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4-bolt PAS box leak diagnosis


mickeyw
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I was under my Ninety at the weekend fitting a steering guard. I wound the steering from lock to lock to get better access with the rattle run, when I noticed a significant amount of fluid dripping from the drop arm.

It appears to be running down the inside of the chassis rail, and the outside to a lesser degree.

I can't quite determine to origin of the leak, but it's fairly significant.

The hose from the reservoir to the box looked at bit wet, but not that wet.

I checked the 3 hose unions in the top of the box are secure, all OK there.

I have tried holding the box on full lock for just a second to see it it was any worse than when just under load between the lock limits, but not easy to see on my own though.

As the oil is running down the side of the chassis I am guessing it must be coming from the input shaft area, short of the box having a hole in it nearby

There is no detectable play or slack in any of the shafts.

I topped up the reservoir (plastic type) as the level was below the dipstick. I also noticed the fluid was a rather brownish colour, and has a metallic tint to it.

Now before I rush into fluid replacement I am wondering the likely origin of the metallic particles. What is disintegrating? Two choices really - pump or steering box. I'm erring towards the box, as that is what is leaking.

Can any of you offer the benefit of your experiences please? Any known areas of failure?

I am running 255/85x16 MTs on modulars, so although they may impose a greater load than standard wheels and tyres, it must be a fairly common and not too OTT configuration.

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Silly question time, are you sure it's power steering fluid that's leaking? I know you have V8 and so totally different plumbing to my oil burner but my steering box is wet at the moment including the chassis as you describe and it's from an oil cooler pipe leak ....

Although the fact that your steering fluid contains bits of metal probably means you are on the right track and I'm just wasting your time.

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Brian, a cracked hose - now that is not something that had ocurred to me. I'll check that, one union is wet, but it's the low pressure one from the reservoir

Barry there's nowt above the steering box on my V8 that could leak.

Def PAS fluid, as the level in the reservoir drops noticeably after sustained oil drips off the drop arm.

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Cleaned everything up this afternoon and replaced fluid then ran it up.

The leak is definitely coming from the input shaft seal, but only while it is revolving. No leaks when the shaft is stationary.

Do seal kits exist for this location? Or will I be better of finding another steering box?

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OK, seal kit is ordered, STC2847 is the number.

I prised out the seals last night, the shaft has a discolouring where the seal runs but there is no discernable groove worn.

I would prefer to polish the shaft where the seal runs but to do this properly will require disembling the box. I'll have to see what time allows.

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