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Loyale Power Steering pump froze up, then works, again. ?

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Oddest thing happened today. After driving a half hour or so with zero problems, I make a brief stop and when I start back out, I got a terrific belt noise from the area in front of the engine. Pulled over within a block. Things starting to stink. Figured it was a seized AC pump, so pulled the clutch wire and started back up. Same thing. Bolted for home, a  half mile, squealing all the way. Opened the hood and poured water on the belt area to prevent any fires. Dang  hot.  Started engine and ran out front to see what's stuck and it's the power steering pump. Pulley just sits there locked in place. Let it sit an hour or two and go to restart it and it purrs like a kitten. Huh? The fluid may be a little low, but it's not out, by any means. Yanking the pulley around, it seems like the bearings are fine. The engine never got anywhere near hot while driving.

What could cause this? Why would it fix itself when cooled down? Probably should replace it, of course. I just like to find smoking guns, so I know the problem.

cnc

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The pump could have been stuck due to mechanically jammed somehow, or if some way the fluid output was stopped solid, and the relief was stuck closed.

 

Still pretty odd.

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Found it. Bearings were shot, shaft wobbled, stamped sheet metal keeper between the balls got caught, bent up, and pieces jammed the balls and stopped it. Couldn't detect the wobbly bearings by hand. Need a crow bar to try to wiggle it with belt tension present.

post-24986-0-37554900-1511455511_thumb.jpg

Edited by cnc

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cnc wrote:  Couldn't detect the wobbly bearings by hand. Need a crow bar to try to wiggle it with belt tension present.

 

Best to check for failing bearings after removing the belts.

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I'm sure it's better to remove the belts, but more likely to be actually checked if I can just quickly put a bar in there and see if it wobbles. Wondering if it is possible that the actual cause of the problem was the stamped metal keeper wearing out by rubbing on the balls, then bending and jamming in the balls. If the balls are not evenly distributed (that's the job of the keeper), they could clump together and allow the shaft to wobble. I don't have any idea how many miles were on it.

cnc

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Sounds like you are talking about the cage. It's the stamped part that keeps the balls spaced evenly. Normally don't wear, but if there was no lube, it won't last long. I have not dissasembled one of those pumps, so I don't know if the bearings are lubed buy the ps fluid, or are sealed ones like on the water pump.

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If there was a rubber seal, it's no longer there. The view in the picture is what you see when you remove the pulley hub. Now that you mention it, I have no idea how the bearings are lubed.

cnc

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Sounds like you are talking about the cage. It's the stamped part that keeps the balls spaced evenly. Normally don't wear, but if there was no lube, it won't last long. I have not dissasembled one of those pumps, so I don't know if the bearings are lubed buy the ps fluid, or are sealed ones like on the water pump.

They are a sealed brg like on water pumps.

Chances are the grease had dried out which then took out the balls then the cage then the seal. All it would take is one ball seizing to start the snowball rolling.

Easier to get a reman pump than find a kit for them.

Edited by czny

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I got a Cardone reman off of Amazon for $52, delivered, no core deposite, either. Problem disappeared. It's a little disconcerting that there was no warning sign. Guess I'll just loosen the belts and wiggle the pulley every few months.

cnc

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Also give it a few turns. Usually you can feel a bearing that's starting to go bad, but it will be masked by the pump and oil.

 

Idlers are easy to tell.

 

I've driven a number of these past 200k miles, have yet to have a power steering pump fail. I should go check the bearings. Close to 30 years and over 150k, the ones I'm running now don't owe me anything.

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