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I'm looking at a high mileage truck. The power steering hasn't worked in over a year. They say they haven't looked into getting it fixed. Said they were adding fluid until it wouldn't hold any anymore. The outside hose was disconnected. They said they did not know this. Is it possible the hose was not tight when the engine was replaced and over time started leaking and finally came completely undone? What are the chances of it working after hooking up the hose and putting in fluid? Or replacing the pump? What else can go wrong with power steering? Also when starting off the transmission slipped then grabbed. The owner said it hasn't been doing that. Went 100 yards stopped and it did it again when pulling onto the highway. Went a half mile stopped and it did it again when turning onto another road. Drove for about 5 miles and turned around. When I started off this time it seemed to do just fine. The 318 motor was supposed to have been replaced about 100,000 miles ago. Said they had about 300,000 on the first engine.

I need a cheep truck, but need the power steering, and won't have funds for transmission repair. Please let me know what I should know. Thank you.
 

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4 Wheel Power Disc Brakes
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The transmission problem could be as simple as a clogged filter or low fluid level.
The power steering pump is probably toast if it was run without fluid. (It's not at all likely the hose lossened on it's own as fluid would be all over the place) If the steering box hasn't been damaged a new pump and fluid may fix it... (Keep in mind that a disconnected hose will allow dirt into the system.)
 

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The transmission fluid (checked with engine off after the short trip) was on the top mark.

It seemed to steer all right. An arm full at low speed. Would steering box trouble show up or be noticeable while driving? Thanks
 

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4 Wheel Power Disc Brakes
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Powersteering problems won't be apparent till the system is connected and filled with fluid and belt is on the pump.... this is when leaks both external and internal (the box itself) can be diagnosed.
 

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You have to check the trans fluid level with the engine running and in neutral. From what I understand the converter will fill up with fluid while running in neutral and that is when you check to see the exact level in trans.
 
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