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Old 04-30-2009, 10:03 AM   #1
onixwj
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Default 92 SL2: no power assist after replacing p/s pump, lines, and steering gear

In my 1992 SL2, I replaced the power steering pump (transferring the old tank and EVO), rack and pinion steering gear, and both hydraulic lines. After adding new power steering fluid, I did a minimal amount of bleeding by rotating the steering wheel back and forth a few times, then put the wheels back on, lowered the car, started it, found no power assist, and then with the engine off, rotated the wheel back and forth for about five minutes. Still no power assist. I've driven the car around city streets for a little over a mile. Still no power assist.

Where should I begin troubleshooting?

Last edited by onixwj; 04-30-2009 at 10:07 AM.. Reason: clarify that I added fluid

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Old 04-30-2009, 10:11 AM   #2
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Default Re: 92 SL2: no power assist after replacing p/s pump, lines, and steering gear

Please tell me you didn't replace all of that stuff trying to diagnose the issue....

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Old 04-30-2009, 11:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: 92 SL2: no power assist after replacing p/s pump, lines, and steering gear

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Originally Posted by OnDaGround View Post
Please tell me you didn't replace all of that stuff trying to diagnose the issue....
I didn't. A couple years ago, brake fluid was mistakenly added to the steering fluid reservoir. This was not recognized by me until several days later when the steering system became noisy and then ran out of fluid. I filled it with power steering fluid and used the car for a long time without further problems. More recently, steering fluid began to leak, and I repeatedly topped it off for several thousand miles (and about two gallons of fluid). Eventually, I just let it run dry and drove for several thousand miles with no fluid and thus no power assist.

For about $200 of parts, I simply replaced everything while I was in there replacing tie rod ends and lower control arms. I understand that brake fluid damages seals, and when replacing the pump, I found that the seals were simply gone. So while I realize that replacing the seals may be all that was needed, the car has 265,000 miles on it and I plan to drive it into the dirt, so it seemed reasonable to replace everything that I may have damaged by abusing the steering system as I did.

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Old 04-30-2009, 11:29 AM   #4
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Default Re: 92 SL2: no power assist after replacing p/s pump, lines, and steering gear

I did have a bit of trouble routing the hoses, so each is twisted 360 degrees, the result of which is a spiral with about 2.5" radius in each hose. They're not kinked. Unless I come up with something better to try first, I may remove the pump, remove the pulley, disconnect the lines, straighten them out, and reinstall. It doesn't seem to me that this should cause the problem, but I don't have much else to try at this point.

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Old 04-30-2009, 12:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: 92 SL2: no power assist after replacing p/s pump, lines, and steering gear

http://www.aa1car.com/library/2004/bf10434.htm

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Old 05-03-2009, 05:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: 92 SL2: no power assist after replacing p/s pump, lines, and steering gear

Thanks for the link to general information about power steering systems. Any suggestions about what could be preventing my new parts from working?

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Old 05-03-2009, 05:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: 92 SL2: no power assist after replacing p/s pump, lines, and steering gear

I'm not familiar with power steering troubleshooting. If it isn't the pump, my guess is the electronic variable orifice is not operating correctly as it should. I'm guessing that a signal is missing. Not sure if this signal comes from the PCM or possibly the vehicle speed sensor.

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Old 05-03-2009, 05:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: 92 SL2: no power assist after replacing p/s pump, lines, and steering gear

My understanding is that if the EVO doesn't work, you simply have full assist all the time (or rather, you don't have the EVO restricting power assist). I don't, however, know enough to say whether the EVO could be stuck in the retard position.

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Old 05-03-2009, 05:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: 92 SL2: no power assist after replacing p/s pump, lines, and steering gear

I would think that th elines are a potential problem. They should not be looped at all when routed OEM. To loop them 2.5 inches could cetainly cause problems.
How much fluid fluid did you get into the system?
Have you tried removing the return line at the pump--non pressure hose, fittings are not crimped--and running the engine to see if you get flow from it?

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Old 05-03-2009, 07:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: 92 SL2: no power assist after replacing p/s pump, lines, and steering gear

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Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
I would think that th elines are a potential problem. They should not be looped at all when routed OEM. To loop them 2.5 inches could cetainly cause problems.
Well, when I said 2.5" radius, I definitely meant radius, not diameter, so they're not looped as tightly as you may have imagined, but I, too, am concerned that this may be the problem. In order to reduce the hassle of disconnecting the high-pressure hose, I cut the old one in half, so I'm aware that the core is metal, and while I know that I didn't ever kink it, I don't know if the twist/loop that's in there now is enough to cause trouble.

Getting those hoses off and on is not so bad when your steering gear is disconnected and you can slide it to the right to allow slack to the pump after sliding it to the left to connect at the gear through the wheel well, but now that I have the suspension all back together, it's a much bigger deal. I just returned from un-mounting the pump, and I couldn't see how I could get that high pressure hose off the pump, so I re-mounted it. Maybe if I took the pulley off and got myself a stubby 16mm wrench it would be possible. I live in a city, don't have a garage, and was pressing my luck a bit doing all the work I did with the car parallel parked on the road. I really don't want to have to put it back up on stands, take the wheels off, and disconnect the tie rods again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
How much fluid did you get into the system?
I'm not sure. It's been a couple weeks, and with the combination of a partially-empty bottle of fluid and two different sizes of new ones I had, I really don't remember. It was within the range of what was expected, and I did have to top it off after turning the wheel back and forth a few times. It was for sure more than what's in the tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
Have you tried removing the return line at the pump--non pressure hose, fittings are not crimped--and running the engine to see if you get flow from it?
No, but that sounds like a good idea. I did notice some foaming in the tank when I was trying to purge air from the system, so I figured there was some flow.

I have to take the car to my mechanic for an alignment and to have a few bolts re-torqued (my torque wrench maxes out at 80 ft/lbs. and wouldn't fit where it needed to for the castle nuts on the lower control arm), anyway, and I'm very tempted to buy a couple new hoses and pay to have them replaced.

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