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Almost 1/2 Million Miles!
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Guys,

A few of you know me and my 1992 Toyota Camry XLE with now over 530,082 original miles without any rebuilt history.

Yes, it's the indestructible 5S-FE (a.k.a., 2.2 Liter Cast Iron lower Block and Aluminum Heads with double overhead CAM).

The Automatic Transmission is the famous and very tough A140e auto.

Back in February of this year, I had to replace the Power Steering Pump, not because it quite working but, instead because the leak got worse and worse. At the time, I didn't realize that a Gasket Kit was available for this Power Steering Pump and I allowed it to slip out of my hands and decided to take it to a PRO SHOP and they installed a Re-manufactured Pump and the original went in the box as core.

Believe it or not, you can't get a brand new Power Steering Pump for my GEN3 Camry and the Re-manufactured pump came Dead-On-Arrival (DOA) and the poor mechanic had to do it ALL OVER again, this time the PRO SHOP asked for another different company brand. Well, that one did the job but, a slight sound was apparent and as long as it did the job I could NOT complain. I did take it to the PRO SHOP several times still complaining about the noise and some leaks but, it turned out the leak was Engine Oil coming from the CAM SEAL. Yes, I fixed that CAM Seal Leak, did a timing belt job labor myself because almost everyone wanted in the range of $800 - $1386 US BIG ONES! Now the Camry does NOT leak from the Engine.

Fast forward today, the Steering became really strange as it quit working intermittently while driving, almost like the pump was dying while trying to do it's job. Needless to say the PRO SHOP is honoring the Steering Pump as it came with a 2-year warranty. During our observations (mechanic and I) that dang original hose (Inlet) going from the reservoir to the pump inlet was really in bad shape and slightly leaking as almost all of the rubber at the clamp points were gone and perhaps under pressure the hose collapsed on itself and ruining the pump? Again, no one is certain and they were REALLY nice to honor the warranty on the pump.

Okay, I searched and searched for that hose and new power steering reservoir and could not find something reasonable ($$$)! The only items I found was JUNK YARD stuff at around $45 shipped and they looked worse than what I had! The new items were found at the Dealer and the Power Steering Reservoir was a WHOPPER of $286 and that dang hose another $164. I mean wow!

The Doorman brand for the Reservoir was $216 so, I told the PRO SHOP to order the TOYOTA at more $$$ because I just didn't like the looks of the DOORMAN brand unit Reservoir. The hose that came was the wrong one and I do recall that these HOSES are very hard to find (TOYOTA with all the Bends). So...... I asked them to order the TOYOTA Hose!

The only reason I am keeping my GEN3 is that I am very curious of how long this ENGINE will last. Yes, I do enjoy driving it and it gives me 27.5 MPG combined even though it still has the ORIGINAL FUEL INJECTORS!

My dilemma is the power steering system is a very critical system on any car and I just didn't want to take any chances on installing after-market stuff, especially because the original equipment lasted over 500,000 miles!

What say you?
 

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You are correct, that really bendy hose for the '92-'93 is not available new from Toyota anymore, and I haven't yet found an aftermarket source either. My plan, someday, if I ever need to replace it: take a suitable sized piece of aluminum tubing and use a tubing bender to make my own. Cut it a couple inches short at each end, and then use a short piece of auto parts store hose of the correct size to attach to the pump and reservoir.

One other option would be to buy the hose from the later model engine (those are available) and its shape ought to be pretty close, and might work.

Regarding the reservoir: I'd buy a used one, even if it was scruffy looking, as it would probably be better than any aftermarket one.

Ditto on the hydraulic pump: buy a used one and rebuild it. The FSM includes the instructions for how to do it, and the measurements of each internal component so you can be sure it will work like new when you are done.

Norm
 

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short-throw dipstick
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Suction hose should be replaced with OE only, I've never seen any aftermarket equivalent anyway and the OE hose routinely goes 150-250K (depending on use).

I service power steering systems on German and Japanese cars, both of which usually have a screen in the reservoir to provide some filtration. On German cars I replace the res outright, because the OE units are cheap (let's say, $60-100). No such luck on Japanese, they're always expensive so I back-flush them to clean them out, that's all it takes. Screw the discoloration. You may consider installing an inline filter in the return line (somewhere serviceable), because that will eliminate reservoir maintenance. I rebuilt my pump 1K ago (also have an extra OE from my donor car rebuilt with OE kit, $70 if you're interested), along with cleaning the res, installing a Cardone inline magnetic filter, checking all fluid lines and hoses (no leaks), and refilling/bleeding with Valvoline MaxLife Dex/Merc. I have no leaks and no noise except for the rack cavitation when you're at steering lock; the inline filter does provide a bit of restriction, which I actually like because it makes the steering somewhat heavier (again, with absolutely no noise).

If you're doing it yourself, avoid aftermarket remans unless you need it ASAP. They are shoddy and all terrible. Very few mechanics will rebuild P/S pumps because it's not cost effective. I do, but only because I can spare the time and it's fun for me. Just did four in the past month: two OE KYB units from a Suzuki Grand Vitara, one Ford CII from my Taurus, and Yet Another Toyota ('96 T100 5VZ). The Toyotas are great to learn on, they're very easy to rebuild as you just need a vise and run-of-the-mill tools.

To answer your title, it's never too old, as long as you're willing to put the money in for maintenance and wear-and-tear. Although having to replace defective components over and over has nothing to do with that.
 

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Almost 1/2 Million Miles!
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Discussion Starter #4
Guys,
Thank you so much for your detailed and complete replies on my issue.
This discussion site is the best because of all of you who reply.
Keeping it on the road.
Carlos
 

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Many a rally car removes the PS; the car steers just fine at speed and its only a load of work to parallel park, where you get bigger arms. No problemo!
 

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You can remove the balance shaft while you're at it! Think of it as the old guy becoming more of a hermit, not shaving anymore and bathing a bit less. No longer conforming to certain societal norms...happens to the best of us ;)

and at a certain age you've earned it!
 

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I did this exact job on my Avy a couple years ago. My OEM pump was long gone (replaced by me a long time ago), and it was starting to whine when cold again. I put in an AC Delco rebuilt; so far, so good. The OEM hose cost about $70. The old hose had gotten so hard, the clamp at the reservoir couldn't seal it very well, and the suction was pulling air into the line, causing the pump to whine. The new hose fixed it for good, I think.
 

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Can anyone post a picture of the hose? Maybe I should get a couple of good ones for gen 4 and keep it in a nice cool place for the future. Thanks!

P.S. Sorry, cannot see pictures using cell phone. The picture is there online.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

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Re: thread title. Every time I read it I remember what James Gandolfini said to Julia Roberts in The Mexican (the most romantic movie ever made where the two love interests have almost 0 screen time together), "When is enough enough?, when two people are truly in love the only answer is, 'never'".

Norm

:)
 

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Almost 1/2 Million Miles!
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Discussion Starter #13

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Almost 1/2 Million Miles!
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1,742 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Hi Guys! I have got the 92 Camry XLE back on the road per say, however, the Steering Wheel tracks well while driving; and the steering feels just fine (not loose, no vibration) while traveling straight or on roads with slight bends. No vibrations at all.

When I have to make a turn (left or right), the steering stiffens, (Stopped or very low speed below 25 MPH) at first, but when continuing to rotate the steering wheel it eases up and feels just fine. If I have to make a sharp turn, it will go through two or three of these hard/soft cycles.

The change between hard and soft is not abrupt. No noise accompanies the hard/soft change; only the effort needed to rotate the steering wheel changes. Rounding the corners, the car tracks just fine and smooth as it always had. No loud power-steering pump noises, at all, under any condition. P/S fluid full; and the fluid is brand new, though I have no P/S fluid leaks.

Came across this Avalon Discussion Thread and found it very interesting!

I went to ACE Hardware and purchased an INOX Spray (Pictured) and it has improved the higher speed steering above 25-MPH and super smooth. However, the steering still catches hard spots below this speed. I do hear steering noises when I attempt to turn the wheel on a complete STOP but, that might be normal?

ANYONE has any suggestions?

Again, I don't hear any noise coming from the PUMP or RACK and there is ZERO leaks!
 

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Oh, here's the pictures of my new (genuine Toyota Reservoir and Inlet Hose for the new Pump).
So, you really spent like $400 bucks for these two? I guess I am going to grab a few from JY next time and save them for the future.
 

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Almost 1/2 Million Miles!
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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
So, you really spent like $400 bucks for these two? I guess I am going to grab a few from JY next time and save them for the future.
Yes, my PRO SHOP who replaced my Power Steering Pump under Warranty quoted me some after-market prices that came in as $216 for the Reservoir and $134 for the inlet hose going to the pump. I said, give me the freaking Genuine Toyota Parts as if I am going to spend this kind of $$$ might as well get the Toyota stuff and I respect the Steering System, just like Brakes! No need to risk Life and Limb or worse kill anyone else out on the road. It was totally my preference and no one else.

Okay, took my beloved 1992 Camry XLE to one Tire Kingdom for Alignment and rear brake cleaning and adjustment and they found the warranty replacement Power Steering Pump leaking. They also verified that my Rack & Pinion assembly is bad. They told me that if the steering wheel needs help to return back to mid point during a turn the internals are just worn (Hence 530,098 original miles).

Okay, quotes: Tire Kingdom quoted me a grand total of $686,59 for replacing RACK & PINION + Labor.

TIRE PRO SHOP: $434.00 replacing entire RACK & PINION + Pump (Warranty).

Of course, since I have buried almost $700 already at the TIRE PRO SHOP, and they need to replace the Power Steering Pump again (Warranty) then, I might as well allow them to do the RACK as they have pretty much replaced everything else.

OKAY - WARNING! You cited JUNK YARD parts! I would caution you with picking old and high mileage components from SALVAGE (JUNK) Yards as these vehicles are pretty OLD and with Lots of high mileage. I have realized during my quest in trying to fix my Camry that the Power Steering is perhaps the most neglected System in any vehicle
and therefore, Salvage Yards parts might be very appealing due to the enormous savings and they might look okay in the outside but, they have held and circurlated some very old Power Steering Fluid and for many years. You are essentially placing some very worn parts on a very important system, the power steering.

I realize that many items on our GEN3 Camry's are pretty easy to do "DIY" but, I can assure you that even the Power Steering Pump is a PAIN IN THE ASHE! You really need a Lift to get the right angles and reach the brackets etc... Down on the ground with Stands will be very messy and at times very difficult. Heck the mechanic didn't have an easy job at all trying access the Pump as it is with a PRO LIFT.

No Sir, I am glad that I decided to do this at a PRO SHOP and negotiating the best price possible and not have to be doing it ALL OVER AGAIN with SALVAGE (JUNK) Yard parts.

I take my Life and that of my Family seriously with Steering just like the Brakes.

To each their own.
 

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On hoses with deteriorated rubber but serviceable metal lines and fittings, consider taking them to a shop that does hydraulic repairs for heavy equipment. They can put new flexible rubber on the existing metal lines and fittings.
Exactly what I was thinking; new rubber; you don't throw away the wheels when the tires wear out.
 

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Almost 1/2 Million Miles!
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Discussion Starter #20
Exactly what I was thinking; new rubber; you don't throw away the wheels when the tires wear out.
Nope, these specific PS hoses are NOT serviceable. no metal lines underneath the rubber and instead mesh material which caused leaks and loss of pressure.
 
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