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Power steering box run dry - harmful?

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unlovedford View Drop Down
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    Posted: 15-July-2014 at 3:49PM
Hey guys, have a quick question. Will it hurt a power steering box to be driven without lines or a pump? I am installing an old power steering box on Stripper to make the Louisville trip if I cannot get the brown wagon finished in time. Will it hurt the box to be driven on a trip like that? Steering effort with the 55 series tires is tough, but I don't mind. Just don't want an issue on the road or to ruin the box.

Thanks

Joe
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aquartlow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-July-2014 at 4:42PM

Obviously not a good idea to run it without PS fluid. Just remember the balls for the worm shaft are lubed with the fluid, if none exists, you could score the rack/piston/worm shaft and/or flat spot/score the ball bearings. When my mechanic rebuilt my PS box he advised me to never run a PS box dry due to causing internal damage to the torsion bar that is inside the input shaft of the PS gearbox, it could cause the vehicle to have a pull issue once fluid is re-introduced and power assist is regained. Here is a representation of the steering box's torsion bar:

hydraulic power steering control valve in left turn position
Too much twisting force, either way, will make the torsion shaft twist so much that it will not return to the center position. This causes PS assist in the direction the torsion bar is tweaked thus causing the pull that may be experienced. Once done a new PS gearbox is needed, or at least a new input rotary valve.
hydraulic power steering control valve in straight or neutral position
Here is a pic of the torsion bar/shaft inside the input shaft on the PS gearbox, I realize it is a pic of a Saginaw box but a Ford gearbox is similar:
 
I hope this helps. Todd


Edited by aquartlow - 15-July-2014 at 4:44PM
www.supermotors.net/22468
Yeah, It's a Hybrid...It burns gas and tires.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote unlovedford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-July-2014 at 2:26AM
Thanks Todd. I was afraid of that.

Crap. This thing is giving me fits.
Joe
1972 GTSquire Wagon
1972 Torino Wagon
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1968 Cougar XR7-First batch
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aquartlow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-July-2014 at 2:41AM
Originally posted by unlovedford unlovedford wrote:

Thanks Todd. I was afraid of that.

Crap. This thing is giving me fits.
 
Joe,
 You are more than welcome. When the mechanic showed and explained to me how the torsion bar operated and how it could be "off-centered" by operating the PS box without assist, it was an eye-opening and/or interesting lesson. He did show me what it took to fix it(if it wasn't too badly "tweaked"), but it would definitely require disassembly of the PS box. Sorry to be the barer of bad news, but I hope it helps in the long run. Todd
www.supermotors.net/22468
Yeah, It's a Hybrid...It burns gas and tires.

No matter how good she looks, somebody, somewhere, is tired of her sh*t.

Beauty is skin deep, ugliness goes clear to the bone.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big Bird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-July-2014 at 10:36AM
I can't say it was good for the box, but I drove my 77 malibu with no P.S. pump for 2 1/2 years ( 60k+ miles). Steering box was full, and I ran a hose from one port to the other and clamped them so the fluid would circulate and not spill out. The car was inspected every year, and nobody ever said a word about it. I ran the car at the track, and didn't have a problem with tech. I drove the car from Rochester to Carlisle several times and took it to Buffalo at least weekly. It was a nuisance in tight parking lots (Power Oversteer time LOL) but once you were moving, no big deal. I broke the P.S. pump (gacked a hole in the side) while swapping in a Buick 350 in place of the GMC 292 that had been swapped in in place of the chevy 250 it came with.
The above post should be read in a "Grumpy Old Man" voice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote occupant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-July-2014 at 5:32PM
When I had my '75 sedan back in Texas in 1996, I was driving back home from work when one of the PS lines ruptured and sent a cloud of smoke behind my car so thick no one could see through it. The pump was TRASHED by the time I got home 10 miles later. Still steered OK just no assist. Box didn't seem to be affected after putting the new pump and lines on.

I don't recommend it but you know what, I don't recommend running that manual box you were talking about with all that slop in it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote unlovedford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-July-2014 at 1:55AM
Yes, the manual box is shot. My problem is that the current 250/3 speed drivetrain is going to be removed after the meet, so spending money for a new 250 PS bracket, pump, new lines just to do this trip seems incredibly wasteful. None of that will work on the V8 I'm installing, so it would just be another pile in the garage.
Joe
1972 GTSquire Wagon
1972 Torino Wagon
1976 Torino       
1968 Cougar XR7-First batch
1972 Torino 460
1989 BroncoII/Jeeps/Titanimous
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psquare75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-July-2014 at 2:23AM
Can you fill the box and loop one line into the other? I've had friends who drove cars like this for YEARS back in the day. 

I'd be more concerned about the PS pump than the box. 
Paul
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aquartlow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-July-2014 at 4:40AM
If between a rock and hard place, drive it "as-is", the worst thing that could happen is having to replace the PS gearbox if found to be damaged. You will probably be "money ahead" (not having to purchase parts to complete the 250's PS system) since you are removing/replacing components after the show, a rebuilt unit w/ warranty can usually be had for under $150. Not sure how the rag joint will accept the increased steering effort though. Good luck and have fun at the show Wink. Todd 
www.supermotors.net/22468
Yeah, It's a Hybrid...It burns gas and tires.

No matter how good she looks, somebody, somewhere, is tired of her sh*t.

Beauty is skin deep, ugliness goes clear to the bone.
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