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Old 11-08-2016, 06:41 PM   #1
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Heavy Power Steering Leak 2002 ZX3

So I was driving today and about 500 feet before I parked the vehicle, the pump began to whine when the steering wheel was turned even slightly.

I checked the reservoir and noticed that it was nearly empty. I didn't want to waste a tow since this is my beater and I have numerous vehicles, so I drove it the 60 miles home. The pump stopped functioning about 20 miles down the highway. No noises prior to that.

There is good sized puddle on the garage floor. Reservoir is empty....the puddle is the blackest puddle I have ever smelled in my life....the fluid is the most putrid thing that I have ever smelled and I have spent the last few weekends working around power steering fluid in another one of my vehicles.

I have lots of tools but they are nowhere near me. I don't have my ramps around either.

I'd just like to see if I can get a few things figured out prior to being in a position to fix this:

1) Have I likely killed the pump? I supposed I can add cheap fluid, watch it leak and then see what happens?

2) What are some likely culprits? I don't want to go in to this too blind.

Thanks


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Old 11-08-2016, 07:36 PM   #2
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Likely killed the pump, or at least made it a permanent whiner from the long drive without fluid.

If you can't see where that huge drip is coming from (just look above the puddle), then you could use some fluid to see where it drips again.

Adequate fluid is not noticeably different in expense, don't put crap through a rack that might be fine to save a few nickels.
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Old 11-08-2016, 07:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
Likely killed the pump, or at least made it a permanent whiner from the long drive without fluid.

If you can't see where that huge drip is coming from (just look above the puddle), then you could use some fluid to see where it drips again.

Adequate fluid is not noticeably different in expense, don't put crap through a rack that might be fine to save a few nickels.
Very well put Sailor!
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Old 11-08-2016, 11:20 PM   #4
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The pump is DEAD. Try running your engine with no oil for 60 miles and see how far you get. The pumps are the same type. How people think PS pumps can run with no oil???? Another of the conventional wisdom witch tales. If you pumped any of the black crap into your rack you can pretty much kiss that part off too now. The black is finely ground up METAL and will destroy any moving parts it touches in fairly short order.
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Old 11-10-2016, 12:10 PM   #5
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So it is leaking through the area of the circled connector at the top of the pump. What is this sensor? Is it a power steering pressure switch?

If it is a pressure switch it looks like there is more than one when I check out advance auto's website.

It appears to be leaking THROUGH the connector, not above or below it. I have never seen a failure like this before, so I am a bit reluctant to believe that it would fail like that.

Any ideas?

Thanks.

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Old 11-10-2016, 01:12 PM   #6
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Can't see it for beans, but leaking through a wiring connection area is the most common failure for pressure switches, common on oil pressure switches for example.

Never seen large leaks myself, but obviously possible.

Edit - SVT model has that sensor on the high pressure tubing, not the pump, for an example of different location and possible different sensor (same basic engine design).
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Old 11-10-2016, 04:09 PM   #7
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hopefully the rack is still fine. its PITA to change. needed to drop the front subframe.

changing out the pump is the easier of the tasks. 2 bolts from above, 2 from below. i think i unbolt the AC compressor too (kept lines attached)

Once i had a bad leak in the rack of my SVT. it ran the pump dry. pump siezed, threw the belt, but i pulled over before it overheated. i needed a new rack and pump, both got from an autowrecker. (i even used a regular zetec pump and rack, but u cant use a SVT pump on regular zetec due to pressure sensor). steering effort was a little different, but it worked fine since.

I didnt get a new gasket for the pressure line connection to the pump, so it leaked, but i cheated and wrapped a ton of teflon tape on the threads until it sealed.
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Old 11-11-2016, 12:54 AM   #8
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'i cheated and wrapped a ton of teflon tape on the threads until it sealed.'

(shaking head sadly)

You don't wrap non-interference threads to stop them from leaking...........period. From the 'Book of Lemming'.
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Old 11-12-2016, 12:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amc49 View Post
'i cheated and wrapped a ton of teflon tape on the threads until it sealed.'

(shaking head sadly)

You don't wrap non-interference threads to stop them from leaking...........period. From the 'Book of Lemming'.
and yet, its the part of my car thats leaking the least. i needed to get the car together and running right away for as few dollars as possible. couldnt wait to find an open Ford to get oring.
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Old 11-12-2016, 09:19 PM   #10
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Never confuse dumb luck with skill my friend. It trains you to be shortsighted on other things then you do not fulfill yourself to your fullest abilities.
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