This was a much bigger deal 2 years ago.

I’m getting casual about hopping on the ebike and riding the 25ish miles to and from town as opposed to hitching up the bike carrier, driving to the county road, and then biking the eightish miles back and forth.


Part of this is because the Jeep has laid its annual breakdown upon me, which this time doesn’t involve anything in the drivetrain or suspension but the power steering, which simply won’t hold fluid anymore. I assumed it was the hoses, replaced them, and that didn’t substantially help. So I’m assuming the steering gear has blown a seal which I’m not capable of dealing with in the driveway. I could gather the money to have it fixed in town but unfortunately that would take weeks or months and the only person previously willing to lend me a vehicle has learned his lesson.

Rather to my surprise, after I’d gone to the trouble of developing virtually a power-steering-fluid-based economy, the Jeep’s steering works perfectly fine tolerably dry, possibly because it’s so light. But driving anything like a long distance is still a sufficient hassle that it’s more pleasant to just use the bike, weather permitting.

I’m still coping with my new and substandard saddlebags…


Generous Reader Terrapod offered to make some shields that cover the top half of the rear wheel – I still owe him a reply – and I decided to test that idea by simply zip-tying a piece of cardboard to the frame on the side that gives me the most chronic trouble. And actually that seems to work just fine, though no doubt temporary, so I guess I should send him the information he requested. There are a few other mods I’d like to try once the cool weather sets in anyway.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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6 Responses to This was a much bigger deal 2 years ago.

  1. Ben says:

    As you likely already know, your power steering pump is unlikely to tolerate running dry.

  2. Joel says:

    I know, but there’s no way to keep it wet.

  3. Robert says:

    At least you aren’t in Florida.

    Allow me to display my automotive ignorance: Is it even possible to buy a modern vehicle with manual (i.e., not power) steering?

    Unbidden, a mental image springs to mind of Joel manually steering via two ropes “Haw! Gee!”.

  4. Judy says:

    So, are telling me that the jeep steers easier without power steering than a ’60 Buick Electra?  Mom could, but I couldn’t. (She was strong enough to scrape gravy out of a cast-iron skillet that you could fry two chickens in while holding it with one hand.)

  5. Joel says:

    So, are telling me that the jeep steers easier without power steering than a ’60 Buick Electra?

    I didn’t say that. 🙂

    That’s the sort of car I’m using as a comparison, of course, but it’s been a hella long time. My memory of big cars with manual steering is that the wheel was impossible to turn stationary but not that bad rolling as long as the angle wasn’t too severe. And it’s so with the Jeep.

  6. Judy says:

    Okay, I misunderstood you, plus I was trying to be funny. That boat my folks had was the one-and-only time I have ever tried to steer a vehicle that the power steering died on. Rush hour traffic is no place to lose power steering. It made quite an impression on me. Some dumb questions…Is the steering gear part of the power steering unit or is it separate? Is there anyway one of us can help you get the parts?

To the stake with the heretic!