Power Steering Woes - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Power Steering Woes

Brother in law recently bought a 97 V10 auto that had a conversion to a 94 Cummins and manual transmission—conversion was done about 2 years ago. Has 17” wheels, 35” tires, stock steering components. PO claims the power steering stopped working back in Nov. He replaced steering box with a stock reman, the PSP with a Borgeson hi-flow, and replaced the lines with new ones. He couldn’t get the power steering to work and gave up.

Since he bought the truck, we've repeatedly bled the system as per the manual (tires off ground, 20 turns each way with engine off, repeat with engine on). Removed the stabilizers to make it easier. Tires swing easily by hand so no ball joint binding. Removed the return line and put in in the reservoir, lots of flow with engine running. Checked all fittings for correct o-rings, took out ATF and replaced with power steering fluid, replaced steering box with another stock reman unit, changed out hi-flow PSP internals with stock internals. Re-bled system as per manual. On this second go around, the steering wheel turned exceptionally smooth lock-to-lock. Once the engine was started, the wheel continued to be easy to turn. Once wheels were on the ground, absolutely no power assist. Did not improve with higher rpms.

Also tried bleeding with vacuum hooked up to the return line at one point. Got air at first, then just fluid.

I’m pretty stumped. I have basically the same truck, and we both worked on this together with no luck. It seems the pump is pushing volume but not enough pressure to actually aid steering. But it seems a stock pump would produce some assistance even if not working optimally. Any help or advice is appreciated.

I just dropped it off at a trusted mechanic, before I hear from him, wondered what thoughts you folks have.


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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 02:38 PM
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So you have a '97 PS pump with two return ports into the reservoir and hydro boost brakes? Do you have a '97 factory service manual?

97 3500, 2 WD, G56, slightly bombed, 1.3 million miles. Started the second million on 8/24/13
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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The pump has 2 return ports, but only one is used because the brakes are vacuum boost, not hydro boost. The second return is capped. And I have the 95, 96, and 98 FSM.


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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Also have the 94 FSM. The picture in the 94 is how we have the hoses set up.


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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 04:02 PM
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Here is my theory. The PO's use of ATF damaged internal seals which contaminated the fluid enough to partially clog the screen in the pressure valve. Post 7 has a picture.
https://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/9...djustment.html

97 3500, 2 WD, G56, slightly bombed, 1.3 million miles. Started the second million on 8/24/13
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GAmes View Post
Here is my theory. The PO's use of ATF damaged internal seals which contaminated the fluid enough to partially clog the screen in the pressure valve. Post 7 has a picture.

https://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/9...djustment.html


As part of our troubleshooting, we did switch out the hi-flow pressure valve for a stock one from a “new” reman PSP. Are there other internals that could have been affected by ATF use?


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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 05:42 PM
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What I am aware of is the bold print in the FSM that states not to use ATF. I only surmise it doesn't play well with the seals and o-rings. The problem with remans is you never know what you are getting. Is it the correct pressure assy or one from a '67 Chev? A link to some more ideas. https://www.turbodieselregister.com/...ist-fix.69047/

97 3500, 2 WD, G56, slightly bombed, 1.3 million miles. Started the second million on 8/24/13
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Well, after reading that five page thread (I’d read it before but not on this side of the problem) the only things I gathered pertinent to my situation are:

- remanned PS pumps can be hit or miss, but my situation seems different since I’ve tried both stock and hi-flow pressure valves. Could both valves be clogged or inoperable? Perhaps but seems pretty slim chances.

- buying a higher quality pump might be the way forward, just don’t like throwing parts at a problem if I don’t have to.

Waiting for the mechanic to get to it. Thanks for your efforts, GAmes.



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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 08:33 AM
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Hope he figures it out. Let us know.

97 3500, 2 WD, G56, slightly bombed, 1.3 million miles. Started the second million on 8/24/13
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 12:44 PM
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Long time later.. here is the update.


The mechanic couldn't get it working. We have installed a PSC big bore box. PSC high flow pump. Still no steering.

I brought the truck back home so I could at least try and work on it again, since the mechanic was slow and uncommunicative.

Removed the pressure line from the box and held it to the top of the reservoir. Tons of flow.

Removed the return line and held it to the top of the reservoir. Tons of flow.

Had a pressure line made at a local hydraulic shop with a T in it. Hooked up a gauge. 0 psi. Idle or revd up.

Called PSC. They said I could hook a gauge up directly to the pump. (I was worried about relief) So I tried that. No pressure.

Checked pressure fitting on the pump. Slick and smooth. No binding. Clean.

Took the reman pump that we replaced with the PSC pump and hooked a drill up to it. Plumbed the gauge in, it built pressure and ripped the drill out of my hand.

Took the pump off to check the cross plate drive. It's smooth, not marked up as if it was skipping or not engaged.

Called psc. Techs said it's possible the pump got pressed back into the housing during install and that could make it not make pressure. So followed their instructions, loosened the bolts and turned the motor over to get it to seat "right".

Still no pressure. Pulled psc pump last night. Saw the spacers are not factory (


other post made about those
) and hooked up a drill to the psc pump. It built pressure.

I ran out of time yesterday, and I didn't want to install the pump without proper spacers, but my next trouble shooting plan is to add a valve to the pressure line past the T, and see if I get pressure as I close it with the truck running.

Psc said pump should be 1500 psi at idle. Makes me think it is just flowing through the box.

During the bleeding process, I did get air when moving lock to lock, but still never get steering.

I can freely move the wheels with a hand when it is up in the air, so no binding of ball joints or linkages.

That's the update.... anyone have any ideas? How do I test the steering box if I get pressure when I close the valve on the pressure line?

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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 01:09 PM
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Sounds like you need to check the vacuum pump.

Make sure the shaft that drives the PSP is functional and indeed spinning the PSP.

Have you verified this? If so, I am stumped too.

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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 01:13 PM
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Am I interpreting correctly that you are removing and reinstalling the PS pump by itself, not as a unit with the vacuum pump?

97 3500, 2 WD, G56, slightly bombed, 1.3 million miles. Started the second million on 8/24/13
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