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Old 10-09-2021, 08:33 PM   #1
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Beaver Power Steering Pump Leaking Badly

I have a 2003 Beaver Santiam with 97k miles. Today we were driving from Wisconsin to northern Illinois, and as we started our trip, I noticed a little resistance with the steering when turning to the left. I thought it was my imagination, but when we got off the freeway in Illinois I had no power steering. We stopped so I could check the reservoir, and sure enough it was dry (I had filled it two days ago). I poured half a quart of fluid in for a while I had power steering again. We pulled into our campground and again no power steering.....
We parked and I poured more fluid in the reservoir, had my wife start it up while I go on the ground in front of the driver's side wheel. Power steering fluid was pouring out from somewhere above what I'm assuming is the power steering pump.
I can't find a diagram in my owner's manual letting me know if this part is a power steering pump of another hydraulic pump. I'm going to have to try to find a mechanic - I normally do my own maintenance and repairs - but I can't even find where the leak is coming from because I can't see the top of the pump from the ground. I've had this rig for 6 years and never had a steering problem with it before.
Has anyone else had this problem, and what was the fix?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-09-2021, 10:47 PM   #2
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Use your cell phone with camera and flash and record up under p/s pump.. could just be hose worked loose.. your cell phone is your best friend and fits where your head cannot.. good luck and let us know what you did and maybe better members then me will help you.. use all safety precautions.. you don't want oil in eyes.. and don't get caught in any belts.. please be careful..
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Old 10-10-2021, 07:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igotadog View Post
I have a 2003 Beaver Santiam with 97k miles.

while I go on the ground in front of the driver's side wheel. Power steering fluid was pouring out from somewhere above what I'm assuming is the power steering pump.
If the fluid is leaking out at the front driver's tire area, that's the "steering gear box" (not pump). Or it could be a leaking/blown hydraulic hose.

there is nothing else in that area that uses fluid form the hyd reservoir at the back of coach.

A 2003 Santiam is a rear engine (diesel pusher) with either a Cummins ISC or a CAT C9, built on a Roadmaster RR8R chassis.
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Old 10-10-2021, 07:38 AM   #4
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If the fluid is leaking out at the front driver's tire area, that's the "steering gear box" (not pump). Or it could be a leaking/blown hydraulic hose.
Ditto, hopefully a hose. Get under by the left front wheel and start looking. The steering gear is on the outside of the frame, you'll see the hoses going into it.
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Old 10-10-2021, 08:33 AM   #5
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Suggest you post your steering problem on the Beaver Ambassador Club (BAC) forum. Bunch of Beaver owners there and some have the same coach as you.
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Old 10-10-2021, 09:28 AM   #6
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Most likely a hose. Does your front cap slide out to access the generator?
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Old 10-10-2021, 11:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryB View Post
If the fluid is leaking out at the front driver's tire area, that's the "steering gear box" (not pump). Or it could be a leaking/blown hydraulic hose.

My guess would be a hose, only way to tell is to put more fluid in and crawl underneath while your wife turns the wheel.


If it is a hose you can get a repair fitting, cut the hose and use two repair fittings with union. Replacing the entire hose will be a chore and chances are the bad area is isolated to a small area.
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Old 10-10-2021, 11:04 AM   #8
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Power steering pump is on the engine.


Power steering box is up front.


And, our speculation likely will not help.



You need to tell us the source of the leak. THEN we can make recommendations (steering box? hose? fitting?).


That size leak should be really easy to trace.
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Old 10-10-2021, 11:24 AM   #9
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I found out its the steering gear box that's leaking. I got under the RV and took lots of pictures (will upload here), and I have a Shepard M100 steering gear box..
I was also able to get pictures of the lines and they look dry. Unfortunately I'm going to have to hire this job done tomorrow. I don't have the large tools with me that I need to take this box off. I'll post the outcome later.
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Old 10-11-2021, 06:41 AM   #10
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Suggest you post your steering problem on the Beaver Ambassador Club (BAC) forum. Bunch of Beaver owners there and some have the same coach as you.

BAC isn't free, or even cheap. To post or search you have to join the FMCA ($85) then the Beaver Ambassador Club ($50 the first year, $40 thereafter). If an internet search leads you there you might find the info you need, otherwise it's locked up pretty tight to everyone but members.
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Old 10-11-2021, 07:38 AM   #11
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Follow your steering column to where it mates to the steering box. There is a seal where it enters the box that is probably leaking. It is an easy fix but finding the right seal could be a guessing game. Most truck repair shops have these seals and are familiar with this problem.

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Old 10-12-2021, 07:22 PM   #12
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UPDATE - Problem Discovered - Was A Blown Gasket on the Steering Gear Box around a disc looking object. Mechanic has taken it to another shop to be rebuilt - says this Sheppard box is unique to Roadmaster chassis'.....
P.S. We called 15 repair shops before we finally found someone willing to work on this gear box. With as many big rigs that exist on the road its a mystery to me personally why these large RV shops don't do chassis work....

Oh, forgot to mention we're just 30 miles from Chicago....
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Old 10-13-2021, 07:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igotadog View Post
UPDATE - Problem Discovered - Was A Blown Gasket on the Steering Gear Box around a disc looking object. Mechanic has taken it to another shop to be rebuilt - says this Sheppard box is unique to Roadmaster chassis'.....P.S. We called 15 repair shops before we finally found someone willing to work on this gear box. With as many big rigs that exist on the road its a mystery to me personally why these large RV shops don't do chassis work....
I think many shops are not wanting to work on motorhomes because they are so unique and different among the multiple years/models (hence the term "snowflakes").
There usually are no wiring diagrams or parts lists or service manuals (like you would have for a mass-produced over-the-road truck). yes, most of the chassis parts are from the truck world, but you have to be able to identify it and then find a supplier, which can be tough on an older Coach.

PS, if you plan to keep this Coach you may want to upgrade the TRW steering box (TRW TAS65 66003) while you're this deep into it. See this thread https://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/ste...rw-210152.html
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Old 10-13-2021, 08:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
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PS, if you plan to keep this Coach you may want to upgrade the TRW steering box (TRW TAS65 66003) while you're this deep into it. See this thread https://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/ste...rw-210152.html

The Sheppard gear box is a known problem as far has handling and wandering. Seems to be hit or miss. If your coach was driving straight with minimal wheel play before and does the same thing when you get it back from rebuild you can probably keep it, if not, the change to the TRW steering box is the preferred fix.


I'm one of the lucky ones, my Sheppard box doesn't have any play. Driving on a straight level road I have no wandering and can drive with one finger on the wheel. At the end of the day I'm not fatigued or wore out.
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