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Old 08-14-2007, 06:17 AM   #1
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Power steering problems

I completed two track weekends in the Boxster with no issues. Then yesterday, I rented my home track for a couple hours to set a base line time before I tore it apart and installed all the new goodies. After about an hour of driving it started to get pretty hot, so I pulled off and let it cool. The temp needle shot up to the red and I could hear the coolant bubbling. I drove it around at low rpms for a little while and the temp recovered. However, the power steering pump started making loud noises. I was half an hour from home and had no power steering fluid on hand, so I had to just drive home and avoid steering as much as possible. When I got home and threw it up on jack stands, it dumped fluid all over my garage floor. This is the first drop of any fluid the car has leaked on my floor. I checked the level and the stick is bone dry.

(1) Have any of you experienced this?

(2) Is there anything else I should do to prevent this from happening in the future?

(3) Other than bleeding the lines and replacing the fluid, do you think anything is permanently broken that I'll have to fix before I can drive it again?

Thanks!
Sam

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Old 08-14-2007, 11:56 AM   #2
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My general understanding is that the Power Steering is a weak point with Boxsters that are track driven (and might be compounded by oversized "sticky" rubber). But, as you've noticed when checking the level of the PS fluid, it sits at the top of a very hot engine bay. Combine that with the line placement and plastic material and failures happen.

I know several who have added a small P/S "radiator" up front to help cool the system. Others have used heat resistant wrapping on the lines in the engine compartment to shield away some of the heat.

Perhaps a combo of the two given your desire to time trial would be the appropriate measures to prevent further failures.

It is possible that the pump has been damaged since the system was run "dry", but I am not sure how you can tell.
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Old 09-11-2007, 03:00 PM   #3
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Interesting. I was in an accident and my car was side swiped on the passenger side. All is good as I ended up with some good upgrades(Bumper,Litronis,new wheels etc) all the work is done but now there's a small leak in the power steering line somewhere in the engine compartment.

I didn't think the car was hit hard enough to cause this problem. But after hearing that this area of the car is weak then it makes a sense.

Does anyone know how to bleed the power steering lines??

Last edited by Couper1; 09-11-2007 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 09-11-2007, 05:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iflyadesk
I completed two track weekends in the Boxster with no issues. Then yesterday, I rented my home track for a couple hours to set a base line time before I tore it apart and installed all the new goodies. After about an hour of driving it started to get pretty hot, so I pulled off and let it cool. The temp needle shot up to the red and I could hear the coolant bubbling. I drove it around at low rpms for a little while and the temp recovered. However, the power steering pump started making loud noises. I was half an hour from home and had no power steering fluid on hand, so I had to just drive home and avoid steering as much as possible. When I got home and threw it up on jack stands, it dumped fluid all over my garage floor. This is the first drop of any fluid the car has leaked on my floor. I checked the level and the stick is bone dry.

(1) Have any of you experienced this?

(2) Is there anything else I should do to prevent this from happening in the future?

(3) Other than bleeding the lines and replacing the fluid, do you think anything is permanently broken that I'll have to fix before I can drive it again?

Thanks!
Sam
Where did the ps fluid leak come from? A hose, a joint, the rack itself?

Do you have overheating issues when driving on the street too?
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Old 09-11-2007, 06:46 PM   #5
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The car is in the shop with a mechanic right now who is looking for the leak. so, not sure where it's coming from just yet. He thinks there is air in the lines as you hear a noise from the steering every now and then. Also, I see a bit of smoke coming out from the engine compartment. This is from the fluid leak.
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Old 09-11-2007, 07:52 PM   #6
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This has been a problem with tracked cars since I started Boxstering in 1999. It is still a problem on tracked 987s.

To bleed I think you just fill up the reservoir and turn the steering wheel lock-to-lock. Then check the level.
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Old 09-12-2007, 06:12 AM   #7
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Usually the fluid leak is right at the PS pump. High engine temps plus heavy steering forces in tracked cars work together to boil the steering fluid. When this happens the high internal pressure forces the steel fluid tubing out of the pump and dumps your fluid all over the ground. If you don't notice it and continue to drive it can fry the PS pump.

Solutions:

1. Wrap insulation around the PS tubing inside the engine bay to reduce engine heat transfer.

2. Add a PS fluid cooler to your system.

3. Always take one or two easy cool down laps at the end of a spirited track session of 15 minutes or more.
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Last edited by Topless; 09-12-2007 at 06:14 AM.
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Old 09-12-2007, 06:24 AM   #8
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Also, I see a bit of smoke coming out from the engine compartment. This is from the fluid leak.

A common leak is from the return line connection at the back of the pump.
The leaking fluid runs onto the top of the engine and then onto the exhaust.

The return line has a red plastic fastener that holds the line into the pump and two o-rings which seal the line. If your accident caused the fastener to fail this would cause the leak.

The return line/pump location is under the intake system and difficult to see from the top of the engine. The repair requires the removal of the throttle body.

The return line fastener is part of the fluid reservoir (there are two the main and the overflow). You can see the parts diagram on the Pelican board site or the PCNA tech site.

Ed

Last edited by Sboxin; 09-12-2007 at 06:27 AM. Reason: update
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:06 PM   #9
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Sorry to resurrect an old post, but my power steering just exploded while parking. 99 manual with headers, driven slowly 6 blocks, parked for a couple hours, drove 6 blocks back, went to parallel park, turned it to full lock and it popped and steamed, dumped all the fluid. When i went to drive off to see what it was the power steering was out, a purply fluid was dumped, and a slight goop was hanging from the bottom of the car.

What could have caused it other than old age and miles?
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentThunder
Sorry to resurrect an old post, but my power steering just exploded while parking. 99 manual with headers, driven slowly 6 blocks, parked for a couple hours, drove 6 blocks back, went to parallel park, turned it to full lock and it popped and steamed, dumped all the fluid. When i went to drive off to see what it was the power steering was out, a purply fluid was dumped, and a slight goop was hanging from the bottom of the car.

What could have caused it other than old age and miles?
Did you zip tie the power steering lines out of the way with the bigger headers?
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:27 AM   #11
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Ya, but i guess it wasnt enough. I have an appointment at the mechanic monday, so it will be fixed then.
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Old 07-02-2008, 04:46 PM   #12
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Would you mind posting a comment on the final results of your PS failure repair?
Did the failure occur in the front or rear of the car? Was it a line/connector or at the pump, or the steering?

Thanks in advance for your comments,
Ed
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Old 07-03-2008, 06:11 AM   #13
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iflyadesk,

Here's a good thread regarding installing a power steering line cooler for race applications :

Power steering line cooler installed

Sboxin,

How did this end up working out for you ?

Thanks,

Nick
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Old 07-04-2008, 03:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickCats
iflyadesk,

Here's a good thread regarding installing a power steering line cooler for race applications :

Power steering line cooler installed

Sboxin,

How did this end up working out for you ?

Thanks,

Nick
Nick,

This solution has been rock solid = no leaks or failures. The pressure on the steering system from the 245 18" TOYO R888 under track conditions is extreme.
The line cooler we used is very large - but I thought was needed for our desert temps here in Phoenix.

Here is track video - just for yucks
http://s158.photobucket.com/albums/t114/Arizona-ed/Boxster%20S/?action=view&current=DE-OCT2007-Eddie_0001.flv

I have also read that the Mantis underdrive pulley solution is also holding up well.

Take care,
Ed
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:39 AM   #15
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Thanks, Ed !

Nick

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