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Old 03-27-2012, 12:51 PM   #62 (permalink)
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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The Adventure Wagon - '94 Subaru Loyale Wagon 4x4
90 day: 33.43 mpg (US)

Electro-Monkey - '11 Surly Karate Monkey BMC V2S Front Hub Motor
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Originally Posted by Sven7 View Post
1. If you just pull the belt, will it ruin anything?

2. If you then cap the lines, will it ruin anything?

3. If you then drain the fluid, will it ruin anything?

4. Is there any decrease in steering effort without fluid? (Ie, is it the same as EOC)
I pulled the PS pump, got a shorter belt, and drained and capped the lines in my '94 Subaru Loyale about 2 years ago. The steering still feels great, i.e. nothing is going wrong. The effort is lighter with drained lines than it was before with just EOC (lines full of fluid but pump not turning).

So, your answers:
1) Nothing will go wrong, as long as the belt you remove only drives the PS pump! If it drives the water pump or alternator as well, you'll have to find a shorter belt.
2) If you remove the pump and cap the lines without draining the rack, fluid will want to come out of the lines when you steer, so you'll feel resistance and probably pop the caps and spray fluid all over the front of your engine.
3) Draining the fluid hasn't caused any damage to my car in 2 years.
4) The steering is lighter without fluid in the rack & lines, compared to fluid in the rack & lines with the pump not turning.

I only notice the increased effort at parallel parking speeds, where I have to put down my coffee and actually drive with two hands

The increased steering feel has warned me of black ice more than once, as the steering gets slightly lighter in the middle of a turn. Wouldn't notice that with power steering!
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