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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, all. Well, normally I'm not worried too much about the difficult jobs, figuring I'll just pull my MDX into the garage and fiddle with it until I get it done.

This time, I'm in the middle of a long (7500 miles or so) road trip, and see that the high pressure power steering line has split and is leaking fluid pretty quickly. From what I read, this isn't the kind of job I'll be able to accomplish with my "road tool kit" (lots of references to crow's foot wrenches, dropping sub-frames, etc.).

I'd love some input on what others might have done in a situation like this. I wonder if it's possible to cut and splice the rubber portion of the tube (which is up where I can get to it). I guess the down side to this is that if it didn't work, I've got no power steering.

I've read conflicting opinions about the dangers of running without PS fluid in the system - one says that it will trash your pump and steering rack, and the other says that as long as there's fluid in the rack nothing bad will happen (other than requiring a lot of effort to steer).

Anyone have any brilliant ideas that might help me out of this roadside pickle?
 

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I tried and failed to do this job.

A splice probably won't work as leak is more likely at one of crimps, but a mid-hose splice might work w/ good barb fitting and clamps. Still you need access which is pretty poor everywhere along the HP hose.

Suggest driving w/o PS fluid and replacing the PS Pump if necessary. Depends on whether internal pump bearings are lubricated by PS fluid or self-contained bearing grease. Assuming you have verified you're comfortable w/ steering force w/o PS fluid.

Probably a $300-$500 job at a shop.

good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am sure you're right about the difficulty with a splice. I did some more research and didn't realize just how high the working pressure was - well into four digits!!! I am pretty much certain that a "normal splice" wouldn't work, at least not well enough to trust with the next few thousand miles before I get home.

It scares me a bit that you had trouble with the job. I ordered the line, and a couple sets of crowsfoot wrenches, and will try installing the new line while laying across the engine (maybe having removed the throttle body, etc.). Sounds like a lot of fun.

I might also think about partially dropping the engine/transmission subframe since I will have access to a floor jack. But not having a lot of my "regular garage equipment", it should be interesting. I was thinking I could pull out the bolts from two corners of the subframe, and replace them with threaded rods, and run some nuts up to the subframe, then pull the other two bolts up and "drop" the subframe by unscrewing the nuts. That would get me around the need for a transmission jack (which I have stitting at home in my garage... grrrrr.). ;-) The trick would be getting the right threaded rod (don't have the specs for the bolts, though I suspect I could find that online).
 

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I threw in towel on job when I realized I would have to also disconnect the LP return hose to gain access to remove the HP hose fitting from the steering rack. If you lower subframe you should be able to access HP fitting w/o removing LP fitting.

good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wish me luck... I just ordered one meter of M14x1.5 threaded rod, along with nuts and washers. I figure that I'll replace the four bolts holding the subframe in place with the threaded rod cut into four pieces (about 10" each), and then be able to lower the subframe as much as necessary by just unscrewing the nuts on the threaded rod. The thought of laying on top of the engine trying to reach all the fasteners and connections just didn't sound like fun, and I wasn't going to buy another transmission jack for this one job. And I wasn't comfortable using a single floor jack to (try to) hold up the engine/transmission with it unbolted (I can only imagine what would happen when/if something slipped...). ;-)

Hopefully, with the subframe dropped a few inches I should be able to reach the necessary points.

Wow, this could have been simpler if Honda had just put the end of the rubber line where you could reach it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, this didn't happen quite like I expected. The threaded rod didn't show up until tonight, and I didn't want to wait through a really nice, warm, sunny day. So I did the "over the top" approach, though I was able to do nearly all of the high- and low-pressure line work from the left wheelwell. I did "drop" the subframe by unbolting the stiffeners from the rear corners of the subframe and backing off the "main bolts" by about an inch to 'droop" the rear of the subframe by about an inch, which was just enough to get the old line out, and the new one in, plus it gave me a little extra room to work when it was time to get the two "mounting points" back in (still a royal pain).

All in all, a little simpler in some ways than I expected, but still a really fiddly, aggravating job that took a lot longer than it should.
 
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