'95 Z-28 power steering quit - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 07-26-2018, 11:27 AM
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'95 Z-28 power steering quit

More fun with the Z... My daughter complained that the steering effort increased dramatically immediately after I finished topping off the radiator. I know that a small amount spilled on the belt, so I figured that was the problem. Told her to drive it and let me know if it does not improve quickly. Well, it didn't. No noises from the pump or rack, the belt does not appear to be slipping, and no amount of RPM changes the steering effort. I picked up a new belt just in case, and will install that this evening, hopefully. I'm hoping that it is something simple, like a stuck relief valve. Looking at the pics of the pump online, there appears to be a relief valve where the pressure line attaches. Is that a relief valve, and if so, are they prone to sticking? This thing steers like a manual R&P now. More trouble shooting this evening, I hope.

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Old 07-26-2018, 11:40 AM
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Maybe a good flush wouldn't hurt.
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Old 07-26-2018, 01:57 PM
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That's one thing I'm planning to do. Fluid is dark, but the level is fine. I'll probably remove the reservoir to flush that out first, then go from there.

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Old 07-26-2018, 08:02 PM
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Looks like the belt itself was the immediate cause of the steering issues. The PS pump is driven off of the back of the belt, and the belt was actually polished smooth to the point that it shines. Once I started moving, the steering felt much better. This is the first time that I have ever had a belt slip that much without squealing. Strange... I'm still planning on flushing the PS system, but it will have to wait until I finish with the brakes. IT's on the lift getting a tire rotation and new pads all around. I'll probably go ahead and flush the brake fluid while I'm at it. I'll find out for sure if the belt was the problem once I get done with the other stuff, but it feels better.
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Old 07-28-2018, 01:31 PM
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OK, the belt was only a small part of the problem. Once I finished up with the brakes today, I flushed out the steering. It is better, but still not right. I had my daughter in the car turning the wheel back and forth, from lock to lock. while it was on the lift. I can hear the change when it hits the end of its travel, the pump makes a little whine noise then, but is otherwise silent. I don't have access to a pressure gauge for this. Is there any other way to figure out if the pump or the rack is the problem? No noises, no leaks. Just increased effort while stationary. Steers easy while driving, and while the front wheels are in the air. Any ideas?
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Old 07-28-2018, 09:51 PM
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I believe your Camaro has a power steering pressure switch that boosts the idle when turning the wheel setting still. You might check and see if that is working.
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:40 PM
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No pressure switch in this system. No amount of throttle will get it to steer easy when stationary at this point. I have a new pump and hoses on order now. I'll get them installed tomorrow and see what happens. I hate to throw parts at it, though, but I have to do something.
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Originally Posted by enjenjo View Post
I believe your Camaro has a power steering pressure switch that boosts the idle when turning the wheel setting still. You might check and see if that is working.
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Old 07-29-2018, 03:56 PM
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Camaro is fixed. Turned out to be the pump. I replaced the pump and both lines today. The lines and pump actually came apart easy, and the new stuff went together easy. That NEVER happens to me. Something always hangs up or goes south on me... The failed pump was absolutely quiet, except for a very minor whine when the wheels were turned and held at full lock in either direction. The new pump that actually works makes more noise than the failed pump. Not that it's making a lot of noise, but I can hear it where I couldn't hear the other. I had my daughter slowly turning the wheels lock to lock to purge the air out while I was installing the alternator, battery, etc. Cranked it up, checked for leaks, and topped it off. Now we wait to see what's next...
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