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Old 09-14-2009, 09:58 AM
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power steering leak at the box

I am helping a buddy with little or no mechanical competence. He bought a 58/9 Chevy truck mounted on a 70 something Chrysler chassis. The power steering fluid is running out of the bottom of the steering box. The builder of this unholy union is dead so we can't ask him. I assume the power steering box to be Chrysler, since it appears he set the truck body on the stock frame and mated it all up.

But who knows. The builder also welded a GM HEI distributor to the Mopar sm blk dist. shaft so he could have HEI. It could all go in many directions. My buddy never thought to ask enough questions and didn't write down the answers to the ones he did ask.

So I am wondering if there is any point in trying to repair the steering box or if they are even repairable. Or do we take it out and try to locate a replacement? Refurb? Reman? New?

And how exactly is the steering box supposed to mate to the column? I see welds, a small, double-nutted bolt thru the column, and finally, something that looks like a bicycle seat clamp. I am wondering which of those is the real deal connector, not to mention the flange deal with the rubber pieces in it? I see no bolts there, just rivets (?). I have never had to work on steering system much and this is just the first thing that needs to be fixed to get this thing driveable. It runs, but isn't driveable.

And no I don't have any pics yet. I am not willing to put his behemoth in my garage, so he won't bring it over where MY tools and such are. So this was my first visit to try to figure out what is leaking. I know it isn't hoses or pump, it IS the steering box.

Suggestions? Short of giving up?

Thanks for enduring the post
Randy

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Old 09-14-2009, 04:06 PM
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I had to replace the seal on my old 77 Ford wagon and it was an easy job. You need to loosen the nut holding the pitman steering arm. Loosen only, back it off about 1/8 to 1/4 inches. You need to use a tool called a pitman arm puller. You can get one at most auto tool/parts stores. When you use the puller it will take the pitman arm loose with a sudden release, that is why you leave the nut on but loose so it won't fly off and hit you. Once you have the pitman arm off you can see the seal. You will have to do a little research at the parts store to get the correct seal. You should be able to catch an edge and lever it out. See if you can find a parts sheet for an early to mid 70s Mopar, any parts store that has books still should be able to help you find the right seal. The repair is not hard, just takes time to locate the right part first. Be safe.
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:25 AM
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Thanks - I'll give it a look.

Randy
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:57 AM
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Remove the pitman arm as mentioned, an easier way to get the seal out is to take the snap ring out that holds the seals (there maybe a dust seal in there as well) out than start the engine and let the power steering pump pressure blow the seal out. The pitman arm may loosely have to be connected back up to steer all the way left or right to build up enough pressure to remove the seal.
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:00 AM
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I read that on a couple other forums. Also to put pitman arm nut back on to keep everything in proper order when it blows out.

Identifying the proper seal may be the trick on this job. Wondering how many different boxes Chrysler used in the 70's....

Thanks
Randy
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