power steering weak - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 17, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Scott
 
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power steering weak

I finally have my car back together but the power steering isn't working right. It has some assist but not nearly enough and not smooth. I doesn't make any noise or whine at all. It also varies from firm to nearly no help. It has a new pump and I've tried 2 pumps with same results. The new pumps have a female fitting on the pressure side and mine was male so I have been switching it so my lines will work. From what I see it should be male on a 67. Any help is appreciated.

2010 ss/rs cam 238/245 608/618 114 lsa, 3.70 gear, 3700 stall, 450 rwhp.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 17, 09:26 PM
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Re: power steering weak

Just shooting in the dark, but did you swap in a quick steering box for a standard one? I recall reading something about newer Saginaw boxes needing more pressure, old pumps made under 1000 psi and the 84 and later boxes work better with 1200-1400 psi. Check Dave Pozzi's page.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 17, 04:27 AM Thread Starter
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Re: power steering weak

Its got the same one I bought it with but not sure if the previous owner may have swapped it. I didn't work right when I bought it but it had been setting for 25 years. Thanks for the input.

2010 ss/rs cam 238/245 608/618 114 lsa, 3.70 gear, 3700 stall, 450 rwhp.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 17, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: power steering weak

Well it looks like someone has changed the power steering pump over at some point, it doesn't have the round looking reservoir it has the larger one. Looks like post 1970 pump, could this be the issue?

2010 ss/rs cam 238/245 608/618 114 lsa, 3.70 gear, 3700 stall, 450 rwhp.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 3rd, 17, 02:54 PM
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Re: power steering weak

No, They are the same inside.
Two factors come into play, pressure and flow.
Low pressure affects low speed operation the most. If you lose boost at idle or low rpm's it's likely the pressure is too low.
If the system loses boost when you turn the steering wheel faster than normal, then it's lacking flow.

Stock pressures for a first gen are around 800 to 900 psi. Since all tires we use are wider, the load is higher and we now need 1100 psi or so.
There is a kit available to change the shim on your pressure valve. The most important part in the kit is a slice of aluminum tube that helps you safely clamp the valve in a vise so you can remove some shims and increase pressure.
As far as flow, you should drill out the flow orifice to around .140" ID. Drill it too large, and the system get's too jerky. Too small and it can't keep up with you during fast movements.

Check my web page for First Gen Camaro suspension info:
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Last edited by davidpozzi; Jun 4th, 17 at 11:17 AM.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 17, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: power steering weak

Great info thanks. I'm going to try the female fitting that comes with the new pumps, it looks to have a slightly larger hole in it. Sounds like I may be low on flow and pressure by the symptoms described.




Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpozzi View Post
No, They are the same inside.
Two factors come into play, pressure and flow.
Low pressure affects low speed operation the most. If you lose boost at idle or low rpm's it's likely the pressure is too low.
If the system loses boost when you turn the steering wheel faster than normal, then it's lacking flow.

Stock pressures for a first gen are around 800 to 900 psi. Since all tires we use are wider, the load is higher and we now need 1100 psi or so.
There is a kit available to change the shim on your pressure valve. The most important part in the kit is a slice of aluminum tube that helps you safely clamp the valve in a vise so you can remove some shims and increase pressure.
As far as flow, you should drill out the flow orifice to around .140" ID. Drill it too large, and the system get's too jerky. Too small and it can't keep up with you during fast movements.

2010 ss/rs cam 238/245 608/618 114 lsa, 3.70 gear, 3700 stall, 450 rwhp.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 4th, 17, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: power steering weak

Great info thanks. I'm going to try the female fitting that came with the new pump, it looks to have a larger hole in it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpozzi View Post
No, They are the same inside.
Two factors come into play, pressure and flow.
Low pressure affects low speed operation the most. If you lose boost at idle or low rpm's it's likely the pressure is too low.
If the system loses boost when you turn the steering wheel faster than normal, then it's lacking flow.

Stock pressures for a first gen are around 800 to 900 psi. Since all tires we use are wider, the load is higher and we now need 1100 psi or so.
There is a kit available to change the shim on your pressure valve. The most important part in the kit is a slice of aluminum tube that helps you safely clamp the valve in a vise so you can remove some shims and increase pressure.
As far as flow, you should drill out the flow orifice to around .140" ID. Drill it too large, and the system get's too jerky. Too small and it can't keep up with you during fast movements.

2010 ss/rs cam 238/245 608/618 114 lsa, 3.70 gear, 3700 stall, 450 rwhp.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 5th, 17, 12:01 AM
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Re: power steering weak

Check your pressure valve. There are two types, the flat ended valve is an early type that goes with the male outlet fitting. The later notched pressure valve goes with the female outlet fitting. I don't know if they can be mixed.

Check my web page for First Gen Camaro suspension info:
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67 RS 327 original owner. 1965 Lola T-70
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 5th, 17, 07:44 AM
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Re: power steering weak

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpozzi View Post
No, They are the same inside.
Two factors come into play, pressure and flow.
Low pressure affects low speed operation the most. If you lose boost at idle or low rpm's it's likely the pressure is too low.
If the system loses boost when you turn the steering wheel faster than normal, then it's lacking flow.

Stock pressures for a first gen are around 800 to 900 psi. Since all tires we use are wider, the load is higher and we now need 1100 psi or so.
There is a kit available to change the shim on your pressure valve. The most important part in the kit is a slice of aluminum tube that helps you safely clamp the valve in a vise so you can remove some shims and increase pressure.
As far as flow, you should drill out the flow orifice to around .140" ID. Drill it too large, and the system get's too jerky. Too small and it can't keep up with you during fast movements.
Hey David... Does anyone sell modded 1st gen pumps ready to go? I'd assume that Lee might've sold them back in the day, but are they doing it now?

'69 LeMans Blue Coupe, White Interior, 030" over 454, Super T10 4-Speed, Holley 4150, Pertronix Ignition
CompCams XS274S, 781 Oval Port Heads, PYPES Full 3" SS Exhaust, Hooker Comp Headers, Wilwood Calipers/MC
JGC Steering Box, Helix Uppers/Lowers, ProForged BJs, SpeedHut Gauges, MOMO Steering Wheel, Budnik 17" Wheels
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 5th, 17, 07:59 AM
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Re: power steering weak

I agree with all the info David gave you. However, this line in your first post makes me wonder: "It also varies from firm to nearly no help."


I think you may have an internal issue with the box. It certainly won't hurt to increase the flow just a bit.

I recently installed a later model box on my 68 El Camino that I rebuilt in the early 90's and worked perfectly. It had been sitting since 97. At first, it was very balky; assist worked better left than right, and it seemed to have no assist for the first instant in either direction. Flushed the fluid though a couple times, and added some Lucas PS conditioner and within a couple days it worked great. Been working fine ever since.

Not saying you don't need increased flow. It can have a dramatic effect. I remember back in the 80's a guy brought in a Chevy truck that the steering would start out OK for about 1/8 of a turn then get hard all of a sudden. I assumed (wrongfully) that it needed a pump. Changed the pump, re-using the pressure output fitting, and it did the same thing. The customer had failed to tell me a buddy had put a new pump on for him, and that is when the issue started. Pulled the fitting and noticed how small the orifice was.

Lynn
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 5th, 17, 10:26 AM
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Re: power steering weak

has anyone mentioned the possibility of the simple problem / solution of it maybe having air in the system and needing bled?
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 5th, 17, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: power steering weak

I think I may a steering box issue. I drilled the hole and removed 1 shim and no difference. If I unhook the pitman arm it and turn it with the engine off it gets easier and harder through the range

2010 ss/rs cam 238/245 608/618 114 lsa, 3.70 gear, 3700 stall, 450 rwhp.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 6th, 17, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: power steering weak

I put a new box on and cranked it lock to lock about 20 times to make sure air was out and it acted fine. I drove it around the driveway all seemed great. I took it a 1/2 mile down the road and went to turn around and no power steering. It will work if I rev it way up but no power steering below that.

2010 ss/rs cam 238/245 608/618 114 lsa, 3.70 gear, 3700 stall, 450 rwhp.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 6th, 17, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: power steering weak

It had a stuck pressure valve this time. Took a little Emory cloth to it and put it back together and it seems good now.

2010 ss/rs cam 238/245 608/618 114 lsa, 3.70 gear, 3700 stall, 450 rwhp.
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