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2005 Ford Taurus OHV 3.0L
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all! Long time since I've been here. First off I want to say thank you to all of the contributors, especially the big dogs always posting, I've gotten much use out of the search engine here in the past and I love ya for it.

I have an '05 OHV bull that has been giving me headaches (again). I hardly drive it these days as I'm in an F250 for work most days traveling all over FL.

In the past 3 or 4 months, I noticed the pump whining increasingly when I drove it. About a month ago, I got in and the p/s had gone out completely. I checked the reservoir, it was empty, and notably there was fluid all over the reservoir cap and filling it up. So I added fluid, but there was no change whatsoever. I noticed this time that the pump wasn't making any whining noise at all. So, I went ahead and spent two and a half weekends trying to pull the p/s pump and put in a new one (don't judge me lol), finally finished and started her up and... still no dice. I looked in the reservoir and it was churning, and the fluid was extremely frothy / foamy. I know this indicates air in the system, but I'm trying to figure out why and how the air got there, as I apparently had a leak prior.

SO, after reading pages and pages of threads on this forum for literally about 5 hours straight, I spent tonight trying to track down the problem. I put the front end on jack stands and took the wheels off. I began turning the wheels back and forth just to be sure it wasn't simply air in the lines after I changed the pump. About 80 turns each direction and I started to feel the p/s starting to work a little bit, but not really. So, I inspected the entire system for leaks. I can not see a single wet spot anywhere! So I checked the boots on the tie rods, removed the clamps and pushed the boots back, and it's bone dry. So, no leaking seals there.. I read on here someone suggesting that the p/s cooler that runs in front of the radiator can get clogged, so I took the return lines off from the pump, and the p/s cooler (but not the line from the cooler to the rack), I cleaned off the ends and tried blowing into the hoses and also the cooler with a finger plugging the other end, and that's all totally airtight.

I'm stumped. I am wondering if my initial "leak" was really a clogged or busted component causing backpressure and blowing the fluid out the reservoir cap, since the top of the cap was filled with fluid initially. My logic here hinges on the idea that the foamy fluid is just from the pump stirring it up without actually circulating it, but it could still be an air leak that I just can't find. Is it possible that something internal to the steering rack could be failing and stopping the fluid from being able to flow, or that air can get in the rack seals without fluid escaping? Is it possible that the high pressure lines are clogged up somehow? And does anyone know of any way to troubleshoot those lines to find out (is there a trick with a pressure gauge or something)? Any other ideas on what I could check to figure out where my problem is? I am prepared to change out the rack, but that's a big job that I'll need to buy tools for and I don't want to commit to it only to find the problem was a clogged filter/line. It was heartbreaking enough to find that the pump wasn't the problem, lol. $700+ to have a mechanic do it is simply out of the question, I'm a poor, single father of 3. Any tips or advice would be GREATLY appreciated!! And since this seems to be a somewhat unique problem I will be sure to update when I figure it out. I have read some posts that said "mechanic told me it was the rack, even though there weren't any fluid leaks" but never explaining what the issue was exactly, and how they determined that.

Sorry for the long read, I can be a bit "wordy" sometimes, but I like to be detailed so people know all the pertinent info.
Thanks guys! Much love to you all,

- Jacob M
 

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Let me start by saying that I have had to bleed air out of Ford PS systems and it can take a while to get all the air out. Be patient!

With that said, about 2 years ago, pump on my 88 Tbird Turbo Coupe got really noisy. Vacuum bled it multiple times which I have has always worked for me on other Fords in the past. No dice. Tried several other bleeding methods with zero success. During this whole process, I probably went thru 10 quarts of type F tranny fluid. In desperation I decided to put in a new (not reman) rack, which is only a 2 hour job unlike the Taurus, which is much more difficult. Problem solved. Original rack did not leak a drop of fluid, and when I pulled the boots off the old rack, and not even a drop of fluid inside. PS system has been dead silent ever since.

Not saying this is your problem, just relating my experience.
 

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2005 Ford Taurus OHV 3.0L
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Let me start by saying that I have had to bleed air out of Ford PS systems and it can take a while to get all the air out. Be patient!

With that said, about 2 years ago, pump on my 88 Tbird Turbo Coupe got really noisy. Vacuum bled it multiple times which I have has always worked for me on other Fords in the past. No dice. Tried several other bleeding methods with zero success. During this whole process, I probably went thru 10 quarts of type F tranny fluid. In desperation I decided to put in a new (not reman) rack, which is only a 2 hour job unlike the Taurus, which is much more difficult. Problem solved. Original rack did not leak a drop of fluid, and when I pulled the boots off the old rack, and not even a drop of fluid inside. PS system has been dead silent ever since.

Not saying this is your problem, just relating my experience.
Thank you much for sharing. I have read that there can be leaks in the rack that let air in but not fluid out I was just kind of hoping I might be able to pinpoint the problem without having to throw parts at it, but there's not much left to check but the rack or the high pressure lines so I'm already kinda planning on having to replace the rack at this point. But, it provides a little peace of mind to hear more confirmation that it could be the rack despite no obvious leaks. I might try removing the high pressure lines and seeing if there's any blockage before I buy a new rack. I will make my top priority to invest in a vacuum pump to try bleeding the air properly since it could still be stubborn air pockets. The cheap hand pumps on Amazon got very poor reviews from people trying to bleed air from p/s systems, I'll probably get the Mityvac hand pump and some tubing and a reservoir cap. Will report back after I can get around to trying these things.

Thanks again for your input!
 

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I made a vacuum bleeding adapter out of a spare PS reservoir cap I had laying around by drilling a 1/4 inch hole thru it and used JB Weld to glue a short piece of 1/4" copper pipe in the hole I drilled and used my MightyVac hand held vacuum pump.
 
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2005 Ford Taurus OHV 3.0L
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I made a vacuum bleeding adapter out of a spare PS reservoir cap I had laying around by drilling a 1/4 inch hole thru it and used JB Weld to glue a short piece of 1/4" copper pipe in the hole I drilled and used my MightyVac hand held vacuum pump.
Awesome, thanks Jeff! That's kinda the route I was planning on taking but I didn't know what size tubing I should use or how I should make it airtight so, much obliged. Got a Mityvac on order right now, will update soon as it arrives and I can test it out.

-JacobM
 

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2005 Ford Taurus OHV 3.0L
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So I made up a reservoir cap stopper for the vacuum pump using J-B Kwik Weld and a Dorman Help reservoir cap from Advance Auto. Drilled into the vent hole so that the brass hose fitting I bought from Ace Hardware would go in that spot and there wouldn't be any air venting out. The particular fitting I bought was difficult to insert and I had to saw away at the little fins in the top of the reservoir cap with my electrician's snips to clear out enough space for it, but this is the final product:

216881


I also purchased the Ford Service DVD for my vehicle on ebay (which is almost certainly a bootlegged copy, bcuz eBay) and followed the proper power steering system bleeding procedure found within.

1. Chock the back wheels
2. Raise the front end up on jack stands, wheels off the ground
3. Connect vacuum pump to (in my case, homemade) p/s reservoir adapter
3a. (Important to put the fluid reservoir that comes in the Mityvac silverline kit in line with the pump, lest you suck p/s fluid into the vacuum pump!)
4. Start the engine
5. Pump vacuum up to 25 inHg, and let sit for 3 minutes at idle
6. Turn off car, release vacuum, check p/s fluid level, top off as needed
7. Start the engine
8. Pump vacuum up to 25 inHg, and let sit for 3 minutes at idle
9. Turn steering wheel stop-to-stop in both directions, 10x each direction
10. Turn off car, release vacuum, check p/s fluid level, top off as needed
11. Repeat steps 7-10 until there is no longer bubbles/foam in your p/s fluid

Whelp guys... this worked for me!!! My power steering is working! I will say though, that I believe my newly installed power steering pump is already failing based on crazy noises it's making, and I'm still concerned that perhaps the power steering fluid filter in the high pressure line is clogged. I am thinking this because the fluid is extremely hot after a short drive around town. It may be the small exhaust leak I have in the front manifold overheating the entire engine compartment, but I can't tell until some issues reoccur or unless I take off the high pressure line and try blowing into it or something to see if it's clogged. For now, I'm gonna keep driving it on the weekends and see if I get any more boiling over of the p/s fluid or any related issues. I also recorded a video documenting the procedure which can be found here:

Power Steering Vacuum Bleed

Thank you SO much to this forum for existing, for Jeff K for his advice and everyone else who's posted about similar issues. I have a sinking suspicion that my power steering troubles are not totally over yet, but I will add to this post if any new problems develop.

I'm a happy camper for now though. I can drive my car, I didn't have to replace the steering rack, all is well :)
 
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