Author Topic: 1976 Fleetwood Steering gear removal issues  (Read 888 times)

Offline MeToo

  • Posts: 38
  • Name: M Taylor
1976 Fleetwood Steering gear removal issues
« on: December 31, 2021, 12:05:08 AM »
There seem to be two leaks and a stop leak doesn't seem to have touched either of them. One apparently from the pump and the other from the gear. Note in the in the photo under the pump the bracket behind also appears to be wet with fluid. I've tried tightening the nut on the lower pipe pump connection but it’s very hard to get to and get a spanner on it.

I've bought a replacement gear and pump but I'm at a loss when it comes to replacing the pump, I'm having a hard time reconciling what it says in the factory service manual with what I'm seeing underneath-how do you remove the bolt holding the gear to the frame? It also looks like mine is missing a bolt or two? Also, how do you disconnect the gear from the flexible steering column coupling-I found it hard to see any accessible bolts?

Another issue, how on earth does one disconnect the fluid lines from the gear, they look awfully inaccessible. I think even a professional might have difficulty with this. This whole thing feels beyond me.

Online The Tassie Devil(le)

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  • CLC Number: 18992
  • Name: Bruce Reynolds
Re: 1976 Fleetwood Steering gear removal issues
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2021, 01:29:22 AM »
Now, as for the missing bolts, or the extra threaded holes that are in the steering box, these are there simply because these steering boxes are made for multiple applications.   Some frames have a slightly different shape, and therefore use different holes.

The Tubing flare nuts can be removed using proper semi-ring spanners designed for undoing these nuts.   Called Flare Nut Spanners.
https://www.supercheapauto.com.au/p/toolpro-toolpro-spanner-set-flare-nut-metric-5-piece/554174.html   
These are in Australia, but US places will have them.

The Rag Joint can be removed by undoing the single bolt that is going through the centre of the bottom of the Joint.   Note, when putting it back on, the shaft has to be aligned with the spline, or you won't get the bolt back in.

Plus, you will need a special puller to remove the Pitman Arm from the Sector Shaft.

Bruce. >:D
« Last Edit: December 31, 2021, 01:30:54 AM by The Tassie Devil(le) »
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Offline Big Fins

  • Posts: 1805
  • CLC Number: 22631
  • Name: John Serio
Re: 1976 Fleetwood Steering gear removal issues
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2021, 04:07:36 AM »
Where the lines go into the box itself, you may need what is known as a 'crow's foot' wrench. Just to give you an idea...

https://www.homedepot.com/p/GEARWRENCH-Metric-Crowfoot-Wrench-Set-10-Piece-81909/204618620

The pictured set is a cheapie set which would round off anything of reasonable tightness. A good set will have only an opening in the foot itself to be able to slide it over the line and be of a box type 6 point nature to completely surround the fitting. A 3/8" or 1/2" extension then then be used with a ratchet handle to loosen the flare nut on the box itself.

The power steering pump itself is easy to remove and reseal. The seal kit is just a few dollars. Inside the can, you will also find a magnet that you can remove and clean. It's just stuck to the pump body. Even on a low mileage car there will be plenty of very fine filings attached to the magnet. You will not need to remove the pulley to reseal the can if the shaft seal itself isn't leaking.
Current:
1976 Eldorado Convertible in Crystal Blue FireMist with white interior and top.
1969 Fleetwood Brougham in Chalice Gold FireMist with matching interior and top.

Past and much missed:
1977 Brougham de Elegance
1976 Eldorado Convertible
1972 Fleetwood Brougham
1971 Sedan de Ville
1970 de Ville Convertible
1969 Sedan de Ville
1959 Sedan deVille

Offline MeToo

  • Posts: 38
  • Name: M Taylor
Re: 1976 Fleetwood Steering gear removal issues
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2022, 01:50:26 AM »
Thanks, it looks like just getting the wrench in there to access the nut would be tricky. Would it help if I removed the front left wheel and/or the panel inside the wheel arch for better access?

Offline Big Fins

  • Posts: 1805
  • CLC Number: 22631
  • Name: John Serio
Re: 1976 Fleetwood Steering gear removal issues
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2022, 05:23:54 AM »
You could, but you'll just ruin the splash shield. If you plan on future work to your cars, a set of crow's foot wrenches is a wise investment. Just don't buy cheap junk. Get a set shaped like the hex head of the nut or fitting known a six point. Get a set like pictured. It seems the usual outlets only have smooth sided open ends now.
Current:
1976 Eldorado Convertible in Crystal Blue FireMist with white interior and top.
1969 Fleetwood Brougham in Chalice Gold FireMist with matching interior and top.

Past and much missed:
1977 Brougham de Elegance
1976 Eldorado Convertible
1972 Fleetwood Brougham
1971 Sedan de Ville
1970 de Ville Convertible
1969 Sedan de Ville
1959 Sedan deVille

Offline MeToo

  • Posts: 38
  • Name: M Taylor
Re: 1976 Fleetwood Steering gear removal issues
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2022, 01:10:25 AM »
Is it normal for the steering to feel stiffer after replacing the gear and pump? Would this soon come right after a few more miles?

Re: 1976 Fleetwood Steering gear removal issues
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2022, 11:31:08 AM »
"Stiffness" is relative.  A properly rebuilt steering box will have less play than one that is worn, but the action should be smooth and should not bind.  Again, regarding rebuilt boxes, just about everything GM Made from 1966- 1976 and beyond uses the same Saginaw box with different gears (and gear ratios). It is possible that the box you got has a different , quicker) ratio and feels stiffer, or it may not be adjusted correctly.
Greg Surfas
Cadillac Kid-Greg Surfas
Director Modified Chapter CLC
CLC #15364
66 Coupe deVille (now gone to the UK)
72 Eldo Cpe  (now cruising the sands in Quatar)
73 Coupe deVille
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514 inch motor now in '73-

Offline Big Fins

  • Posts: 1805
  • CLC Number: 22631
  • Name: John Serio
Re: 1976 Fleetwood Steering gear removal issues
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2022, 05:10:02 AM »
One thing overlooked on these classics where we do our own oil changes and servicing. Grease the front steering linkage. A good heavy fiber grease like the Valvoline Red will retain itself in the grease cups a lot better than the thin chassis lube sold today as grease. 
Current:
1976 Eldorado Convertible in Crystal Blue FireMist with white interior and top.
1969 Fleetwood Brougham in Chalice Gold FireMist with matching interior and top.

Past and much missed:
1977 Brougham de Elegance
1976 Eldorado Convertible
1972 Fleetwood Brougham
1971 Sedan de Ville
1970 de Ville Convertible
1969 Sedan de Ville
1959 Sedan deVille

 

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