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  #1  
Old 06-28-2012, 04:30 PM
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Power Steering Squeal

Hey all

Have a fun issue with my 82.

Its making a high pitched squeal when it gets above 2300rpm or if you punch it. I checked the accessories one by one by removing belts and narrowed it down to power steering pump or water pump.

Replaced the power steering pump as that seemed to be where the sound was coming from but it made no change so I replaced the water pump.

NO change there either. It REALLY sounds like its coming from the power steering pump but its full of fluid and its a different/new pump!

Please help!
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:18 PM
1983F1503004x4 1983F1503004x4 is offline
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If the old power steering pump was squealing, it is because of aeration in the pump. If the new one is squealing, probably the same thing. Just give it time to bleed the air out of the system. Turn your wheels lock to lock a few times and keep checking the fluid level in the pump.

Also, did you check all of your belt tensions? Do you have good belts? Maybe it's a squealing pulley/bearing elsewhere.

If I remember correctly, power steering pumps aren't supposed to have a pressure increase as the RPM's in the engine go up. This is so it doesn't blow the seals and such.

EDIT: Also, when you installed the new pump, how did you do it? There's a procedure for adding fluid. You're suppose to prime it by hand. Fill it up, spin the pulley by hand to fill the system, and keep filling it up till she won't take no more. Then put the belt on, crank the motor, turn it lock to lock a few times and keep checking the fluid level.
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1983F1503004x4 View Post
If the old power steering pump was squealing, it is because of aeration in the pump. If the new one is squealing, probably the same thing. Just give it time to bleed the air out of the system. Turn your wheels lock to lock a few times and keep checking the fluid level in the pump.

I bled the system when I installed the new pump. Power steering is working fine otherwise. I'll try again soon to bleed it out turning it lock to lock.

Also, did you check all of your belt tensions? Do you have good belts? Maybe it's a squealing pulley/bearing elsewhere.

I replaced and correctly tensioned the belt in question.

If I remember correctly, power steering pumps aren't supposed to have a pressure increase as the RPM's in the engine go up. This is so it doesn't blow the seals and such.

EDIT: Also, when you installed the new pump, how did you do it? There's a procedure for adding fluid. You're suppose to prime it by hand. Fill it up, spin the pulley by hand to fill the system, and keep filling it up till she won't take no more. Then put the belt on, crank the motor, turn it lock to lock a few times and keep checking the fluid level.

I filled it up prior to installing/starting the motor and bled it by turning lock to lock several times till it wasnt asking for any more fluid.
Thanks for the reply. This is making me pull my hair out!
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"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on to them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free". -Ronald Wilson Reagan

Last edited by ctubutis; 06-28-2012 at 06:32 PM. Reason: Fixed quote
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Old 06-28-2012, 06:33 PM
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Are you sure it's not an idler pulley bearing or something else that's squealing? A stethoscope might be helpful in verifying the source of the noise.
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Old 06-28-2012, 06:38 PM
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I removed belts until only the belt running the P/S pump ant Water Pump was on and the noise was still there. There are not any idler pulleys on that circuit.

Also replaced the Harmonic Balancer as it was barfing its rubber thinking it might be the cause to no avail.
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Old 06-28-2012, 06:54 PM
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Well, if it were mine, I would try to isolate it some more... is it the belt on a pulley sheave, is it a bearing, or something else. I would make it squeal and try squirting water on the pulley sheath/belt, I would probe around with a stethoscope, whatever else I could do to determine the true source.
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:54 PM
1983F1503004x4 1983F1503004x4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctubutis View Post
Well, if it were mine, I would try to isolate it some more... is it the belt on a pulley sheave, is it a bearing, or something else. I would make it squeal and try squirting water on the pulley sheath/belt, I would probe around with a stethoscope, whatever else I could do to determine the true source.
If he has isolated it to the power steering, and replaced the pump, there's about a 99% chance that it's not a bad bearing.

The pump I got with my truck was supplied with a big washer, nut, and a bolt so that you could press the pulley onto the pump. Was it pressed on there fully? The shaft that the pulley sits on should be flush with the flange that sticks up on the face of the pulley towards the radiator. On the backside of the pulley, facing the pump, the pulley should have about a 1/8'' gap or so where you can see the shaft for the PS pump. The pulley shouldn't contact the pump at all, just the shaft.

The only other thing I can think of would be a squealing belt.

I'm puzzled, myself.

Your steering box isn't leaking on the steering shaft that the pitman arm is pressed onto, is it? The seal is about 5 or 7$. You'll need a pair of snap ring pliers to change it if it's leaking. Needle nose pliers with a fine tip would work also.

If the seal is leaking, then you'll have air going up into the pump, causing your squealing.

Also, how loud is the squealing? I noticed that until the air got out of my pump, the thing was LOUD. When you turn the steering noise, you still hear the characteristic "Psssssshhh" noise. That's normal if that's what you're hearing.
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  #8  
Old 06-28-2012, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by ctubutis View Post
Jeezzzzzz..........................
Yeah, I said it, even though the "new" parts we get for our trucks are all made in Commie-land.

There is always the chance that a "new" part isn't bad, and this is what we usually assume from an automotive parts dealer.

But assume has three words in it.

I think the PS pumps for our trucks only have on bearing in them that the shaft rides on. This is all I could see what contemplating a rebuild kit for the old one when I had the reservoir off of it on the kitchen table.

Edit: You don't have to delete your comment. I'm not touch-sensitive like these new "smart" phones.
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:26 PM
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You said you pulled belts to narrow it down to power steering or water pump. Did you pull that final belt and run it to verify the squeal was gone?

How's the pulley alignment?




.
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 81ChopTop View Post
You said you pulled belts to narrow it down to power steering or water pump. Did you pull that final belt and run it to verify the squeal was gone?

How's the pulley alignment?




.
I did run the engine without belts. Its on a fresh rebuild 20k ago.

302 from an 85

pulleys align great

man i wish it was that easy.

the leaking seal on the gear box is maxing sense to me though. I noticed it was wet a bit ago.

I'll check/replace that and report back. Can it get an air pocket in the box?
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"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on to them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free". -Ronald Wilson Reagan
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:48 PM
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I have found that putting Synthetic Auto trans fluid in the power steering will get it to shut up. I used Mobil 1.

Also, my alternator belt likes to squeal when revved fast. Might be a worn glazed belt. I had to tighten way down on the alt belt to make it stop slipping. Even with a new belt.

And yes, our PS pumps have a bearing on the pulley end and a bushing inside the pump.

On a side note, what fan do you have? flex or clutch? If the clutch is seized it will put a big load on the belt and make it slip.
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:55 PM
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I have found that putting Synthetic Auto trans fluid in the power steering will get it to shut up. I used Mobil 1.

Also, my alternator belt likes to squeal when revved fast. Might be a worn glazed belt. I had to tighten way down on the alt belt to make it stop slipping. Even with a new belt.

And yes, our PS pumps have a bearing on the pulley end and a bushing inside the pump.

On a side note, what fan do you have? flex or clutch? If the clutch is seized it will put a big load on the belt and make it slip.
Dad had a trick of laying a round rasp in a pulley and whacking it with a mallet to get rid of belt squeal. It leaves little ridges on the pulley that let the belt grip the pulley. At first I figured that would wear the belt out pretty quickly, but it didn't - we never had problems with any of the belts.
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:59 PM
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Dad had a trick of laying a round rasp in a pulley and whacking it with a mallet to get rid of belt squeal. It leaves little ridges on the pulley that let the belt grip the pulley. At first I figured that would wear the belt out pretty quickly, but it didn't - we never had problems with any of the belts.
I like that idea. So he knurled the pulley. +1 to Gary
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:05 PM
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Thats a great idea about the rasp. Might use that myself!

I tried the fan clutch. Its operating normally and not the issue. Replaced and returned.

The pulley was pressed on correctly

I'll have to use the synthetic mobile 1 and flush my system some time in the near future. Tis a loud pump under the best of circumstances.

As far as how loud it is. Its so loud that it hurts my ears when I'm in the engine compartment.

I'll try to take video of it soon so you can all enjoy...
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"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on to them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free". -Ronald Wilson Reagan
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:10 PM
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the leaking seal on the gear box is maxing sense to me though. I noticed it was wet a bit ago.

I'll check/replace that and report back. Can it get an air pocket in the box?
It won't form a pocket in the box (I don't think so anyway), but it'll let air into the pump and a loud screeching howl can start as the fluid level starts to drop.

Alright, the seal in question you can't spot (well, you can, but it would be hard without a little mirror) unless you ****** the pitman arm puller. Easiest way to tell if the seal is bad, the pitman arm is soaked in power steering fluid. Even easier way to tell is if you crank the truck and the fluid is coming out of the bottom of the steering box.

To replace this, you need a steering gear shaft seal kit. It comes with a new snap ring, a new grommet with a washer built into it to hold the new seal in place, and the seal that sets on top of that inside the steering box. The seal has a spring on the inside of it that holds it to the pitman arm shaft nice and tight, and when pressurized, the inside of the seal will expand to the walls of the box around the shaft (I assume it does anyway, as the inside of the seal has a U-shape to it).

To change the seal, you have to do a few things.

Break the nut loose on the pitman arm. Use a pitman arm puller to pull the pitman arm (after you mark the position of the shaft on the steering gear box. For me, I lined the wheels up center, and when I got done, I turned the steering wheel on center. The steering wheel has 4 turns from lock to lock, and 2 turns from either lock to reach center. The shaft the pitman arm sits on also has big keyways that the arm fits into, so if the wheels are straight, and the steering wheel is on center, it's impossible to mis-align the pitman arm). Take a pair of snap ring pliers (after cleaning off all the grease on the inside of the steering box where the seal sits) and remove the snap ring. Then, crank the truck, and with someone holding a big catch pan underneath the steering box, use the pressure from the power steering pump while turning the wheel lock-to-lock to remove the seal and grommet. You may have to refill the pump once or twice to get the seal to come out. I had to refill it once after using the pump three times. Don't be afraid to lose any fluid into the pan.

Once you've got the seal and grommet out, next comes the fun part. Put a little power-steering fluid on the seal, like you would an oil filter, and push the seal part-way up into the steering gear box. Make sure they're oriented correctly (my kit came with illustrations). Then, put the grommet up next. Then, taking an 1 1/2'' piece of short metal pipe or exhaust pipe, slip it over the steering shaft and GENTLY tap the seal up into the box by the grommet. Use the snap ring pliers or the needle nose pliers to put the new snap ring into the bottom of the box. It'll slip into a groove in the box around the shaft. Then, put your pitman arm on after making sure the steering wheel and tires are lined up (DON'T HAMMER IT ONTO THE SHAFT). Put the nut on after that. Then, taking a properly fitting wrench, have someone hold it onto the nut while you cinch it down with your boot on the wrench and pressing with your thigh (or get a torque wrench and the specific socket needed and tighten to the required ft-lbs). Get her as tight as needed and back into the original spot.

There's my lengthy write-up on how I had to change mine. Until we got the routine and the way we needed to do it down pat, it took us half a day to do it the first time. So don't be freaked out if it takes some time.

Good luck. It's a hassling fix, but for 7$, it's worth it. Also, be careful not to damage the new seal, and be careful not to get PS fluid in your eyes, as it can blind you.

EDIT: All of that ^^^ is for the seal on the pitman arm shaft. There's also a seal on top of the box. Make sure it IS leaking before you do the seal replacement though, as you could be doing it for nothing.
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:10 PM
 
 
 
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