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Safety Question



I have a problem.......

It is unknown to me how this happened. I was driving out of the parking lot and I heard a pop from under the car, and it really wasn't that loud. I didn't check into it right away as I had to hurry to work (very close proximity), but noticed that the steering wheel was pretty tough to turn after work. I checked the power steering fluid level first and it was "bone dry" by the time I got home, which led me to look under the car. It seems the power steering ram is missing the connection point where it connects to the mounting bracket and the bracket is cracked off the main plate.

Sorry for the monologue but I had to vent.....

Is it safe to drive with the steering ram disconnected? I'm not very familiar with steering mechanisms, but I'm guessing that the only function of the ram is to pressurize the system and keep the power steering "powered". The car seems to turn fine, just hard to push the wheel around without any power assist. I'm not driving the car on public roads for safety's sake right now but would like to have somemore information on the subject.

I'm pretty sure this is listed in my profile but just in case....
76 vette L-48 "project car"

I'm curious also if the "power steering cylinder" listed on Ecklers is the same part as the "power steering ram" listed in the ZIP products catalog. I know the power steering ram is the part that I need form the picture in the ZIP products catalog. The power steering in ecklers looks like the same part and they don't have a core charge for a new part.

Thanks for any help
I am not sure about your problem, but did you buy your car at Corvette Country? If so, who was the salesman?
It was a consignment deal from Corvette Country, Gerald was the salesman.
I would limit the use of the car as much as possible. The power steering is very unique on these cars. The steering wheel turns the through a rag joint down to a gear box that has a pitman arm on the bottome that goes into the power steering actuator control valve. As you turn the wheel right to left there is actually a moment of "slack" as the pitman arm nudges the ball joint stud coming out of the actuator before you begin to turn. This ball stud sticking out controls the valving that pushes hydraulic pressure on either side of the ram or cylinder (believe Zip and Ecklers are describing the same part). What that means is you are now forcing the steering manually through that ball stud that tilts back and fourth to initiate the power steering action.

You really need to inspect the entire area to determine what broke causing the ram to fall off. If you purchase an exchange ram your core may be worthless (assuming you still have the ram) due to it having a physical fracture.

I fear that driving without the hydraulic assist may damage the control valve and increase your total repair cost. I am not certain of this, but after you see how it works you will understand the concern. It just can't be good to be forcing the valving by manual pressure. Maybe somebody else here can share actual experience.

On the other hand, maybe you should consider replacing the entire assembly at one time to ensure years of trouble free service. It will only cost a little bit more to replace the actuator as well and a little more time while you are under the car. That can be replaced on an exchange basis to save even more money.
When I was looking for my vette, Jerry told me to stay away from the orange 76' because it was going to need a new carb pretty soon. It looked great and he said that it drove well but was going to need some work.
Are you going to Rudy's tommorrow?
I realized that it needed a new carb and just added it into the cost of the car when I was considering buying it. Already has a new edelbrock performer 600 sitting on top.

What time are the rudy's meetings? I'm probably going to be working this time :puke :mad :r :cry but will be able to make future meetings :cool :D :beer
Is it "safe" to drive with the power steering ram disconected?

If you ran the power steering pump dry, you've fried the pump.
You can either remove all the power steering hardware and plug the connections on the control valve then drive the car as if it had manual steering or you can repair the system including replacing the pump.
Hib Halverson said:
You can (either) remove all the power steering hardware and plug the connections on the control valve then drive the car as if it had manual steering...

:L I don't think I'd want to drive anything without power assist nowadays Hib. ;)

Thanks for the response Hib.
I might just have to disconnect everything and go without power
assist for a while.
It looks like the bracket stayed in place and the frame sheared!:mad
I still have no idea what could cause a force significant enough to shear part of the frame and snap the power steering ram.
Any thoughts?:confused

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