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Discussion Starter #1
Took my 76 F-100 out for the first test drive after ground up rebuild. The truck was lowered 3 inches using DJM drop beams. Rebuilt power steering box and rebuilt power steering pump were installed using new high pressure and return line. The steering "power steering" is 10 times harder than the manual steering on my 60s vintage muscle car. It almost seems like something may be bound up. Thinking maybe the steering box need to be adjusted, but after reading a number of posts, don't want to mess with this without know exactly what I am doing. Any thoughts?
 

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Update. started going through Chiton's troubleshooting guide. Checked fluid. It was low (Hard to tell, as I had to modify the dipstick to work on my motor). Added fluid. Turn on motor and turned the wheel. For a split second, the steering was good, then blew the return line. Not at the pump, but at the clamp on the short length of hard line going into the steering box. Thought maybe I reversed the lines, but upon checking, its impossible because the fittings are two different sizes. Re hooked up the hose, refiled with fluid. Started up again, and again blew the same hose in the same spot. Checked for blockage in the hose and line. There was none. Probed the inside of the steering box through the fitting opening with a 6 " plastic tie. No blockage.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I put a set of March pulleys on, but they are standard pulleys, not the serpentine pulleys.

It is not plumbed through the radioator. It goes directly to the steering box, and returns.

Am going to ry to bleed the system tomorrow.
 

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Does it growl and whine like a siren as you turn the wheel??..if so,its probably airbound and needs to be bled..you may need to jack it up and get the weight off the front end,and run it at fast idle while turning the wheel all the way to the stops and hold it there for a few seconds,back and forth for a minute or two,until the whining stops..then shut it off and let it sit awhile,so any foam in the fliud can dissapate..

If that does not help,check all the ball joints or kingpins, and tie rods to ensure none are stiff or seizing up...low pressure from the pump can cause lack of assist,its possible to tee in a gauge to read the pressure,but few have one available,a crude test is to crimp the pressure hose shut with a pair of padded plier jaws,for a few seconds--if its putting out adequate pressure,the pulley will stp turning and the belt will squeal..(be sure belt is adjusted properly first or you'll get a false result)..if the hoses are old they could be collapsing internally causing a restiction that'll reduce pressure to the box or cylinder..

If your truck has a cylinder instead of a "integral" power steering setup that is all contained in the steering box,the cylinder or control valve could be defective..
 

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OK,add ing a few things after reading your second post..first,I see the hoses are new,so they can be eliminated as a possible cause..the return line blowing puzzles me though,unless your using fuel line or other unsuitable hose,there shouldn't be much more than 25-50 lbs max in the return lines..if your using the correct hose,and its popping them,there has to be something amiss in the return circuit I'd think..maybe the steering box was not rebuilt and assembled properly..you shouldn't have to touch any of the adjustments,and doing so may well void any warranty,so I wouldn't..I'd think if the pressure relief valve in the pump was sticking or defective the high pressure side would show the problem first,but maybe not..
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the ideas. Will try to bleed the system tonight and see if that works. Have not heard any squealing or grinding, but the hose doesn't stay on long enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the ideas folks. I think I got it. I need to take it down off the jackstands, but at least I figured out why the hose was blowing. I went ahead and bleed the system. Though it was going well. Alot of air escaping. Started her up, promptly blew the hose from both ends this time.

Reconnected everything. Bleed again. Started her up. This time the hose didn't blow. Why not? This time, I forgot to put the dipstick back in the tube. Upon examining the dipstick, it appears over the years that the rubber stopper had molded itself quite well to the lip. The lid appears that it is supposed to have some space to allow pressure to escape.

Worked the stopper loose, and replaced the dipstick. It didn't blow. Success. Now for the test drive.
 
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