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jerky steering power

No Power Steering
This is a problem I had last year on my coach. I want to record what happened here in case it will help anyone else.

My power steering started getting jerky a couple years ago. It finally got to a point where I had no power assist. And yes, it becomes a beast without power steering.

I can usually fix most things myself. I replaced the hydraulic pump, and spent quite a bit of time talking to mechanics at Newell. After replacing a few more items (including the new hydraulic pump) I finally threw in the towel decided to try to make it to Miami (from Dallas) and let the experts fix it.

It took Newell mechanics 5 man-days (1 guy for 3 days, and another for 2) to finally figure the problem out. (They removed and replaced almost everything two or three times, and even removed the steering gear). 

The problem was in the hydraulic fan motor. Unfortunately it was not documented anywhere that there is something in the fan motor that controls the power steering.  No one thought they were connected... and the fan appeared to be running properly. But in the end the fan was either restricting fluid going to the steering gear, or diverting it.  The fan motor was changed and I was back on the road. 

I was feeling rather dumb that I couldn't figure the problem out. The only redeeming thing I got out of the whole experience was the satisfaction that it took 5 days for professional mechanics to figure out the problem.  Smile 

My engine is an S60.
Alan Johnson
Dallas Tx

Newell #485
1998 2 slides
Thank you for posting Alan.

Tom and I were aware that another owner Paul Tracy experienced a similar failure. And it took new hyd pump, new control solenoids, and new steering gear box before it was identified as a faulty fan motor. To the best of my understanding the hydrualic system feeds both the steering gear box and the fan with any pressure regulating device regulating the flow to either . If the fan motor internals allow excess flow through the fan motor, all of the hyd pressure is consumed just pumping fluid through the fan and back to the reservoir.

My comments are hindsight, but for others reading this thread, here is an idea I think would be fairly easy to try if this problem is suspected. Unscrew the hyd return line from the fan motor and cap it. The return to the reservoir would have to be capped also. If the steering problem goes away then voila! the problem is the fan motor. Of course you couldn't run like this for very long, but it's far less effort and money than replacing the hyd pump or steering gear box.
Richard and Rhonda Entrekin
99 Newell, 512
Subaru Outback Toad
Inverness, FL (when we're home Cool )

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