Power Steering Leak

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  #1  
Old 11-07-16, 01:40 PM
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Power Steering Leak

I've gotten tired of topping off my 2004 Pontiac Aztek's power steering fluid, but I've gotten more tired of seeing oil marks appear under my inner tie rods.

So I started pulling my power steering rack out.. then I thought perhaps this isn't the source of the leak and I haven't completely pulled the steering rack out.

I noticed that the passenger side seemed pretty clean when I disconnected my tie rods and got ready to pull out the rack, while the driver's side was very very dirty, I'm guessing the bulk of the leaking oil has been coating that side and collecting dirt and grime.

I haven't figured out how to disconnect the rack from what I'm guessing is a steering shaft that is fixed to the rack under the driver's side. This is the point too where the hoses stem from {one seems to tie into the rack about halfway down and the other one ties back into the rack at the far end).

Any suggestions as to where I should go from here?

Thanks.
 
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Old 11-07-16, 05:27 PM
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If it's leaking from inner tie rod, all you need to do is to replace seal.
There should be a pinch bolt that locks steering shaft splines in place in steering gear. Be smart, look up above. Sometimes, you can disconnect ISS which sometimes may be much easier accessible than shaft down below.
No matter what you disconnect, make sure you CLEARLY have relationship between steering shaft and steering gear marked AND tie steering wheel immobile with seat belts. One spline off will give you heck of crooked steering wheel.
 
  #3  
Old 11-08-16, 05:28 AM
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I had an 07 Uplander (very similar to Aztek) that had a rusted power steering return line.
It was really hard to tell where the leak was as power steering fluid weeps & creeps all over.
I live right across the lake from you in S.W. Ontario - I think the salt gathers around the lines against the frame and rots them out.
 
  #4  
Old 11-08-16, 06:35 AM
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And if you need to undo them hydraulic lines, get GOOD vise grips. Out of many times, I had very little success with them slotted box wrenches for hydraulic lines. Either nuts are soft and strip or wrench spreads and slips. Vise grips never failed.
 
  #5  
Old 11-08-16, 07:55 AM
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I didn't think the seals are serviceable??? Not unless you are experienced at refurbishing steering racks. You should be able to get a refurbished rack for a couple hundred. Have you tried bars leaks?
 
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Old 11-08-16, 08:39 AM
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Everything is serviceable. That's how you buy refurbished parts. Either you do it, or you pay someone else to do it for you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_aZseUpqxQ
 
  #7  
Old 11-08-16, 09:52 AM
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Thanks guys, I'm going to go ahead and continue to pull out the rack and see if I can replace these seals.

Vise grips. Got it! That is actually where I left off because my open faced wrench kept slipping and I got tired of playing with it.

I will hopefully get to this project again soon.
 
  #8  
Old 11-08-16, 11:21 AM
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Good luck with the repair. Just keep in the back of your mind, is the effort worth saving $127 (cheapest rebuilt rack I could find on Rock Auto, after core return). I say get the cheapest remanufactured rack, slap it on there, and be done with it. I like fixing things too when possible, but some things just aren't worth the effort.

2004 PONTIAC AZTEK 3.4L V6 Rack and Pinion Complete Unit | RockAuto
 
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Old 11-08-16, 04:44 PM
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Yep. Vise grips. Problem with them is, good ones have very large jaws, and you know how close hydraulic lines are. It is rather hard to lock them on the nut. But once done, they pop nut fine. All you need is POP, open end wrench will do the rest.
Btw, those are not open end wrenches, those are special ones for hydraulic lines. They still slip.

here ya go. Flare nut wrench

Husky SAE & MM Flare Nut Wrench Set (6-Piece)-HFNW6PC - The Home Depot
 
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