Power Steering gear box: buy new vs. replace seal
I have a 4-cylinder 1989 Ranger. I'm leaking power steering fluid pretty badly. I can see the fluid leaking right out of the shaft that attaches to the Pittman arm, so it seems pretty clear that the shaft seal is leaking. Tried using Lucas stop leak, but 3 bottles still didn't stop the leaking.
I did a complete rebuild on one of these on a similar Ranger truck a few years ago, which I remember as being a pretty miserable task that I'd prefer to avoid doing again.
I'm seeing on Auto-Zone website there is a seal kit you can buy for about $8 that only has about 3 seals. So apparently you would replace these seals only and NOT necessarily go through the chore of a complete re-build. I wonder if it's possible to replace the seal around the shaft that attaches to the Pittman arm without removing the gear box from the truck?
But on the con said: I'm wondering if if that could be a short-cut that ultimately might fail to solve the problem. I wonder if there is likely to be an internal leak as well. I'm not familiar with all the intricacies of gear box operation. Under normal operation, does fluid pool up around the shaft and the shaft seal is the only thing that stops it from leaking out?
The other alternative is to simply replace the entire gear box. But that would cost about $150 as opposed to $8 for seal kit! That's tempting as well but it would be nice to save those $.
Last edited by fentress; 05-03-2011 at 02:40 PM.