Suspension Need recommendations on PS pump and rack replacement

ReefBlueGT

Active Member
Oct 4, 2018
66
38
28
44
California
My PS pump is on its last legs - LOUD whine just while cruising down the street today, even worse on turns. Sounds like a kid's toy siren. Can hear it just when idling with the hood open too. PS also started to cut out slightly on the last couple turns I made.

I flushed the system and replaced with ATF a couple months ago after noticing milky brown fluid in the reservoir; hoping that would take care of it, but it's clearly on its way out now. Significant change from when I last drove the car about a week ago.

My question is, should I put in a new rack, outer tie rods, hoses, cooling lines, ball joints all at the same time? If I'm replacing the pump, I'm just thinking I should replace/renew as much of the steering system as possible so everything gets a fresh start. Anything else you recommend in addition to what I listed above? And definitely having a mechanic handle this, so my time/expertise level isn't a factor. What are your guys' thoughts?
 

ReefBlueGT

Active Member
Oct 4, 2018
66
38
28
44
California
Thanks @Mstng93SSP, after closer inspection here’s some more info: the driver’s side of the rack looks suspect. Possibly a leak at the outside of the boot on the driver’s side. Also a leak or spill towards the inside end of the same boot. I cleaned it pretty good when I did the flush a few months ago, which was messy, so that’s why I’m not 100% sure it isn’t just a spill. The rest of the rack is clean.

However, the pump is clearly leaking, and reservoir totally empty. Which explains the noise. But seems like a seal in the pump since there’s residue all over the front of the pump. The serpentine belt has been squeaking on cold starts for a month or so. There’s also a lot of buildup on the entire length of the return hose, which I know I had totally cleaned after the flush. I can see a drop of fluid clinging to the underside of the hose now. Also a bunch of grime and residue on the visible parts of the metal cooler lines by the radiator, and it couldn’t have traveled there from the pump because it’s on the front of those lines above where the return hose is clamped. Perhaps those are failing also.

The fluid had to have come out gradually while driving because I haven’t had a pool of it in my garage or where I’ve been parking at work. There’s still some fluid in the system because I haven’t lost the feel of power steering yet, but maybe not enough for any more to leak out since the pump is now only sucking air.

I should add I’m leaning towards having the ball joints, control arm bushings, and outer tie rods replaced in addition to the rack and pump. And would replace all the lines and hoses as well. Background on that is I’ve always been bothered by how harsh the ride is on the front end. PO had the front end lowered when I bought it, but even swapping that out for factory rated springs and new shocks didn’t help it much. So I’m assuming all those components are just old and stiff and could use a refurb. And the reason I’d replace the rack is to make sure nothing in there from whatever happened with the old pump fouls up the new one. Or obviously if it’s something that went wrong in the rack before the pump gave out, that would have to be replaced so it doesn’t happen again with the new pump.