Power Steering Bleed Question - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 1st, 10, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
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Bill
 
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Location: Raritan NJ
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Power Steering Bleed Question

Hey guys,

My power steering setup is as follows:

1.) 1969 GM power steering box
2.) Braided stainless hoses (new)
3.) GM Type II power steering pump
4.) ZOOPs remote resivoir


My problem is this- It continually pushes fluid out of the weep hole on top of the resivoir, and the fluid foams up like crazy.

Seems like an easy problem- it's not bled, right? Well, bear with me.

The first time I bled it, I spun the wheel 10 or so times, topped off the fluid level, and then had the engine running while I turned the wheel back and forth a lot. Pressure built, it took some fluid, and I got power assist, so I removed the cap and let the foam subside. Started it up a few hours later and it was still fine. I took the car out for a drive and it slowly lost power steering, and pushed a lot more fluid back out.

Thinking I bled it wrong and still had air, I called up ZOOPs and asked what they said to do. They said to put the wheels in the air, leave the engine off, and spin the wheel 50 times from lock to lock. This kind of sucked (try it sometime ) but I did it, and the assist returned and works fine.

BUT, the fluid is still foaming, and it's still pushing out of the weep hole. It's not overfilled as the resi is at 2/3 exactly. I triple checked the hose routing, including making sure the diverter is on the right port in the resivoir.

My question is this- how much air is IN a system like this. Once you get constant assist, isn't it pretty much done being bled?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 1st, 10, 09:59 AM
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Robert
 
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Re: Power Steering Bleed Question

A guy here at work had a similar problem on a late model Impala. Turned out to be the return line had a small hole that was letting air be sucked into the pump. Might be worth checking into.

Robert

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 1st, 10, 10:27 AM
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Kevin
 
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Re: Power Steering Bleed Question

Bill, I would guess you have a leak at the fittings, I have heard of miniscule air leaks that allow air into the system, but not leak much externally.

Kevin


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 1st, 10, 06:33 PM
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Re: Power Steering Bleed Question

What is a diverter? What is a Zoops remote reservoir? Do you have pictures or can you describe it?

It is possible for a connection leak on the low pressure side of the system to actually suck air into the fluid circuit and yet not leak oil.

Jim
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 8th, 10, 06:37 AM Thread Starter
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Bill
 
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Re: Power Steering Bleed Question

Thanks for your input, guys. I removed the suction hose and tested it to make sure it wasn't pulling air and it was fine. What I think the issue was is fluid level. It's kind of an odd situation:

When the engine was off, I filled it to about halfway like I had been doing before. Then when I turned it on, the level got very low and it was sucking in some air and foaming. So I added some more fluid to fill it back to halfway and the sucking and foaming stopped- it got a nice swirl without a single bubble. The pump also quieted down to the point that I could not hear it.

However, once I shut it off the level shot up with a lot of bubbles and it pushed out the air bleed hole again. When I took the cap off to look the level was all the way at the top. Also, I took it for a drive when the fluid level was still in the middle with no foam and there were no dead spots or lack of assist- but the pump was HOWLING and was much louder than the engine or exhaust.

What do you think? I still have some air trapped in there somewhere? Could the belt be too tight? Both?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 8th, 10, 08:46 AM
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Re: Power Steering Bleed Question

Bill, as long as the level of the fluid is above the level of the internal pump intake, you should not be getting sucking air. How is the pump mounted? straight up or on an angle? I would still tighten the connections some more and try adjusting the fluid level a little at a time. luck!

Kevin


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 10, 06:20 AM
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Re: Power Steering Bleed Question

Pump reservoirs are not just a can to hold excess fluid. Fluid returning from the gear to the reservoir should enter the reservoir and have a section where the fluid can "calm" and any air bubbles have time to rise to the surface before the fluid is sucked back into the pump.

A faulty reservoir design could just direct the returning fluid directly back into the pump intake. This could have a cascading affect in that a few bubbles could multiply each time the air bubbles were thrashed by the pumping vanes inside the pump.

This sounds complicated but it is usually done with internal baffles or even a fine filter screen inside the reservoir. I would suggest that you try to cobble some type of remote reservoir from some other steering system in place of the Zoops reservoir and see if it makes a difference. All major OEM systems have remote reservoirs with the return spouts and internal baffles that are carefully designed for just this reason.

Jim
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