Ha! That would be the blind leading the blind!
So here's the deal. I was rolling around in the Vette, chasing the honeys when my steering started to stiffing up. I immediately jumped out of the car and checked my power steering fluid level. That sucker was bone dry. So I limped the car to Auto Zone and filled the reservoir back to the correct level. I took off and saw this hottie who looked like she needed a ride. I scooped her up and about a mile later, the steering went stiff again. I dropped that honey off and took off back to a gas station. Upon checking the level again, I saw that it was bone dry, AGAIN!
So I put some more fluid in and raced home. Obviously I had a bad leak since it wasn't staying in the car more than a mile. Once I got the car inside the garage, this was what I saw. The three streams happened because I backed into the garage, pulled out and backed in again. This picture was taken a few days later.
After seeing that, I realized how bad the leak was. I did a quick check of the easy to get to hoses just in case the leak was a simple fix. No dice, so I turn off the lights and go in the house. I didn't bother to check under the car for the leak right then because I knew that I would have a good little puddle on the floor in the morning. Sure enough, after checking the next morning, I saw that I had fluid dripping off the bottom of the high pressure hose and landing dead center of that big puddle on the garage floor. That didn't tell me if it was the hose or the pump but it did limit me to assuming that it was one or the other.
So into the house I go to start ordering parts. I started ordering parts because I had just replaced the power steering pump and high pressure hose about 4 months ago. Everything was under warranty and I knew that one of those parts was going to be the culprit. Since it wasn't going to cost me anything, I decided to replace both just to be on the safe side. After all, I didn't think that I would be able to definitively locate the problem. How wrong I was!
I started taking everything apart. Didn't even need the service manual this time (it's scary that I learned so much from that head gasket job). One thing that I thought to do was to check and see if the hose was loose. It didn't appear to be loose so I took the pump and hose off the car. That's where the surprise happened.
As I went to remove the high pressure hose from the steering gear, I noticed that it was loose! I then checked the other end and realized that it was loose too! So now I'm thinking, all I have to do is tighten everything back up and cancel my orders. However, being as thorough as I am, I decided to take everything apart and give it a good eyeballing. It's a good thing that I did. Check this out.
The high pressure hose has a O-ring on both ends. The instructions are very specific that you install these O-rings. As small as the are, it's kinds hard to fathom that they do much but let m tell you, they do a ton. Check out my cable:
That little O-ring was missing from where the leak originated. When I checked the pump, this is what I found.
That little O-ring had disintegrated, probably from the hose being loose. How it got loose I have no clue. The hose doesn't move so I guess it loosened with the vibration of the car. I know that sucker won't get loose this time because I will ensure that it is torqued correctly. I just need to find a box end torque wrench. Is there such a animal?
The key here is that had I been lazy and just tightened up that hose, I would have still been leaking major fluid after putting everything back together. That would have sucked! The hose is in such an awkward location that taking it apart from the pump was almost out of the question. Now a O-ring probably would have fixed my problem but hell, why chance it? Taking that power steering pulley off the pump is enough of a reason for me to replace everything. That pulley is a bitch to get on and off, but at least I didn't destroy mine like I have seen quite a few people do.
So that's what's going on in the Junkman's garage... other than the usual going on's.
I promise not to make this another 8 month repair!