How do you pinpoint leaks on power steering system?

Reply

  #1  
Old 08-15-13, 11:18 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,059
How do you pinpoint leaks on power steering system?

My power steering is still leaking after I attempted a minor repair. How to you detect leaks on a power steering system? I have a 92' Ford Ranger XLT with steering gear.
Do you use a soapy solution or something else?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 08-16-13, 02:20 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
What I have done is pressure wash the power steering and all steering components really good so all traces of external leakage is gone, including hose ends, etc. Then with the truck raised on jack stands, start the engine and go lock-to-lock about 20 times, gently. If you have a leak, it will usually show up after a few minutes.
 
  #3  
Old 08-16-13, 05:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: North Central Indiana
Posts: 905
Spray it good with a de greaser then (late at night) go to the car wash.
 
  #4  
Old 08-16-13, 06:25 PM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: California
Posts: 214
Actually both are good ideas, I have used a oil trace solution, it's a dye that can be seen with ultra violet light. You add the dye and run the car, the leak will show it's ugly face in short order and it's definitive.
 
  #5  
Old 08-18-13, 08:54 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,059
Ok thanks. I sprayed engine compartment with degreaser and washed.

You know where the pressure hose connects to the power steering reservoir? The tube nut uses those crappy white nylon O-rings. I replaced the O-ring three times. Then I installed a new pressure hose with O-ring already on it.

And it still leaked! So I put on a fiber gasket and the leak stopped immediately. But I don't know if that will work for the long term. Today I will buy some washers or gaskets as a backup. Anybody got any ideas if the fiber gasket fails? The power steering system on my make/model really is poorly designed.
 
  #6  
Old 08-18-13, 03:42 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
You don't have a crack in the casting, do you? Maybe your fit will work, but remember, it is under pressure.

The power steering system on my make/model really is poorly designed.
Be glad it isn't a 5.9L Cummins turbo Diesel. For some reason the designers had to put in a vacuum pump to operate the 4wd and heater blend doors. They positioned it sandwiched between the engine face and the PS pump. It all has to come out to service them in tandem. They have to come through a hole in all the engine turbo piping that is too small. You know 10 lb butt in a 5 lb pair of pants
 
  #7  
Old 08-18-13, 04:06 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,059
When you say crack in the casting, are you referring to the area where the pressure hose tube nut screws into the female threaded opening in the power steering reservoir itself?


I positioned a mirror under the tube nut and I could see dripping coming directly from the nylon O-ring. Could a casting crack manifest itself as a leak at the O-ring? The fiber gasket I improvised only leaks if I turn the steering wheel stop to stop. I've been screwing around with this problem all week. I wonder if I need a new power steering pump.

Remind me not to buy a Cummins 5.9L turbo diesel
 
  #8  
Old 08-18-13, 05:00 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Remind me not to buy a Cummins 5.9L turbo diesel
Minor speed bumps. I have 425,000 miles on it, so it's due a few hiccups.

I hate to say it, but IF the pump has a crack in the threads, then it's time for a new one. By installing a new hose with new ends, and it still leaked, leads me to turn to the pump for answers.
 
  #9  
Old 08-18-13, 07:38 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,059
I think you're right Chandler. I've replaced the O-ring three times and also a new pressure hose. What else could it be besides the female threading in the pump outlet? Or maybe it was over tightened and the fitting inside the pump was crushed and is not mating with the pressure hose steel line?

I'll monitor it a little longer. But it looks like I'll be replacing the reservoir/pump. I looked at my Chilton manual and the installment procedure seems uncomplicated with just a few steps.

Can I reuse the pressure hose I put on yesterday as long as I use a new O-ring or other substitute? I also need a special pulley removal tool or equivalent.......correct?
 
  #10  
Old 08-19-13, 02:42 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Sometimes, depending on where you buy your pump, the parts house will offer a service for R&R on the pulley. It would save purchase of a pulley puller, since you may not have a use for it for a long time.Reusing the pressure hose should present no problem, provided the sealing method is not damaged.
 
  #11  
Old 08-19-13, 10:48 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,059
I might try one more remedy before I replace the pump. If I can use a non-locking thread sealer it just might seal up whatever defect exists in the pump outlet female threads. What do you think?
 
  #12  
Old 08-19-13, 04:36 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Try Rectorseal in the plumbing section. You can get it in a small tube, so no waste. Hopefully it will hold up to the heat generated. It is teflon based.
 
  #13  
Old 08-20-13, 07:39 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,059
Thanks for the suggestion. I will try Rectorseal or equivalent thread sealer as long as it doesn't act like Loctite and prevent me from loosening the tube nut later.

One guy on the Internet said that he used a beveled washer inside the pump outlet where the female threads are. Then when he tightened the tube nut it compressed and sealed the conical end of the steel line. But those beveled washers are all rubber as far as I know. So how well would that stand up to the high pressure fluid? But he claimed that it worked.

Maybe the leak problem is partly caused by a fault with the steel pressure line mating to the port inside the reservoir outlet......if I am even visualizing this correctly. Anyway an alternate approach of stopping the leak inside the pump outlet before it reaches the steel line threads and nylon O-ring outside the reservoir.

I was in the hardware store for a long time yesterday. I did find a curved metal washer and something similar to a rubber beveled washer. Both were concave with a hole in the middle to allow for hydraulic flow. And they both would fit the diameter of the steel line too. I'm not sure which would be better to try.
 

Last edited by bluesbreaker; 08-20-13 at 07:56 AM.
  #14  
Old 08-25-13, 09:11 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,059
I was finally able to stop the leak using teflon tape, modified nylon gasket and O-ring
See new thread.
 
  #15  
Old 08-26-13, 02:46 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Why a new thread? I gotta go find it, now.
 
  #16  
Old 08-26-13, 07:04 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,059
I only started a new thread hoping it might help someone. Just close it out and add it to this one if you want. Whatever is easier for you. It's titled 'I finally stopped power steering leak' submitted 8/25.
 
  #17  
Old 08-27-13, 08:50 AM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: California
Posts: 214
I hate to bring this up but the likely hood the dreaded leak will reappear is large based on the fact that you had to use so many combined methods to stop the leakage. The connection was designed to be made using either an O-rind or a crush washer on both sides if it uses a banjo. The amount of vibration and temperature changes that exist will test the methods used so keep a sharp eye on it.
 
  #18  
Old 08-27-13, 12:09 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,059
I hear what you're saying Tijoe. Hopefully, it will work for a long time. If not, then I learned something. I've been watching it closely, and the areas with fluid residue are bone dry.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'