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Old 09-06-2021, 08:05 AM   #1
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Workhorse chassis noise: sounds like power steering pump?

Starting a new thread since the old one is closed:

On our new-to-us 2005 Safari Trek, W-20 Workhorse, I have the same condition when parked, but also hear an intermittent pump noise when driving (not the engine cooling fan or air horn pump). Could the brake back up pump be cycling due to low fluid, or just keeping pressure?



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Originally Posted by gg View Post
......I can hear the back up pump start when I step on the brake pedal and the engine is not running.
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Old 09-06-2021, 08:07 AM   #2
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Are you hearing the power steering pump or the parking brake pump? Sorry, Iím confused.
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Old 09-06-2021, 08:42 AM   #3
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So.. you go to doctors for a cough.. he gets out stethoscope and listens to your chest all over.. do the same to your engine.. and rv.. for less than 50 they make mechanic stethoscope.. you listen until you find the problem.. they really work good.. and as always.. good luck and let us know what you did and maybe better members then me will help you
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Old 09-06-2021, 04:51 PM   #4
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I have the same condition as you mention with my 2005 Workhorse W20 Damon Challenger. its definitely the power steering pump in my case. I need to replace the filter and flush the fluid. This one is new to me as of three months ago and all of the other fluids have been replaced other than the steering fluid.
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Old 09-06-2021, 05:51 PM   #5
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I had the same symptom on my W20. I got out my trusty homemade stethoscope (really long screwdriver) and isolated it to the alternator. Local shop replaced the bearings for $45. All is well!
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Old 09-15-2021, 06:39 AM   #6
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Ah-Hah, another possibility for my noise for me to check. Thanks. We just finished a 1300 mile trip, the noise came & went, but definitely can't be allowed to continue

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I had the same symptom on my W20. I got out my trusty homemade stethoscope (really long screwdriver) and isolated it to the alternator. Local shop replaced the bearings for $45. All is well!
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Old 09-15-2021, 07:55 AM   #7
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George, you can use a lot of different things as a mechanics stethoscope. I used a long screwdriver. I put the end of the handle in my ear and the tip of the screwdriver on anything I wanted to listen to. You will be amazed at how clearly you can hear things. You might have to experiment a little on exactly where on your ear to place the screwdriver handle to get the best result. I place in on the piece of cartilage just in front of the ear canal and apply enough pressure to fold it over the canal opening. Works great!

In the good old days my Dad used a piece of broom handle.
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Old 09-15-2021, 08:49 AM   #8
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I hear the same sound on my rear engine Workhorse Ufo and it turned out to be a hydraulic brake pump. I think your braking system is different though.
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Old 09-18-2021, 07:43 AM   #9
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I found my old Harbor Freight mechanic's stethoscope, removed the engine cover, started the engine, and tried to listen to everything that rotated (Alternator, belt pulley, belt tensioner pulley and AC compressor). None of these jumped out as sounding very different except that with the engine cover off I could hear the AC compressor slightly "chirping". This may be the culprit with failing bearings but I can't understand why I never thought to turn the AC off during any of the noise episodes . I'm planning a 20 mile drive this weekend and will do this to hopefully narrow the search for my mysterious noise.

The previous owner replaced the AC compressor in 2019 with a Rock Auto unit and the MH has traveled less than 3500 miles before the noise occurred so it surely should have lasted much longer than this. Or, are Rock Auto parts of questionable quality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yeloduster View Post
George, you can use a lot of different things as a mechanics stethoscope. I used a long screwdriver. I put the end of the handle in my ear and the tip of the screwdriver on anything I wanted to listen to. You will be amazed at how clearly you can hear things. You might have to experiment a little on exactly where on your ear to place the screwdriver handle to get the best result. I place in on the piece of cartilage just in front of the ear canal and apply enough pressure to fold it over the canal opening. Works great!

In the good old days my Dad used a piece of broom handle.
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Old 09-18-2021, 10:54 AM   #10
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Do you personally know po? They could have done anything... yes it should have lasted longer.. now you have to investigate why it failed so early.. bad part or bad install..?
Are you going to make repairs and have you done a/c systems before ?
Good luck and keep us posted
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Old 09-18-2021, 11:08 AM   #11
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I had a similar noise that I swore was the PS pump. Changed filter and flushed system and no change.

Several days and a few thousand miles later I found the problem. It was a bearing going bad in the belt tensioner. $8.00 bearing and a couple hours later and I was back on the road! Thanks to Napa having the bearing in stock and being nice and close.

Nice to have tools and being a mechanic for 40 plus years helps also I guess.
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Old 09-18-2021, 01:11 PM   #12
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The PO was the second owner but, by the records, had a lot of AC trouble and was mostly a checkbook mechanic. In reviewing their extensive records, both he and the original owner seemed to take exceptional care of the MH so I can't really blame either of them for anything on a 16 year old motorhome. Fortunately I discovered someone who had worked at a shop I had frequented over the years but who now rents space in a friends small shop as a one man operation and is really good. This guy found a slight leak in an AC hose so everything now cools as intended.

I haven't ruled out any other of the rotating items as the cause. I crawled underneath to loosen the bent tensioner but did barely enough to see if the pulley would wiggle. It did not appear to be loose but I may need to investigate further.

At age 83, I'm still a pretty good amateur mechanic for mechanical items, but my body does protest more recently. The Sunday drive might reveal the AC compressor is the problem. If so, I will leave this to my new mechanic "buddy".

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Originally Posted by donr103 View Post
Do you personally know po? They could have done anything... yes it should have lasted longer.. now you have to investigate why it failed so early.. bad part or bad install..?
Are you going to make repairs and have you done a/c systems before ?
Good luck and keep us posted
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Old 09-23-2021, 06:56 PM   #13
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The noise remained while driving with the AC off. Idler pulley, tensioner, and serpentine belt have been ordered for potential corrective measures, or preventive maintenance. I will post results when these are installed.
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Old 09-28-2021, 08:42 AM   #14
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New tensioner & idler installed. The tensioner bearing appears to be a little wobbly, so I'm hoping that was causing the noise. The idler was a problem in that it locked solid when installed I re-installed the old idler and it worked fine. So... I removed the old idler to compare to the new one, and they appeared to be functionally identical. However, I then tightened each idler against a piece of flat steel to simulate installed condition, and the new idler would not turn. This is not rocket science since a simple part is just bolted to the front of the engine. However, something in or at the bearing or spacer is interfering so I will have a conversation with Brazel's when the time zone allows.

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The noise remained while driving with the AC off. Idler pulley, tensioner, and serpentine belt have been ordered for potential corrective measures, or preventive maintenance. I will post results when these are installed.
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