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Improve power steering ???

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by crazywelder72, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. crazywelder72

    crazywelder72 Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    Hold back the laughter but my truck is a 99 silverado 1500 and back in 2005 when I installed my 7.5' Curtis plow I installed timbrens. That being said, my question is based on the fact that due to the weight on the front end, if I'm in a tight spot I can hardly turn the steering wheel unless I'm moving.

    Is there any way to improve the stock power steering? Would swapping the stock pump for a pump off a 2500 do anything better? I guess basically it would be nice to have the powersteering effortless at a standstill with the blade up.
     
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Don't turn your truck in 4 wheel drive.
     
  3. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,977

    Yep. What he said.
    Don't try and turn in tight circles
     
  4. crazywelder72

    crazywelder72 Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    I think your missing the point. I'm talking about in 2wd normal driving with the blade up its difficult to make a 90deg turn at a stop sign, never mind backing into a parking spot in a shopping center.
     
  5. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,977

    You can try and find a bigger pump. But your turning your wheels with 800lbs on the front of it. Sometimes raising the rpms helps while turning
     
  6. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

    My advice.... Either smaller plow or a bigger truck.
     
  7. deckboys

    deckboys Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    Check the tire pressure. Seems simple but if it's low it just acts as a rubber spring. Also let off the brake slightly to allow the truck to move where it has to.. All makes sense in my head
     
  8. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    Do you run stock tire size?

    Assuming the power steering pump is putting out correct pressure ( you could check that to see if it may be worn out), it could be faulty valves in the steering box (I think you'd see that if you did a pressure test with the steering box inline).

    As stated, check tire pressure.

    If everything checks out as normal, and you want to eliminate the problem, there are some places that will build you a steering box with a higher turn ratio, I believe that will give you more turning power.

    FWIW, it puts much more stress on all your front end components if you aren't moving when you turn the wheel.
     
  9. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,112

    I will join you in the don't laugh club. Now not a Chevy but a 96 Dodge 1/2 ton. I have a Boss 7.6 with wings on it, hanging off the front. I have no problem turning the steering wheel when not moving. But I have a newer pump and gear box on it. I think you have a problem with one or both of yours.
    I have newer trucks but I like this one better. Reg cab short box.
     
  10. crazywelder72

    crazywelder72 Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    You all gave me some good things to explore. My tires I have been running since I got the truck were slightly oversize. 285/75. R 16 instead of the 265/75's and I know the slightly larger footprint is handicapping the steering due to the added friction.

    I find that I do quite often have to roll the truck while I'm turning sometimes. I'll have to defiantly check the pressure and I'll report back. It would be interesting to look at a custom build, I always wondered why my wife's 02 Tahoe has a much better turning radius than my x-cab short bed. The wheel base is similar and they are built so close to identical with parts...
     
  11. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,112

    I have that larger tire on both a 1/2 and 3/4 ton. Should not matter.
     
  12. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,402

    you should always be moving when turning plow or not. Its a lot easier on truck
     
  13. crazywelder72

    crazywelder72 Junior Member
    Messages: 27

  14. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    It is for sure better for the truck to be moving when turning the tires. That being said, sometimes in tight quarters it isn't possible or desirable to have to move while turning the tires, and what could have been a 3 point turn in a driveway would have to be a 10 point turn.

    OP, do a pressure check and post back. You could also just try changing the pump if you want, they are pretty inexpensive compared to a steering box, and assuming you have low pressure there is no way to know which is faulty.
     
  15. crazywelder72

    crazywelder72 Junior Member
    Messages: 27

  16. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,679

    Have someone turn the wheel while you watch the pulley on the power steering pump. If the pulley is topping you may need a new belt tensioner or belt. Happened to my F150.
     
  17. crazywelder72

    crazywelder72 Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    I think I'm going to shoot for swapping the pump because I don't have any parts to check the pressure. But should I get a pump from a 2500 and slap it in instead of another 1500? They are identical on the outside, just must be a higher psi? Can't find technical info on them tho. (Autozone 7250 vs 7272)
     
  18. chillman88

    chillman88 Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    I wouldn't bother with the pump, especially an autozone one. First things first, On the back of your pump, inline with the output hose there should be an electrical plug. Disconnect this and see if it gets any better. I've fought with this problem for the past 2 years. EVERYTHING in my steering system is new in the past 4 years. (gearbox, pump, linkage etc.) The only thing I haven't tried is a NEW pump, or a QUALITY rebuild such as a Lares. The one thing that helped more than anything (and only a negligible amount) was removing what they call the EVO (electronic variable orifice) Which is the part with the electrical plug on it I mentioned. I have not heard anything exceptionally good about the Autozone brand, and I have heard BAD things about using a Cardone Reman.

    Like you I think there must be a fix, but I haven't found it yet. It's possible that upping the pressure (requires modifying the internal piston) would help, but I have never messed around with it.

    The pump I have now is off a 3500 FYI, (and is NO different than the stock one on my K1500).

    I'll get some links for you in a few.
     
  19. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    I concur that the autozone stuff will be junk. I ended up doing 3 of them from advance auto parts on my 2500, I think eventually I went to Napa and it was ok. Sold the truck shortly after that though, so I don't know how it's been holding up.

    If you could swing a brand new pump that would be the most reliable way to go.

    You can also just remove the variable orifice piece and use a hydraulic fitting to replace it. Some remanned pumps come with the variable orifice, some don't. It's supposed to make it so your steering isn't overly responsive at highway speeds-you really don't need it.
     
  20. chillman88

    chillman88 Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Yes I believe the fitting you would need could be taken from any pre-95 chevy, assuming that the hole in the reservoir is the same thread pitch, but you would need a new hose if you did it this way, and I'm not sure about the compatibilities (assuming you 99 is the newer body style and not the classic 88-98 style) I did this on mine, but mine is a 97.

    The pump itself is the same however between your 99 and my 97. Looking at the pictures and part numbers online the reservoir is the same on SOME models (or at least the same part number for some of them)