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Anyone have power steering issues?

This is a discussion on Anyone have power steering issues? within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; So Last summer I replaced the power steering pump. The new one started to whine, so I figured it was ...

  1. #1
    Nightmare RedFenix_68's Avatar
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    Red
    2000 Trans Am WS.6 M6

    Anyone have power steering issues?

    So Last summer I replaced the power steering pump. The new one started to whine, so I figured it was just a bad manufactured one. So I removed that one and put another new reman on. Same issues as the first replacement. While I was redoing the whole front end I replaced the rack and pinion as well. I flushed both the rack and pinion and power steering pump and put in Lucs powersteering conditioner... same issues, once the car was warm after 30mins or so of driving I take a turn and it whines just as bad...So at this point I am lost.

  2. #2
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    Are you still running the stock P/S cooler setup in the upper radiator hose?

  3. #3
    Nightmare RedFenix_68's Avatar
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    2000 Trans Am WS.6 M6

    Yes it is stock. I am guessing that is where my issue is?

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    They have been known to fail. Any "milkiness" in your reservoir?

    I mounted an aftermarket cooler on the front of the K-member. The stock hoses fit perfectly and I just replaced the upper radiator hose with one from a Camaro.

  5. #5
    Nightmare RedFenix_68's Avatar
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    2000 Trans Am WS.6 M6

    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    They have been known to fail. Any "milkiness" in your reservoir?

    I mounted an aftermarket cooler on the front of the K-member. The stock hoses fit perfectly and I just replaced the upper radiator hose with one from a Camaro.
    What after market cooler did you go with?

  6. #6
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    '98 T/A WS6

    Red, when I bought my used '98 T/A and was checking the fluids, the power steering fluid had an orange tint to it. Come to find out that stock power steering cooler was getting coolant in my power steering pump. Whoever designed that part wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed IMO.

    So I did what Pajeff02 did. I bought a cheap 19.99 power steering cooler, and I mounted it right behind my air dam I think it's called. It's that long hard plastic piece that goes from wheel to wheel up front. Then I just asked for a radiator hose for a regular T/A and ditched that piece of junk OEM part.

    This is the cooler I used, and I haven't had any issues since. Surprised that coolant didn't ruin the pump, or worse.

    Imperial Power Steering Oil Cooler 241009: Advance Auto Parts
    Last edited by TexJW; 03-23-2015 at 09:46 PM.

  7. #7
    Nightmare RedFenix_68's Avatar
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    2000 Trans Am WS.6 M6

    Quote Originally Posted by TexJW View Post
    Red, when I bought my used '98 T/A and was checking the fluids, the power steering fluid had an orange tint to it. Come to find out that stock power steering cooler was getting coolant in my power steering pump. Whoever designed that part wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed IMO.

    So I did what Pajeff02 did. I bought a cheap 19.99 power steering cooler, and I mounted it right behind my air dam I think it's called. It's that long hard plastic piece that goes from wheel to wheel up front. Then I just asked for a radiator hose for a regular T/A and ditched that piece of junk OEM part.

    This is the cooler I used, and I haven't had any issues since. Surprised that coolant didn't ruin the pump, or worse.

    Imperial Power Steering Oil Cooler 241009: Advance Auto Parts
    ok cool. Thanks for the info. I will try it out and let you know how it goes. I honestly think that the pump is probably done. It is under warranty so it is not to big of an issue.

  8. #8
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    I want to say that it was either a Hayes or a Derale. I just went with the smallest cooler I could find in the Summit/Jeg's.

    Photobucket isn't loading right now, or I would post a pic.

  9. #9
    Nightmare RedFenix_68's Avatar
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    2000 Trans Am WS.6 M6

    Hey Jeff I am having some real bad issues with power steering. I have read through all the forums with anything to do with power steering issues like mine. I have replaced the pump now 3 times. I have replaced the rack and pinion once. I have done the separate power steering cooler to the one you suggested to me. I now realize that I had tight steering way before I changed anything when the car sat after 2 1/2 years. At low idle the steering is a pain to turn. at higher rpms it breaks loose and is moving like normal. I have bled the system more times then I can count. The idler and tensioner wheels have been replaced (not the who tensioner pulley assembly) The belt has also been replaced. The belt chirps and squeaks a bit and the steering is still rough. I have asked countless friends and mechanics I know. The only thing I have not done at this point is taken it in to a shop because honestly I am completely lost.

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    Member sjgreen6's Avatar
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    You might want to take a look at the intermediate shaft. This is the part that connects the steering column to the rack. It has two universal joints and if either is bad it will cause the on and off binding that you are experiencing. The binding can be so bad that it will ruin a pump pretty quickly. Unfortunately on our cars this is a bit of a pain in the ass to do as the shaft is covered and you must remove the steering column to get to it (at least according to Volume 1, page 2-77 of the factory service manual for my 2002).

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    I am thinking that a careful inspection has to be completed of the individual components. Start by raising the front end and with the engine off turn the steering wheel all the way from lock to lock a few times to get a feel for it. Next step will require disassembly of certain components, starting with the tie rod ends. With the ends off, turn each hub by hand through the full range of motion and check for any binding or roughness. In none is felt now go back and turn the steering wheel from lock to lock a few more times and see if you note any difference. Next, disconnect the intermediate shaft from the steering rack and inspect the joints as best you can. Have a friend support the shaft and again turn the wheel to see if anything changes. Note that you can NOT turn the wheel any more than you would with the shaft connected or you will damage the clock spring for the air bag. Make sure you count the turns and bring the wheel back to actual center to avoid causing damage. This should allow you to discern between a hydraulic issue or a mechanical issue.

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    Nightmare RedFenix_68's Avatar
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    Ok I will start with that. Thanks Jeff

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    Nightmare RedFenix_68's Avatar
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    It's going to be awhile before I get around to it. Probably around June before I can start tearing it apart. I will replace the lines though sometime soon to see if that might be the issue and if it is not I will tear into it

  14. #14
    Nightmare RedFenix_68's Avatar
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    Ok update. I called a shop that had high ratings and after talking to the technician he advised me to try and switch remanufacturers. Just a heads up, Autozone supposedly sells atc remans which at this point are all garbage. I would not ever go to Autozone for a powersteering pump after 3 failed attempts. I went to Advanced and got a Cardone powersteering pump and also decided to go ahead and replace the pulley as well. 5 powersteering pumps later the cardone was the ticket. At the point of installing the cardone pump I had replaced the rack and pinion, the pressure line and the return line and a new belt and also doing the tiny intercooler kit for the pump itself so it was not running off of the radiator hose. When I took off the hoses I cut them open and inspected them to see if there had been any wear or tear on either hose. The pressure hose is not at all rubber except for the outside of it. Its more of a protector for the metal flex line that goes into the hard line. I could never see this failing unless the line itself was kinked or bent. The return hose however could be seen as a potential problem in the future because it is indeed rubber. I cut that line open as well and it was clean as a whistle and showed no signs of wear whatsoever. If you were to go to any auto parts store to buy a new return hose use this part number "80249" because if you look it up vehicle specific it does not show the return line as even a possibility to purchase. The price for the return hose I believe is 19.99. This is also the same for the pulley which was 14.99 and is all metal versus plastic. The part number for the pulley is 300-200. This finally concludes this year long epidemic. That's all for the power steering issue. Thanks to the guys for the advice.

  15. #15
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    Glad you got it all figured out. I just installed an "Autozone" house brand rack in a Dakota. Guess we'll see how it does.

  16. #16
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    I use Autozone for very little and only as last resort.

  17. #17
    Nightmare RedFenix_68's Avatar
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    Ya hopefully it works out

  18. #18
    Nightmare RedFenix_68's Avatar
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    Ya I will probably start going to other places from now on instead of autozone. But everything else worked out from them for parts just not the powersteering pump

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