Power Steering Leak (Split Hose?)

Roreri

Active member
During a drive my power steering went out. I got it home on manual steering, but found the reservoir empty and power steering fluid all over the undercarriage. I am advised this is likely a split hose as there was no leak before today, and it leaked out quickly. A bad seal in the pump or rack would have been a much slower leak.

Though I cannot take a photo, due to how tight the back end of the engine compartment is, I can see that power steering fluid has coated the metal portion of the pressure hose from where the outer insulation ends downward toward the pump. I am thinking the pressure hose is compromised inside that insulation and allows power steering fluid to leak.

Any thoughts on doing the repairs myself? Parts sourcing? I need this locked down by next Wednesday afternoon because I am taking the car on a road trip and rally in South Dakota.
 

Attachments

  • image1.jpeg
    image1.jpeg
    126.6 KB · Views: 7
  • image0.jpeg
    image0.jpeg
    77.4 KB · Views: 4
Last edited:

Roreri

Active member
Okay. I got down underneath and saw this. I am hoping that all this is, is a return line hose clamp that vibrated loose and allowed power steering fluid to drip out and spatter all over the pump and the metal end of the pressure hose and the undercarriage.

Tightening it up and getting a bottle of power steering fluid to pressurize the system and look at it.
 

Attachments

  • image0.jpeg
    image0.jpeg
    926.9 KB · Views: 9
Last edited:

underscore

Well-known member
Make sure you buy the correct fluid. Pretty sure it calls for Dexron ATF. Don't use regular PS fluid or it'll leak out of everywhere. And then if you're me it'll cost you thousands of dollars lol.

If it is the high pressure hose, leaks are pretty common on all 5th gens. I believe the consensus on the best repair is to take the bad hose to a hydraulic shop and have them reuse the ends to make a replacement.
 

Roreri

Active member
Yes, it says Dexron Type ATF on the cap.

There is a shop here in Denver that repairs hoses.

I’m going to check this out tomorrow.
 

Tippo

Well-known member
hard to tell from the pictures where it's leaking, but definitely try not to drive without power steering fluid. trailer it to wherever. get it looked at or figure out the source, then work from there. my rack went out once and let me tell you - you don't want that.
 

Roreri

Active member
I completely agree on not wanting the rack to go. Talk about a pain in the ass. So yeah. No driving until I get this locked down. I’ve pushed my luck already driving it home!

Here’s the update:

I wiped the whole mess off, put some fluid in, and started the motor. No leak.

I put it up on a jack and turned the wheel limit to limit several times. It did leak.

Good news is it appears to be leaking from the pump side of the RETURN line, which is secured by a hose clamp.

Bad news is, that hose clamp is positioned in such a way that it's a mother fucker to get to.

But it CAN be gotten to. I’ve reached up through the tie rod and gotten an 8mm ratcheting socket wrench on the hose clamp and loosened it. Now I’m going to try and reposition the hose a bit farther down onto the metal pipe from the pump and tighten it back down.
 

Attachments

  • image0.jpeg
    image0.jpeg
    920 KB · Views: 6

underscore

Well-known member
If you can get it in there, you might be better off swapping it to the original constant tension style clamp.
 

Roreri

Active member
I tightened that clamp, but it’s still leaking. It’s dripping from higher up than the bottom of the hose it looks like. It’s coming from the top side somewhere and coming around to the low point then dripping. I can’t see shit up there. Split rubber, perhaps, but isn’t that hose coming up from the pump a low pressure return line? That makes little sense but I’m taking the silver lining if it’s just the return line.

I just want to make sure I have my facts straight here. The high pressure line goes off the side of the reservoir directly to the rack, and the return line comes off the pump then forward then back to the bottom of the reservoir. Check or hold?
 

Attachments

  • image0.jpeg
    image0.jpeg
    77.4 KB · Views: 2

Roreri

Active member
A tech I ain’t but I make up for it with persistence. I finally found the source of the leak.

At the top of the pump there is a fitting for a sensor. The power steering fluid is coming from that fitting, then dripping down onto the return hose. It looks to be brass and has a hex head shape.

I am hoping I can just tighten this fitting—it will be hell to get a wrench onto it then apply force—or is there something else I should be considering?

I put some Dexron ATF and some LucasOil Power Steering Stop Leak into the reservoir and started the motor and went limit to limit several times. The leak definitely has slowed down. If this corrects the issue I am going to say that the wrong fluid was in the power steering system and call it good.
 

Attachments

  • image0.jpeg
    image0.jpeg
    358 KB · Views: 5
Last edited:

Roreri

Active member
After idling it for a half an hour and turning the steering wheel limit to limit there were no leaks. They persisted, increasingly slowly, over that time, but by the end of that half hour I felt confident that the change of fluid solved the issue.

I took it on a check ride and put a pan underneath. No leaks right away, and no leaks 30 minutes later. I’ll check again in the morning but this looks to be solved.

In an engine swap, is the power steering system in the loop such that it would have to be refilled? Is it possible that TCS Motorsports put in regular PS fluid not Dexron Type ATF? If they did how long would it have taken to start leaking? If not, would old power steering fluid cause this kind of leak?
 

Attachments

  • image0.jpeg
    image0.jpeg
    361.8 KB · Views: 1
Last edited:

underscore

Well-known member
I imagine they would've disconnected the lines and pulled the pump with the motor. From my understanding of it removing the pump with the engine still in is quite a pain for the RHD ones so I doubt they would've left it in the car.

I'm going from memory here but your timeline sounds about the same as mine after I had a shop rebuild everything including the PS system. It was okay at first and then it slowly started leaking again. I want to say it was the same area as yours is. Which really annoyed me because the whole debacle with them started due to the PS system absolutely dumping fluid from everything apart from the rack. When I went to top it up was when I caught that the cap said Dexron so I grabbed a bottle I had from my Cherokee and topped it off with that. It seemed to slowly leak out the rest of the unknown fluid the shop put in because the leak slowly stopped as I kept topping it off and now the level hasn't changed in ages.

Tl;dr is unless you know exactly what was put in there, put the right fluid in and see what happens before worrying too much about a PS leak.
 

Roreri

Active member
Oh shit, man. Are you saying that you had the leak because of wrong fluid then had a shop rebuild the whole smack then they put in the wrong fluid and it leaked again? You must have been shitting a brick.

I report no drips overnight into the pan and after a check ride it seems like the power steering system is sound and no longer leaking. I have to conclude that the tech at TCS filled the reservoir with regular power steering fluid during the swap process.

I’ll remind Ty Saxon that works with a 2GR swap but NOT a Caldina swap. I busted my ass all day yesterday fretting and working tools in a tiny space trying to track this down when all that was needed was the correct fluid.

Another pilot might be pissed but my old lady finds my willingness to wrench on cars attractive, so…

Wife was willing to take a spin as a longer check ride. We ended up on Old Stage Road west of Colorado Springs today. Performance was great.
 

Attachments

  • image0.jpeg
    image0.jpeg
    147.9 KB · Views: 4
  • image1.jpeg
    image1.jpeg
    185 KB · Views: 4
Last edited:

underscore

Well-known member
Oh shit, man. Are you saying that you had the leak because of wrong fluid then had a shop rebuild the whole smack then they put in the wrong fluid and it leaked again? You must have been shitting a brick.

Yeeeeep. Long story short because of the initial PS leaks from literally everywhere I had them pull the motor to replace the whole system and do the clutch. That spiraled into "while it's out may as well do the gaskets", then "we may as well fully rebuild the engine", etc etc. $20k and 2.5 years later and I was staring at a low PS reservoir *again* and wanting to light the thing on fire. Then I noticed the words on the cap, started topping it off with the right fluid, the leaks slowly stopped, I realized what had happened and I facepalmed like never before.
 

Tippo

Well-known member
A tech I ain’t but I make up for it with persistence. I finally found the source of the leak.

At the top of the pump there is a fitting for a sensor. The power steering fluid is coming from that fitting, then dripping down onto the return hose. It looks to be brass and has a hex head shape.

I am hoping I can just tighten this fitting—it will be hell to get a wrench onto it then apply force—or is there something else I should be considering?

I put some Dexron ATF and some LucasOil Power Steering Stop Leak into the reservoir and started the motor and went limit to limit several times. The leak definitely has slowed down. If this corrects the issue I am going to say that the wrong fluid was in the power steering system and call it good.
This is a brass locking break washer. The design is to have both washers connected and if the bolt is taken off, the connector on the washer is broken, then you replace the twin connected washers itself. The design is brass so it "crushes" into place. They tend to leak if the washers are reused. Not for nothing, I've reused them in the past, but you have to go slightly beyond the torque recommendations (don't do as i do haha). Seems like tightening it further worked, just keep an eye out for leaks in the future.
 

Roreri

Active member
I think I actually didn’t tighten it at all. I couldn’t apply enough force with the adjustable wrench in that space. What seems to have worked is filling the loop with Dexron type ATF.
 
Top