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So you got a Power Steering Leak

This is a discussion on So you got a Power Steering Leak within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Just like the title states. I've been seeing a lot of post lately about Power Steering Pumps (PSP) and decided ...

  1. #1
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    So you got a Power Steering Leak

    Just like the title states. I've been seeing a lot of post lately about Power Steering Pumps (PSP) and decided to try to answer some of the issues I know. Unfortunately I know nothing of Power Steering Coolers. Sorry I don't have one.

    Most leaks happen at three locations with the Pump. They are the High Pressure Hose, Low Pressure Hose and the O- Ring between the Reservoir and the Pump. There is also another spot that looks like a bearing seal that is on the pulley shaft, but if it starts leaking I'd just go and get a new PSP.

    Some tools will be needed.
    Power Steering Pulley Tool Kit
    15mm, 17mm Wrenches
    13 mm Socket and Ratchet
    Pliers, I used needle nose
    Flat Tip Screw Drivers, one small tip and the other a #2 in size
    Rags, lots of them
    Drain pan

    Also you will need replacement PS fluid and I recommend an O-Ring kit. I got one specifically for the PSP from GMPartsdirect.com, but you can get O-rings from any Auto Parts stores.

    Step 1: Remove Serpentine Belt, You need a 15mm wrench or socket to use on the Tensioner. Now would also be a good time to replace it if you see it has cracks or excessive wear or it's been used 50,000 miles. Sorry no pics of this step.

    Step 2: PSP removal: Using the tool kit you pull the pulley wheel off the PSP shaft. Its a stubborn pain in the But it does come off.



    Here is a clear pic of the tool on the wheel


    Step 3: Next remove the pump, no exact order in this process but if you do not remove the Alternator that is directly underneath the PSP you need to stuff a bunch of rags on top of it so that the remaining fluid in the PSP doesn't ruin your Alternator. Trust me it will and its expensive. If you have the time removing it is the best scenario.



    The High Pressure Hose is the one on the left side of the pump as you look at it on the vehicle. To remove it you use a 17mm wrench. Leakage coming from here is always because of the O-ring has been torn or crushed because someone has had their Wheaties and gone He-Man by over tighten it. Snug fit. Next is the Low Pressure Hose located on the right side of the PSP. Use Needle Nose Pliers to slide the Hose Clamp down and then slide the hose of the PSP.

    Now using a 13mm socket remove the three bolts that you see in this picture. There is a forth one under the pulley shaft but it doesn't need to be removed.



    Step 4: Pulley is off and after you drain as much fluid that is remaining inside the PSP as possible. It is messy, I used a small butter bucket to drain it into.



    You will see 2 clips holding the Resivor on the Pump, They have to come off. Using a fine tip screw driver llift the tab on the inside of the clip while at the same time using a large flat tip tap off the clip until it comes off. An additional set of hands would be nice, but is not required and I'm sure they sell a tool that does a fine job of removing them but I don't have one.







    Step 5: Reservoir is off. Replace the O-ring. It is most likely still in one piece, but over time they do go bad and leak.


    This is why I said get an O-ring kit, this was the O-ring from the High Pressure Hose and it was bad too. I'm replacing it also. I rather waste .80 cents and know it has a new O-ring then reuse it and have to do all of this work all over again because of it. You can see how it was flatten out.

    Last edited by SMWS6TA; 02-13-2011 at 12:18 PM.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Step 6: Reassemble the Reservoir onto the PSP and reinstall the clips.



    Step 7: Reinstalling the PSP. Bolt the PSP back on, take care that the short bolt is the one on the bottom and the long bolts are the left and top right.

    The removal kit comes with a Pulley Pusher. Looks like this:


    You thread it into the the PSP shaft, and yes the shaft is threaded on the inside. Next screw down the push guide till it is snug against the pulley wheel. Now you will need 2 wrenches to be able to push the pulley wheel back on the shaft. Remember the fun of pulling it off, you get to experience it again here <Insert Sarcasm>. Will look like so:


    Reattach the High Pressure hose with a new O-ring and the Low Pressure Hose.

    Step 8: Now reinstall your Serpentine Belt. Fill Reservoir up with some fluid, do not over fill. Start car, now turn wheels left to right all the way. You may see some bubble action that is the air leaving the system. You need to do this for several minutes until you see no bubbles. You may have to stop every 5 minutes so that the fluid can settle the foamy bubbles. Repeat until all bubbles are gone and add fluid as necessary. Should look like this while car is running:






    STEP 9: CHECK FOR LEAKS!!!!


    Hope this helps and explains this procedure.
    Last edited by SMWS6TA; 02-13-2011 at 12:21 PM.

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    Nice write up and some great pics of the work!

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    nice......

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    did you get a turn 1 pump?

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    It is the same OEM pump that came with the car

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    O U 8 1 2 Spaz's Avatar
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    how the hell did i miss this thread??? excellent write up!!!

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    I missed it too. This could save me some money. I think my PS pump is still good, just got a pretty fast leak. My guess is high pressure side. Thanks OP

    I'm guessing the parts stores have rentals of the pulley tool kit..

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    I "rented" the pulley kit from Autozone. I thiink next time I'll just buy it so that I have it on hand.

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    Member blackcar's Avatar
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    Great write up. I changed my PSP a couple of months back. The only thing I would add (and SMWS6TA did touch on this a little), if your PSP has been leaking then you have PS fluid in your alternator. I would recommend you go ahead and pull the alternator before you take the PSP off. While you have it off clean it out with electrical cleaner. I did this to mine when I broke the shaft in my PSP. The alternator was nasty. The fluid that came out was black and I went through 2 or 3 cans of cleaner. I've heard too many times about the alternator going out from PS fluid. And it is not hard to get off. Just be mindfull of the little wire you don't see.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackcar View Post
    Great write up. I changed my PSP a couple of months back. The only thing I would add (and SMWS6TA did touch on this a little), if your PSP has been leaking then you have PS fluid in your alternator. I would recommend you go ahead and pull the alternator before you take the PSP off. While you have it off clean it out with electrical cleaner. I did this to mine when I broke the shaft in my PSP. The alternator was nasty. The fluid that came out was black and I went through 2 or 3 cans of cleaner. I've heard too many times about the alternator going out from PS fluid. And it is not hard to get off. Just be mindfull of the little wire you don't see.

    Agree with all above about the cleaning of the alternator. I didn't touch because I had already replaced it and simply forgot about it.


    Funny that you mention the little wire, I also made a fix for that too...
    A Fix if You Break your Alternator Wire Plu

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    Member blackcar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    Agree with all above about the cleaning of the alternator. I didn't touch because I had already replaced it and simply forgot about it.


    Funny that you mention the little wire, I also made a fix for that too...
    A Fix if You Break your Alternator Wire Plu
    That thread is what saved my wire. I had read that thread back when you posted it. I didn't have any issues going on at the time, so I just logged it in the back of mind. Jump ahead almost a year, I'm laying on my back pulling the alternator and get this almost deja vu feeling. And then it hit me just like the PS fluid dripping on my head . . . "Don't break the wire"

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    Had the same issue with my 2000 bird. That thread saved me too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    I "rented" the pulley kit from Autozone. I thiink next time I'll just buy it so that I have it on hand.
    I live so close to O'Reilly's it is almost pointless to buy instead of rent at this point. If I had my own shop, and not doing work out of my dad's, I might start a collection, but right now you just can't beat a basically free rental.

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    Now in Summit LT1 Flavor! Y2KArcticSS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    Agree with all above about the cleaning of the alternator. I didn't touch because I had already replaced it and simply forgot about it.


    Funny that you mention the little wire, I also made a fix for that too...
    A Fix if You Break your Alternator Wire Plu
    That thread saved me the first time....second time I took the clip off but apparantly didn't get it completely detached.....needless to say I brokez it... Me and dad rigged 'er up though, she's good to go, and I got a Delco alt this time instead of a cheap @$$ Ultima rebuild...

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    Member qwik219d9's Avatar
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    silver
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    Excellent writeup better than any shop manuel
    thanks for taking the time an sharing the knowlegde.

    I feel much more comfortable doing my first PSP swap.

    I searched and searched I think I may need to improve the
    way I search.

    couple ?s
    ? I have a power streeing cooler looks like I'll have to remove the
    rad. hose to connect that pulley puller?

    ?1. I've read in other (not as detailed as you'r thread)
    that the drive belt should stay no this helps loosen the pulley bolt?

    ?2.with this new pump is the control valve assembly
    and the variable steering assit included?
    it's the stuff inside where the high presure hose connects.

    ?3. this puller you used is this the prefered puller?
    I have read that folks have been bending there pulleys w/
    a prumg type pulley puller that hooks around the back of pulley
    looks like there is no chance of bending the pulley w/ this tool?

    ?4 lastly the resovior clips are they flimsy I'm concerned I my bend one, maybe I should add the clips along w/ the oring gaskets.

    I'm assumming the Oring gaskets are not included w/ the new PSP kit from GM parts direct?

    Thanks
    Last edited by qwik219d9; 05-25-2011 at 08:46 AM.

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    GREAT THREAD...I joined becuase of this..I have a 2000 TA conv. and just replaced my high side hose...thank goodness I didnt need to remove the pump ass'y. It can be done by moving belt out of the way and jockeying hose.Get an extra pair of hands. Remove both ends...... and from under car, pull down and push the bottom end up and along splash panel until top metal part will fit between the ps pulley and the alt pulley. Then reverse..Pay attention ..its a bit tricky.

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    Wonderful write-up. Did the job in a little over an hour and a half. No problems.

    Thanks a million!


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    Great write up but i have one problem. Between steps 1 and 2 there should be an additional 6 steps on how to get the pulley off. First of all there is a radiator hose in my way preventing me from even attaching the pulley remover. Second, even if i were able to just move the hose out of the way there is a molded on clamp that keeps the hose in place. If i were to do this job i would have to remove this whole plastic radiator housing that the clamp is on. I really dont want to break that clamp but thats the only way i can see this working and not taking an addition 5hrs to remove that housing.

    Any ideas? also my pulley kit looks identical to the one he is using in the pictures.

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