This Automotive Habit Of MineMy favorite car is always my next car. What will today bring to my automotive habit? There could be financial ruin, excellent deals, skinned knuckles, and epic mechanical resurrections. We can't save them all, but the cars that land in our driveway deserve a good ol' college try.   

My Camaro has an annoying problem. The problem is the stock Saginaw power steering pump loves to strangle the engine to death at slow speeds. It hates parking lots, slow sharp turns, the far end of the steering lock, and cold starts. Any steering input more than about 30 degrees bogs down the engine to the point where it will kill it. Parking lots become a game. A quick three pedal game to shift, brake, and feather the throttle whilst steering to prevent a stall. This being a temperamental race engine, it never wants to revive itself immediately. It always needs a moment of reflection and a 30 second rest.

The obnoxious orange Camaro

I made an expensive decision to replace the stock pump as I believe there are better alternatives. Detroit Speed makes a newer style GM pump in house. With the brackets, spacers, hoses, pulley, fluid, tax/shipping, we’re in the neighborhood of $800. This better work...

Fastest company to convert parts into money

I’m seriously looking forward to having a hot rod with increased drive-ability. There aren’t many experiences other than crashing that are more embarrassing than stalling a car. My excuse is that it has been the power steering pump all along. No stalling because of an amateur left foot, it’s the car, I swear! I once stalled pulling into work in front of several coworkers. The 90 degree angle turn was too much for the engine at idle with the crap pump. It stalled. Everyone laughed. I didn’t. It then took an eternity to restart as I became impatient and flooded the engine. DOH!

Advertisement

Bill Mitchell Hardcore 427ci - destroked by Rebello to 412ci

Any suggestions to setting the pulley depth? Measure off the block to the center of the existing pulley? Fishing line? Most common method? Already had one belt grenade itself early into my Camaro ownership. That was a fun $2000 adventure that led to the now 2" cowl hood.

Advertisement

Blasted paint! Size of a nickle. Not too bad on the outside.
The sign of a belt suicide. Tragic.

Advertisement

Pre 2" cowl hood. Post suicide belt blast. One casualty.

That was the alternator belt, it was old, and I was too cheap at the time to replace it. Never thought I’d fall victim to a suicidal accessory belt. That was also the FIRST time I had ever zinged the engine up to its 6300 rpm red line. I though the motor gave up the ghost until I shifted to neutral and back into gear. Everything sounded fine so I knew it was something else.

Advertisement

Hopefully my install goes smooth and it is the fix. I would love to get it right the first time. The pulley depth is the only thing I’m concerned about. Fingers crossed...