Upgrading Power Steering Pressure and Return Lines - 1967 Chevelle
When upgrading systems you’ll run into some unique situations. One such situation I found with my Vintage Air Front Runner accessory drive was its modern power steering pump and reservoir. The kit included an extended banjo fitting and tube that converted the pressure line to -6AN. My steering box had flare fittings. Fortunately, we carry all the fittings you could want to normalize just about anything to an AN fitting.
Working with Fragola’s coated PTFE hose is a little bit different than bare stainless. It kind of already has its own electrical tape cover. As I found, that coating made it a bit easier to cut and assemble.
Again, you want to slip the outer collar/nut on before you make your cut. A little deformation is inevitable when using a shearing motion to cut. I used Speedway Motors heavy duty hose cutter tool to make my cuts. Slipping this one prior will save headaches later. Next, you’ll need to trim back the outer sheath from the underlying braid. This will allow the connection to grip directly on the braid. It’s also impossible to assemble with the coating intact.
Once you get the braid spread apart enough to insert the compression ring, I found that a pair of needle nosed pliers works well to reshape the inner liner if it had flattened out at all during cutting.
Once everything is satisfactory with the fit of the components, you can press the hose end into the tube and tighten down the outer nut/collar. I found that the AN vice jaws helped tremendously by holding the hose and collar steady while the fitting was snugged together.
Rinse and repeat with the other end. Now that the hard part is done, let’s quickly cover the push on hose connection.
The low pressure return side of the power steering pump simply has a plastic nipple off the side of the reservoir. This is an indication of the fluid pressure demands of that line. Far less pressure than the hydraulic pressure feed line. Socketless push on fittings are capable of handling up to 250 psi.
The connection is pretty self-explanatory. My advice is to use plenty of assembly lube and firmly hold the hose in the vice. I made use of a non-marking, adjustable AN wrench to push the fitting into the hose. Press it all the way in, until the hose bottoms in the face of the fitting. At the pump end of this hose, I employed an Earl’s crimp clamp to ensure it couldn’t wiggle off the nipple. Be sure to lubricate this interface as well. It is, after all, just a plastic tank.
I’m happy to report that after startup the power steering system has no leaks and works beautifully.