Chevy Tri Five Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings to all! I have a '57 Chevy Bel Air, all original, including the factory power steering unit running off the stock generator. I noticed that is has been leaking power steering fluid from the power steering unit cap (the cap fits well and tight). When I checked on the fluid level, I noticed that the reservoir was nearly empty. In attempting to add power steering fluid, I was lucky to notice that the cap is marked "Refill only with Automatic Transmission Fluid - Type A"

I had my car serviced about 2 years ago wherein they had to remove the power steering pump and I'm wondering if, when they reinstalled the pump, they filled it with power steering fluid. I have a few questions:

1. Would power steering fluid, instead of ATF fluid, in the pump cause it to overflow through the cap? Did a possible mix of power steering fluid and ATF fluid cause the overflow? The cap fits well and is tight.

2. If there is some power steering fluid left in the system, is it OK to top it off with the recommended ATF fluid? Would this damage the unit?

3. I've never noticed before but the underside of the power steering unit cap does not have a rubber washer, only brass. Is this the way it's supposed to be or did I lose a rubber or plastic washer or O ring that's supposed to be there?

Your expert advise is always appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,774 Posts
1. Would power steering fluid, instead of ATF fluid, in the pump cause it to overflow through the cap? Did a possible mix of power steering fluid and ATF fluid cause the overflow?
No, the fluids are virtually identical.

2. If there is some power steering fluid left in the system, is it OK to top it off with the recommended ATF fluid? Would this damage the unit?
OK to use ATF and a residual amount of PS fluid, won't hurt a thing. BTW, Typw A ATF is difficult to find, use Dexron ATF or a multipurpose equivalent.

3. I've never noticed before but the underside of the power steering unit cap does not have a rubber washer, only brass. Is this the way it's supposed to be or did I lose a rubber or plastic washer or O ring that's supposed to be there?
Your cap is stock and intact, no rubber or plastic there at all. The brass disc is tempered and is slightly bowl shaped towards the filler neck. The brass disc can flatten over time, just use a small screwdriver under the edge of the disc and pull it up a bit, working all around the edge of the disc.

The cap is vented and if you look closely at the dipstick just before it turns under the rivet head inside the cap you can see a groove cut into the dipstick. Sometimes they get plugged up and can cause the fill spout to burp some fluid. It's very hard to clean out but if you soak it in lacquer thinner overnight that should loosen up the gunk, poke the groove with a thin wire like a sharpened paper clip, then blow it out with compressed air. It may take more than one soaking to get it cleaned out.

Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Jalapeno. Yes, this does help a lot and thanks for the great and complete response. Great information about the Power Steering Cap as well, and I'm going to follow your advice immediately. I didn't know for sure about the possibility of a missing washer so that clears up the uncertainty. The cap is going into some solvent and a thorough cleaning is in order. Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
my '57 has the same power steering. the dipstick has the brass washer and a cork washer and the top has been brazed at the rivet. could this be my problem of losing fluid? i see no way that there could be a vent.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
65,344 Posts
Your replying to an old post, but I would not think that your loosing fluid from the dipstick area, more than likely a leak is at the power steering rams under the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67,066 Posts
might want to make a new thread with you question Westley.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
65,344 Posts
I do not recall mine being braised, here is a pic below of what style you should have.

338854


You may want to reach out to Steve from authentic automotive he will have the answers you are looking for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I do not recall mine being braised, here is a pic below of what style you should have.

View attachment 338854

You may want to reach out to Steve from authentic automotive he will have the answers you are looking for.
mine does not narrow at the top under the cap. i have used a small drill bit and reopened the vent by drilling thru the brazing. the only place where i can find oil leaking is right under the bottom of the reservoir where it contacts the pump. probably need a rebuild kit, right?
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top