Author Topic: 1955 Clogged Steering Box  (Read 187 times)

Offline Jeff Rose CLC #28373

  • Posts: 1498
  • Name: Jeff Rose
1955 Clogged Steering Box
« on: February 06, 2018, 03:51:47 PM »
Hello all.
I believe my steering box is plugged. It may be just a pipe dream to clear out the clog but budget doesn't allow a rebuild.
I never seem to explain myself well but i will try--- But first, a little background. Car was sitting 20+ years. Rebuilt the pump and had no pressure. Found the correct o-rings and the pump now has pressure (verified by cracking a line). Still no power assist and the pump gets very hot.  Have about 160 miles on the car now and things may have freed up just a bit. I was watching a youtube video on my phone at work (what else should I do on a Friday?) of a guy rebuilding a steering box on another car and the box was completely plugged.... this got me to thinking that my box was plugged too. I opened my lines and put fluid in them. There is no movement of fluid thru the box at all. When I move the steering wheel back and 4th, I get fluid shooting out of the return line (upper). This leads me to think the hydraulic part of the box is now free-- I think that as the wheel meets resistance or the point where assist would be provided the piston in the box is moving which is shooting the fluid out of the line. However there is no movement at all in the fluid in the pressure line. All this leads me to think the box is completely plugged.
Is there any way, short of disassembling the box, to unplug it? I envision using something similar to Drano in my sink. What is a strong enough solvent that I could just put in the lines and let sit that would break down the clog yet not tear up the inside of the rubber steering lines?
Jeff
« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 03:56:35 PM by Jeff Rose CLC #28373 »
Jeff
CLC #28373
1970 Coupe DeVille
1955 Series 62

Offline Mike Josephic CLC #3877

  • Posts: 1551
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #3877
Re: 1955 Clogged Steering Box
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2018, 05:19:16 PM »
I know a number of solvents that will dissolve grease / oil
plugs but I really hesitate to recommend that in a closed
system like a steering box.  I'm afraid that you will create
more problems than you might solve.  I was a chemist in
my previous life before retirement.

You mention that the pump is getting "hot" -- another
reason not to do this.  Seems there are issues that a
solvent flush will not correct.  I believe it's time to have
it rebuilt, despite the previous work you've done.

Mike
« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 06:06:51 PM by Mike Josephic CLC #3877 »
1955 Cadillac Eldorado
1973 Cadillac Eldorado
1995 Cadillac Seville
2004 Escalade
1997 GMC Suburban 4X4, 454 engine, 3/4 ton
custom built by Santa Fe in Evansville, IN
2011 Buick Lucerne CX
-------------------------------------
CLCMRC Museum Benefactor #38
Past: VP International Affiliates, Museum Board Director, President / Director Pittsburgh Region

Offline Jeff Rose CLC #28373

  • Posts: 1498
  • Name: Jeff Rose
Re: 1955 Clogged Steering Box
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2018, 05:56:20 PM »
Ok, yes.
My plan was to just fill the lines and let them sit allowing the solvent to slowly do its work over a few days. I was not intending to run the car and my intent would be to flush everything first before hooking everything up.
That being said, safety is a concern of course. It will leak when flushed so I don't want anything with a low flashpoint, or will hurt the hoses or paint.
Jeff
Jeff
CLC #28373
1970 Coupe DeVille
1955 Series 62

Offline Mike Josephic CLC #3877

  • Posts: 1551
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #3877
Re: 1955 Clogged Steering Box
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2018, 06:15:10 PM »
Jeff:

Marvel Mystery Oil would be a good candidate.
It should not hurt the hoses or paint and has a flash
point of 130 degrees F.  Only the chlorinated products
like "Brake-Kleen" are non flammable but they don't
get along well with rubber. 

However, I still believe it's best to rebuild it -- but if
you're determined to try to flush it that's my best
recommendation.

Mike

« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 06:19:05 PM by Mike Josephic CLC #3877 »
1955 Cadillac Eldorado
1973 Cadillac Eldorado
1995 Cadillac Seville
2004 Escalade
1997 GMC Suburban 4X4, 454 engine, 3/4 ton
custom built by Santa Fe in Evansville, IN
2011 Buick Lucerne CX
-------------------------------------
CLCMRC Museum Benefactor #38
Past: VP International Affiliates, Museum Board Director, President / Director Pittsburgh Region

Offline Roger Zimmermann

  • Posts: 2347
  • Switzerland
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #21015
  • Name: Roger Zimmermann
Re: 1955 Clogged Steering Box
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2018, 01:55:24 AM »
Jeff, you probably know that the steering box from your car is an hybrid system: an hydraulic part with power steering fluid and the steering box itself with grease. It could be that the hydraulic part is gummed as a result for the long storage; it must not be too difficult to open this part and overhaul it.
1956 Sedan de Ville (sold)
1956 Eldorado Biarritz
1957 Eldorado Brougham
1972 Coupe de Ville (not yet arrived)
2011 DTS
CLCMRC benefactor #101

 

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