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hose school | Posted: 3/17/2023
Hydraulic Systems are very important, and although we don’t often associate hydraulic systems, hoses, and fittings with heavy equipment… hydraulics are found in our day-to-day life, more specifically in our daily commute.
Almost all vehicles built today use power steering, and even though electric steering is becoming more popular, hydraulic steering is still very common in vehicles on the road today. Hydraulic steering uses a pump to move hydraulic fluid through your steering system. The pump supplies the pressure and the steering control is supplied either by the rack and pinon or a steering gearbox. But, there are a lot of ways that this system can wear down over time, and identifying them is half the battle.
Some of the most common problems in a power steering system are fluid leaks, especially in the pump and hydraulic lines. Based on the design of your system, there are three different places you might find a leak: the pump, the hoses or tubing, and the steering gear or rack.
The BrakeQuip hoses in a power steering system carry the fluid from the pump to your steering gear or rack. Leaks most commonly occur where a hose connects to a hard line, or where a hard-line screw into the rack or pump. Many power steering systems will use a long length of hard pipe or tubing in the return line, placed toward the front of your vehicle as a type of cooling system, so be sure to inspect the full length of the hose and tubing.
If you have a rubber hose leaking, it’s best to replace it. After all, you don’t want to be driving around with damaged lines – especially when those lines are connected to your steering. high-pressure power steering hoses have a double-braided nylon design, and a high-temperature rating, and are compatible with most power steering oils. With 1,500 PSI of working pressure and a 6,000 PSI minimum burst pressure, the hose, and your system are sure to hold up. These high-expansion hoses are designed to dampen the pressure waves and reduce noise from the power steering system.
The BrakeQuip braze-on fittings can be welded to the remaining tubing. These fittings are available in a number of tube size options. The other side of the braze-on fitting is a crimp end, designed to attach to BrakeQuip’s rubber power steering hose and replace the remainder of the damaged line.
If welding isn’t an option, or the tubing can’t be easily removed, we also have compression-style fittings available. Like the braze-on fittings, they are designed to connect to BrakeQuip’s rubber power steering hose with a crimping method, while the compression end of the fitting can be secured to the remaining tubing. This also gives you the ability to fix a hose on-site or in the field.
BrakeQuip also offers lifesaver fittings in different sizes. It has 3/8” tube size fitting that comes with 500 millimeters of tubing extending from a crimped end. You can use this tubing to create a custom flared end at a length of up to 500 millimeters! This new end can be used to tie into your existing system. Or, instead of flaring the end of the lifesaver tubing, you can use one of the BrakeQuip 3/8” power steering compression fittings to attach the lifesaver fitting.
If you find a leak at a connection, your natural instinct is probably to tighten the fittings. But this isn’t always the best course of action! It is best to take the fittings apart and inspect them for any damage. Any fractures or imperfections found on the metal seating surface can be the cause of a considerable leak. Also, on fittings with a metal-to-metal sealing action, which includes most fittings in a power steering system, over-tightening the fittings may just cause further damage. It is best to consult your torque spec guidelines when tightening any fittings on a hydraulic system, including power steering.
So, now that we’ve “steered” through all that information, if you have any further questions don’t hesitate to contact us and give us a follow on social media and subscribe to our email list so you can stay up to date with events happening here!
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