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Old 04-16-2006, 21:44   #1 (permalink)
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EL 6 - Power Steering leak causing low battery ?

I had some work done on my EL Falcon 6 recently, and noticed today a power steering leak - the pressure hose fitting was actually loose (I was able to wriggle it with my fingers at the pump end), the nut was loose when I got a spanner on it, and it had leaked most of the fluid out of the reservoir.

I'm not sure if there should be an O Ring in the pressure hose fitting but the only seal I could see was a shagged out nylon washer about 1/2" in diameter which needs to be replaced. The local Repco price for a pump is just under 300$ for an exchange unit which is a bit expensive.

I also noticed over the last week or two that the starter has beensluggish - the battery acid is well down into the "fair range".

I'll need to get the power steering hose fixed - is there supposed to be an O ring at the presswure hose fitting or is the nylon washer the only seal ?
Is the starter sluggishness caused by PS fluid leaking down into the alternator ?

If it is what is the best way to clean it out or is a new aternator on the cards ?

What a bugger - we are planning to go away up the coast for a few days and now will propbably have to go in the small car.

Steve
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Old 04-17-2006, 04:21   #2 (permalink)
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Re: EL 6 - Power Steering leak causing low battery ?

Yes there is a small O ring that that goes on the powersteering pump... You are better off buying a packet of mixed O rings from supercheap. I cant recall if its metric or imperial... knowing ford its imperial...

sounds as though the powersteering oil is playing havoc with your alternator. I would try spraying some degreaser around the alternator, and washing it... cant do any harm...

not too sure about the nylon washer... if it looks stuffed i would probably replace it
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Old 04-19-2006, 07:24   #3 (permalink)
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Re: EL 6 - Power Steering leak causing low battery ?

Keep in mind,
your power steering pump is one issue, the capability of your battery is another.
E series batteries tend to last 12 to 18 months. The engine bay is rather hot, which is not battery friendly! I replace my EB's with that time frame!

Also is the condition of the leads supplying the starter and ancillary systems..they MUST be perfect, otherwise you will get ODD tranny and engine behaviour.

Having a pump leak onto an alternator will MOST certainly exacerbate these problems!

Cheers
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Old 04-19-2006, 14:51   #4 (permalink)
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Re: EL 6 - Power Steering leak causing low battery ?

I got to the local dealer today - the spare parts guy gave me the feeling that once disturbed, only about 50% of the time will the pressure hose seal up again properly without being replaced with new hose & seals.

There is both a teflon seal (which looks shagged) as well as a small O-ring about 4-5mm (which has vanished) used in the pressure hose end as shown in the spares system, neither of which are listed for sale as spares, although I did manage to get one of the O-rings left over from a workshop job for a few dollars.

The pressure hose (includes the teflon seal) is about 300$ for genuine or about 180$ for aftermarket.

The spare pressure hose I saw at spare parts had a different end to mine - more of a square flange on the end of the tube itself whereas mine has an olive shaped flange roughly 1/4" diameter. It 's obvious how the O-ring will fit the square flange but I'm not so sure how it fits with the olive flange on mine which is still original.
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Old 04-20-2006, 05:00   #5 (permalink)
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Re: EL 6 - Power Steering leak causing low battery ?

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sounds as though the powersteering oil is playing havoc with your alternator. I would try spraying some degreaser around the alternator, and washing it... cant do any harm...
Do not use degreaser on the alternator it will remove the grease from the alternator bearings and it will die. Leave it alone and power steering fluid which is a lubricant will drip and evaporate out with use and cause no real long term damage. The power steering fluid would be much better for the alternator's well being than degreaser. The alternators cooling fan is very good at sucking water and dregreaser into the alternator and bearings so even spraying degreaser around it is a no no. Wipe it over with a rag and if you really are concerned about fluid getting inside the alternator you can always disassemble and clean it. (but i wouldn't bother).
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Old 04-20-2006, 21:35   #6 (permalink)
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Re: EL 6 - Power Steering leak causing low battery ?

ya
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Old 04-23-2006, 02:28   #7 (permalink)
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Re: EL 6 - Power Steering leak causing low battery ?

The bearings in the alternator are sealed bearings, unlikely that water and crap will get in them.
The power steering pumps leaking into the alternator is a common problem on E-series, usually the seal around the cannister leaks on the pumps.
If it has leaked for some time, the brushes in the alternator will wear excessively, due to the power steering fluid causing conductivity issues between the amature and the brushes. The power steering fluid, being oil based also attracts dust and other crap which can also cause issues with wear.

Best thing to do it check the charge rate and determine whether the battery or the alternator is at fault.

Alternators dont last indefinately, so it may be due for an overhaul anyway.
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Old 04-23-2006, 03:35   #8 (permalink)
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Re: EL 6 - Power Steering leak causing low battery ?

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The bearings in the alternator are sealed bearings, unlikely that water and crap will get in them.
Actually I've seen a number of alternators that had bearings fail after owners have been less than careful in degreasing their engines - sealed bearings and all (and I have to confess I learnt the hard way about this with one of my own cars). But I do agree that if enough power steering fluid gets in it may well accelerate the wear of the carbon brushes and cause other problems; I just think degreaser will be much worse.
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