Anybody familiar with older power steering pumps?

I have recently taken the '85 LTD out of the mothballs. Everything, even the old R-12 based A/C is still working and driving it has been fun, except that
my beloved toy left a small puddle of steering fluid on the ground, just below the pump. The leak is at the seal between the plastic reservoir and the pressure port fitting. Don't know if newer ones are similar or not (the one on my Explorer sure looks different), but this one is a bit of a puzzling design. The screw-in pressure port has two external O-rings. The smaller one seals the bore with the pressurized fluid, while the larger one is supposed to seals the opening in the reservoir through which the port enters. It's the latter that leaks. It just seems that the port bottoms out in the pump body before the flange at its rear manages to fully compress the larger O-ring. In fact, even when the fitting is seated fully in, 'metal-to-metal', a thin gap is still clearly visible between the plastic reservoir and that O-ring. The reservoir even moves quite freely instead of being snug against the pump body. The opening in the reservoir appears intact, with a nice 45 deg chamfer. A new O-ring of the correct size, taken straight from a seal kit made absolutely no difference. Something is clearly the wrong dimension or distorted, but what? It's such a simple affair... I have been thinking of replacing the pump, but the only ones available are 'remanufactured', and I am afraid to find exactly the same problem after all the hassle involved in separating the A/C compressor, removing and re-installing the pulley, retightening the belts, etc, etc. Worse yet, most of these pumps come without the reservoir -- back to square one! Anyone?
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Happy Traveler wrote:

Did you use factory ford seals? I had to do the one on my Taurus. As i recall, the pump kit did not include the orings for the High line. I had to buy that one separate. Go to the ford dealer and buy the high side rings separate and see what happens.
Bob
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The O-ring that I used was included in the seal kit, but it's an aftermarket 'Powercraft', not OEM. Just a plain O-ring, though. Seems to fit perfectly in the grove on the port fitting so hard to envision that it would be anything else, but who knows - I have been burned with those aftermarket things before. Thanks for the tip, Bob. I will check if the local Ford dealer has them. Ford is not known for stocking too many parts for a 20+ year old vehicle, so any clue if the CII steeering pump was used on anything newer?

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I'm guessing that there are too many taxi's around for them not to carry those parts.
CJB
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CJB wrote:

Imagine what a Cuban Ford dealer stocks....... ;)
Bob
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In this weather Cuba did not make an attractive destination, so I visited the local Ford dealer instead. The parts man was nice enough to spend all of three minutes on my project. The only item that came up under the 'steering pump' category for this vehicle was a complete, brand new pump. Its $130 price tag (after my 10% discount) was more than the tax writeoff that I am allowed to claim by donating the car to the Salvation Army, but I pondered buying one anyway. Alas, the thread in the pressure fitting was the wrong size. "You may need to transfer your old one" the attached sheeet said. Yeah, right; it's the pressure fitting that brought me here in the first place... A hardware store had a nice selection of O-rings. Picked the same 3/4" ID as in the seal kit, but 1/8" thick instead of 3/32". On a dry run it seems to fill the gap nicely. Wish me luck... Out of curiosity I took a look at the steering pump on my '98 Explorer. The reservoir is completely separate from the pump. No pressure port poking through it anymore. Encouraging to see that Ford engineers learn from mistakes...
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