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ChevyMan
05-21-2008, 07:03 PM
Seeking some expert advice on refilling steering pump.
Chilton repair says to use Dexron automatic trans fluid to cars 1976 and earlier (GM cars). Can I use regular fluid. (Don ?) My '76 Chevy is about 3/8 inch low. Checked it "cold". Will any bad reaction result in using other than ATF?

D_E_Davis
05-21-2008, 08:21 PM
Seeking some expert advice on refilling steering pump.
Chilton repair says to use Dexron automatic trans fluid to cars 1976 and earlier (GM cars). Can I use regular fluid. (Don ?) My '76 Chevy is about 3/8 inch low. Checked it "cold". Will any bad reaction result in using other than ATF?

The safest thing is to use what GM recommends. Mixing different fluids sometimes is OK, sometimes not. Considering the relative cost of the Dexron against repair of the steering pump, I'd get the Dexron.

misterdecibel
05-21-2008, 08:23 PM
I thought they used power steering fluid, not ATF???

Eric
05-21-2008, 08:44 PM
Seeking some expert advice on refilling steering pump.
Chilton repair says to use Dexron automatic trans fluid to cars 1976 and earlier (GM cars). Can I use regular fluid. (Don ?) My '76 Chevy is about 3/8 inch low. Checked it "cold". Will any bad reaction result in using other than ATF?


I agree with Dennis; stick with what your owner's manual recommends.

D_E_Davis
05-22-2008, 12:31 AM
I thought they used power steering fluid, not ATF???

That used to be the case but it appears that many makers have switched to ATF in the pump also.

misterdecibel
05-22-2008, 03:01 AM
That would not be the case for a '76 Chevy though, would it?

DonTom
05-22-2008, 05:30 AM
"Chilton repair says to use Dexron automatic trans fluid to cars 1976 and earlier (GM cars)."

I've always used "power steering fluid" in all my 1970 GM vehicles. I don't recall any of the older vehicles asking for ATF in the power steering pump.

-Don-

ChevyMan
05-22-2008, 05:27 PM
quote]

The safest thing is to use what GM recommends. Mixing different fluids sometimes is OK, sometimes not. Considering the relative cost of the Dexron against repair of the steering pump, I'd get the Dexron.


[/quote]

I don't recollect what I put in the pump previously so I took samples from both pump and trans dipsticks and wiped them on white paper towel. Pump oil is yellowish and trans oil is pinkish so that gives us a clue. I might as well replace it with new ATF. Is there a drain plug or must I suction it out? I may sop it out with some clean rags and absorbent paper, what do you think?

chiph
05-22-2008, 06:58 PM
I would go with what the manufacturer recommends.

Lots of people get into trouble with Hondas by putting 'better' fluids in the transmissions and differentials (RedLine, ATF, etc) instead of the recomended fluids. They usually end up with expensive repairs.

To change out the power steering fluid, I would use a clean turkey baster to siphon out as much of the old fluid as you can, top it off with new, and then go for a short drive (or just move the wheel from lock to lock a few times). I'd then repeat the process twice more, which should result in a reasonable amount of new fluid getting into the bowels of the system, and little or no air.

Chip H.

ChevyMan
05-22-2008, 08:30 PM
Got me a qt of NAPA ATF Dexron III ,also a baster to suck out and also to fill the pump which will give me control so as not to overfill it. I hope NAPA brand is good enough? If not I can return it for a refund.

misterdecibel
05-23-2008, 03:27 AM
NAPA brand is pretty much always at least "good enough". Most of the time their stuff is top notch. Especially oil filters and batteries.

DonTom
05-23-2008, 03:44 AM
"I'd then repeat the process twice more, which should result in a reasonable amount of new fluid getting into the bowels of the system, and little or no air."

What are the symptoms of getting air in the power steering fluid or pump lines? I have replaced power steering pumps and never had a problem.

-Don-

ChevyMan
05-23-2008, 04:57 AM
What are the symptoms of getting air in the power steering fluid or pump lines? I have replaced power steering pumps and never had a problem.

-Don-
[/size]



Yeah I was also wondering about how air gets into the power steering fluid. I can see that happening in the hydraulic brake lines but steering???

Eric
05-23-2008, 07:43 AM
"I'd then repeat the process twice more, which should result in a reasonable amount of new fluid getting into the bowels of the system, and little or no air."

What are the symptoms of getting air in the power steering fluid or pump lines? I have replaced power steering pumps and never had a problem.

-Don-




There is a bleeding process you're generally supposed to follow; usually there are instructions with the new pump...

DonTom
05-23-2008, 09:02 AM
"There is a bleeding process you're generally supposed to follow; usually there are instructions with the new pump..."

There were no such instructions when I replaced the PS pump in my 97 Jeep GC. And there were no problems.

But what is supposed to be the possible symptoms of air in the PS lines?

-Don-

Eric
05-23-2008, 09:09 AM
"There is a bleeding process you're generally supposed to follow; usually there are instructions with the new pump..."

There were no such instructions when I replaced the PS pump in my 97 Jeep GC. And there were no problems.

But what is supposed to be the possible symptoms of air in the PS lines?

-Don-



I think since the system is "open" (any air can bleed out into the reservoir, which though capped isn't pressure sealed, etc.) the problem takes care of itself through normal operation. I have bled/flushed PS pumps by disconnecting the low pressure line and putting the open end into a catch bucket while topping off the reservoir with fresh fluid as the system operates.

I would expect any air bubbles in the system to manifest in either intermittent jerkiness or loss of PS assist....

chiph
05-23-2008, 09:14 AM
Like Eric said.

But the bubbles will eventually work themselves out. It's just that if you do a change (and get air in the system), and then immediately go driving, having the unexpected loss of PS assistance can be, uhhh, unexpected.

Chip H.

DonTom
05-23-2008, 09:48 AM
"But the bubbles will eventually work themselves out."

Perhaps by the time one backs out of the garage, if not sooner!

I never noticed such a problem and I have disconnected or replaced several PS pumps.

-Don-

grouch
05-23-2008, 11:25 PM
"There is a bleeding process you're generally supposed to follow; usually there are instructions with the new pump..."

There were no such instructions when I replaced the PS pump in my 97 Jeep GC. And there were no problems.

But what is supposed to be the possible symptoms of air in the PS lines?

-Don-




The pump will growl and make weird noises. Possibly some jerking to it too. Just move the wheels back and forth a couple of times and the air will pass through the system. It will then bubble up to the top and disappear. Leave it in and it can cause some problems with excessice wear due to lack of lubrication. Air bubbles don't lubricate.

ChevyMan
05-24-2008, 05:40 PM
Eric,
Do you happen to know the capacity of fluid in the PS pump?

Eric
05-24-2008, 07:24 PM
Eric,
Do you happen to know the capacity of fluid in the PS pump?


My '76 Pontiac takes about 2 pints to refill from empty; but your Chevy pump my be different and in any event, you should go by the capacity listed in your manual. You can also just gradually add fluid (from empty) until you reach the "full" line on the dipstick (which if yours is likemine should be integral with the power steering reservoir cap).

Just go slowly - and if you add a little too much, no worries. It's easy to use a turkey baster to draw off excess fluid (no need to disconnect one of the lines, etc.).

DonTom
05-24-2008, 10:36 PM
"Just move the wheels back and forth a couple of times and the air will pass through the system."

Come to think of it, I did do that, steer fully to the left and then the right a few times before driving, after changing the PS pump. It confirms PS is working as it gets any air out.

-Don-

ChevyMan
05-25-2008, 06:55 AM
Eric,

Since they are both GM cars, and the same model year, they probably use the same amount of fluid. My car was broken into over ten years ago, they took, among other items, the owners manual and even the plastic trash bag !! How do you like that.?
Wish I could drain it all without bothering to disconnect any connecting hoses since I don't want the new transmission fluid to mix with the old power steering fluid now in it. I suppose I could use a clean rag to sop out the remaining oil on the bottom. I'll give it a try anyway.

Eric
05-25-2008, 07:07 AM
Eric,

Since they are both GM cars, and the same model year, they probably use the same amount of fluid. My car was broken into over ten years ago, they took, among other items, the owners manual and even the plastic trash bag !! How do you like that.?
Wish I could drain it all without bothering to disconnect any connecting hoses since I don't want the new transmission fluid to mix with the old power steering fluid now in it. I suppose I could use a clean rag to sop out the remaining oil on the bottom. I'll give it a try anyway.


A turkey baster works well for this; no need to disconnect anything. Just remove the reservoir top and use the baster to draw off the fluid until it's nearly empty. Then - instead of using a rag to mop up the remainder (which I would not do because of the possibility of getting contaminants, including threads and fuzz, etc. into the fluid) just top it off, run the engine for a few minutes, then drain off the fluid again and re-fill it. This way, you'll have pretty much flushed out the whole system and gotten rid of the mixed ATF/power steering fluid.....

ChevyMan
05-26-2008, 06:41 PM
>>>A turkey baster works well for this; no need to disconnect anything. Just remove the reservoir top and use the baster to draw off the fluid until it's nearly empty. Then - instead of using a rag to mop up the remainder (which I would not do because of the possibility of getting contaminants, including threads and fuzz, etc. into the fluid) just top it off, run the engine for a few minutes, then drain off the fluid again and re-fill it. This way, you'll have pretty much flushed out the whole system and gotten rid of the mixed ATF/power steering fluid.....<<<


Eric,

Had no problem replacing the old fluid. Thanks for tip. Now to replace the cooling system. I have no way to install a "T" since I've disabled the heater system. What I always do to flush the system after draining the radiator is to refill the radiator with plain water, start the engine, open the petcock a couple of turns, connect the garden hose into the radiator filler neck and adjust the intake and outtake of the water circulating throughout the system. Works every time.

grouch
05-26-2008, 11:35 PM
Had no problem replacing the old fluid. Thanks for tip. Now to replace the cooling system. I have no way to install a "T" since I've disabled the heater system. What I always do to flush the system after draining the radiator is to refill the radiator with plain water, start the engine, open the petcock a couple of turns, connect the garden hose into the radiator filler neck and adjust the intake and outtake of the water circulating throughout the system. Works every time.



If you used a bypass hose to replace the heater core, just put the tee in the hose and hold it high when you refill. All the air will go to the top and you'll have a nice efficient system. Personally, I like to have my heater working. Especially when it's about 10 degrees (F).