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Slow leak on Rebuilt Power Steering Pump


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#1 kev

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 07:53 AM

I rebuilt my power steering pump with a rockauto seal kit.   Upon installation in the vehicle and filling the reservoir, I'm noticing a very small leak that appears to be coming from the seal on the main shaft.  It's noticeable after several days.  Note that the car hasn't been started since the rebuild.

I pulled the pump back a part and saw some minor corrosion near the sealing surface on the main shaft.  I polished this out to practically a mirror finish and reassembled (didn't replace any of the seals).   The leak rate seemed to decrease but there is still a leak!  After about 4-5 days of sitting, just the gravity of the ATF in the reservoir is enough to notice ATF on the bottom of the pump and on the sway bar.  

Next step I guess is to replace the seal but curious if anyone has seen this before?  I'm wondering if I simply need to run the car for a bit to 'seat' the seal?  

Frustrating...





#2 techboy

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 02:06 PM

I rebuilt mine and had a similar issue. It seemed to ooze where the feed line mates up, which is the same place I think you're describing. I also used a Rock Auto rebuild kit. I thought it was just my pump. It does seem to have slowed though now that I have some milage on the car. It's not really leaving a spot anymore, and it was at first, but I can see a bead hanging off the bracket if I get under the car.
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#3 importwarrior

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 08:51 PM

The first one I rebuilt had the same issue.

I wish I had a metal lathe and could have cut the shaft I tiny micro bit
To clean the surface to be sure it was smoothe and straight.

The second pump I worked hard to clean the shaft up nice.
When I filled the second rebuilt pump I used atf with stop leak.
I know probably not good but not leaking.

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#4 kev

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 07:26 AM

Here is a pic of the shaft during the initial rebuild.  You can see rust but also can see the mating surface of the seal.  At the time I didn't bother cleaning it up.

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I've since cleaned up all of this rust and polished it nicely.  There is still a hint of corrosion right up near the pulley which is hard to get manually without a lathe but the area the seal sits is now clean.  Unfortunately I forgot to snap a pic.  

Here is a pic of the seal install.  I used the right tool, lubricated the seal, etc.  

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All I can think of is that lip on the dust seal is hitting the part with the slightest bit of corrosion...but that still shouldn't make it leak.  The oil sealing surface is like a 1/4" away from that.  

The fluid is so thin that it leaks out of even the slightest void.  Not sure if it is even worth it to replace the seal.  


My feed line isn't leaking, that side of the pump is dry.  I just get fluid on the front side of the pump.  It use to get the bottom of the bracket all wet, now all I see is a little bead drop on the bracket directly under the pulley that drips onto the cross member.    Previously, it would run down the cross member to the drivers side and drip on the ground.   Now I just have a small pool on the passengerside of the cross member but it has yet to drip on the ground (and it has been about 3 weeks since I redid this).

#5 kev

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 07:33 AM

Just ran through the pics I took on initial rebuild.  Here is the photo on when I installed the seal.  I noticed that I didn't add sealer to the outside edge of the seal like I usually do.  Not sure this is the issue or not, but it may be worth a try with the new seal.

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BTW, taking these pics initially was a pain but I've found them so helpful down the road.  I've been slumping on taking pics lately, something I need to stop immediately and get back into the habit of doing.



#6 importwarrior

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 07:28 PM

That seal where it pressed in. Are you sure the outer edge is not leaking?

I was thinking of using some liquid gasket on the outside of that seal just to make sure
That didn't leak.

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#7 tsi_tom

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 07:33 PM

View Postkev, on 25 August 2017 - 07:33 AM, said:

Just ran through the pics I took on initial rebuild.  Here is the photo on when I installed the seal.  I noticed that I didn't add sealer to the outside edge of the seal like I usually do.  Not sure this is the issue or not, but it may be worth a try with the new seal.

Posted Image

BTW, taking these pics initially was a pain but I've found them so helpful down the road.  I've been slumping on taking pics lately, something I need to stop immediately and get back into the habit of doing.

I kind of refrain from using a driver like that because it seems to hit the seal.  I like using sockets instead.
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#8 Tim_C.

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 11:45 PM

Did you figure it out yet? I would run it to see if it stops leaking.
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#9 kev

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 07:45 AM

I haven't touched it yet..but it's definitely still leaking.   Haven't even ordered the replacement seal.   I've been working on wiring for the MPI harness.

#10 jonboyb

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Posted Yesterday, 08:50 AM

In almost 30 years of these cars, never had a ps pump issue until a couple weeks ago...had one start leaking pretty bad around front shaft.  Bought the $10 Gates rebuild kit, took a couple hours start to finish in and out of car, and working like a champ now.  The rebuild is super easy....removal/replacement is the worst part...lol

However, the shaft was spotless on mine....zero corrosion.

Edited by jonboyb, Yesterday, 08:51 AM.

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