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Old 05-23-2000, 12:55 AM
MikeTangas's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430
I have just finished the steering pump repairs. Proud to announce the replacement pump is working wonderfully . Since I completely drained the system, I did have to replace nearly 2 quarts of fluid (surprise!!). It did tend to make a racket while working all the air out of the system. Found if junior slowly worked the wheel left to right, I could slowly top off the system. After about 10 minutes had all the air worked out, pump running silent.

Now, once all the wheel turning was done, I noticed a few drips of fluid on thye driveway, just inside the left front tire. Put the car on ramps and checked it out. Found there was a very slow drip forming at a weep hole on the botton side of the steering box. This weep hole is located between the pitman shaft and frame. The entire area appears to be one cover, held on by several allen head bolts. Is the weepage due to the air in the system, overpressuring the system while working out the air, or is it a sign I am soon to be rebuilding a steering box?

It looks to be fairly straight forward to remove, although a tight fit. Left tie rod, drag link and steering damper, and the pitman arm out of the way. Three bolts attaching to the frame, the two steering lines and whatever connecting the steering shaft to the box. The latter is the only connection I couldn't see clearly, is there supposed to be a rubber coupler in the area? I felt around but couldn't tell if there was one or not.


Mike Tangas
73 280 SEL 4.5
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Old 05-23-2000, 08:04 AM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844

Next time you are filling it open the bleeder on top of the steering gearbox. If done with engine off till fluid comes out and full the system will need little bleeding.

If bleeding is necessary, I hook a section of MB hard vacuum line, with a rubber hose to couple, to the bleeder, open the bleeder and place the other end into the reservoir. Start the motor but **DO NOT** turn the steering wheel (you will blast the line off and throw fluid everywhere). The fluid will give up its air and clear fluid will flow through this into the reservoir.

As to your leak, the hole you describe allows fluid leaking from the spool valve to get out. Removing and sealing the spool valve requires the highest degree of skills involved in this box and almost total disassembly. It is not really hard but there are many ways to fail. I would find someone who can quote you a price without a book and let them do it. BTW we charge 4-5 hours labor and about $35 in parts for the whole job. I think a box of the car is about 2-3 hours labor to disassemble and totally reseal and set up.

The box doesn't have a flex coupling. The flange has two 8mm pins that go through two nylon bushings PART# 111 462 01 65. They are cheap replace every time the box comes off (or every few years which ever is longer). BTW the way it comes apart is to remove the safety clips on the 8mm pins (2x) and slide the coupling apart. Do not take the coupling from the shaft unless you have it well marked.

Steve Brotherton
Owner 24 bay BSC
Bosch Master, ASE master L1
26 years MB technician
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Old 05-23-2000, 10:23 PM
MikeTangas's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430
Thanks for the box advice Steve, I'll talk to the local MB shop owner about the price of a bench job, just as soon as he returns from Germany.

Before logging on this evening, I was checking the system out for any leaks, when I noticed the bleeder valve on the steering box. Wish I had noticed it yesterday. On the plus side, no leaks (except for the slow drip at the weep hole).

I will order a set of coupler bushings before I pull the box. I am pretty sure mine are seriously in need of replacement as there is a solid "clack" when you wiggle the wheel quickly. I have no idea when, or if, any of the prior owners had them changed.

Thanks for all the help and great advice.

Mike Tangas
73 280 SEL 4.5

[This message has been edited by MikeTangas (edited 05-24-2000).]
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