get on pre-made lines. Those are mostly for brake/fuel line repair/replacement.
Technically, it could be done with those, but you would have a few splices in the system to go from those to the PS fittings needed, NOT recommended....
To many chances of a splice failing.

#8 l75eya

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:22 PM

Just drive it.

#9 El Presidente

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:13 PM

Just drive it.


X2..

Just bring along a couple cans of atf to top if off if it needs it and wait till your out here...parts are everywhere and cheap. Even if the rack goes dry, it will still work like a manual, but a little tougher.

Josh

#10 maozebong

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 12:52 AM

well, thanks for your opinions, guys.

im pretty confident my car will make it just fine. i just wanted some opinions on it from some other EA guys. after all, everything else on this car has been replaced but the power steering system and transmission and interior. she runs great.



i guess it could go a whole bunch of ways really from replacing everything to replacing nothing and using stop leak... which is what i think i might do, if i cant get lines and such in time.

thanks for the advice again. tomrhere, you have a pm.

#11 Gloyale

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 10:54 AM

The hardlines on the rack are the same as brake line. 10mm head, whatever that works out to for line size. same as all your brake lines.

The Hard supply and return lines from and back to the pump are not the same though. if that's what's leaking you'll need direct replacements, as they don't have a standard flare, it's a lip with an O-ring.

#12 maozebong

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 12:18 PM

i might be able to get those made at the local hydraulic shop.


has anyone ever ran flexible hydraulic lines from the pump, straight to the rack, instead of pump>crossmember>rack? i can get about any size and type of hydraulic fitting made on a flexible hose. im going to take the lines off and start working on it tomorrow, and take the lines to the shop.

#13 TomRhere

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 02:23 PM

All ready sent PM on parts I have, but...

Me, if I were planning on gettting all replacement parts once I got to my destination, I would just bypass the PS all together.
Drove the '88 Wagon for a few weeks without the pump being driven, wan't bad at all. But, I have been driving manual steering BRATs for a few years, so it was a bit easier (for me) to do the Wagon without PS.
PS only really comes in handy for parallel parking anyways. At speeds above 10 MPH, it really doesn't need to be on one of these cars just going down the road.

I'd just cut the lines near the rack connections and loop a hose using a couple of clamps on each end. Do the same at the pump side of it.

Or, see what I would need to put different belts on it, bypassing the PS pump.

Did that when I had an EA81 engine in the '88 Wagon and was working on a tensioner for the PS pump, which was the EA82's mounted where it should be.
Just removed the drive pulley from pump, found a belt that would work to drive waterpump and altenator.

There are ways to work around some issues for a short duration.

#14 maozebong

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:24 AM

i think im just going to go measure with a piece of string for an emergency belt. it sounds like the best (cheap) solution for now.

on a side note, has anyone ever done trail riding without power steering? it seems like it would be too much strain for a several hour trip, or at least the trips i go on.

#15 El Presidente

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:21 PM

i think im just going to go measure with a piece of string for an emergency belt. it sounds like the best (cheap) solution for now.

on a side note, has anyone ever done trail riding without power steering? it seems like it would be too much strain for a several hour trip, or at least the trips i go on.


A couple guys that wheel with NWWO have manual steering and they do fine all day, even in harsh offroad conditions. Driving on a manual rack is more work, but not hard,..at cruizing speed(freeway), you'll forget it isn't power assist.

Josh

#16 capn_r

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 07:59 PM

A couple guys that wheel with NWWO have manual steering and they do fine all day, even in harsh offroad conditions. Driving on a manual rack is more work, but not hard,..at cruizing speed(freeway), you'll forget it isn't power assist.

Josh

The guy that drives Butters with manual steering has arms that are bigger than my legs though. That may make a difference.

#17 maozebong

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 05:28 PM

hm, ill have to consider this. i do have beefy arms, but im also still a lazy pothead who likes to use a suicide knob on the steering wheel.

decisions, decisions.


also, update: replaced o rings on crossmember lines and the flex lines from the pump to the crossmember. noise on cold start is gone from the pump. rack still leaks, and can continue to not be a priority to me :banana:

#18 philoftheblanks

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 04:27 PM

My PS system 'works', but squealing is persistent at cold temps. I've replaced the pump, tightened belts, etc. but I'm pretty sure that something in the rack must be worn out. I've just decided the noise isn't worth it, so I'm operating in manual mode now.

#19 Gloyale

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 07:34 PM

I like being able to use one hand to turn in parking lots. My back hurts too much for all that herk-a-jerk steering effort.

I am a power steering guy fo-sho.

#20 Subaru Scott

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 01:12 AM

X3... just drive it! Take some oil, ANY kind of oil really, if it's leaking THAT bad, the thicker, the better! Don't freak out!! A Scoobeedoo won't let you down that easily. That being said... when you get to the land of no rust, find a Leone or Legacy and UPGRADE! I know some of you will give me ************ about this, BUT... if Subaru were to get an enema, Loyale is where they would put the tube!! :grin:

#21 maozebong

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 03:46 AM

as an update for you guys, i drove it to washington from ohio without much of a problem other than adding 1/2 a quart of oil, and 1/2 a qt of ATF in the power steering. turns out, the pump just makes noise when it is cold out. once the car got above 40 degrees in good old king county, it quit making noise. i will replace the pump and rack when one of the tie rods or rod ends starts wearing out.



i even made it though all the mountain passes in the rockies and cascades without a problem, even if it might only be at 55mph in 3rd gear :D

i averaged 25mpg, fully loaded down with all my ************ for a cross country move. i drove in everything from dry pavement, to 2" of snowpack, to black ice. my subaru got me across the country safely, efficiently, and through some seriously ************ty weather.

Edited by maozebong, 06 January 2013 - 04:02 AM.


#22 TomRhere

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 05:06 AM

Glad you made it out there with no issues.

#23 Caboobaroo

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 02:59 PM

Glad to hear you made it out this way! I have some EA82 power steering parts that will probably make their way into the trash but I have a good pump and possibly some lines and maybe even a rack:headbang:

#24 maozebong

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 04:58 AM

thanks everyone. once i get a new rack in this car, i will post pictures of what i have been living with for the past year or more. its pretty frightening... and im going to keep driving on it for a little while longer :grin:

good old wagon sure can take some abuse.

#25 coxy

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 11:30 PM

as an update for you guys, i drove it to washington from ohio without much of a problem other than adding 1/2 a quart of oil, and 1/2 a qt of ATF in the power steering. turns out, the pump just makes noise when it is cold out. once the car got above 40 degrees in good old king county, it quit making noise. i will replace the pump and rack when one of the tie rods or rod ends starts wearing out.



i even made it though all the mountain passes in the rockies and cascades without a problem, even if it might only be at 55mph in 3rd gear :D

i averaged 25mpg, fully loaded down with all my ************ for a cross country move. i drove in everything from dry pavement, to 2" of snowpack, to black ice. my subaru got me across the country safely, efficiently, and through some seriously ************ty weather.


No matter where we are in the world that is why we drive Subaru.;)




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