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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi guys,

Newbie to the site. I am having some major difficulty with the new power steering setup I am trying to install on my Nova Wagon.
I am not too familiar with this kind of power steering which has the control valve and slave cylinder setup.

I have been trying to tackle this for over 2 months with no avail...

I purchased all brand new parts, new control valve, new slave cylinder, new pressure lines to the control valve and cylinder, new hoses from pump to control valve, and also a new power steering pump.

I wanted everything new, as I bought this puppy from the 3rd owner, and needless to say, I have had to change A LOT of mickey mouse stuff that was done to this poor car.

However, when I installed all of the new power steering parts and components, I took a little bit to bleed the lines of any air while the car was Off, and jacked up off the ground.
After that, I lower it a little more, and turn the car over, ...the steering wheel starts going crazy! Turning left to right, and uncontrollably fast! I have NEVER seen a car do this before, and this has happen several times over the past month and a half, as I had bad or defective parts, so I took them back and replaced them with more new stuff. However, it continues to do that same thing. :confused:

This has me completely baffled. I don't know what is making the steering do this. I'm afraid that wheel could snap my arms in two as it is turning dangerously fast.

Note, I did replace EVERYTHING with new parts, and also put it fresh Dexron Automatic fluid. I also turned the wheel left to right while the car was jacked up off of the ground to release any air in the lines.

Any sort of heads up on what might be going on would be greatly appreciated.

Any help would be super appreciated. I've reached my wits-end with this. :pout:

Thanks guys, and Merry Christmas!
 

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Welcome to the Team Chris!

I've never had/heard of a problem like that before, maybe there's a check valve somewhere sticking??, but I've never had to rebuild a system so I don't really know what's in there, I just put a rack in mine..
 

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Welcome to the Team Chris!

You still have air in the system. It will cycle wildly like that even with the car on the ground until all of the air is out. If you look in the reservoir you will note that the fluid is all foamed up after an episode like that.

The presence of a hydraulic ram cylinder with it's piston centered has two large areas where air can hide. The cylinder moves from side to side by applying a greater force on one side than the other which moves the cylinder. If you have air in the cylinder it will compress that air causing rapid movement to that side. The cylinder will bottom out and as the pressure builds on that side compressing the air until the cylinder sees that the pressure on the other side of the piston is now lower where upon the cylinder jumps to the other side.

You have to continue to bleed the system and refill the reservoir continuously until you get no bubbles in the fluid and the level no longer drops as you cycle the wheel from side to side. The instruction sheet should have out lined the proper filling and purging the cylinder.

The control valve for the cylinder is included inside the steering gear box and is different from the manual gear box. As you turn the wheel the gear box opens a spool valve that activates the cylinder. As such it has to be free of air as well.

This style of power steering was used on 1958-'64 Impalas and the 1963-'82 Corvette so you can look on those web sites for more detailed information on how to bled the system.

Big Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey Art. Thanks! Yeah, I've never heard or have seen a car ever do this. What a very touchy and tedious power steering system. After all of this, I was almost ready to get rack and pinion myself, as this installation had me confused as all get out!
 

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Yeah, it isn't good but you could bleed the heck out of it again like Dave said making sure all the air is gone, with all new parts it should work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thank You, Dave! I had a feeling something like that was the issue. Because with each new control valve and slave cylinder I put in. They All did the exact same thing.

You are definitely spot on, though. The fluid started to foam up in the reservoir, while also the fluid fluctuated up and down continuously. The fluid did stop dropping at one point. But, when I started the car to run the pump and fluid through the lines, about a minute later the wheel starts going crazy.

I ordered the stuff online, and oddly enough did not come with instructions for installing and/or bleeding the system. Which I found a bit odd. However, I took the old power steering out and memorized it, so I knew how to put it all back together. Not hard to do, just time consuming.

But, that steering wheel thing really scared me for a sec. I thought... what is going on!?! I thought lines could have been crossed, or there was a leak, or something was wrong with one of the parts I bought. But, come to find... it's actually a trapped air issue.

I guess my few questions pertaining to bleeding the system of any air would be:

* If the wheel starts turning erratically like that while trying to bleed the air out, just shut the car down and continue checking and /or filling fluid as need be?

* Should I try bleeding the system of air with or without the car running?

* I read somewhere to Not use Automatic Transmission Fluid (which was normally used) I was told by a classic car shop to use this type of fluid as opposed to power steering fluid. But, now I am reading online to use power steering fluid and Not automatic transmission fluid. Now that I have automatic trans fluid in the system, is that OK or should I drain that out and put power steering fluid in instead?


You also stated, "The control valve for the cylinder is included inside the steering gear box and is different from the manual gear box." Not exactly sure what you meant by this. Just making sure I'm not missing something important. :)

I replaced my manual steering box as well. As my old one had a lot of slop in it while driving down the road.

So, basically it's just a matter of continuously turning the wheel back and forth until all of the air is bled from the system? The way this is going, it sounds like its going to be a lengthy process!

Thanks for the words, and help there, Dave!
Much Appreciated!
 
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