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Discussion Starter #1
99 SE conv: Driving tonight the steering got very hard. I pulled over and there was fluid everywhere in the serpentine belt area of the engine compartment. ...empty power steering res. There was no sign of leakage around the pump itself (at least the top visible part was dry) most looked to be lower in the compartment. I traced the visible parts of the lines and nothing apparent there either. Some fluid sprayed up the quarter panel and headlight area as well, but I thought that might be due to the serp belt throwing the fluid around.

any ideas? Any help would be appreciated!!
 

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If not the pump, look at the first high-pressure line which runs from the pump forward, down along the passenger side of the radiator, sort of between the headlight and the radiator.

For example, a few inches down is a joint, connecting a hard pipe and a hose. If bad, fluid will squirt up from the joint, and then flow down and settle on the front subframe cross-member.

This can be tested at idle, just wipe the line dry, add ps fluid, start engine, and have someone turn the steering wheel back and forth. I used a strong flashlight, even during the day.
 

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I'll concur with PMI on this, hose failure - genuine hoses are not cheap if this is the case but the unions are standard metric fine threads, any decent hydraulic hose maker that handles metric should be able to make a good copy [with stainless overbraid too, not ricey at all]
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks..I will do that first thing tonight. I appreciate the help.

Also there is a whirring noise when steering is that simply the result of the system being starved of fluid?




PMI said:
If not the pump, look at the first high-pressure line which runs from the pump forward, down along the passenger side of the radiator, sort of between the headlight and the radiator.

For example, a few inches down is a joint, connecting a hard pipe and a hose. If bad, fluid will squirt up from the joint, and then flow down and settle on the front subframe cross-member.

This can be tested at idle, just wipe the line dry, add ps fluid, start engine, and have someone turn the steering wheel back and forth. I used a strong flashlight, even during the day.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ragtopcav - are you referring to have a hydraulic co. make a copy of the line based upon the old one?

ragtopcav said:
I'll concur with PMI on this, hose failure - genuine hoses are not cheap if this is the case but the unions are standard metric fine threads, any decent hydraulic hose maker that handles metric should be able to make a good copy [with stainless overbraid too, not ricey at all]
 

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Having a hydraulic company make the hose is probably more economical; also the fitments should be easier, but the length would be critical, I would think.

Also, in England, the metric fittings should be common place, I would guess.
But on the other side of the pond, where we still cling to the old ways - I hope that the use of metrics is not a deterrent for the replacement of this power steering hose...
 

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gman2560 said:
Also there is a whirring noise when steering is that simply the result of the system being starved of fluid?
Yes, good chance the noise will go away if you add fluid. If not, the pump may be going, but used ones are fairly easy to get on ebay and such for around $50, and not hard to put in.

The first pressure line is the one that seems to fail most often, and saabsite.com has one listed for a decent price. That first line can NOT be easily replaced with a hose/overbraid, it includes a cooling pipe below the bumper. If you delete the cooling line, good chance the rack might go out too. You can get aftermarket coolers, but if all you need is that one line, the custom setup will cost more than the price of one ps line from saabsite.

A full set of oem lines is very expensive. I posted a diagram here:

http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=49484
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks PMI The diagram is most helpful. I am assuming the First pressure line you refer (most common failure) to is the one in red in the diagram (down the pass side of the radiator, under the oil cooler etc). Am I correct? is the cooling pipe the part that runs under the oil cooler and is it different from the rest of the pipe?

thanks for your patience
 

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I am assuming the First pressure line you refer (most common failure) to is the one in red in the diagram
Yes, that is the one. There is one set to lines with metal union nuts o-rings etc. feeding the steering rack, and another set with hose clamps for the fluid return.

Most of the lines are a combination of flexible reinforced hoses and metal pipes, crimped at the joints. I have no idea if the cooling line pipe is any different from the rest, mine is too rusted to tell.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Update: I cleaned everything, filled the reservior to the correct level, started the car and had the wheel turned while I watched (with flashlight) Nothing. no leaks, no noise everything fine. I took the car this morning to work (65 mile commute with plenty of turns) and nothing. no leaks..

The lines are all in new-looking condition, no corrision and the fittings are all dry as a bone.

I am perplexed.....
 
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