Power Steering Pump Troubleshooting Tips from Borgeson
The pulley installation tool...
The pulley installation tool threads into the pump’s shaft; the nut is tightened to pull the pulley onto the shaft.
There is usually one cause for a new P/S pump to be inoperable—damage during pulley installation. The pulley, although called press-on, is not to be pressed on—a pulley installation tool must be used. Failure to use the proper installation tool can crack the pump housing and cause the pump to be inoperable.
Pump noise or groan: This is most commonly caused by a restriction or air trapped in the system. Can also be caused by heat buildup. (This would include a loss of assist.)
To remove a press-on pulley, this dedicated puller is required. The split ring grabs the groove on the pulley snout, the solid ring holds the two pieces in position, and the screw pushes on the end of the shaft.
No power assist after recent system service: This is most commonly caused by fluid contamination causing the pressure bypass valve to stick open resulting in no pump pressure. To fix this, remove the flow valve and ensure the pressure bypass valve moves freely in and out. This can also be caused by a large amount of air trapped in the system.
Hard steering in both directions:
Borgeson’s pressure-adjusting kit (part number 899001) includes a clamping tool, six shims, and installation instructions for lowering the bypass pressure on all GM self-contained and Type II power steering pumps.
This can result from insufficient pump flow/pressure, low P/S fluid level, air trapped in system and excessive heat buildup.
Foamy P/S fluid: This is most often caused by either air trapped in the system or a leak in the return line sucking in air.
Reservoir cap blows off: This is most often caused by an air leak. Air is sucked into the P/S system compressed with the fluid and then expands when it reaches the reservoir causing an unintended pressure buildup in reservoir. CCT
To make adjustments, the pressure valve assembly is removed from the pump. It’s a part of the fitting where the high-pressure hose attaches.
The split ring included in...
The split ring included in the kit is to hold the pressure relief assembly in a vise so the retaining nut can be removed without damaging the valve.
Here are the internals of...
Here are the internals of the pressure relief valve. Pressure is adjusted by adding or subtracting shims.
This small brass fitting is...
This small brass fitting is used to convert O-ring pump fittings to flare—it’s Borgeson part number 8084-IN.