Power Steering & Smog Pump - 05/26/2012

The power steering pump hoses leak. Like a LOT. It drains the reservoir just sitting there running. No parts stores offer these hoses, but Ames offers the pressure hose for $17 and the return for $9.95. I do like fixing a problem for less than $30! The smog pump also needs to be dealt with. The bypass diaphram failed on it (part made of unobtanium) and the seals on the passageways are all wasted and thus it is exhaust leak city. Time to plug the holes while I see if I can't obtain the original seals and o-rings to eventually restore the system. I mean the pump still works and I'm a sucker for vintage technology. Since to do one job the other has to come apart, might as well take care of both of these at the same time!

To get to the power steering pump hoses easily you have to remove the alternator and the brackets behind to get to the A.I.R. holes.

The high pressure side drips, the low pressure turn line isn't even tight and it can be moved around!

Low pressure hose removed. It required cutting the hose off since it was so dry rotten and caked on (despite leaking profusely).

Old hoses are loosened. There is VERY little room for a flare wrench, so I used a tool that the diesel techs taught me about for working on DB2 injection pumps for the 6.2D engine: crow's foot wrenches! Made this job a piece of cake! Loosened 45 year old fittings in 30 seconds.

New hoses installed. The pressure hose is a slightly different bend and in the wrong direction, so it is slightly awkward but functional. Low pressure return hose uses that goofy crimp fitting. Crow's foot wrenches tighten these down instantly with no busted knuckles. I love having the right tools for the job.

Hoses are all installed! Return line was about 3" too short, could have been longer, but it was thankfully long enough to slide down and cover the flared fitting and crimp down with no leaks. Lock to lock steering is a breeze now and still no leaks 3 days later with a full reservoir.

The smog pump! The bracketry for it is pretty beefy actually...

Bracket is removed (lengthy bolt not able to be removed from power steering pump without removing pump pulley, go figure that mess out) and hole is exposed. You can see the soot and messiness of many years of leaking.

3/8" brass pipe plug fixes this. Pontiac was smart enough to tap the holes so you can either use a freeze plug or a pipe plug to seal it in case it needs to be. A.I.R. casting heads all the way up until the 70's utilize this hole on each head, even if it isn't used and plugged.

The bracket is hollow and the formed gaskets are in terrible shape. Sadly you can't buy them easily either.

The air conditioner side was a bit more complicated since the compressor has to be removed from the cradle it sits on to remove and install the bracket. Same hole is plugged.

AC side plugged and brackets put back on. Pump left off. I believe this bracket is slightly different on a non A.I.R. car, but I don't bet many people could tell the difference.

Not too bad for a few hours worth of work. Three different leaks of 2 different types are now plugged! Still need to fix the passenger side manifold leak, it's an eye burner if you get too close. Had to do some minor adjustment to the carb to get the choke to work properly and get the idle set up better than it was. Making progress!

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Last updated May 28th, 2012