General Diagnosis and Repair of Your Imperial's Power Steering Pump and Mounting Bracket

Imperial Homepage -> Repair  -> Steering -> Power Steering -> Pump and Mounting Bracket

Tip from Dan:

A good power steering pump rebuilder is:

The Water Pump Factory

10005  NCR  2750 

Lubbock, TX


(806) 470-7958

This was to rebuild one of my oldest, rattiest, leakiest, I-blushed-to-send-it pumps, and they did a very nice job - works perfectly, painted, even looks pretty. The charge was $170, shipping included.

Tip from Bob:

I just had my power steering pump (leaking) rebuilt through my local NAPA shop (Semay's, Burbank), but don't know where it was sent.  The pump seized after the first rebuild and had a small case leak after the second rebuild, but so far, so good after the third try!

Tip from John:

Here's my experience with power steering pump fluid leaks...

The TRW power steering pumps on my '62 and '63's like to leak at the O-ring seal between the reservoir and the pump casting. I replace the seals when I notice fluid spots on the lower radiator hose. I've had to do this twice on the pump in my '62 in the last five years. The O-ring tends to harden and flatten with age. Chrysler's part number for the pump seal package is 2495054 (this includes the big O-ring and all the other seals and gaskets for rebuilding). The cost is (or was in 1993) $7.40. This kit should be applicable for other years besides '62 and '63 but verify with your Chrysler dealer for other applications.

I also use Mopar type power steering fluid per the owner's manual rather than tranny fluid since I'm a stickler for following manufacture's recommendations. 

Tips from William on resealing a power steering pump:

Resealing a power steering pump is not that hard to do. Basically, there's a lip seal on the input shaft of the pump, the big o-ring where the pump body fits into the reservoir "can", and maybe a few other o-rings on the back of the pump. The front seal might be critical if there's a wear groove in the shaft, though. The big pump/reservoir housing o-ring is a square o-ring instead of round. A little care, finesse, and lube will make sure it doesn't get cocked when you slide the pump housing into the reservoir can. Of course, the pulley will have to be removed to replace the input shaft seal.

All in all, resealing what you have might be the most cost effective and expeditious way to go rather than trying to adapt another style of pump to the engine. Or just buy a reman pump without a reservoir and get that one installed in the existing reservoir housing. Then you can keep the core for later as they probably don't have much core charge on them anyway.

Question from Chris:

I am faced with either paying someone to rebuild my power steering pump for $160, buying a used replacment for $75 or attempting to rebuild it myself. The guy who wants $160 indicated that it was fairly involved, but that might just be 'selling' trouble. I am on a tight budget and would be willing to try it myself, except I don't have a pulley-puller or an arbor press to put it back on. Can someone convince me I should still attempt it?


From Paul:

$160.00 sounds too high. What year is your car? The power steering pump for '59-'68 (and possibly longer) will interchange and is VERY available. This would not necessarily be so for '58 and before.

I bought a rebuilt one for my '62 last November, with the pulley installed, for around $40.00. I had to reuse my resevior. I am sure that you could find a used one that would work and maybe for less money.

From Chris:

$160? Pay it! I paid $400 to have it done badly, then another $400 to have it done right two years later!

Question from Quint (1953):

I could use some advise re the power steering unit on my 1953 Imperial. The unit had been leaking/dripping power steering fluid for some time. I used Lucas' power steering fluid to stop the leak, which it did for a while. Recently, the leaks became more noticeable and finally the entire contents of the p/s reservoir spilled out on to the garage floor. An eyeball examination revealed an apparent leak in the steering box. It isn't where the p/s hoses connect, they are ok. It appears that a seal in the steering box may have broken causing the p/s fluid to drain out.

My questions are these: Did anyone ever have a similar problem, if so, how did you fix it?
Would it be easier to replace the steering box or replace only the seal, providing I can locate either?


From John:

My 1965 Le Baron's gear box was leaking profusely as well, if I drove it regularly, it would need a full bottle every couple of days. Personally, I decided to pull the box and send it out to be rebuilt. I don't think anything short of that will give any long-term peace of mind. I don't know about your car, but in my car I couldn't get to it easily until I pulled my engine. I will be sending my unit to Steer and Gear. A friend sent his box there and was very satisfied with their work. If your interested, here's their number: 800-253-4327. You might also want to call The Steering Store 888-924-7225.

From Paul:

It is possible that the pitman arm (I think that is what it is called) seal fell apart. It is located at the bottom of the unit. I did have this happen to one of my cars. I was able to stop the leak with some "ommy goop", but eventually the seal totally failed, as they usually do, at an inopportune time and place. Finding the seal was easy, replacing it was cheap.

Question from Dedy (1954):

Other than small leaks from the trans, the power steering also leaking oil. Every time I clean the floor diapers, the next day I will find little oil leaks on it. What to check and what should I do to repair this? what parts are necessary, where to get?

Reply from Kerry:

Mine also ran out about as fast as you could pour it in. The '54 has "internal oil passage" PS unit. It has 12-16 'O' rings. They have taken a cold set and turned hard and square. Not a big deal to change but a pain to remove the unit.

You need to read the saga posted about my '54. It describes the entire process in photos and text.

Question from Michael (1955):

Couple weeks ago, I wrote that my power steering belts kept breaking on my 1955. After checking the pulley alignment and making sure I had the right belt sizes, I took it to a small independent mechanic in my area.  He is telling me that the power steering pump is "binding" and "turning real slow" and that is what is causing the belts to break. 

Question 1. Does this sound reasonable. 

Question 2.  Anybody have or know where I can get a power steering pump for a 1955 Imperial.


From Dick:

Certainly the pump can fail and bind up, and cause the belt to fail. When you have the belt off, turn the pulley clockwise yourself to see what it feels like. It should feel like you are stirring up some thick cream soup (no lumps or crunches, in other words, but some viscous resistance). The resistance should increase when you try to spin it faster, but there should be no abrupt tightening or harsh feeling to it. If there is a problem in your pump, you should have noticed a difficulty in steering the car - did you?

Most good auto machine shops can arrange to rebuild your pump, or will rebuild it themselves. If the bearing and seals have failed, these parts are readily available and easy to change if one has the right tools. If the pump gears are simply worn, they would not need to be replaced, although the pump may not work as well as new, it will operate in a satisfactory manner with some worn parts, so long as it does not leak. If something has broken inside (thus the "crunchy feeling"), you will probably have to find a replacement pump. There are vendors who can probably help you - perhaps Andy Bernbaum is the easy choice.

From Jim:

There is something fishy here about this power steering pump thing. Michael Bambas, the guy with the power steering pump breaking belts has a 1955 Imperial. Hello!! For BOTH 1955 and 1956, the power steering pump is attached to the back of the generator. THERE IS NO BELT TO BREAK.

UNLESS he has some kind of a jury rigged pump tacked on....

From Jim Martin:

Is it possible, the coupler between the Generator & the pump has disintegrated or a generator bearing going south? If it is the coupler, I have a used one, you may have for the asking.

From T.L.:

It is possible for your power steering pump to bind if either the shaft is bent or the bearing is bad. If it is in early stages of failure you may not have any audible clues. If you need to replace it try Advance Auto Parts, I think they exist in your neck of the woods.

From John:

I wouldn't say there's no belt to break. The belts are turning both the generator & the pump. If one or the other is binding, then it could certainly ruin the belts.

Question from Anthony (1956):

My power steering pump is starting to whine. I flushed it and checked the belt tension but it would whine when I was at a stop and not turn. Now it seems to be doing it while I drive.  Any ideas or should I just purchase a new one.


From Dick:

One reason a power steering pump will whine is if the pressure hose has been changed to one without the flow restriction orifice. Most mechanics don't appreciate the need for that device, and don't bother to replace it. If your power steering pressure hose has been replaced, and that is coincident with the start of the noise, start looking for a correct hose.

From Paul:

Those can whine for many many years and still work fine. If it doesn't leak, and it still makes the steering easier I would leave it alone. Usually when they whine it is because there is air in the lines.

There is a rubber coupler between the pump and the generator. It wouldn't be a bad idea to get a new one of those to have on hand before you take anything apart. It may be hard to find, and once it is apart, you might not be able to reuse the old coupler.

Follow-up question from Anthony:

I never thought about it possibly being air. Is there a way to purge the air out of it?

Reply from Arran:

Turn the steering wheel from lock to lock several times, while the car is parked with the engine running. Also top up the fluid level, in the reservoir, before you do this. If the whine doesn't disappear you may have a dry bearing in the unit somewhere.

Question from Mike (1956):

I'm having my steering pump rebuilt and I need to know the answer to one simple question. On these early hemis, the steering pump is driven off the back of the generator, and is connected with a rubber pump coupling. Although my old one would probably work OK, it is soft, spongy and worn quite a bit. The rubber piece transmits torque from the 2 driving dogs on the generator shaft to the two driven dogs on the pump shaft, and is only in compression. However, while I'm doing this job I'd like to replace this piece--does anyone know where to find one of these? Otherwise, I can probably cast one out of about 80 durometer Flexane (urethane). Also, if I want to drive my car across town while the pump is out getting rebuilt, will I do any harm to the steering gear?


From Roger:

Gary Goers has the PS pump drive rubber bit that you need.

From Steve:

Andy Bernbaum (800-457-1250) also has these insulators. They also have the coupling halves if you need them. I made one for my 52 out of teflon and it works great.

From Bill:

I got the power steering/generator insulator from Gary Goers, he has them in stock at less than $4.00 each & I don't drive my 55 or 56 without the power steering pump hooked up, seems to me like it would be very hard on the steering box.

Question from Graeme (1957):

My 1957 Imperial has fine power steering except when I do a lot of backing up and turning, then it throws fluid out of the cap and I lose the lightness of the steering.  I have checked the fluid and it is right on the mark. What is she doing to me?

Reply from Bill:

According to the shop manual if when you are backing up and turning and you are putting the steering hard against the "stops" you are risking damage to the pump. It can generate pressure in excess of a 1000 PSI and cause seepage. You are using transmission fluid aren't you ? I made the mistake of using power steering fluid and it literally cooked off and squirted out of the cap vent. Luckily I refilled with transmission fluid and its OK. The shop manual calls for ATF Type "A".

Question from Dietmar (1960):

My power steering pump is mounted and fixed only on one side.  It is shaking (or vibrating) quite a bit.  Is my solution to replace the pump or is there something else wrong?


From Luke:

Is yours the new for '60 floating mount style or is it the old fixed model because I have exactly the same problem. I had my pulley wheel trued up but it's starting to happen again so I'm considering bolting the swing arm fixed so there is no movement at all.

From Roger:

Be aware that the PS pump is designed to pivot on its lower mounting--it's not supposed to be solid tight. The pivoting allows the pump rotation to be used to tighten the belt when the engine is running. The faster she turns, the tighter. The lower through bolt may wear badly where the pump bracket turns on it, thus making it all pretty wobbly. Replace the bolt and she'll rock and roll (but not shake) like new.

Question from Joe (1961):

The after-market air conditioning installed on the Big Red Sled was installed in such close proximity to the power steering pump/reservoir, that the cap to the pump could not be removed and the fluid checked.

Having a 'hard wheel,' I realised the power steering unit may need to be replaced. I removed the a/c compressor to get to the power steering unit and sure enough, the reservoir was dry. Since it was a hassle to get to it, I am thinking of replacing the power steering pump (rather than taking a chance by putting it back on the engine) but cannot figure out how to get it out of the reservoir.

I have removed it from the engine and can get a replacement pump but it is sold without the reservoir. I can't figure out how to separate the pump from the reservoir. I have looked in the repair section of the site and I have read the entire section on steering in the Factory Service Manual and I am still at a loss.

Can anyone tell me how to do this?


From John:

There should be one bolt in the rear center of the reservoir. Remove that & you will be able to separate it from the pump. You will need a new gasket there as well as the large o ring around the edge.

From Paul:

I did this on my '62 last June. Once I had the pump off the car, the bolt holding the reservoir to the pump was apparent. The job was not difficult. Just look very closely and you will figure it out. As I recall, the front plate of the reservoir is part of the pump. The seal goes between it and the rest of the reservoir.

Question from Nald (1962):

My '62 is experiencing intermittent power steering. Fluid is topped off. Belt is in acceptable condition. The car sees only show/parade/church on Sunday duty and is run once or twice a week on average but does see garage duty for a month at a time during the cold/rainy winter months. The steering reverts to manual steering about half way through a corner at low rpm about one in ten times it corners. Any thoughts? This has been going on since last July or so. I am using tranny fluid for steering fluid.


From Mikey:

Having driven my '62 for over 25 years now, the factory method of pump mounting should work fine, " don't let it fool ya......". as far as the slight rattle that you can hear when its idling under no load - especially when the snubber is gone - I just went to the next size smaller belt, probably one inch shorter.  This put a slight increase in tension on it, just enough to stop that rattle, but not enough to disable that self tightening feature.

Our car has never had the pump replaced, but we had to replace the pulley as it had become quite u-shaped as opposed to the normal v shape.  It made a significant difference in not letting the belt slip in the groove and improved the self tightening action also.

From Joe:

I experienced this type of thing and discovered that if you are sitting still and trying to turn in a tight space so as to park, take your foot off the brake and put it in neutral to steer. The reason is that when turning, the front wheels have to travel in a sort of circle. One side forward and the other side in reverse.  If you hold the brake on, then it cannot travel like they need to in order to turn sitting still.

Question from Jay (1962):

I need some quick tips or advice regarding a BAD power steering pump leak that has developed in our '62 yesterday. First a little background info:

Car has been running for the last year after being dormant for about three years. We've put about 12K on it in that time. In regards to the power steering, It has been working fine all this time with nothing done to it other than just keeping the fluids up to snuff.

Last Thursday I drove her about 200 miles and all seemed fine. (I check under the hood every day being that I have to trickle gasoline down into the carburetor from the air cleaner to prime her after she has sat for more than 10 hours). The next morning while checking under the hood I noticed that the cap to the power steering pump was missing! The fluid level was really low. Most of the engine compartment on the left side was bathed in fluid from the fan blowing the fluid all around. The reservoir cap has always been loose and it must have finally fallen off.

I made a make-shift cap out of the end of a flashlight, some bailing wire and a shop rag. I topped off the reservoir and took off to work.

I located a replacement cap by sheer luck on Saturday at Memory Lane Dismantlers (about 30 miles away) where a '62 is located.  The cap on THAT '62 was different, but I happened to find a replacement from another ChryCo product in the yard. Later that day I replaced the cap, topped the fluid (it was a little low) and cleaned the engine compartment.

When I came home yesterday from the Spring Fling show in Van Nuys CA after a long run on the freeway, the steering was moaning when I would
turn the wheel. UH-OH! Engine compartment again bathed in fluid and the level was again really low. The fluid leaking and leaving a good size puddle on the ground within 2 minutes of stopping the car.

I have added steering fluid with stop leak, tried about 4oz of brake fluid but the leak remains. I check the level each time before I start the car.  The leak seems to be coming from the pulley seal unless there is another point of possibility on the bottom of the pump.  I don't have the means to pull the belts and pump and repair this myself.

Can the seal be replaced without removing the pump from the car?

Am I correct in thinking that the fluid is bad for hoses and belts? Do I need to think about replacing them too? (They are not that old and appear
to be in good condition)

What about an emergency/temporary fix? Are there any that I can try?

Am I in danger of other bad consequences of driving the Imp in this condition until I can get it fixed? (hopefully within the next few days)


From Bob:

My '66 PS pump developed a leak when the AC guy banged it around. Yours should be the same and it's not too hard to pull - get under the car and loosen the bolts - the belt will be free after the pump is loose. I did this work in an apartment parking space. A pump rebuild cost me $70 or so (and was free when the shop had to re-do the work). So I had it on and off a few times - there is no other way to fix a leak. Also, be careful - PS fluid is potentially flammable and you could toast your car if it sprays (atomizes) on a hot exhaust. The rebuilt pump has been fine since 10/97.

From Dick:

If the belt to the power steering pump is not needed to turn something essential, like the water pump or the generator (Alternator?), you can drive the car indefinitely without the belt on the Power Steering pump. This has the advantage that you can drop your membership in the local gym, but the disadvantage that your shoulders and biceps will increase in size so that you will have to buy a new wardrobe. You can drive the car without the pump in place, while it is off to the rebuilder. I think you could probably replace just the one seal, and take a chance that the others are not about to let go, but I wouldn't make that choice. Also, it will be much easier to work on the pump if you take it off the car. Just tie up the ends of the hoses as high as you can, leaving room for things to move a little as you drive.

If you cannot drive the car without the pump being driven with the belt because the belt also drives something essential, you are going to have to obtain a rebuilder core and send it out so you have a good one to swap when it comes back from the rebuilder. This could take a couple of weeks, though.

The stop leak and brake fluid treatment is effective for a while, for small leaks, but it sounds like you have had a major failure somewhere, to lose fluid that fast.

To answer your question, yes the fluid will, in time, degrade your belts and hoses, but this doesn't happen overnight. If you get the leak fixed in a few days, I would just watch the rubber goods, probably no immediate danger of failure.

In rereading your post, I see you say you cannot pull the pump yourself. I think it is going to have to be done, and soon, so you are going to have to grit your teeth and take it to a mechanic. It would be nice to have him verify the source of the leak, and maybe he will be willing to rebuild the pump himself, if that is what it needs. You are sure, I take it, that the leak is not from one of the hoses.

Question from Zan (1962):

Oh, my slow leak in the power steering went into the critical phase this weekend. Now it's a gusher and won't hold fluid, so methinks I need another power steering pump. Can I get a new one - I had a poor experience rebuilding one on my 68 300, so I'd rather get a new one if possible. Hints? Can I swap the thing out myself?


From Jeff:

I just bought a rebuilt power steering pump with the reservoir for 59.95 from auto zone. It has a lifetime warranty. I hope that this helps. I paid more than that for one without the reservoir for my 65 crown several months ago. I bought it from a parts plus store.

From Bob:

1. Try stop leak for these pumps first as a temp measure.

2. Yes, you can do this yourself if you can get under the car.

3. I don't know if new pumps are available but I had bad luck also with rebuilt pumps for my '66. First got a seized bearing in 20 miles and the next was leaky. The third was/is still fine, but by that stage, I was using a mechanic (a good one!) to finish the job.

Question from Thomas (1962):

I have tried and tried to put tension on the power steering belt, but to no avail. I located the pivot bolt and have tightened it as must as possible. It seems to me that there should be some sort of support bracket the holds the power steering in pump in place to keep the tension on the belt. Either I am not seeing it (I do wear glasses) or it is missing.


From Dick:

I have 5 cars that use this setup, and have never seen an operational problem with any of them. The "self tightening" feature of the design is rather sophisticated, and fooled me at first, but it seems pretty darn good in operation, once you get over the weird look to the pump bobbin' around "loose" down there. I've yet to experience a belt slipping or any other problem with it.

From Bob:

According to the FSM for my 62 Crown, the PS pump is supposed to float and as tension is put on the steering system, the belt automatically tightens and causes the pump pulley to start pumping fluid. Keep it tight and you might burn up the pump----if it's the same design as my 63.

From Jay:

As the steering wheel is turned, the power steering fluid starts moving in the system. This causes drag to be transferred from the pump pulley and the belt automatically tightens itself. Have someone turn the wheel with the engine running while you watch the pump, and you will see what I mean. Unless the belt is so loose that it appears it could jump a pulley or bind with other belts, my guess is that the belt tension (what little there may be) should be fine as it is. The bearings in the PS pump itself will last longer with a slightly loose belt than with one that has constant tension from the belt. Some Imperial owners have noted a rubber or other soft "wedge" or "spacer" that appears jammed in-between the two parts of the pump bracket. I believe that this was a standard factory part. Mine appears to have lost itself, but there should be other members that know more details regarding this part. If your pump bracket rattles when the engine is at idle, the "wedge" is most likely missing. To take up a little slack in the belt and stop the rattle, I have had success jamming something soft like a piece of opened heater hose down deep between the bracket pieces.

From Bob:

I recently went thru the same thing with my '66. I was convinced a bracket was missing, until I walked thru a junkyard and found a half dozen similar Mopar's all with the same bracket set-up. Like Jay suggested, I fixed mine by putting a hard rubber disc (about 1/2 inch thick) between the two brackets (held in place with bailing wire). Someone on the list told me that Gary Goers sells the rubber part in his catalog, but the one I shoved in there has worked well enough.

Question from John:

A couple of my early '60's cars have a wobbly power steering pumps with the pulleys cocked off center. (Note: this is not a problem with the rubber snubber).

Taking the "hinge" apart on both pumps I found the bolt at the bottom of the hinge is worn down and the bolt holes are oblong. This gives a lot of side-to-side play. I did a quick fix by inserting a thin washer between the two hinge pieces near the bolt head to take up some of the play. A long run fix is to replace the bolt (does anyone know where I can get these?) and I guess use some kind of insert to restore the correct diameter holes in the hinge pieces.

Has anyone else had the same problem and come up with other fixes?


From Tom:

I also have the same condition on my '62 4-dr HT Crown Imperial. The pulley top points toward the radiator and the bottom into the engine. I keep looking at it and trying to figure out how to correct it. I drive the 62 a lot and it doesn't seem to get any worst. The pulley doesn't wobble, it just off center.

From Paul:

You should replace the bracket. I am sure that one of the parts sources on the list can supply a good used one. Changing the bracket takes about two hours, and isn't that difficult. Someday your situation could blow up when you least expect it, and the consequences more expensive to correct.

One of the guys on the list who supplies used parts could probably provide you with a good complete used bracket, including the long bolt that you are referring to.

It would seem if all you really want is the bolt, there are places that supply only bolts, nuts, and screws that could offer a new one. Just make sure that if you find one that it is rated for automotive use.

From John:

This is a common problem on the early '60's Imps. I've found that the worst that usually happens is the belt sometimes squeals & or wears faster then normal. Al long as I was able to tighten enough to keep good belt tension, I didn't worry about it. I had that '63 for 15 years.

Follow-up from Paul:

I had a '65 300 that I loaned to a friend for a few months (56,000 original documented miles). It had this "crocked power steering pump bracket syndrome". It is okay for the pump to be tilted, but the pulley is suppose to be nearly parallel to the block. The pulley on this car was slightly pointed toward the water pump.

I knew that the car was like that, and did nothing about it. One day during a difficult parking maneuver, the belt came off and got tangled up in several other accessories, the pump was damaged, the bracket bent like pretzel, the fan was damaged, and the radiator was punctured. I spent a lot of money fixing that car. I could have avoided the entire incident if I had taken care of that bracket. The reason I didn't is that I knew those brackets could be difficult, and I didn't want to mess with it.

My friend wasn't a car nut, but he really didn't do anything that much out of the ordinary. I would say if you see a problem like that on your car and don't do anything about it, you are asking for trouble. Sometimes nothing will happen for years, but there is a chance that it can pop and all "heck" breaks loose.

From Bill:

Our '64 is that way, the PS pulley is slightly tilted out of alignment, been that way since it was new I suspect.

Question from Mike (1964 - 1966):

The power steering pump on my '66 will move up to 1/4" back and forth perpendicular to the crankshaft. I looked all around and couldn't find any tension rod or anything that will allow me to tighten the pump up. It is not supposed to move like that, isn't it?


From Dave:

YES! It is supposed to move. The mount is constructed such that when power steering is required, the added load on the pump (hence on the belt) would cause the added pull and move the pump down (in an arc since the pivot bolt is at the bottom) and add tension to the belt only when the pump had a load on it. This was to extend belt service life and the system seemed to work well (which is more than you can say for the Buicks of the day!) This mounting system was discontinued when the corporation went to the Saginaw hydraulics. Don't try to "fix" the mount...there is nothing wrong with it.

Follow-up question from Dick:

Hunh? With the car just sitting there idling? I thought this would only happen if some one was fiddling with the steering wheel.

Reply from Dave:

For these model years, you are correct ONLY if the movement is axial (front to back)! They are supposed to move up and down by a small amount (up to 3/8-1/2").

From Frank:

I don't know what year Imperial you have, but the older cars (60's to mid 70's) used a 1.06 in^3 pump and a .94 in^3 pump. The 1.06 pump (only) was mounted on a swing bracket with a rubber wedge between the bracket's two pieces. This was done for isolation purposes. I remember this on both my '68 Newport and '72 Imperial. (Both had some "play" in the bracket, but it is very slight when the belt is properly adjusted.) The '76 New Yorker I have uses the .94 pump and is rigidly mounted. As long as the bracket *does* have the rubber block in place and the pump pulley is in the same plane as the crankshaft pulley, all is well.

From Joe:

A careful inspection of some of the power steering brackets of the type being discussed will show that at least some have a rubber bumper or cushion incorporated into the bracket which cuts down on some of the vibration and possible noise. This rubber bumper may have deteriorated and fallen out of the bracket. Some of the service manuals show the part in some illustrations.

From Greg:

The mount moves so when extra power in needed, in idle, the pump tightens the belt. Bob Merritt of NEIOC sells tools to adjust this bracket/pump. There is some slop in this arrangement although. I have had to install larger pivot bolts because of ware on the bracket bolt holes, this fixed the problem of the pulley not being aligned with the drive pulley on the harmonic balancer. This arrangement looks odd but it does work.

From John:

The bracket moves because the belt is self-adjusting.   The pump is hinged to the mounting bracket and rides on a little rubber snubber between the hinge and the mounting bracket. If you can't adjust the pump back far enough to get tension on the pump belt chances are the snubber has broken and fallen out (they dry up and break from old age). Gary Goers has replacement snubbers in his catalog. I've also stuffed a chunk of radiator hose between the bracket and hinge -- makes a quick fix.

Question from Patrick (1964):

My power steering pump on my '64 Crown Coupe I believe is leaking. I have another pump on a 400 engine and am wondering if the two are interchangeable. My system presently has transmission fluid in it, if I do switch it out back to P/S fluid will I need to change the hoses again as well? (because of the trans fluid having been in them)

Presently Im working on getting the broken bolt out that was on the adjustment pulley for the fan. Not a fun job, but I've had to do worst things. Im a bit nervous about drilling it out. Im hoping for the best though.


From John:

I don't think these will intrechange. They should interchange from 60- 67 & perhaps 68. The one you need has a large straight slot in the front of the pulley.

Try flushing the transmission fluid out & refill with power steering fluid with sealer conditioner in it.If the leak isn't too bad, this may do the job or at least slow it down. Worth a try before spending $$.

From Roger:

I have seen many good engine parts destroyed by people trying to drill a broken bolt out. I would think twice before doing this. There are many other options to try before this last drastic step. If you can get the part with the broken bolt on the bench, do so. If not remove all thing around it to get better access to the bolt. First was the bolt too long and bottomed out in the hole? If not try a flat screw driver to back it out. Just push on the bolt with the blade and turn it to the left. If it is rusted or bottomed use a small cutting chisel to start it, then use the screw driver. I have my best luck with the chisel. I made one specifically for this task. Using a small 1/8 inch pin punch. I ground down one side to a chisel shape. I then use that to place against the top half of the broken bolt. Lefty loosey is the rule. Counter clockwise start the bolt turning in the hole. Then use the screw driver to get it the rest of the way out. If this won't work and there is a shank of the bolt sticking out, place a nut on it and weld the center. The heat will help loosen the bolt and the nut gives you something to put a wrench on. If this stuff fails then drill. (I hate to say that!!!!)

From William:

If you go to the later model Saginaw pump (which is smaller than the Federal pump that has the large, round tube on the top of the circular section of the reservoir), you'll probably need to change the pump mounting brackets too. Your pump mounting might have also been the "torque reaction" mounting brackets that had rubber bushings in them too. What that particular mounting did, which is pure genius, was let the power steering pump belt be adjusted a little looser, but when you put a load on the pump (i.e., when parking or holding the wheel against the linkage stops), the pump would lean into the belt via the mounting bracket's rubber bushings and tighten the belt so it would not squeal. Really quite neat to watch it happen!

Unfortunately, as the cars and rubber aged, the bushings would deteriorate (also hastened by tightening the belt too tight also) and the pump would sit on the engine whooperjawed, but still work as designed. The fix "back then" was to weld the bracket pivot solid and do away with that neat feature that only Chrysler would come up with. If adjusted correctly, the bushings lasted a good while and the power steering belts lasted seemingly forever. By about 1968, that special pump mounting system was replaced with normal brackets, though.

I suspect that as long as you change the brackets with the pump and the belt pulley lines up, AND the fittings on the hoses match, things would probalby work OK. No need to change the hoses after having ATF in them unless they leak now, from my experience

Question from Kerry (1964):

The power steering pump on my '64 leaks like a sieve. My parts guy says he can get a seal if I can bring it to him so I pulled the pump. Now the question is, how the heck to you get the pulley off. While I don't have my 64 manual yet, the 61 manual I have describes a tool which, of course, I don't have. Can this be done? Do replacement pumps come with the pulley?


From Tony:

If 100% original appearance of the power steering pump is not your prime concern, you can weld a large nut to the pulley collar and then wind it off with a corresponding bolt.

From John:

My experience with this seal has proved it better to get another pump then to try to replace this seal. You need a special puller to get the pulley off & an arbor press to reinstall it. On these years, I've found the pump with the pulley installed on it. Try your larger area parts store & quite likely they will have it & not all that much $$$. If its the seal around the reservoir, this is much easier to replace & I've had good luck on those.

From ??:

My '62 pump leaked like a sieve....but it was the big O-ring around the pump body/reservoir interface that was leaking. A pump rebuild kit had the replacement O-ring and solved the problem. No special tools were needed and the kit cost less than $10.00.

From Brad:

My NYB was leaking, but at the steering gear. I added CD2 PS stop-leak every time it would get low (daily). After a couple of days, no leaks. It's been holding for over a month now; no leaks. You might try this first before dropping the cash for a new pump. (About $2.00 at Wal-Mart or AutoZone).

From Joe:

That power pump seal kit is available at NAPA. I just bought two kits and did two pumps for myself.

From Roy:

Are you sure it is the seal behind the pulley that is leaking? Usually its the large O-ring that seals the body to the reservoir. If you look carefully you will see that the pulley has a hub with a groove around the outside, a special collar goes around it and that is what exerts the pulling force, the pulley itself is much too flimsy. The same puller is used for the alternator pulley. Rebuilt pumps usually come with pulleys.

Question from Matt (1965):

All you experts or those having had similar problem: I installed a rebuilt power steering pump and new power steering hoses on the pump and now fluid leaks out between the ferule coupling and the pressure hose metal tubing that goes thru the ferule coupling into the power steering pump. I've unscrewed it several times and checked to make sure the threads on the ferule are not cross-threaded, and that the tubing is against the pump receptacle. Has this happened to anyone else? I don't know if either of the parts are defective and should return to Auto Zone or what. Point is, the old/original pump didn't seem to leak like now. Having just bought the 65 Imperial in January, I am trying to replace all known or potential problem parts before I am forced to do it later in the middle of nowhere.


From Bill:

I would assume the thread on either the ferrule or the pump itself were not perfectly done. You have a lot of pressure there and it doesn't take much of a flaw to cause a leak. I have had good luck using some of the products for threaded bolts, screws, etc. If I recall the one I use is called LocTight or something close to that. A little red bottle about the size of fingernail polish. Available at any hardware store and I think made by Dupont. I am sure there are others as well as good old plumber's teflon tape. I would let the parts store know that you are having problems and then try the thread sealer and see if it stops. If not, ask for replacements.

From Mikey:

Not to pointedly disagree with Bill on this, but most of these steering lines and fittings are a flare fitting, so called male and female halves. The actual sealing is done by the fit of the flares together, which the threaded nut and fitting accomplish by the angles of the 2 fittings and the action of the threads holding them together.  I have many uses for loctite, teflon tape, permatex etc etc.....this is one place where you most likely be able to stop a leak with these products.  I would check the fit of the threaded parts together, as well as the flares for any cracks, dents, burrs etc etc. these kind of fittings can handle 3000 psi easily, which is sometimes reached in these systems - even if its momentarily.  So if you have any kind of fit problem at all, you're gonna get a leak. One last thought, did one of the fittings have an o-ring fitting, perhaps it is and the ring is damaged or missing.  The o-ring type is different, instead of being at an angle, it is straight at the end, with a shoulder or bead in the tube that the o ring seats against.

Question from Robert (1966):

I walked through a junkyard yesterday (only one imperial, missing engine) and I found the same power steering pump bracket setup on a Newport and two Polaras. My first question has been answered, as I originally thought I was missing part of the bracket but mine appears to match the ones at the yard. One of the Polara's had wire securing the p.s. pump to something else on the block and the Newport had a piece of wood jammed down in the bracket to keep the power steering pump tight, so obviously I'm not the first person to have problems with this bracket design. So, does anyone know what keeps the tension on the power steering belt. The belt pulls the pump in one direction, but nothing seems to keep mine tight. This is a two piece V-shaped bracket, the two pieces are connected by a pivot point. My only guess is some sort of spring at the pivot point?


From Bob:

There is a rubber bumper that goes between the two bracket halves that you might be missing. If you do not have this bumper, you will not be able to properly tighten down the pump. You can order this rubber piece from Gary Goers.

Follow-up from Roy:

Gary Goers has this part for sale in his catalog which he sells for $3 or $4. I suggest just sending him the money with a note, don't try calling him.  He responds pretty quick with catalog requests, but ordering parts can take awhile.  The part costs about $2.50 and if that's all you need I can give you the number and you can order that at the same time.

Gary Goers

37 Amdahl Lane

Kalispell, MT


406-752-6249 phone/fax

If you CAN find a tight bracket at the wrecking yard, you might consider getting it, can't cost much.

From Roy:

The same mystery bracket is on a lot of Mopars, and I have no idea why it was designed that way, but after removing it, I now have an idea how it works. The pivot on the bracket does nothing but confuse, the bracket actually pivots in the bolt at the top where it attaches to the water pump housing and is adjusted with the large head bolt right below it. Under that large head there is actually a slotted hole that provides adjustment. There is also a square hole near that bolt where you can put a ratchet or breaker bar for leverage while making the adjustment. So, loosen both bolts, pry the pump over until you get the proper tension on the belt, then tighten the large bolt and then the pivot bolt and you should be set. If you run out of adjustment before the belt is tight, then you need a new/shorter belt.

Follow-up from John:

Or a new bracket. These tend to go bad after a lot of miles Stand to the side of the car & sight down the belt and see if it appears to running at an angle.  If so may cause problems with tightening, squeaks, rapid belt wear & pump leaks.

From PEN:

Your problem is typical. The V-shaped power steering pump bracket could not handle the required torque. I have also seen wires and wood wedges. How it tightens is the square hole in the front of it fits the square end of a one half inch torque wrench with a short extension. You loosen the two bolts connecting it to the water pump, flex the torque wrench, and with the other hand tighten the bolts back up. However, this will no longer be effective because your problem is in the bolt which goes through the bottom of the V bracket, and the holes it goes through. What you will find is that the threads of the bolt are flattened, where it passes through the two halves of the bracket, and the holes are probably also distorted from the pump being loose and wiggling. You can solve half the problem by replacing that bottom bolt, but a permanent solution will involve taking the bracket parts to a machine shop to have the bolt holes reinforced. I redrilled the bolt holes and installed a larger bolt, but I know it is only a matter of time until the power steering pump starts wiggling again.

From Gary:

I believe the power steering pump on a '66 is supposed to be loose when the engine isn't running. When the engine's running, the belt pulls the pump outward and "self-adjusts" the belt tension. The inner part of the two-piece bracket "preloads" the arrangement so that the pump is free to move. The harder the pump works, the tighter the belt gets. If I remember, the adjustments on the inner bracket are fairly hard to reach.

Question from Don (1966):

I tried to move my '66 Coupe yesterday from long term storage. I'm trying to get her roadworthy so I can start using her regularly and the power steering quit working since I parked her. Is there a way of verifying if the pump failed? I don't see any fluid movement in the pump. It has plenty of fluid, belt turns the pulley and I don't see any leaks. Is there a diagnosis for this?

Reply from Phil:

Hmm, this is curious, usually when a pump fails, it does so with either lots of noise or leakage. Have you turned the steering completely from the left to the right , then back again, with the car idling? If the pump and steering box are operational at all, there should be some sign of strain that shows the pump is working. I've had the pumps fail before, but never while setting. Maybe you have a hose collapsed internally? You may want to disconnect the hoses with the motor not running, and spin it carefully by hand, and see if the fluid moves. I wouldn't do anything until I turned the steering wheel from lock to lock, then checked the fluid level again. I just find it unusual for a power steering pump to fail while not in use.

Question from Mac (1968):

This will sound kind of odd...  Somehow I have lost my power steering pump cap. It must of gotten loose and fell out on the road. I have searched my garage to no avail. I have a 440.  Does anybody know where I can get a new or used cap?


From Sharon:

I would suggest that you  try any local salvage yard....they are bound to have the cap you need.  Try any Mopar with a 44...they should be the same for 1968.

From Ron:

Any salvage yard........later Chrysler products use the same cap on all pumps.

Question from Leo (1969):

Is there a easy way to replace the power steering pump belt?  I don't see a way to move it to put the belt on and then tighten.. Any ideas?

Reply from Elijah:

You actually have to loosen the power steering pump, which will then move enough to give you slack to remove and replace the belt. There's also a square opening in the power steering pump bracket into which you can place a 1/2 inch breaker bar to get some leverage (don't over do it!) to tighten the belt.

Question from Chad (1973):

Recently my power steering pump has started to squeal a bit and the bearings on the pump shaft are starting to go. I went to order a new pump and they asked me if it was the Saginaw pump or the Eaton pump. I am not sure which pump I have and need to ID mine before I order one. I believe the difference between the two is the pulley diameter but am not sure. Any help would be appreciated!

Reply from Steve:

There are 2 kinds of pumps, the Saginaw and the Eaton. The Saginaw was also used on G.M's and usually has a plastic filler-cap and an egg-shaped canister/reservoir. The pressure fitting is at the rear of the pump.

The "Eaton" has a round canister/reservoir and a metal filler-cap. The pressure fitting is on the front-right side....pointing up somewhat. I'll bet your '73 Imp has the Eaton.

Chances are that when you buy the new pump, it will come w/o a canister or pulley. <--that is where the fun starts.

Question from Steve (1973):

I am in desperate need of a power steering pump pulley for my '73. My normal sources have only turned up complete pumps which I do not want. Any one have an idea where I can get the pulley only?


From John:

Unless you have the means to remove & press on a new pulley, replacing the entire pump might be a lot easier & not much more money. I learned the hard way on this one.

From Mike:

Its a shot, but I've had good luck at places that do non-automotive business...try grainger, or someplace like Farm and Country, or any industrial/ farm implement type of place. If you know the dims for the pulley you need, often you can find them. Some lawn mower repair places stock replacement pulleys, too.

From Kerry:

I think you should return the new pump and get one with the pulley already installed. Mine came with pulley included for my '73.  The pulley will ONLY come off with a special tool. There is a photo of it in the shop manual. As you discovered, some pumps come with the pulley and some do not. I got a whole new pump WITH pulley for my 64 for about 55 bucks and then discovered the big o-ring solution for leaking pumps on the 73 and was able to find just the rebuild kit for 15 or so. Anyway, I doubt you will find this pulley anywhere but a junk yard. While you can find pulleys with the same diameter etc, they are not going to fit your shaft. Btw, my parts house had a tool for removing the pulleys they loan out.

Question from John (1973):

I was replacing the power steering pump on my '73 and tried a gear puller instead of the proper power steering pulley puller. I bent the pulley slightly and would rather replace it than bother to straighten it, but I want to get her back on the road soon. Can anyone help with a spare pulley, or pump with pulley if you do not have a puller?


From John:

I learned this lesson the hard way too. it also ruined the pump. I'd get another pump if I were you. this one will likely leak as fast as you can fill it, or fail altogether.

From Mark:

When the power steering went out on my '73, I pulled the pump which was leaking like a stuck pig, took it to a place called Rebuilt Parts, Inc. here in Denver, left the pump, went out to lunch, came back and had a rebuilt pump waiting for me. I put it back in. I've had wonderful steering ever since (about 5 years) with that characteristic Imperial smoothness. It sure makes fitting into tight places downtown a lot easier. The receipt shows I paid $75.10 for the service. I don't suppose it's that inexpensive anymore.

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