Author Topic: 76 Eldorado Power Steering Leaking  (Read 546 times)

Offline amarzano

  • Posts: 38
  • CLC Number: 31549
  • Name: Alex Marzano
76 Eldorado Power Steering Leaking
« on: May 15, 2020, 05:10:22 PM »
My restoration is progressing from the paint shop, but got a call today that as it was coming out of the paint booth - there was a puddle of Power Steering fluid on the floor. This is a bit disappointing since the previous shop had replaced the High-Pressure PS hose. :-(

The body shop is not sure where the leak is from as the car is still taped/masked. It might just be a loose bolt (if I could be so lucky), but I am guessing it will be a hose.

Anything I need to know to replace this? I was going to run to O'Riely's or the like and see if I can find a Delco or Gates (or better brand hose). Also, what is the Powersteering fluid these cars run? I'm going to guess I am low. Any crush washers or items that I should replace? The shop is about 150 miles from here - so trying to make a list before I pop up over the weekend.

Thank you

Alex
1976 Eldorado Convertible - Labor of Love

Offline hornetball

  • Posts: 826
  • CLC Number: 32697
  • Name: R. Price
Re: 76 Eldorado Power Steering Leaking
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2020, 06:02:51 PM »
I would just get it out of the body shop and then clean up the area so you can find the leak.  Not a big deal.

On the high pressure side, these cars use SAE (45 degree) flare fittings.  They need to be carefully tightened with a flare wrench to avoid rounding the nut.  Sometimes, the female fitting on the steering gear or pump will be worn and won't seal.  In that case, there are copper 45 degree crush washers that can be used to get a seal.  With a crush washer, you'll need to tighten quite a bit.  Here are the ones I used on my '74 to get rid of a stubborn leak:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074PVH8F9/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 10193
Re: 76 Eldorado Power Steering Leaking
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2020, 07:26:30 PM »
Whats the recent history of this car?   How much has it been driven?   Did it sit for a while?

Since this is a hydroboost system I would use the universal power steering fluid rather than ATF.   If it was regular brakes then it doesn't seem to matter.   An advantage to power steering fluid is its clear so you can narrow down leaks faster based on the color of the fluid. 

I notice you said high pressure hose, not hoses.   This has 2 high pressure hoses.  One from the pump to the brake booster and then one from the booster to the steering box.   There are also 2 low pressure return hoses, one from the booster and one from the box.     If you are not too picky about the length of the hoses they should not be too hard to find since the GM diesel trucks used the same setup in the 80's its just they seem to be a little longer than the originals.

Most common place for pumps to leak is the input shaft seal.  Pretty easy to see usually since the pump kinda has a snout that sticks out and the pulley doesn't really block your view of it.    Its possible for the high pressure outlet fitting thing to be leaking but that isn't that common.  There is also a seal between the pump and the tank but since there really isn't pressure and its usually covered in fluid its not common for that to leak.

Most common place for the steering box to leak is the pitman arm shaft seal. 

Brake boosters usually end up with an ooze where they mount on the firewall.   There are other places but that is the most common.
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
80 Eldo Diesel
90 CDV
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline R Pope

  • Posts: 58
  • Name: RPope
Re: 76 Eldorado Power Steering Leaking
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2020, 10:54:43 PM »
Last year out of the blue my power steering hose was spraying fluid right out of the top of the curved hose itself. You couldn't find it if the car was not running. What a mess. Shot straight up to the hood insulation and then dripped to the ground.

Offline amarzano

  • Posts: 38
  • CLC Number: 31549
  • Name: Alex Marzano
Re: 76 Eldorado Power Steering Leaking
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2020, 08:59:11 PM »
I was able to get up and look at the car today. It was the high-pressure hose running from the pump (?) to the brake Master Cylinder. The leak was where the hose was crimped to the metal end fitting at the pump end. Just pouring out when you turn the wheel.

I ordered a new Gates brand belt at O'Rielly's and should be here in a few days. Is there still a Delco available?

So the question - I know you bleed a power steering system, by cracking the cap on the reservoir and turning the wheels left and right a few times. Is there something special for the Eldorado, because of the Hydro boost? The guy at O'Reilly's just pointed me towards their brand PS Fluid. Any worries about that?

Thank you,

Alex
1976 Eldorado Convertible - Labor of Love

Offline amarzano

  • Posts: 38
  • CLC Number: 31549
  • Name: Alex Marzano
Re: 76 Eldorado Power Steering Leaking
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2020, 01:02:05 PM »
Looks like my new hose is going to be a few more days - delayed like everything these days. :-)

Any thoughts on Bleeding the PS systems when I get the new hose? Any thing special because of the Hydro Boost setup?

Thank you
Alex
1976 Eldorado Convertible - Labor of Love

Offline Roadmaster75

  • Posts: 69
  • Name: Mike Harnack
Re: 76 Eldorado Power Steering Leaking
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2020, 07:49:18 AM »
Also, inspect Pittman arm seal......
Common leak point.

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 10193
Re: 76 Eldorado Power Steering Leaking
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2020, 01:06:11 PM »
I don't remember if there is any special process you are supposed to go through with the hydroboost.   I do know that I have never done anything special and don't often read about people doing anything special on the forums I frequent.  These systems have been used on the 3/4 and 1 ton trucks since the 70's so they are not that uncommon. 

For just replacing hoses I don't think I would do anything special other than be extra aware that the first couple turns and brake applications could be intermittent or lacking boost.    If I was replacing the steering box or pump I would jack the front wheels off the ground and do several turn cycles with basically no load on the system.    With just replacing a hose the only place there will be air is in the hose which will be pushed out the return fairly quick without having to turn the wheels or hit the brakes.   Its when the steering box or booster was empty that you have to operate them to move the air.   
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
80 Eldo Diesel
90 CDV
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline amarzano

  • Posts: 38
  • CLC Number: 31549
  • Name: Alex Marzano
Re: 76 Eldorado Power Steering Leaking
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2020, 06:59:14 PM »
Thank you - I will keep you posted. There might be a bit more air in the system, because I did remove the old hose and lost of bit more fluid on the floor, despite my best effort to plug the hole with a rubber plug.

I will try to fill and turn or press the brakes and then take care when I get it rolling again.

Thank you!
1976 Eldorado Convertible - Labor of Love

Offline savemy67

  • Posts: 1364
  • Name: Christopher Winter
Re: 76 Eldorado Power Steering Leaking
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2020, 10:14:44 AM »
Hello Alex,

If I recall correctly, the "turn and fill" cycling needs to be done without the engine running.  In the case of a hydroboost system, raise the vehicle to take all load off the front wheels.  Turn the wheels lock to lock about half a dozen times, then pump the brakes a few times.  Check the fluid level.  Repeat as necessary unitl no bubbles are seen in the reservoir and the fluid level remains constant.

I have driven a car without brakes, but I was aware of what to expect.  If you expect full pressure in your system when there is still air in the system, you may be surprised at what happens.  Be careful.

Respectfully submitted,

Christopher Winter
Christopher Winter
1967 Sedan DeVille hardtop

 

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