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I have a 1969 Camaro 396 A/C car. I just finished a complete restoration and upgraded my steering gear box to the 3rd generation A-1 Cardone 276550 box as well as the adapters and rag joint from Lee Manufacturing. Both of the hoses are brand new. I have purchased three power steering pumps two 20-6000 and one AC Delco pumps. All of the pumps have overheated and the bearing has failed. I have a 3941107 Power Steering Pulley on the power steering pump. I replaced the pump and the hoses today, only to burn the front bearing out again. The pump is about 300 degrees after about ten minutes of running. I never had the car on the ground today. What could I be doing wrong? Please Help.
 

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I just installed a Delco pump with AGR box.

are you bleeding the system to get all the air out prior to starting the engine?

Step 1 - Do not start the engine until the system is fully bled. Pump internals are metal on metal - any air in the system can cause metal on metal contact and damage

Step 2- Raise the front wheels or remove pitman arm

Step 3- Turn the steering wheel fully to the left

Step 4- Fill reservoir to the "full cold" level - leave cap off

Step 5- Turn the steering wheel slowly and smoothly lock to lock until the fluid level drops in the reservoir. If fluid has not dropped, no fluid has moved thru the system. This normally indicates a large air bubble in the reservoir or pump. You may need to cycle 40 times or more

Step 6- Check fluid constantly to ensure proper level and no bubbles. If you see bubbles recheck all connections and repeat

Step 7- crank engine without starting several revolutions. If level drops their is compressed air trapped in the system.

Step 8- continue until fluid remains constant and no air bubbles are visible

Step 9- start engine at idle, install cap, return wheels to center and lower to ground

Step 10- run engine for 2 minutes and turn wheel in both directions do not hold steering wheel against the stops

These are the instructions that came with my AGR box
Tom
 

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After replacing three pumps I would suggest that your problem has to be in the steering gear or somewhere else beside the pump(s). Air is not good to have in the system but I doubt that air alone could cause the failures you are experiencing.

I would check for any obvious kinks in the hoses. Did you install the adapters properly that you received from Tom Lee? Check to make sure that they are correct and not tipped or distorted to the point where they might restrict flow in and out of the gear. Also check the new hoses to make sure that there isn't a deformed end or some kind of kink in the tubing bends. You might try sliding a thin wire up into the hose to check for some kind of internal obstruction.

If you are not turning the steering wheel, the system should NEVER approach 300 degrees (maybe 120 to 180 degees) with the system just at idle. There is a major obstruction to the flow of the oil in the system to cause the temperature to rise like you describe.

It sure seems to me that the problem is in the gear. (Possibly the valve or porting inside the gear is not correct.)

Jim
 

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In speaking with the folks at AGR they said the temp should never get above 180 degrees or the fluid will start to boil and the components will start to fail. They suggested a that an additional cooler be installed when I had a similar problem (which I may still have, a I keep blowing out steering gears and am trying to figure out why). How close is the steering gear to the header? Could this be the source of the heat?
 

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They (AGR) are also specific about using synthetic PS fluid or the warranty is void...I used RedLine

I'm going to check my PS temp this weekend, this has got me curious.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The problem has been resolved. It was the check valve in the 3rd Generation steering gear box on the pressure line side. The valve was crushed when I installed the flare adapter from Mr. Lee. Thank you for all the help.
 

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Glad you found the problem! Thats a lesson learned for anyone using the adapters :thumbsup:

I checked my PS fluid temp last weekend, and even with BB headers, 3/8" clearance, at normal operating temps, my PS fluid was at 145 degrees, not bad at all.

Also, AGR recommends Synthetic fluid, they void your warranty if you use tranny fluid, my post above was not correct.

Tom
 
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