Power Steering Leak - Pump or Hoses the Source? (1 Viewer)

TheAshenWolf

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My 1999 has 263k miles. A few months ago, I saw some VERY slight leaking of power steering fluid and figured it was coming from the steering rack.

At the recommendation of @2001LC I used a bit of AT-205 and the leak remained very minor.

Two weeks ago, we took the truck on a 1500 mile trip through Utah without issues. Today, I drove the 100 to work and all was fine. Ten hours later, I left the office only to see a big pond of steering fluid under the truck. I checked the reservoir and it was mostly empty. I drove to an auto store to pick up transmission fluid in order to make it home.

The leak is coming from much higher than I originally thought (or another leak?). I tried to capture the origin on photo and video but wasn't able to actually see it. It looks to be coming from the around the pump but I can't tell if it's the pump itself or a hose. I'll look closer this evening when I have more time.

For the moment, here are some photos and a video of the leak in case someone else has had a similar leak and can share their experience.

IMG_20180806_173629.jpg
IMG_20180806_174115.jpg


Video
 

TheAshenWolf

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If it's a hose, I imagine it is this one (as soon from above):
upload_2018-8-7_6-40-56.png


It is definitely dripping from that area. I just can't tell if it's a connection or the pump itself.

Given the speed at which it is losing fluid (see video above), could that be the pump itself or is it likely a hose? Because I couldn't see fluid leaking from the hose, I'm thinking it's leaking from behind the pulley, which would likely indicate the pump itself, right?
 
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When I replaced my rack, I just decided to do the lines at the same time. If I remember correctly they were around $500 for the high pressure and low pressure. With almost 250k on the odo I figured might as well be safe and they were looking a little ragged.
 

TheAshenWolf

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When I replaced my rack, I just decided to do the lines at the same time. If I remember correctly they were around $500 for the high pressure and low pressure. With almost 250k on the odo I figured might as well be safe and they were looking a little ragged.
Yeah, I may end up doing that. Replacing the rack is definitely on my list.
 
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Isolate the leak is easier if you clean area with degreaser, then watch for sources as it begins. That's the worst leak I've even seen, so you should be able to see source easily.

If it's at the front of the vane pump (power steering pump) which it looks like and the AT-205 did not stop, then your front seal is shot. This would indicate the front bearing of vane pump is also shot. You should be able to see it coming from between vane pump and pulley (from shaft itself).

Could be the suction hose (you circled in red) which is sold separately ~$60 IIRC. But unless you pulled and replaced that hose and didn't clamp even halve-way correctly, I doubt that hose is leaking that badly. They general weep and hose will be wet from top (reservoir) down as entire hose is shot not just lower end. Your hose only looks wet near lower end from what little I see and clamp looks fine. So this wetness may well be from seal leak of shaft of vane pump.

I also see your high pressure line is wet. This may just have gotten wet from another leak, like vane pump throwing it onto hose as pulley spins. Again clean and watch closely. Toyota only sell the HP hose as part of the high & low pressure line which is very closely ~$500 list price. There is and aftermarket gates line (i've not used) available for ~$150 IIRC. I've pulled the HP line and taken to a shop that rebuild them for under $150.

I just replaced a vane pump that we had multiple leaks in the system. The AT-205 stop one leak at DS from the input shaft, saving us from replacing steering rack. But didn't stop vane pump leak. We R&R with new Vane pump. We also replacing suction hose with new OEM, which took care of another (weep). Also replacing return line with a 3/8" ID transmission cooler hose and fuel clamps from Advance Auto, which took care another weep.

Vane Pump can be rebuilt, but most just replace with new or a remanufactured. A new gasket (two washers) for the high pressure line where it attaches to vane pump must also be used. In the 99, Toyota sell us the gasket for the other side (DS) as a if for PS. So we must snip the link between the two washers or it will not fit. One can just order the 03-07 gasket (washers) instead of snipping. The only tricky part is removing the HP line off the pump, as sometimes the lower half spins so a wrench must be put on it to hold.
 
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The reservoir-to-pump hose that TheAshenWolf circled four post above is located directly above the passenger side rack boot, and it is notorious for leaking and appearing like your rack is oozing.

Try this: Get 3 new high-quality worm gear hose clamps to fit that hose (maybe 25-30mm... measure first). Drain reservoir, remove hose. Trim like 1/4" off pump end to expose fresh un-squished rubber. Reinstall hose with double (2) new hose clamps at pump end and a single new clamp at reservoir end. I did this and it's dry as a bone now.

If still leaking, it's your rack. I've had luck with a reman from Detroit Axle off ebay.
 

TheAshenWolf

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Thanks, @2001LC and @vishmuzty. I'm going to try to isolate the leak tonight.

I'm hoping that the fix outlined by @vishmuzty is all that's needed. I was hoping to drive the truck to a mountain town this week to pick up a tool chest so I'm in kind of a time crunch. If I can't solve it tonight, I may have my mechanic replace the pump and hose Thursday. The savings on the Craftsman tool chest (free) will pay for the repair.

Mechanic is quoting $650 for the repair with a remanufactured pump.
 
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yea definitely try cleaning it up a bit first and then take a look again. push against the boots on both ends of the steering rack and see if fluid comes out. mine was leaking from in there.
 

TheAshenWolf

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Update: There is quite a bit of fluid on the pump itself, above the hose that some thought could be the culprit. Does that rule out that hose connection?

I again filled the reservoir, turned the engine on, then turned the wheel back and forth. I then drove one mile through my neighborhood turning as much as possible.

The leak is currently gone. I'm waiting 5 minute increments between checking again.

Could the Bars Power Steering Fluid Stop Leak combined with Valvoline Max Life ATF I put in it yesterday/today have worked?
 
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I can tell you from experience that to much stop leak in your power steering system will not only ruin the rack and pinion it will ruin the power steering pump.

I had used Lucas power steering stop leak.

I have had great success using only Valvoline MaxLife ATF stopping leaks.
 

TheAshenWolf

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I can tell you from experience that to much stop leak in your power steering system will not only ruin the rack and pinion it will ruin the power steering pump.

I had used Lucas power steering stop leak.

I have had great success using only Valvoline MaxLife ATF stopping leaks.
Good to know. I used a third of one bottle of Bar's (5 oz?) and filled the rest with Valvoline Max Life ATF.

At this point, I'm thinking I need to possibly replace both the pump and rack eventually. Still, I'd love to get as much life as I can out of them.
 
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What do the other ends of the hoses look like where they attach to reservoir? A common problem is they begin to seep fluid there and run down the line appearing to be a lower leak. Sliding the existing clamp down and placing a new worm clamp on the inside of the existing clamp is the solution to that. Check out that upper connection.
 

TheAshenWolf

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What do the other ends of the hoses look like where they attach to reservoir? A common problem is they begin to seep fluid there and run down the line appearing to be a lower leak. Sliding the existing clamp down and placing a new worm clamp on the inside of the existing clamp is the solution to that. Check out that upper connection.
The clamps actually look okay but I'm sure they weep or have wept a small bit in the past. With the amount of fluid that was flowing yesterday (shown in the video above) I don't think the upper clamps could be responsible.

Given that I have two camping trips in the next three weeks and no real time to work on the truck, I think I'm just going to go with my mechanic's quote of $650. I'll also have them reclamp all the lines with worm gear clamps while in there.

Thanks again to everyone for all the help. If this had happened at a more convenient time (does it ever?) I'd have loved to spend more time diagnosing and fixing myself.

You guys are awesome.
 
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If you have the pump replaced, make sure they flush the system as well to get the stop leak out of there. Then just go back to the max life stuff or whatever.
 
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Replacing the reservoir, OEM hoses, and Pump is a surprisingly easy job. I did this chasing a steering issue myself and wound up replacing EVERYTHING in the PS system (Pump, hoses, rack, bushings, tie rod ends, flush) and guess what? No more leaks and steers like new LOL.
 

TheAshenWolf

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Replacing the reservoir, OEM hoses, and Pump is a surprisingly easy job. I did this chasing a steering issue myself and wound up replacing EVERYTHING in the PS system (Pump, hoses, rack, bushings, tie rod ends, flush) and guess what? No more leaks and steers like new LOL.
That sounds like fun. How long did it all take you?
 

TheAshenWolf

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Drove the truck to work this morning and still no leak. I'll check on it again at lunch.

If I still can't reproduce the leak, I'll probably continue to drive it with some extra Valvoline Max Life ATF in the truck.

If the truck can make the 300 mile round trip to Salida this weekend, I'll be able to diagnose and dive deep on Sunday.
 
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I helped out with the leak;

Took a look and it was vane pump without a doubt. Replaced the vane pump with new OEM. Flushing the system twice before pulling pump and three time after install, with running engine before last flush. (Good advise @dace voit)

For gaskets/washers; I used the HP line to vane banjo gaskets PN # from the 06-07, as they are easier to work with.

Also replaced suction hose as it was hard just as good practice, but it was not leaking.
Also cut 1' form return line at reservoir to add some years to it.
99LC 250K (8).JPG
Also Cleaned the reservoir paying special attention to the screen inside
99LC 250K (9).JPG


So top end of PS should now be leak free.

Cleaned/degreased and now watching bottom end for leaks in rack and HP & return lines.

Note: This is the second in a row I've seen where the AT-205 doesn't help with vane pump leak. But I've seen AT-205 reseal work very well on rack input shaft leak, and others have reported good results with racks leaking from side end seal (under boots).

Also did a little inspeacting while on stands.
 

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