Steering Pump noise and leak

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1971 M-Code Mach 1 w/408C stroker
I have a steering pump that was remanufactured by Lee Manufacturing (not longer in business) in early 2015. I used it for about 2 years (~1,000 miles) with no noise issues. When installing it, I followed the recommended purge procedure and used only transmission Type F fluid. I checked the fluid level often and it was within range.

Last week I took the car for a ride and after making a U-turn the pump started to make the typical "cavitation" noise. Low noise when driving straight, heavier noise when turning. When I parked the car and after turning the engine off, a lot of foamy steering fluid came out of the fill tube. I tried several times, and it would leak every time only after the engine was stopped.

I let it rest for a few days, refilled it, and purged it by turning the steering end-to-end several times. Drove it for a few miles, turned the engine on and off several times. It didn't leak anymore, but still had a faint cavitation noise. Today, I took the car for a drive and the faint cavitation noise was still there. When turning the steering the noise will get higher. Then I turned the steering couple times back-and-forth and the noise got worse. After I turned the engine off I got the leak again through the fill tube. I have the feeling that there is something wrong with the pump. Right now there are no other leaks in the system besides the one out of the fill tube after then engine is turned off. All the hoses are new, the steering box was also remanufactured by Lee and shows no obvious leaks. The only piece left from the old system is the cooler. Any ideas? When the pump was remanufactured they stated that they calibrate the pump for the "heavier valve" of the modified steering box. How is this calibration done? I have a "new" remanufactured pump that I could try, but I am wondering if I really need this calibration.

 
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Mikes73

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This may be overkill but I ditched the stock trans cooler in favor of a medium sized B&M transmission cooler and everything seems to be working well with my power steering system. In Oklahoma it gets really hot in the summer and I am sure the extra cooling capacity makes a difference. Good luck..

 

73pony

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pump is likely bad. I switched to a Saginaw style (looks like old school canned ham) and have not had an issue since.

 
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pump is likely bad. I switched to a Saginaw style (looks like old school canned ham) and have not had an issue since.
Which one you got? Do you have a model or link? Did you keep the steering box?
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73pony

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I had my box rebuilt and converted to quick ratio by powersteering.com. I got the pump and new pulley kit from CVF Racing in MN. It was an easy install and very nice quality. Steering is a smooth as can be and the belts and pulleys don't slip at all. They are a ribbed flat belt as opposed old vbelt.

 
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I had my box rebuilt and converted to quick ratio by powersteering.com. I got the pump and new pulley kit from CVF Racing in MN. It was an easy install and very nice quality. Steering is a smooth as can be and the belts and pulleys don't slip at all. They are a ribbed flat belt as opposed old vbelt.
Do you have A/C?
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73pony

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I have an AC car but it wasn't working so when I did the motor I pulled the underhood stuff off and set aside. I ordered the pulley kit for without AC. If I decide to go back with AC they have a kit that is the correct bracket to swap out without having to buy a whole new set up.

 

Bentworker

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The Saginaw pump is easier to adjust pressure output. Other than that I think the only other advantage might be a little weight savings and the fact that they are plentiful.

 
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I purchased a Saginaw pump to check fitment. I think that with a few tweaks it will fit great under the A/C. I figured I can reuse the current bracket after doing a few mods. My only unknown is how will the box work with the pressure created by the Saginaw. I don't think the pressure difference would be that great. After all, aren't our steering boxes Saginaw anyway?

As for pulley diameter I will try finding one with the same diameter as the current pump.

I won't be testing it for a while since my engine is out.

 
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