Mechanics

POWER STEERING FLUID LINES

1994 Buick Lesabre

Steering problem
1994 Buick Lesabre 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 154000 miles

Query:

After having replaced not only the fuel, brake and transmission cooler lines, it would seem that I have to replace the power steering lines from the rack & pinion assembly to the pump and.

What I don't get is the lower pipe, (the one not going up through a jerry-rigged connection, of hose and metal pipe) up to the power steering pump, where does that pipe connect into?

It would seem that it should go back up to the power steering pump, but seems to connect to the back of the engine. For that matter how hard is it to get off?

Also is there a need to bleed this system once I've replaced the lines, and if so how does one accomplish this?
Avatar
Bravestar1
February 20, 2009.



Ok I do not have diagram but most power steering lines go from the pump to the rack on the pressure side. Now on the return side it will come from the rack to a power steering cooler then to the pump. If you have any more question please just ask. I will do the best I can to help

Racefan966
Feb 20, 2009.
I went to a Buick dealer in Norwood, MA and almost bought a 1999 Buick Regal for $4250.

But anyways I looked at the product and it's not a hard fix. It's just not cheap. The lower hose goes to a loop with fins on it, that's a cooler for the fluid, and then circles back up to the side of the pump. I surmise from the size of the cooler that it's located somewhere under the engine or just to the side. Once I'd seen it, I realized I've replaced the same thing on a former car, a 1988 Buick LeSabre, that died somewhere around 356K miles. I replaced nearly everything but the front seats and the roof to that vehicle.

So the cooler pipe is about $180 and the High Pressure line to the Steering rack is $165, but is available for $90 aftermarket. (Baltimore, MD)
So I plan to get a better picture of which one is leaking, as unlike the trans-lines, this ain't cheap. I did both of those btw on this very same car, and it was a pretty easy, albeit messy fix.

Tiny
Bravestar1
Feb 21, 2009.
Ok let me know how it goes.

Racefan966
Feb 22, 2009.
Well as luck would have it, I don't have any.

The lines aren't too difficult to replace, and one is certainly leaking, my best diagnosis is the high pressure line. The old low pressure return line, is jerry-rigged with some piping to cut out the cooler, so there isn't one of those.

The problem really is the freeze plugs. I hope that's the right name for them, as they look like bolt caps on the shaft. That's where the real leak is coming from, and from my perspective probably aren't replaceable. I don't notice any steering difficulty or noise associated with the steering, and I surmise these have been leaking for over a year now.

This is the 2nd shaft the car has had, and I replaced the pump myself once. If I had the time, and the tools I'm sure I could do a steering shaft. I used to sell them, and while unwieldy to deliver, I did replace 2 steering columns on a similar car, so it might be possible on this.

My question to you. Is it possible to replace out these leaking plug caps? Darned if I know what they're really called, but that's what they look like.

Tiny
Bravestar1
Feb 25, 2009.
Ok if you could at all include a pic I will see if I can identify them and let you know if they are replacable.

Racefan966
Feb 26, 2009.
The Rack as a whole has to be replaced.

After speaking with the local GM dealer, and Autozone, one has to replace the entire rack in order to fix anything on it. It's not as bad as I first thought, as it's only about $100 for the rack, which if I'm not mistaken, includes inner tie rods.

I figure with hoses, and two outer tie rod ends (their likely shot anyways) that it'll be about $350 for parts. I'm not sure if I'll tackle it myself, it doesn't look horribly hard, so we'll see how much it is if I pick up the parts as they are available at the Autozone in Weymouth, MA, so it'll take some finaggling, but we'll get there.

Tiny
Bravestar1
Feb 26, 2009.
Ok it isn't so bad to do really. However take out the old rack as a whole with the outer ties on it so you can make all the adjustments to match the length's or the ends so you tire's will be close enough in alignment to drive it to the front end shop to have it realigned when you are done. Make sure to let the front end shop know that you need alignment because you replaced the rack unit. If you need any pic or help walking through it just ask I will be glad to help.

Racefan966
Feb 27, 2009.
Thanks Racefan, I will get back to you on when the job gets to going. They wanted $400 for labor to do the job from a garage I know of.

I'm actually going to hold off for awhile. I am in the process of moving (hence the need to fix my cruise control) and my parents (owners of the car) don't want to get this fixed till later, when I get more time to do it. Besides it's supposed to be one ripper of a storm this weekend, and I'm installing sway bar links on my Mercury Sable. Not too hard, but the old one have to be chopped out, and my history of cutting usually involves, blood, fire, or both.

Tiny
Bravestar1
Mar 1, 2009.
Ok great get back to me when your ready to tackle it.

Racefan966
Mar 1, 2009.