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Old 01-30-2011, 02:59 PM   #15
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Before you replace anything, make sure you don't have an air bubble in the system. You will have to open the hard-to-find nipple on top of the emergency brake activator can back by the transmission to see. Then top up the reservoir fluid, follow the motor-off bleeding procedure which involves a lot of left-to-right and brake pedal stomping and repeat and I'll bet there's a 50% chance you don't need any parts at all.

My local Chevy dealer diagnosed my '92 30' as needing $2000 of hydroboost and power steering pumps and after I finished swearing, I took it home and bled everything I could find and it's been fine for 6 months. What happens is ... as the emergency brake shoes wear, the hydraulic slave has to move farther to engage them...thus removing enough fluid from the reservoir for the system to suck air.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:29 AM   #16
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Wow - you were wise to bleed the system yourself instead of going for the Chevy dealer recommended repairs. I will look for the emergency brake activator can and will try this. When I open the nipple do I just open it enough for air to purge and should it be left open during the bleeding proceedure ? I'm picturing something like a brake bleeder at the wheel. Also can you tell me what steps you followed for bleeding. I'm not sure what is correct for this motorhome and I would like to follow the steps you took and see what happens. Thank you very much for the info - I appreciate !

Steve
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:33 PM   #17
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To properly diag the failure of the pump and not the boost first remove the pressure hose from the end going in the boost then take a 4 foot section of hose big enough to go over the fitting place the hose in a catch pan start the engine and if fluid exits the hose at high rate you know your pump is not the problem, they all have Hydro boost on P chassis along with the fact you would have no room for a vacuum booster, it only takes 20 min and just have someone do the start and kill while you watch, Steve Note: you most always need line wrenches for power steering work because the fittings will be very tight and air in the system will self evacuate after work is complete
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:38 PM   #18
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This might help..
Operation, Diagnosis and Repair of Hydro-Boost Power Assist Systems
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:22 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveturk View Post
Wow - you were wise to bleed the system yourself instead of going for the Chevy dealer recommended repairs. I will look for the emergency brake activator can and will try this. When I open the nipple do I just open it enough for air to purge and should it be left open during the bleeding proceedure ? I'm picturing something like a brake bleeder at the wheel. Also can you tell me what steps you followed for bleeding. I'm not sure what is correct for this motorhome and I would like to follow the steps you took and see what happens. Thank you very much for the info - I appreciate !
I'm pretty sure I just gravity bled it, as I don't remember the thing being turned on while I was under there. Yes, it looks like a brake bleeder at a wheel, but it's up on top of the can which - on mine - is on the passenger side of the transmission, sort of at the bellhousing.

Search for the real bleeding procedure on this excellent site, but what I remember is to jack up the front and rack the steering all the way left and then all the way right about 4-5 times with the engine OFF, then stomp on the brake pedal 4-5 times hard, then check the fluid level in the tank up front and see if it went down. Repeat. If you do this with the engine running, there will be too much foam in the fluid to bleed properly. When the fluid level stops going down try it with the engine running. If you got lucky, all moaning, pulsing, funky steering and soft, low brake pedal stuff will be gone. Good luck!
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:09 PM   #20
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Sorry, I did not clarify... there is a PS bleeding section in my link above..

Here is a paste..


Bleed Technique 1:
  1. Replace any hydraulic line showing external damage. Install new seals for all disconnected fittings (as required) and install an in-line power steering filter. Tighten all hose fittings to OE specifications.
  2. Flush the entire power steering system using the vehicle manufacturer's recommended fluid. Fill pump reservoir to the proper level.
  3. Disable engine to allow cranking without starting. Block wheels, put transmission in neutral or park and set parking brake, then crank engine 5 to 10 seconds (avoid overheating starter motor).
  4. Refill pump reservoir as necessary. Repeat step 3 until level is correct.
  5. Enable the engine to allow starting. Start engine and let idle. Slowly turn steering wheel from lock-to-lock a number of times.
  6. Turn engine off and inspect fluid level and condition. Add or remove fluid as necessary. If fluid is foaming, wait one hour then recheck level. Repeat step 5 and 6 until fluid level is correct and shows no sign of air problem.
NOTE: Many of you are aware that Ford power steering systems are very prone to air-related problems. The most effective way to remove air in these systems is to apply a vacuum to the power steering pump reservoir. This technique can be used on most power steering systems.


Bleed Technique 2:
  1. Remove return line from hydro-boost and plug end with appropriate size plug or bolt.
  2. Connect two- to three-foot piece of clear hose to return port on hydro-boost unit. Place end of hose into empty container at least 1 gallon in capacity.
  3. Fill power steering pump reservoir with correct fluid.
  4. Disable engine to allow cranking without starting. Block wheels, put transmission in neutral or park and set parking brake, then crank engine 5 to 10 seconds (avoid overheating starter motor) while applying and releasing brake pedal slowly.
  5. Refill pump reservoir as necessary. Repeat step 4 until no air is seen in return line from hydro-boost.
  6. Remove clear hose from return port and reconnect return line from pump.
  7. Enable the engine to allow starting. Start engine and let idle. Slowly turn steering wheel from lock to lock a number of times.
  8. Turn engine off and inspect fluid level and condition. Add or remove fluid as necessary. If fluid is foaming, wait one hour then recheck level. Repeat step 7 and 8 until fluid level is correct and shows no sign of air problem.
Procedure
Use either of these bleeding procedures whenever replacing or servicing any component in a hydro-boost system. Normal driving conditions will remove air that remains trapped within the system when components are properly installed and there are no flow restrictions in the system. Always refer to the vehicle service manual for specific installation and testing procedures.

Power Steering Flush
In addition to requiring the correct pressure, it is also critical that the fluid be clean. The tolerances in the moving parts inside the hydro-boost are such that only a small amount of contaminates can cause a malfunction. This is especially true of the spool valve. The tolerances necessary to form a metal-to-metal seal are quite small and any contaminates or tarnish buildup can prevent smooth operation of the spool valve. Since the spool valve controls the flow of fluid into and out of the power chamber, it is critical it functions properly.
Any vehicle equipped with a hydro-boost power assist will benefit from a periodic power steering flush. The only thing is you have to perform an additional step to ensure the hydro-boost power chamber and internal parts are flushed. When performing the flush, apply and release the brake pedal slowly to allow the new fluid into the hydro-boost. If you skip this step you will have the large quantity of old fluid in the hydro-boost that will mix with the new fluid once the brake is applied and released a couple of times.
Hydro-boost diagnosis and service is not difficult especially when you know how the system works. Applying this knowledge with a systematic approach will enable fast and accurate diagnosis of these systems.
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:16 AM   #21
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Thanks for all of the help everyone. I'll get at this again as soon as the weather breaks. There are some inside fixes that can be done until it warms up a little. One great thing about owning a classic Airstream is you never get bored...there's always something that needs attention.
Steve
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:06 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveturk View Post
One great thing about owning a classic Airstream is you never get bored...there's always something that needs attention.
Steve
Really?
Thats the quote of the Day!
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:09 AM   #23
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Gets me thinking...Hmmm. Perhaps I should check the level in the reservior before it starts sucking air. Turns out its a little low. Can you tell me what type of fluid this system takes?
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:48 AM   #24
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I believe it calls for GM Power Steering Fluid. The fluid level on the power steering reservoir dipstick shows that it's right where it should be. Also checked brake fluid in master cyl. and it's ok. Belt seems a little loose but not slipping - I'll adjust it and see if it helps. Steering wheel is very hard to turn when shifted into park with engine running. Seems to be somewhat easier to turn when shifted into drive for some reason.
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:58 AM   #25
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Interested to find what it is Steve!
Mine seems to work fine, but the growing puddle of PS fluid under my 345 and the dropping Reservior level indicates I have a problem!
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:36 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveturk View Post
I believe it calls for GM Power Steering Fluid. The fluid level on the power steering reservoir dipstick shows that it's right where it should be. Also checked brake fluid in master cyl. and it's ok. Belt seems a little loose but not slipping - I'll adjust it and see if it helps. Steering wheel is very hard to turn when shifted into park with engine running. Seems to be somewhat easier to turn when shifted into drive for some reason.

Pay attention here! You have air in the emergency brake can. When you shift into park, the valve opens that pumps fluid to the emergency brake, lowers the level in the reservoir, and sucks air. When you shift into gear, the valve releases the E brake and that fluid comes back into the system and gives you a little more pressure.

Get under there and get rid of the air in the can so you can fill the system and bleed it, engine off.

Not gonna tell you a 3rd time. Hmph!
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:54 AM   #27
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I'm going to follow the steps you sent previously as soon as I can...along with checking the belt tension. It's the first thing on my Airstream priority list. The winter has made it a little difficult for the outside stuff and am trying to get some of these fixes done after work. Gets dark before I can get there. It looks like I'll have more time soon and the days are getting longer. Will post how it goes ASAP.
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Old 02-18-2011, 06:00 PM   #28
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Mine sat for almost a year before I got it sorted. I tried everything. Even the Chevy dealer. I just don't want to see you spend money on parts you don't need or get all bummed out about your rig when it only needs 30 mins of work and some fluid to be fine. Good luck.
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