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The power steering pump in my '89 2.5 Turbo Spirit makes a whining noise unless it's full. But I mean COMPLETELY full. As in 1/2" or less from the top of the filler hole.

If the fluid is down even an inch (which reads as FULL on the dipstick), it whines and chatters.

So what's wrong with this pump? Completely worn out? The car has 135,000 miles on it.

And the seal on top of the steering rack (where the input shaft is) leaks. How big a headache is it to change that seal, or am I better off just replacing the whole rack assembly?
 

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Are you getting air in the system? Is the fluid getting frothy and whipped?

If the rack is leaking, I'd get a whole new assembly. They don't cost that much. I got a new rack for my GLH on eBay for $50, and a new rack for my Shelby Lancer and Spirit R/T was only $90 at NAPA. If you are going to go through the trouble of removing the K-frame to fix the seal, you might as well replace the entire unit. A new power steering pump (Saginaw style) from NAPA was only about $58. If you get a new rack, replace the pump and lines too.
 
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