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Old 06-20-2011, 05:01 PM   #1
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Default 95 Olds 88 keeps shearing power steering pump bolts

New to the forum and need some help. My wife'* 95 Olds 88, 3800 series II has had very few problems since she got it 3 years ago. At the end of February the serpentine belt shredded and I took it to a local dealer to have it replaced. They phoned to inform me that when they went to take the power steering pump loose to loosen the motor mount, 1 of the power steering pump bolts was bent and the other was broken. They drilled out the broken bolt, retapped the hole and replaced both bolts with new ones. About a month ago, my wife was doing 70 mph on the expressway, when she lost power steering and temp started climbing. She made to a gas station at the next exit. I figured that the belt popped off and was absolutely shocked when I got there and raised the hood; the belt was in a tangled mess and the power steering pump was resting on the cv boot and harmonic balancer. To say the least, I was quite furious, another inch downward and it would have snapped the axle; at 70 mph that would have had a very bad outcome. I immediately called the dealership and they sent a rollback to pick it up. Outcome was: new power steering pump, new cv boot, new axle, drilled out both broken bolts, retapped again and again put in new bolts. They ate the costs, but told me that the water pump was iffy and they could put a new one on for $300. I told them that I'd do that myself, I paid around 20 for a new pump and an hour to install; but, they told me they could not warrant any of the new work performed if they didn't install the water pump (they were saying that they believed that the water pump played a part in shearing the bolts). I picked up the car, put the water pump on as soon as I got home, went back there the next morning and had them recheck the power steering bolts. And then, yesterday, we were going out to eat for Fathers' day, and 3 miles from home, I heard a loud noise and lost power steering, knew right away what it was and pulled to the side of the road. Sure enough, both bolts sheared again (the top bolt broke roughly 3/4" outside the block, bottom broke about 3/4" inside the block). This time, the bolts were still in the pump; the bolt heads were stamped 10.9 and the top bolt was evidently too long, as they had 5 washers under the head that were each about 1/16" thick. Went by the dealership this morning and showed them the bolts and service manager said "that'* really puzzling, let me know what you have to do to get it fixed".

New parts installed since this issue began: New power steering pump, new water pump, new harmonic balancer.

Sorry that my post is so long, but want to make sure that you know all of the details as I desperately need to know if anybody has ran into this issue and if anybody has a resolution.
On a side note, as this is a definite safety concern, should I throw a fit to the General Manager at the dealership and demand that they fix it, again?
Thanks, Tim
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:20 PM   #2
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My thought on this is its not the steering pump, or the water pump. But I would be looking close at the tensioner pulleys. My thought is the belt is coming off and wrapping up and ripping the steering pump off.
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