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Old 10-10-2022, 2:42pm   #1
SJW
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Default Power steering hose routing, clamps, etc.

Hi, all.

I'm most of the way done with replacement of the leaking PS pump on my '63. The pump is all bolted in, belt is snugged. I'm now trying to properly route and secure the hoses. I'm replacing all four, and I'm sure the ones I removed were not installed completely correctly, as the pressure and return lines to/from the pump did not have the C-clip, instead had two zip-ties tying them together. Given how little clearance there is, and the amount of movement in the entire mechanism, I want to be sure to get these things positioned and clamped exactly right. Does anybody have really good photos of how all four of these are ideally routed and secured?

Many thanks in advance.

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Old 10-12-2022, 5:40am   #2
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Sorry I can’t provide you with a picture of a stock setup, Steve. However, I can tell you, from personal experience, not to route any lines too close to your exhaust or you’ll be sorry.

You probably don’t have side pipes on your ‘63 so that might not be an issue for you.

Take care,
Steve
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Old 10-12-2022, 6:31am   #3
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Thanks, Steve. There's not much clearance in that area, and these four hoses must travel, unlike the (two) hoses on the more conventional GM passenger-car PS set-ups of that era, which only needed to permit the minimal relative movement between the engine and chassis. This power piston system that's used on these old Corvettes and Novas is a bit of a Rube Goldberg arrangement. It works well, but demands careful routing and positioning of the hoses, or they'll make contact with adjacent parts. Exhaust heat, as you noted, is another potential issue.

This car did not ship from St Louis with side exhaust (obviously, being a '63), or power steering, but both were installed by previous owners. I'll be ditching the sidepipes.

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Old 10-12-2022, 8:06am   #4
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Wow! Your car is gorgeous. I wouldn’t change a thing but I understand the desire to make it authentic to its year. Are you keeping the wheels? They really look good on that car. OTOH, the ‘63 wheel covers are, in my opinion, one of the best covers ever made. They are pure jewelry.

The previous owner of my car added power steering along with power brakes but the side pipes are original to the car.

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Old 10-12-2022, 11:29am   #5
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Thanks for the kind words, Steve. She's a work in progress, as seems to always be the case with any of these antique machines.

There's little remaining on this car that's original, so pursuit of originality isn't the reason the sidepipes will be gone. It'll be done in an attempt to avoid further destruction of my already damaged hearing. These 2-1/2 inch manifolds and pipes are just way too much. It's like driving down the road between a pair of un-muffled Harleys.

The wheels are definitely staying. When I bought the car from a friend three years ago, it had direct-bolt wheels and very old whitewall tires. I've never been all that enthusiastic about the KO wheels look, and mine were a bit oxidized from weather exposure. I've always been more into the Day Two look on vintage muscle cars, hotrods, and Corvettes. I swapped out the wheels and tires earlier this year. The wheels I removed will be disposed of, although I haven't yet made an effort to find them a new home.

This car's original wheel covers are long gone. The car had true KO wheels on it when my pal bought the car back in the late 1990s. He lost one of those wheels while underway, and decided to replace them with the direct-bolt wheels after that mishap occurred. So, this is at least the fourth set of wheels that this car has worn in its lifetime. Another chore I've been working on, concurrently with the PS issues and starter solenoid failure, has been fitting a fifth six-inch TT wheel and matching 215/70R15 Yokohama Avid tire into the spare tub. It's been a wrestling match and I'm still not completely done with it, but it's nearly sorted out now.

I've done a lot of things to this car since I acquired it, and there's more that remains to be attended to. I chip away at them when I find the time and enthusiasm.

Live well,

SJW

It always amazes me how a simple change of wheels and tires can so dramatically alter a vehicle's "personality." Here's how she looked before I bought her a new set of shoes and feet, and during the transition:
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Old 10-12-2022, 1:50pm   #6
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Steve, I just replaced my Holley 4160 with an original-style 3810 and it reduced the noise level of my side pipes by an amazing amount. I have no idea why that would be but the difference is amazing.

I just backed my car out into the driveway and took a decibel reading of 72.7 at idle after a cold start. Reading taken from the driver's seat.

60 dB is the level of normal conversation. 80 dB is the level of a ringing telephone. Previously, with the 4160 carburetor, I'd get a reading of 112 dB which is a little more than the typical noise level of a chain saw.

I'll take a longer reading while underway the next time I take the car out.

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Old 10-12-2022, 8:54pm   #7
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That's beyond strange, Steve. I can't fathom how a carburetor swap would result in a greatly reduced exhaust noise level. Got me stumped. Any chance your test instrument or test setup changed between measurements?

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Old 10-23-2022, 7:23am   #8
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Okay, another chore wrapped up yesterday, after various hassles and inconveniences. I bought a new PS pump and all four hoses from Zip. Turned out that one of the four PS hoses I received was mis-marked, which resulted in me having two of the extend hoses for the cylinder, and no retract hose. A phone call to Zip got that worked out, kudos to Zip for great customer service. By the next afternoon, a new retract hose landed here on the porch, and they told me to not bother sending back the incorrect hose. Wasn't worth the cost of shipping. Thanks, Zip.

I also found that the mounting bracket for the PS pump was slightly tweaked or sprung, which caused major headaches and a lot of cussing in order to get the bolt holes to align with the holes in the engine block, and required a shim to get the pump pulley un-cocked so that it is aligned with the pulleys on the crank and water pump. I don't know whether this bracket was an OEM or reproduction piece, as it was on the car when I bought it.

And, then came the fiddling, fussing, tweaking and repositioning of the four new hoses. That was at least an hour, possibly two. There is very little space in that area, and there are many adjacent components that these hoses can contact as they travel with the drag link. I had replaced the power cylinder last year, as it had been leaking badly due to a nick in its shaft which damaged the seal. At that time, I had also replaced the extend and retract hoses, and I had failed to swing the steering lock-to-lock while watching clearances, and it turns out the retract hose was contacting the frame bracket when the steering was turned fully to the right. And, of course, that had chafed the hose. I hadn't noticed that until I got into this recent project of replacing the pump, and that led me to order all four new hoses along with the pump.

Getting the necessary clearances for all four of the newly installed hoses took a lot of finessing. If the "clocking" of the hard lines as they exit the flare fittings aren't clocked just right, all sorts of clearance issues arise. If they aren't clocked just right at the control valve and the pump, those two hoses can double back onto themselves when the wheels are turned hard-left, and there's also very little clearance to the oil pan. Turned hard-right, there's very little clearance to the frame, the frame bracket for the cylinder piston, etc. In this case, the high-pressure line to the control valve wasn't bent quite enough to clear the underside of the frame rail, so it required a little gentle bending to get the necessary clearance.

I'm happy to say that everything now clears, the system is refilled and bled of air, and roadworthy again.

Live well,

SJW
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Old 10-23-2022, 3:42pm   #9
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Glad you got that squared away, Steve.

I've had issues with my PS, too. Once I was coming out of a parking spot and heard a loud noise, almost like a gunshot. The mounting bracket for the PS pump broke off. Drove the car home anyway. Real hard to steer. Required welding to fix.

Recently, one of the hoses came too close to the exhaust and burned through. I suspect that was caused by a bad chain hookup from the flatbed when I had to have my car towed into the shop a couple of months ago.

Anyway, glad you got everything working. It's a good feeling when everything works like it should.

Take care,
Steve
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Old 10-23-2022, 5:16pm   #10
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Hey, Steve.

Yes, it's always good to check off items from the never-ending to-do list.

Reproduction PS pump mounting brackets are available, but I'm not sure they're made accurately enough that they would fit any better than the one that's on my car now. In fact, that one could be a repro for all I know. I know it wasn't on the car when the car left St Louis. If I ever have the engine out of this car, I might try a different bracket to see if it fits better without shimming, but that bracket is a PITA to replace in-situ. One of the bolts down at the motor mount is a bitch to get a tool on when the engine's in the car, and I got the pulleys aligned almost perfectly now, so I'll let that sleeping dog lie for now. That yours broke has me wondering if there's a design or manufacturing deficiency that places stress on the brackets. I added a body shim between the pump and bracket on mine to fill a gap, so that there wouldn't be an ever-present stress on my new pump. I strongly suspect that the O-ring on the old pump started leaking as a result of exactly this stress. For now, I'm happy to have it back together and functional, and it won't break my heart if I never have to mess with it again. The control valve is the only hydraulic item in the entire PS system that I haven't replaced now.

The exhaust is yet another thing that can be too close to these PS hoses. It's a challenge to get all four hoses positioned just right so that they don't end up getting injured. It seems that many of those who have installed the Borgeson PS system on these C2s have encountered problems with pulley alignment, etc. And I'm not eager to cut the steering shaft in order to install a Borgeson unit. But, one real advantage to it is that it doesn't require the Rube Goldberg configuration that the stock system is, with four hoses that all travel with the drag link.

I suspect the nick that I found on the cylinder shaft on my car was caused by an errant tow-truck hook, but I'll never know and it doesn't matter now. I worked my way through school driving tow trucks, back when they were the old sling-type. I saw a number of guys do some damage with those slings and J-hooks back then.

Here's hoping neither of us have any further issues with pump brackets or hoses!

Live well,

SJW
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