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Discussion Starter #1
So I have become another statistic to a leaking power steering system... It was such a bad leak, it got to the point where I was literally putting a quart in after driving every hour or so... Couldn't figure out where it was leaking from because EVERYTHING was coated in Mercon, but thanks to you lovely people, I was inspired to check the pressure line where it goes into the pump, and lo and behold, the elbow was the culprit.
I didn't want to replace the whole pressure line, as I have plenty of other problems with my car that need attention, and the rest of the lines seemed fine, so after some research, it appeared Autozone had an elbow in stock that was "an exact fit for my vehicle".
Excited to not have to strongarm a gentle curve anymore, I eagerly got into the whole process of putting the damn thing on.... I'll skip all the details and swear words leading up to this, but I was incredibly excited when I finally got it unscrewed from the pump itself and was ready to pop the new one on and put everything back together again, bada boom, bada bing.
Wrong.
This *** thing does not stick out of the pump the same way as the old one. The metal protector thingee gaurding the pump itself is in the way of the elbow sticking out the same way the old one did, therefore it does not line up properly with the hard line that needs to screw into it. When I held the new part up to the old one, it appeared identical, save for minor differences in (what I believe to be) just manufacturer cosmetic designs.
Has anyone else had this issue and what did you do to fix it?
I was tempted to do some engineering and try to gently bend it, but I know how delicate that swivel-y part is, and I'm not trying to create another leak... That plate in front of the pump was about to get some surgery from my dremel until I realized it would never cut through, so please! Anyone?! Help!
 

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Yep, been there. Unless you spring for the exorbitant Motorcraft part, they are never gonna fit right.

Last time this happened to me, I was able to bend the short tube just enough to clear the plate, but the little P-shaped bracket that holds it to the plate could not be used. Initially I forced it into place with the bracket, but it caused the seal on the fitting to gap and suck in air. So I left off that bracket and ran with it. It held.

Do your best with what you have. It will clearly be better than the previous one, even if it isn't perfect. And who knows, maybe it will be fine. And if not, just run it until you're able to get a better part.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I already kissed that bracket goodbye... I'm just super nervous to bend that little arm. But you're right, it can't be worse than it was!

I was considering to put everything back together without that plate on covering the pump lol but I think that was just a moment of stupidity.

Ok, I'm gonna give it a shot now.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ok, here's how I failed miserably....
Short version.

So, I tried to gently bend the elbow so it lined up properly, but the big hex part is 'chunkier' than the original part and the part of the cast iron plate that the 'p' clamp attaches to, was in the way.
I thought I had everything shoved in properly, it was difficult to align everything up and get the bolts holding the pump in place... But when I started the car hoping for success in some way shape or form, I was denied. The pump sounded like it was struggling, the elbow was dripping, (not spewing as previously was the case) the engine appeared to be 'shaking' more than usual and I smelled ... gas?

My educated guess is that everything was NOT 'shoved' in properly, and that it was a chain reaction of that plate not sitting back far enough so the pulley wheel wasn't placed correctly, so the belt also was somewhat unaligned and this all caused the pump to sound struggled. My only concern is the gas smell. I'm hoping the engine shaking was because things were working harder because everything was so out of wack and that will be remedied when things are as they should.

Any suggestions? At this point, I feel like taking it all out again, dremelling the plate to make room for that tube to stick out of and dealing with the leak anyway because it's way more tolerable than the old leak was. Any suggestions or input is appreciated in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I definitely considered a junkyard, but to go there and have to take everything apart just to get to the elbow I need (which includes removing a motor mount) I'm not sure it's feasible? The cars are usually propped up and I'm not trying to drop and engine on the ground at the junkyard lol
 

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Meh. It wont move far, its still attached at two other points plus the axle. Getting to that pump isn't that hard when you don't care about putting everything back together again. You could always bring a jack with you if you need to prop it up a bit, but I'll bet its not needed.
In the end, you will be glad to have the right part installed.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Meh. Just put something under it, it wont move far, its still attached at two other points plus the axle. Getting to that pump isn't that hard when you don't care about putting everything back together again.
In the end, you will be glad to have the right part installed.
Haha you're absolutely right!
Now, I was doing a little research and NAPA has what they say is an OEM part, and it's very affordable considering the $80 I saw elsewhere.... Is this part actually going to fit or is it like the one I bought from Autozone ?
 

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Well, If the one you bought at Autozone was the $26.99 one, the manufacturer part numbers and product image match so I would wager the part does too.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, here's an update...

Still have a leak, however, compared to the way it was before, this is barely an issue at all.

BUT..... Now I have a new problem.

My car won't start.
It cranks and turns over, but will not start and run... It's like it's about to start, but it coughs and continues to coughs until I release the key.

Checked spark plugs (I was due for em anyway) and they were very wet and reeked of fuel.

Bought new ones, also replaced the crankshaft and camshaft sensors. Cleaned all harnesses real good with electric cleaner, was much needed as per the ps leak, my drive belt flung fluid everywhere.

Figured the engine must of gotten flooded somehow and took proper steps to remedy (pedal to the metal while trying to start) and no luck there... Thought it could be lacking air so I set the tps a little higher, and it finally started. It didn't stall but it sounded ROUGH. Panicked, (don't know why) and turned it off to not get it started again.

Couldn't figure out the sudden issue here, I can def hear the pump priming before starting car, not the started because the engine IS turning over... Don't really know how to test for spark so I took my test light and checked the harness that plugs into the coil pack and it didn't light up. Used the exact same method to check the TPS harness and the MAF harness and both got glowing results.

Does this sound like a break in the wiring that supplies power to the coil pack, creating a no spark situation? Fuses all visually checked out fine, but I also didnt see any areas of concern as far as chewed up or damaged wiring ( as far as I could tell all the wires leading up to the coil pack are wrapped up and bundled so tight I don't know how anything could get in there to deteriorate them)

Any suggestions ? I want to get this figured out so I can get on with the next thing that's gonna break lol
 

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Make sure the three plugs on the bracket attached to the rear valve cover are plugged in tight and correctly. If they got bumped they might have lost connection and will cause problems.
 

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Make sure the three plugs on the bracket attached to the rear valve cover are plugged in tight and correctly. If they got bumped they might have lost connection and will cause problems.
This sounds right. Your probably not getting spark. Lack of spark could either be caused by the PCM not sending a "go" signal, or by that signal not reaching the coil pack. Either one could be caused by bad connectors. Those three connectors on the end of the valve cover pretty much handle everything that makes the engine run. They also can be deceptive. You may think they are good when they arent. There should be a distinct snapping together, with no question when its right.

This is the easiest safe way to check for spark:

That tool is super handy to have around when driving an old car.

Since you touched the plugs, you will want to double check that you put the wires back in the right order, and also check the ground wire on the coil pack.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok, I am going to go check them out right now.

And I'm almost positive I put the wires back correctly on the plugs, I always change them one at a time to be certain, plus I have had each wire labeled on each end indicating placement on coil pack--------cylinder but it can't hurt to check again.

All this happened after I changed that elbow on the ps pump, I didn't even touch the coil pack or plugs or any of that until it wouldn't start.

Make sure the three plugs on the bracket attached to the rear valve cover are plugged in tight and correctly. If they got bumped they might have lost connection and will cause problems.
What are the "3 plugs" you're referring to? just so I know what I'm checking by name as opposed to checking something off the list and not knowing what it was....
 

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These ones on the end of the rear valve cover
81143
 

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Discussion Starter #15
These ones on the end of the rear valve cover
View attachment 81143
Ok that's what I thought you were talking about when I actually looked lol

All three of them were very very grimy on the outside and after pulling em, the insides were quite dirty as well! Gritty, actually, and they were very hard to separate. Cleaned them up real nice, put them back together again.
Long story short, I just tried to start the car and it started, was very very very rough, like it was choking for air honestly, and even in park it was kind of bucking? Tried to restart it with no luck, still smell gas lingering in the air.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Also, I checked the harness that plugs into the coil pack again but this time with a DMM and I got power... So, process of elimination.... Either I need a new coil pack or spark plugs wires... Correct?

I can get both for $100 right now, but will that definitely fix this?
 

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If it came out of nowhere, with no warning, its probably not a bad plug or wires. It does sound like a misfire problem though. Maybe your plug wires aren't seated well?
I assume your CEL is flashing, but have you read the codes?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
There were no codes whatsoever. My only problem was my power steering leak prior to this. I would get an occasional catalytic converter code and maybe 3 times I got a code about the camshaft sensor but I've replaced that already. The car worked fine when it was parked to handle the ps issue and then this happened when I started it afterwards
 

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Just for information's sake, what plugs did you put back in? Does it smooth out if you let it run or rev up a bit? Bad/clogged injectors could cause similar issues, and could flood your engine while parked if they're leaking too.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Just for information's sake, what plugs did you put back in? Does it smooth out if you let it run or rev up a bit? Bad/clogged injectors could cause similar issues, and could flood your engine while parked if they're leaking too.
I want to say that prior to the plug change, they were ngk double platinum plugs.... I think the new ones are copper tho...
And the car wouldn't run at all. The engine would turn over, but it wouldn't stay running, so idk if it would smooth out or not .
However, I ended up splurging and getting a new coil pack and wires anyway (thanks stimulus!) And after installing, I was able to start the car! It didn't fire up as it normally does tho, it turned over and it had a rough idle, higher than normal, but did seem like it was going to smooth itself out, but I turned the car off because I was in a closed garage and the exhaust had a very strong smell of gas. Not sure if that's to be expected since the engine was likely flooded, but it was very very strong. I needed to get some fresh air, but I'd like to go start it up again
 
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