Power steering reservoir seals - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Power steering reservoir seals

I found another topic on thisbut didn't see my question answered directly so I'll ask. I have a 99 Outback with a PS fluid leak that is not easily indentifiable but there is a puddle behind the pump. I bought a new pump and as I took the reservoir off the old one I noticed a round groove where it looks like an o-ring should be but there wasn't one. There IS a seal where the nipple from the reservoir plunges down into the pump but not in the molded groove. Could this have been the problem? Can't figure out how to add a pic. It's the ring just inside the 2 bolt holes and on top, outside the hole where the reservoir goes in.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 04:50 PM
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Not sure if this applies to your particular 99, but it does look as if there's an o-ring, #11 in this diagram, on pumps with the reservoir on top: http://opposedforces.com/parts/legac...llustration_2/

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for that diagramn. I saw one like it before and, like this one, it's not clear because, there is an O ring on the nipple the comes off the bottom of the reservoir as well but the diagramn doesn't show it. I think there is supposed to be one. About 6 months ago, I had the head gasket done (2nd time) and I don't know why they would remove the reservoir, but they must've and it's been slowly leaking. I think I just spent $120 on a pump I didn't really need. GRRRRRR!!!!! Thanks again.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-27-2011, 07:28 AM
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yes, the pumps very rarely fail. leaks are usually the reservoir oring - you can just go match it up at any auto parts store. sometimes the front seal or rear plate leak too which can also both be resealed.

at least the new pump should be golden - you won't have to worry about any of the leakage points now.

the power steering pump gets unbolted during engine removal which they probably did when doing the headgaskets. but even if they tried the ever-challenging Phase I EJ25 headgasket repair in the vehicle, it would still get unbolted and swung out of the way when removing the passengers side head. trying to snake that head out with the power steering pump and lines in place would suck. it's simpler to remove the pump than remove the lines from the pump and spill fluid every where.

but even all of that can be done without removing the reservoir.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-27-2011, 07:46 AM
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This diagram from the service manual also shows an o-ring. I wonder if the "seal" you could see on yours is the original o-ring but in the wrong position.

Also, I believe the hose fittings at the pump use gaskets or o-rings as well, so these could be a source of the leakage, especially if they were disturbed when the engine work was done.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I changed the pump & I'm certain it was that missing o-ring. Here's a pic of what I was referring to (I think I can get the pic in)
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 03:32 PM
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I have a 97 OB that I just rebuilt the pump and was wondering the same thing. It is still leaking fluid and I would like to replace the o-ring if it needs one. Anyone know the size of the o-ring needed?
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 08:11 PM
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I have a 98 outback wagon that's doing the same thing. Kinda figured there was an o-ring down there. Now I know for sure, guess I'll add that to the list of things to do.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-19-2012, 11:21 AM
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i don't think there's supposed to be an oring there from the factory. i just pulled one off last week and it did not have an oring in that large/thick groove. and in the past i've only replaced the reservoir side oring.

*i don't think there's supposed to be an oring in there since no one is finding one?*

the parts photos that Plain OM is posting are "suggesting" there is not an oring there because it shows one oring - the one on the nipple which we all know is there. if there was an oring in the place that is in question on this thread - that diagram would show two orings, the reservoir side nipple and the pump side groove.

PLAIN OM - the question isn't about an oring exactly, it's about a groove. there's an oring on the reservoir nipple - that's what you keep referring too - but that's not the question here, we all know that exists. the oddity is that the pump housing has a distinct groove in it that looks like it's an additional spot for an oring/seal. but it is MUCH larger than the nipper of the reservoir (where the other oring is located) so it's impossible for it to be simple "misplaced" as your last question suggested.

i've never done this before but the one i just did i ended up filling it with RTV as an exercise.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2013, 08:23 PM
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I just had the same problem with my '98 outback. I was told by a pricey subaru "specialty" shop I would need a whole new pump. Went to pick n pull and found a matching PS pump on a '96 outback with a 2.2 (I was surprised it was the same). Took that pump home, removed my old pump and disassembled both of them as I was planning on using my original reservoir. BAM, no o-ring in my leaking pump, and there WAS an o-ring in the pump off the '96, so I just put that o-ring in my original pump, put it back together and it seems to be ok.

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