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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
have made 2 fast turn arounds and have noticed that the power steering is absent (failed once) and interemittient / jerky the second time...
in normal driveing where steering wheel movement is minimal or in sharp turns that are slow there is no problemm..

just when the turn is sharp and sudden...

does this indicate the pump is marginal/failing... or is there another problem likely...

i never heard of a power steering pump failure but i suppose they wear out just like anything else

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Rich
Cocoa Beach, Fla
Team Chevelle #380
46 but feeling like 20 when i'm in my 70 SS 454
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www.chevelles.com/showroom/70_SS_454.jpg
 

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Sounds more like a belt problem, try tightening or replacing. When replacing retighten after a few hours of running to take up the initial stretch. Philip
 

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It almost sounds like the fluid may be low. (that would be way too easy!)

You may want to drain out the fluid and replace it with new fluid. It's possibly 30 years old!

The only way that I can think of doing it would be to remove the return line (the one with hose clamps), put on a longer line that goes from the steering unit and into a pan, and then run the engine for a short period of time. Then put the original hose back on and refill with new fluid. Give it time to work out any air in the system and recheck the level.

A lot of people use automatic transmission fluid, but the cost of "real" power steering fluid isn't that much.

Another thing you may want to think about would be adding a filter in the return line. GM sells them and they look just like a fuel filter (for all I know, they just remark them). If you do this, you may want to get two so that you can run the car for a couple weeks and then change them.

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Wes. Vann
Technical Reference section
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
belts are tight (2 with a/c belt also grazing off double pulley)

fluid level is correct..but looks dark

does fluid cause failures with age??

do pumps go bad??

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Rich
Cocoa Beach, Fla
Team Chevelle #380
46 but feeling like 20 when i'm in my 70 SS 454
[email protected]
www.chevelles.com/showroom/70_SS_454.jpg
 

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Yes the pump can wear out. It isn't real common though, I have run them without oil and it never seems to hurt the pump. The manual lists 3 reasons for a momentary increase in effort when turnig the wheel fast. 1) Low on fluid, 2) belt slipping, 3) High internal leakage.
It could also be wear in the steering box. The last Camaro box I took apart had grooves worn in the housing where the teflon rings rode. It would had to have caused a loss of pressure. Strange thing is that was the only steering box I ever bought. All the ones I got for free or off parts cars were good. Check your pump pressures by teeing in a guage. Pump pressure for 69-70 is 900-1000, 1350-1450 with the variable ratio unit. These pressures are at bypass. Hold the steering momentarily against one of the stops. If the pump is putting out the right pressure your box may need looked into for wear. Let us know what you find.

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Philip Valentine
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"Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another."
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