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Old 12-01-2011, 02:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Power steering noisy, foamy PS fluid

Hello All,

First post. I have a 1999 that is my wife's daily driver. She called me at work one morning saying that the steering was making noise and it was hard to steer.

I picked up the car to test drive and it was noisy and hard to steer. Parked it and opened up the reservoir and it was fully of little tiny bubbles. Drove the car home and after turning the engine off, I open the hood to find the area around the filler cap wet with PS fluid.

After trying to do some research and came across this write up on another forum.

It mentions a loose nut that was causing a fluid leak. It also states that the nut seems to be hard to get to and needing to jerry rig a tool to reach and tighten it.

I've pasted the post below and highlighted the "nut" info in RED.

I'm hoping that the problem on my wife's Taurus is the same, but I can't seem to find out what that nut is called or find any diagrams so I know what to look for when I try to fix it on my own.

Any assistance or info (especially on the tool I could use) would be much appreciated.

Cheers,

Jelorian


Ford Taurus Forum • 1999 Taurus bad Power Steering or bad Rack problems - Ford Taurus Forum

This is a very common issue with this car.The problem of the Ford Taurus spewing powersteering fluid out of the cap is caused by a loose nut on the passenger side of the steering rack. This not only allows fluid to leak past and fill the rubber boots up on the tie rods/steering rack, (the right hand side fills too, because of an air vent equalizer tube that connects both sides), but it also allows the system to suck air which causes the foaming and spewing from the pumps cap/dip stick.

The cure is to jack up and secure the car, remove the passenger front wheel.

There is a rubber accordian style boot on the tie rod end. Use a super long flat screwdriver to pry under the far side clamp that secures it to the inner part of the rack and break it off. Now use a pliers to squeeze the smaller clamp on the side closest to you and slide it off and all the way to the end towards you.

Slide the whole rubber boot as far as you can towards you so you can see the large round nut that is inside the end of the rack. You'll know this is the problem when fluid pours out of the boot.

The tie rod goes through the center of this nut. The nut has four holes around it on the face of it.
I
assume they used a spanner tool to install this at the factory, but there's no room for a tool while the rack is on the car, so you'll have to manufacture a long instrument yourself.
I purchased about a 3 foot long narrow metal rod from a hardware store, then I used an angle grinder to shape one end of it into a blunt cone shape that would fit into one of the holes. It's awkward to do, but using it on all angles avoiding the brake line and wheel rotor you can tighten this nut by hitting the rod with a hammer. The nut will turn about 1/8th of a turn, then re-angle your rod into the next hole above the one you just did tightening the nut to the right (clockwise).

The nut on my car was loose by three full turns. The driver's side of the rack has a different setup, you don't need to try that side, the passenger side is the only side that is affected. Once you have this nut good and tight, I used a zip tie to clamp the big end of the rubber boot back on the rack, then pushed the rest of the accordian boot back into it's original place and put the smaller compression clamp back on the end closest to you.


Put your wheel back on, fill your ps pump back up with fluid and start the car, turning the wheel back and forth to purge the air from the system. It'll still be foamy for a while, but keep shutting the car off, let the bubbles disperse, add more fluid if needed, etc.

I learned this from another forum where many, many posters had tried this and it worked for them also.
Good luck!



I just want to thank everyone for this post, I was saved a great deal of money today. I was told by two different people that I needed a new rack. It turned out to be just that loose nut on the passenger side. I just want to add a few tips that made it easier for me.

1.) I removed the boot (which was full of fluid) 2.) I removed the tierod end to make it easier to access. 3.) I made a tool with two drill bits 1.5 inch span apart sunk into wood to be able to remove the nut, so that locktight could be added. 4.) I used the tool to hand tighten the nut (then I needed something stronger) 5.) I used a long punch and a hammer to slowly tighten the nut all the way.
6.) Bleeding the system was hard, with the car up in the air and the engine off I had to turn it back and fourth over and over again. Hint: When you go to start the engine after the air is gone have someone ready to add fluid it can go very low as it pumps into the system, and more air can enter the system if the fluid is not added quickly.

Again thank you, I spent zero dollars and now the steering is quiet and turns very smoothly.

p.s. I also had to use a zip strip to put the boot back on the clamp would not go back on.
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Maybe, maybe not??? The nut is no where near the pump he is talking about. Is the fluid leaking only at the top of the pump reservoir?? I would jack up and support the front end with tires off ground. Then I would turn my wheels each way to the stop at least 3-4 times with the motor off and the return line of the pump off and in a small bucket. Then I would take off the serpentine belt and hand turm the power steering pully clockwise to pump old fluid out while adding new fluid to the reservoir. After I had about 2 new quarts of Mercon V and the fluid was looking good I would reattach the return hose to the pump, replace serpentine belt and then have someone start the car and add fluid if needed after running. Then again turn steering stop to stop to bleed air out. Lucas Makes a transmission additive that is also for power steering. You could add some of that to the pump fluid as well to quiet the pump and protect the inner seals. Really need more info to know the scope of your problem. There is usually no work around for a real mechanical failure. I have changed several steering racks and they were leaking like a sieve. Much different than dealing with the actual pump. Good luck, downhill
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jelorian View Post
Hello All,

First post. I have a 1999 that is my wife's daily driver. She called me at work one morning saying that the steering was making noise and it was hard to steer.

I picked up the car to test drive and it was noisy and hard to steer. Parked it and opened up the reservoir and it was fully of little tiny bubbles. Drove the car home and after turning the engine off, I open the hood to find the area around the filler cap wet with PS fluid.

After trying to do some research and came across this write up on another forum.

It mentions a loose nut that was causing a fluid leak. It also states that the nut seems to be hard to get to and needing to jerry rig a tool to reach and tighten it.

I've pasted the post below and highlighted the "nut" info in RED.

I'm hoping that the problem on my wife's Taurus is the same, but I can't seem to find out what that nut is called or find any diagrams so I know what to look for when I try to fix it on my own.

Any assistance or info (especially on the tool I could use) would be much appreciated.

Cheers,

Jelorian


Ford Taurus Forum • 1999 Taurus bad Power Steering or bad Rack problems - Ford Taurus Forum

This is a very common issue with this car.The problem of the Ford Taurus spewing powersteering fluid out of the cap is caused by a loose nut on the passenger side of the steering rack. This not only allows fluid to leak past and fill the rubber boots up on the tie rods/steering rack, (the right hand side fills too, because of an air vent equalizer tube that connects both sides), but it also allows the system to suck air which causes the foaming and spewing from the pumps cap/dip stick.

The cure is to jack up and secure the car, remove the passenger front wheel.

There is a rubber accordian style boot on the tie rod end. Use a super long flat screwdriver to pry under the far side clamp that secures it to the inner part of the rack and break it off. Now use a pliers to squeeze the smaller clamp on the side closest to you and slide it off and all the way to the end towards you.

Slide the whole rubber boot as far as you can towards you so you can see the large round nut that is inside the end of the rack. You'll know this is the problem when fluid pours out of the boot.

The tie rod goes through the center of this nut. The nut has four holes around it on the face of it.
I
assume they used a spanner tool to install this at the factory, but there's no room for a tool while the rack is on the car, so you'll have to manufacture a long instrument yourself.
I purchased about a 3 foot long narrow metal rod from a hardware store, then I used an angle grinder to shape one end of it into a blunt cone shape that would fit into one of the holes. It's awkward to do, but using it on all angles avoiding the brake line and wheel rotor you can tighten this nut by hitting the rod with a hammer. The nut will turn about 1/8th of a turn, then re-angle your rod into the next hole above the one you just did tightening the nut to the right (clockwise).

The nut on my car was loose by three full turns. The driver's side of the rack has a different setup, you don't need to try that side, the passenger side is the only side that is affected. Once you have this nut good and tight, I used a zip tie to clamp the big end of the rubber boot back on the rack, then pushed the rest of the accordian boot back into it's original place and put the smaller compression clamp back on the end closest to you.


Put your wheel back on, fill your ps pump back up with fluid and start the car, turning the wheel back and forth to purge the air from the system. It'll still be foamy for a while, but keep shutting the car off, let the bubbles disperse, add more fluid if needed, etc.

I learned this from another forum where many, many posters had tried this and it worked for them also.
Good luck!



I just want to thank everyone for this post, I was saved a great deal of money today. I was told by two different people that I needed a new rack. It turned out to be just that loose nut on the passenger side. I just want to add a few tips that made it easier for me.

1.) I removed the boot (which was full of fluid) 2.) I removed the tierod end to make it easier to access. 3.) I made a tool with two drill bits 1.5 inch span apart sunk into wood to be able to remove the nut, so that locktight could be added. 4.) I used the tool to hand tighten the nut (then I needed something stronger) 5.) I used a long punch and a hammer to slowly tighten the nut all the way.
6.) Bleeding the system was hard, with the car up in the air and the engine off I had to turn it back and fourth over and over again. Hint: When you go to start the engine after the air is gone have someone ready to add fluid it can go very low as it pumps into the system, and more air can enter the system if the fluid is not added quickly.

Again thank you, I spent zero dollars and now the steering is quiet and turns very smoothly.

p.s. I also had to use a zip strip to put the boot back on the clamp would not go back on.
Did you have any drip spots under where the car was parked? You may just have a leak which caused the low fluid to cavitate and puke. fill it back up when the car has been sitting for awhile. start it up for a minute, shut it back off. repeat and refill if needed. then see what happens. mine 98 was leaking out of the passenger side boot and i am in the process of changing the rack now.
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jelorian View Post
Hello All,

First post. I have a 1999 that is my wife's daily driver. She called me at work one morning saying that the steering was making noise and it was hard to steer.

I picked up the car to test drive and it was noisy and hard to steer. Parked it and opened up the reservoir and it was fully of little tiny bubbles. Drove the car home and after turning the engine off, I open the hood to find the area around the filler cap wet with PS fluid.

After trying to do some research and came across this write up on another forum.

It mentions a loose nut that was causing a fluid leak. It also states that the nut seems to be hard to get to and needing to jerry rig a tool to reach and tighten it.

I've pasted the post below and highlighted the "nut" info in RED.

I'm hoping that the problem on my wife's Taurus is the same, but I can't seem to find out what that nut is called or find any diagrams so I know what to look for when I try to fix it on my own.

Any assistance or info (especially on the tool I could use) would be much appreciated.

Cheers,

Jelorian


Ford Taurus Forum • 1999 Taurus bad Power Steering or bad Rack problems - Ford Taurus Forum

This is a very common issue with this car.The problem of the Ford Taurus spewing powersteering fluid out of the cap is caused by a loose nut on the passenger side of the steering rack. This not only allows fluid to leak past and fill the rubber boots up on the tie rods/steering rack, (the right hand side fills too, because of an air vent equalizer tube that connects both sides), but it also allows the system to suck air which causes the foaming and spewing from the pumps cap/dip stick.

The cure is to jack up and secure the car, remove the passenger front wheel.
There is a rubber accordian style boot on the tie rod end. Use a super long flat screwdriver to pry under the far side clamp that secures it to the inner part of the rack and break it off. Now use a pliers to squeeze the smaller clamp on the side closest to you and slide it off and all the way to the end towards you.

Slide the whole rubber boot as far as you can towards you so you can see the large round nut that is inside the end of the rack. You'll know this is the problem when fluid pours out of the boot.
The tie rod goes through the center of this nut. The nut has four holes around it on the face of it. I assume they used a spanner tool to install this at the factory, but there's no room for a tool while the rack is on the car, so you'll have to manufacture a long instrument yourself.
I purchased about a 3 foot long narrow metal rod from a hardware store, then I used an angle grinder to shape one end of it into a blunt cone shape that would fit into one of the holes. It's awkward to do, but using it on all angles avoiding the brake line and wheel rotor you can tighten this nut by hitting the rod with a hammer. The nut will turn about 1/8th of a turn, then re-angle your rod into the next hole above the one you just did tightening the nut to the right (clockwise).

The nut on my car was loose by three full turns. The driver's side of the rack has a different setup, you don't need to try that side, the passenger side is the only side that is affected. Once you have this nut good and tight, I used a zip tie to clamp the big end of the rubber boot back on the rack, then pushed the rest of the accordian boot back into it's original place and put the smaller compression clamp back on the end closest to you.

Put your wheel back on, fill your ps pump back up with fluid and start the car, turning the wheel back and forth to purge the air from the system. It'll still be foamy for a while, but keep shutting the car off, let the bubbles disperse, add more fluid if needed, etc.
I learned this from another forum where many, many posters had tried this and it worked for them also.
Good luck!


I just want to thank everyone for this post, I was saved a great deal of money today. I was told by two different people that I needed a new rack. It turned out to be just that loose nut on the passenger side. I just want to add a few tips that made it easier for me.

1.) I removed the boot (which was full of fluid) 2.) I removed the tierod end to make it easier to access. 3.) I made a tool with two drill bits 1.5 inch span apart sunk into wood to be able to remove the nut, so that locktight could be added. 4.) I used the tool to hand tighten the nut (then I needed something stronger) 5.) I used a long punch and a hammer to slowly tighten the nut all the way.
6.) Bleeding the system was hard, with the car up in the air and the engine off I had to turn it back and fourth over and over again. Hint: When you go to start the engine after the air is gone have someone ready to add fluid it can go very low as it pumps into the system, and more air can enter the system if the fluid is not added quickly.

Again thank you, I spent zero dollars and now the steering is quiet and turns very smoothly.

p.s. I also had to use a zip strip to put the boot back on the clamp would not go back on.
That nut in this post has nothing to do with leaks. It is the inner tie rod.

find any leaks and fix them. If the rack leaks, it needs to be replaced. A line can be replaced.

To get the foam out, just suck the foamy fluid out, add new, run a few seconds, repeat until it has no foam. Foam makes the fluid expand and pushes it out the top of the filler cap.

There is no recommend from Ford as far as I have seen for "V" fluid for PS. I use left over Mercon that is out of date for the trans. I expect to exchange the reservoir fluid one per year just as a maint item Takes a couple minutes. Turkey baster will take it out.

Of course not to be reused in the kitchen.

-chart-
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Old 12-01-2011, 04:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the troubleshooting tips guys.

I won't be able to do anything till this Saturday. Hopefully I'll find the culprit and get her fixed. I'm crossing my fingers that it is something simple and I don't have to drop big $$.

Cheers!
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jelorian View Post
Thanks for all the troubleshooting tips guys.

I won't be able to do anything till this Saturday. Hopefully I'll find the culprit and get her fixed. I'm crossing my fingers that it is something simple and I don't have to drop big $$.

Cheers!
Share my today dumb stunt.

I try to remove fluid from the PS resivor and add new one time per year to keep it fresh. I have a vacuum bottle and it takes maybe 5 minutes.

I still had a gallon jug half full of Mercon so I used some of that as it is not good for the tranny any more, but fine for PS, and I would not want to mix "V" and regular. That went fine.

Then I took the used and put it in my waste jug for recycling. Problem was, I got the wrong jug and put the used in my nearly half full jug of Mercon. Oh well, no need to worry about using up my old supply.

I can find a new way to make a mistake, nearly every day. Other days I just may not have found the mistake.

Best of luck.

and remember, Measure once, cut twice, start over.

-chart-
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chartmaker View Post
Share my today dumb stunt.

I try to remove fluid from the PS resivor and add new one time per year to keep it fresh. I have a vacuum bottle and it takes maybe 5 minutes.

I still had a gallon jug half full of Mercon so I used some of that as it is not good for the tranny any more, but fine for PS, and I would not want to mix "V" and regular. That went fine.

Then I took the used and put it in my waste jug for recycling. Problem was, I got the wrong jug and put the used in my nearly half full jug of Mercon. Oh well, no need to worry about using up my old supply.

I can find a new way to make a mistake, nearly every day. Other days I just may not have found the mistake.

Best of luck.

and remember, Measure once, cut twice, start over.

-chart-
LOL, Chart, that happens to all of us -- join the club mate.

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Old 12-02-2011, 07:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chartmaker View Post
Share my today dumb stunt.

I try to remove fluid from the PS resivor and add new one time per year to keep it fresh. I have a vacuum bottle and it takes maybe 5 minutes.

I still had a gallon jug half full of Mercon so I used some of that as it is not good for the tranny any more, but fine for PS, and I would not want to mix "V" and regular. That went fine.

Then I took the used and put it in my waste jug for recycling. Problem was, I got the wrong jug and put the used in my nearly half full jug of Mercon. Oh well, no need to worry about using up my old supply.

I can find a new way to make a mistake, nearly every day. Other days I just may not have found the mistake.

Best of luck.

and remember, Measure once, cut twice, start over.

-chart-
My wife needed my fresh gallon of antifreeze to top off her car. left the lid off and kicked it over. Still waiting to get a new bottle back. Had to buy another for the car I was working on. Ow well!! No good deed goes unpunished!!
downhill
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by downhill View Post
My wife needed my fresh gallon of antifreeze to top off her car. left the lid off and kicked it over. Still waiting to get a new bottle back. Had to buy another for the car I was working on. Ow well!! No good deed goes unpunished!!
downhill
Friend of mine decided to change oil and filter on an import. Got filter from auto supply, and oil. Drained it and took off the filter. New filter was wrong. He did not have another car to got to the store. Put the old one back on, put in the new oil, backed it out of his garage and ran over the drain pan and made a big mess in his garage and the car. Old filter now leaked.

He now takes his car to the quick change place.

Some people are just not cut out for this kind of thing.

-chart-
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Old 12-02-2011, 01:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chartmaker View Post
Friend of mine decided to change oil and filter on an import. Got filter from auto supply, and oil. Drained it and took off the filter. New filter was wrong. He did not have another car to got to the store. Put the old one back on, put in the new oil, backed it out of his garage and ran over the drain pan and made a big mess in his garage and the car. Old filter now leaked.

He now takes his car to the quick change place.

Some people are just not cut out for this kind of thing.

-chart-
Minor setbacks.....he just needs a little practice, that's all.
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