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how to test your power steering pump

Posts: 83
Joined: 11/08
Posted: 08/28/11 01:48 PM

So I come home from a car show, get ready to back in my car, and then NO power steering...... No leaks no blown hoses nothing, and It has fluid.....

Puzzled.  is there a way for me to Test if the pump is working before I try and remove all of it???????

Should I see something inside the filler neck IE; moving parts when it is running>>>

I hate to even ask , But could it be the steering Box itself that is Bad????


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Posts: 774
Joined: 01/10
Posted: 08/28/11 05:08 PM

this is for a later GM pump...  but the test procedure is the same...


(1) Check belt tension and adjust as necessary.

(2) Disconnect high pressure hose at gear or pump.
Use a container for dripping fluid.

(3) Connect Pressure Gauge/Flow Meter Tool 6815
between the pump pressure fitting and pressure hose
using adapters from Adapter Kit 6893 .

(4) Open the test valve completely.

(5) Start engine and let idle long enough to circulate
power steering fluid through flow/pressure test
gauge and to get air out of the fluid. Then shut off

(6) Check fluid level, add fluid as necessary. Start
engine again and let idle.

(7) Gauge should read below 862 kPa (125 psi) if
above, inspect the hoses for restrictions and repair as
necessary. The initial pressure reading should be in
the range of 345-552 kPa (50-80 psi).
CAUTION : The following test procedure involves
testing maximum pump pressure output and flow
control valve operation. Do not leave valve closed
for more than three seconds as the pump could be

(8) Close valve fully three times for three seconds
and record highest pressure indicated each time. All
three readings must be above specifications
and within 345 kPa (50 psi) of each other.
*Pressures above specifications but not within
345 kPa (50 psi) of each other, replace pump .
" Pressures within 345 kPa (50 psi) of each other
but below specifications, replace pump.

NOTE: Refer to pump relief pressure chart.

CAUTION: Do not force the pump to operate
against the stops for more than 2 to 4 seconds at a
time because, pump damage will result.

(9) Open the test valve, turn steering wheel
extreme left and right positions against the stops.
Record the highest indicated pressure at each position.
Compare readings to specifications . If highest
output pressures are not within 50 psi. against either
stop, the gear is leaking internally and must be

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Posts: 774
Joined: 01/10
Posted: 08/28/11 05:16 PM

i normally turn the steering wheel to the end...  does the pump howl as the pressure builds against the valve

you can also squeeze the hose..  with a something with round nose or even a C clamp... to see if the pump builds pressure.. this is hard on the hose.. sometimes blowing chunks off the liner.. ruining your day..  sometimes breaking the cord in the hose and causing it to leak later...

debris could be caught in the suction opening..  blocking the inlet to the pump..

i am taking that you have the center rear outlet ford pump...

that uses conventional SAE flare fittings.. so you can cobble together  some fittings to make a tester...  

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Posts: 83
Joined: 11/08
Posted: 08/30/11 08:09 PM

At this point The pump works and has pressure, any Other Idea's ?

Yes I have a ford pump with center outlets  

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Posts: 774
Joined: 01/10
Posted: 08/30/11 10:21 PM

well... you can loose your GYM membership and work out just steering the car..

could be the control valve.. or the power cylinder..  

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Posts: 1410
Joined: 03/08
Posted: 09/02/11 01:21 PM

So when you put more than 4 lbs of force on the steering wheel the control valve (part of the drag-link)overcomes it's shuttle spring force and it ports fluid to the appropriate side of the cylinder (left or right) to assist in the turn.  There is a pretty good explanation of this in the factory shop manual, section 3.  I would suspect the control valve is sticking or bypassing. You can buy rebuild kits for about 15-35 bucks or entire valves ($300+) from NPD and other online vendors. or you can change the pump with one from autozone and make sure it's not the pump. jlg  

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