Vintage Oldsmobiles Curved Dash, Limited Touring, Models 40, 53, 66; Series 60, 70, 90

53 Power Steering Problem?

Old March 25th, 2018, 06:37 PM
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53 Power Steering Problem?

Hey folks,

I've not had a chance to do much of anything to my 53 for a while now, but had an opportunity a few days ago to get her out from under the covers and go out for a run, the steering seemed very heavy, I checked the fluid, the belt and it's all ok, the only thing I can see is that the steering wheel now returns on it's own, is this a sign that the PS Gear Box may need rebuilding?

Last edited by Eightbanger; March 25th, 2018 at 06:51 PM.
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Old March 26th, 2018, 02:46 AM
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Hi Nigel

Good to see that you are up and running again.
I rebuild my pump last winter (leakage issue) and tried to get as much old fluid out as possible from the gearbox.
Before rebuilding mine, I had a little of the "going back by itself" symptom but after rebuilding it was gone.
The pump rebuild itself should not affect this symptom but I guess the fresh oil did, so a suggestion would be before rebuilding to flush old oil.
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Old March 26th, 2018, 05:32 AM
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Check the condition of the hoses. If they are hard, might as well replace them, since if one cracks and spills out the oil, you will have a mess to clean up. At the same time you are replacing the hoses, you will be replacing all the oil, and the fresh oil should clear out any sludge build up inside of the box. Once the power steering returns to normal, do a second fluid change to rid the lines of any sludge that be in the oil itself. You can do a complete fluid change by disconnecting the return line, and while the engine is running, pour fluid into the reservoir, and have the old fluid will flow into a collection container, such as a empty gallon milk jug. If you have an assistant, it should go off without a hitch, and there will be no mess. NAPA sells gallon jugs of power steering fluid, although I believe that GM originally spec'd ATF in 1953.
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Old March 26th, 2018, 07:34 AM
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I'm no power steering specialist but I bet a valve or seal is stuck or leaking back under pressure. Mine sure doesn't do that.. As mentioned above a flush wouldn't hurt at all... Tedd
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Old March 26th, 2018, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Andreas.Johansson View Post
Hi Nigel

Good to see that you are up and running again.
I rebuild my pump last winter (leakage issue) and tried to get as much old fluid out as possible from the gearbox.
Before rebuilding mine, I had a little of the "going back by itself" symptom but after rebuilding it was gone.
The pump rebuild itself should not affect this symptom but I guess the fresh oil did, so a suggestion would be before rebuilding to flush old oil.
Thanks Andreas, I must admit I never flushed the system out when I replaced the seals on the pump, but it's always been fine.

Originally Posted by Junkman View Post
Check the condition of the hoses. If they are hard, might as well replace them, since if one cracks and spills out the oil, you will have a mess to clean up. At the same time you are replacing the hoses, you will be replacing all the oil, and the fresh oil should clear out any sludge build up inside of the box. Once the power steering returns to normal, do a second fluid change to rid the lines of any sludge that be in the oil itself. You can do a complete fluid change by disconnecting the return line, and while the engine is running, pour fluid into the reservoir, and have the old fluid will flow into a collection container, such as a empty gallon milk jug. If you have an assistant, it should go off without a hitch, and there will be no mess. NAPA sells gallon jugs of power steering fluid, although I believe that GM originally spec'd ATF in 1953.
Cheers Junkman, I'll take your advice and replace the hoses, they seem OK, but I have no idea how old they are, I suppose like any perishable hose on a car, better to be safe than sorry.


Originally Posted by Tedd Thompson View Post
I'm no power steering specialist but I bet a valve or seal is stuck or leaking back under pressure. Mine sure doesn't do that.. As mentioned above a flush wouldn't hurt at all... Tedd
Hey Tedd, thanks mate.



As stated, I replaced the seals on the Pump a while back because of a leak, used a kit from Fusick, but I'm assuming the issue is now with the Gear Box itself, Fusicks also sell a rebuild kit for that.
http://www.fusickautomotiveproducts....number=5680853
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