Marking it's territory
Power steering issues may be the worst kept secret in the history of the C3 Corvette. Mine didn't escape the issues either, so this past weekend, I set out to fix a power steering fluid leak. Based on the way the reservoir attaches to the power steering pump, my first thought was that the pump was leaking. Pumps for a C3 are actually pretty cheap, so in an effort to solve the problem from the top down, the first thing I did was replace the pump. There were signs of a leak at the pump, but after replacing it, I still had a pretty bad leak to fix.
After I let it cool down, I put it on the jack stands and sprayed down all the hoses, cylinder, and valve with warm soapy water in a spray bottle. Once everything was clean, I put about a half cup of fluid back in the pump reservoir and waited. It wasn't long before I noticed a steady drip from the bottom of the control valve. Looking back at my records, I found that I had replaced the control valve in 2014, just 3 years before, and even better, it was covered by Advance Auto Parts' lifetime warranty. A pickle fork, ball peen hammer, and 40 minutes later, I had the defective valve in a box and was headed to Advance to get a replacement on the way.
The folks at Advance didn't know exactly how to get the new one ordered (it was a special order) without me paying for it, so we called the corporate office to find out how to proceed. In just a few minutes, I received an email / order confirmation that the new one is on the way. In the mean time, I picked up a couple of quarts of Dexron Mercon transmission fluid (which doubles as power steering fluid) and some Lucas Oil Power Steering Stop Leak, which has a conditional money back guarantee if it doesn't stop the leak.
With any luck, I'll have the new valve early this week. Advance Auto Parts honored the warranty with no questions asked, so it's a win in my book. I also have some upper control arms on the way from Vansteel Corvette, so I'll probably get to do both upgrades / repairs at the same time. I'm definitely looking forward to getting the Corvette back on the road.