68 XR7 Power Steering Pump

Hello. I think my Power Steering pump is DOA. It gets very hot to the touch after about 60 - 120 seconds and squeals. I’ve replaced the belt and double-checked the fluid level. It will calm down after running a bit - but it squeals when turning the wheel.

Could this be anything other than bearings or something else in its innards that have worn out?

Any recommendations for a rebuilder or decently priced replacement unit? I was hoping to get my hands on one or find a resource in Minnesota as I just want one… but I also don’t want to pay $300.


Dan at Chockostang rebuilds them and they work very well. Last one I sent to him was like $110 including return shipping. Took about a week total. That’s including the reservoir and paint.

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Thanks for the recommendation, Royce.

So at my son’s suggestion I removed the belt from the power steering unit to see if the squeak went away. It did not, so that probably is ok. However something else is squeaky.

I retightened the alternator/fan belt and alas, I hear this upon start up:

When I run the engine with no belts it’s smooth. If I hand spin the alternator or the fan I don’t hear anything obvious.

Could this just be belt pulley contamination? Or is it the water pump? Sound goes away after a few minutes of running… engine does not get hot.


It might be one of the bearings in the alternator.

Spray some WD-40 on the sides of the belts. It will break up any contamination on the belts or pulleys

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Sounds like a bad bearing in the alternator. Have it tested by an auto part store. Usually that is free. You have to remove the alternator and bring it to them.

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Put a stethoscope down on the alternator or even a long screwdriver and listen.

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Thanks everyone for your great suggestions. I sprayed a bit of WD40 into the pulley area (not the belt) it might be a smidge quieter but unsure. I will the car parts store and/or stethoscope next. Hoping it’s the alternator, not the water pump, for now.

How old and in what condition are your belts?

belts are brand new.

I rigged up a stethoscope (long screwdriver with a gallon jug ‘ear’) … and although I hear the alternator moving, I wouldn’t say it’s ‘bad’. It also happens to be charging the system at around 14.2 - 14.5 volts.

I listened as well to the water pump, it sounds quiet and smooth. Could that squeal just be a start up noise for a slowly dying alternator?

Is there something else that can squeal like that towards front of car? I briefly thought it might be an oil pump but I have good pressure.

It quiets down, and I do hear it chirp when I turn on the headlights … so I suppose it could be drag on the Alternator … could it somehow be a vacuum related issue with the canisters?

If your belts are new and tight, its an alternator bearing like Royce said earlier. Turning on headlights puts a load on the alternator causing the bad bearing to chirp.

So, you have confirmed that there is no problem with your PS pump?

I had identical symptoms as you (on an early-70s GM system), and it turned out that both front tires were very low on air, causing increased effort on the pump. After inflating the tires to the correct pressure, the problem went away.

Check your radiator and see if fluid level is low or has oil in it. Radiator has a transmission oil cooler in the bottom with two lines going to transmission.

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I moved this issue to it’s own topic … but! the fluid in the radiator is low, but still looks clean/green.


Could be a collapsed suction hose hore restricted pressure hose, both can cause the squealing noise and heat.