Power Steering Problem with 87 C30

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About one year ago I bought an 87 C30 with about 170,000 miles.
I have used it little, put on about 1,000 miles.
About 100 miles ago, the steering would tend to lock up occasionally.
Now, it seems to be permanently locked. When the steering wheel is turned left or right, it only turns about 10 degrees either way and it stops. When it stops, there is a loud squeal.
The squeal is coming from the power steering pump. The pulley pretty well stops. It (power steering pump) also tends to squeal when brakes are applied. The belt seems to be sufficiently tight.
What is going on?
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wrote:

Well have you checked the fluid for the P/S pump? If the belt is tight and the fluid is full, then it would be my first guess that the P/S pump is bad. Have you had anyone look at the truck?
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Elbert Clarke
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Elbert wrote:

If the belt is

It increases so significantly that the belt slips.
Somebody else was thinking pump, too, but if the pump were bad, then the load shouldn't increase, right?
It's possible, but it doesn't quite make sense.
Have you had anyone look at the truck?
Do you mean somebody who actually knows something?

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wrote:

Yes... I mean like a mechanic or maybe a friend. Just wondered if anyone had looked at the truck (like at a shop or whatever). From what you describe it sounds to me as if the pump is bad.
If the belt is tight and the p/s pump is making a unusual noises when you try to turn left or right then once again I'm going to say its the p/s pump. I would suggest that you buy a pump with the reservoir already attached. You need a special puller to get the pulley off the pump and to then re-install it correctly.
The belt on the P/S pump has to be pretty tight.
That's my take...
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Elbert Clarke
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Sounds like something went out...Probably in the Hydroboost or steering box. Before you get into the big $$$ parts, check the pressure and return hoses to make sure they haven't come apart and plugged a passage and/or collapsed inside. If the pump runs good without the wheel turned or the brakes applied, it is likely still ok...for now.

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I disagree because one would not effect the other directly.
Shades wrote:

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The fluid goes through one to the other and back to the pump...if a passage was blocked, it WOULD effect both!

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Not really because the bypass valve in the pump would kick it. On my old J20 Jeep (with has GM power steering from factory) the blet has got to really be tight or it will do what his is doing.
Shades wrote:

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Shades wrote:
The truck is parked on grass. Should I be able to turn the steering wheel with the engine off?
I can't now.

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Gras or pavement,(as long as the steering colum is unlocked) you should be able to turn it with a good bit of effort though. Tighten the belt. It needs to be really snug.
A. Smith wrote:

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TheSnoMan wrote:
With the engine running, turning the wheel either way about 15 degrees causes the pump to stop and the steering wheel to stop.
With the engine off, I can turn the steering wheel either way about 180 degrees. At about 180 degrees, the force I am applying is about all I have. With the engine running or not, the wheels move about the same, which is almost nothing.

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Once again, TIGHTEN THE BELT.
A. Smith wrote:

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A. Smith wrote:

    Jack the front of the truck up off the ground. Support with jack stands. See how far you can turn the wheels with the engine off. From Stop/Lock to Stop/Lock should be 3 to 3&1/2 turns. Thats from all the way left to all the way right. If with the engine off you can not turn the wheel that far, start looking for binds in the steering linkage, or ball joints. If no binds are found Disconnect the pitman arm from the steering linkage. Then by hand move the wheels back and forth. If no bind, leave the pitman arm disconnected and try operating the the steering wheel. Both engine on & off.
    I would not be surprised if you have a bad steering box. Charles
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Charles Bendig wrote:

The steering box is what I fear. The truck is behind the barn. The ground seems to be permanently wet -- at least its been wet since it thawed in March or April. I don't have any jack stands. I guess I'll have to borrow or rent.
What I would really like to know is if it is conceiveable that the problem is a loose belt. It seems very tight and it doesn't look glazed, but I don't know. If I could know that it is impossible for a loose belt to cause the steering not to function when not in motion, I could start looking at the other problems. Maybe I'll just buy a new belt and give it a try.
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I bought a new '77 Camaro w/305 that was very finnicky with PS belts. It would squall and stop working under pressure. I discovered, eventually, that only a heavy duty belt would work on it. The standard duty belts would sink into the pulley groove too far. The HD belt was slightly wider and just a bit of the belt rode above the rim of the pulley. I don't know if this is your problem, but it could be. BTW, the standard belts wouldn't work, no matter how tight they were. I went through several until a mechanic finally set me straight.
Dave
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Hairy wrote:

OK. I'll try it. Now that you mention it, I have learned from a lawn mower experience years ago just how crucial the right belt is. It isn't at all clear to me how, but the right belt can make the difference between lasting a day or many years.
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Hairy wrote:

It has STOPPED raining. It went from 65 yesterday to 19 last night. I found a couple of pieces of 4 x 4, put the jack on top and got one front wheel off the ground and the other substantially off the ground. I sprayed about of quart of belt dressing on and, it turned from lock to lock without squealing -- eventually.
I'm wondering if a HD belt would be better or an OEM belt.
It brought to mind an old,old (1960s?)IH riding lawn mower I have. Two years ago, I replaced the belt (possibly original belt - all markings gone) with a brand X. Lasted about an hour. May have put two on. Somebody recommended an OEM belt. It was a huge job finding out what the OEM belt was and it was expensive, but it finished out the year with no problem. I expect many years more. I have no idea what the physical difference was, but the difference in terms of longevity was huge.
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A. Smith wrote:

Just get a new Dayco belt and tighten it a lot and run it for a bit and retighen it again and I cannot over stress that it needs to be pretty tight on the model truck.
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A. Smith wrote:

Try a new belt and it needs to be really tight! I have had this problem before from a loose belt and even if box was bad, it would not make brakes effect it too.
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TheSnoMan wrote:

Well, now that you mention it, the brakes make it squeal a little, too. I'll try the belt. It's relatively cheap and easy.
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