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Discussion Starter #1
My daughter's car exhibited intermittent hard steering on her 1997 Taurus LX with VAPS. More often hard than not. No visible leaks, fluid at a constant level. Changed inner and outer tie rods a few months ago and got recent alignment. Also recently changed belt and topped reservoir to the very top and saw little, if any, improvement. It was just too hard for her to have to constsntly muscle through turns. Interesting thing is that with the front wheels off the ground the turning was effortless.

After reviewing many posts and some suggestions from friends I replaced the power steering pump as many said it was probably "lazy" and just not producing enough pressure. What should have been a relatively easy job was a burden, but it got done. But it's really no better. I haven't driven but a few hundred yards since but I might even say it was worse. Tried to bleed by turning stop to stop. Again effortless off the ground but on the ground hard as before.

I'd be really grateful if someone has some suggestions or wisdon from past experience. To make matters worse I suspect I might have a small leak at the high pressure hose now, time will tell. Noticed that there was teflon residue on hose fitting when I removed from pump. The pump came with generic teflon washers that really didn't fit and the Ford dealer was little help but I eventually got the 398888S washer. There is no staining on the driveway so far. Is it possible to tighten the pressure fitting without removing the pump and pulley? Any help woud be greatly appreciated.
 

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This is from a 98 service manual, so yours may be different... IF your components are the same, this sounds like a problem with the vehicle speed sensor (VSS), Generic electronic module (GEM) or auxiliary actuator on the power steering rack (or the wiring between each).


[attachment=29063:pwrStrDiagram.jpg]

1: Vehicle speed signal from VSS
2: Generic electronic module
3: Acutuator command signal
4: Power steering auxiliary actuator
5: Steering gear
6: Power steering left turn pressure hose
7: Power steering pump
8: Power steering return hose
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. Someone suggested that if I disconnected the auxiliary actuator the system should revert to 100% assist. Do you know if that is correct? Any reason the car can't be run that way?

QUOTE (OldWagon @ Apr 5 2009, 04:07 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=715433
This is from a 98 service manual, so yours may be different... IF your components are the same, this sounds like a problem with the vehicle speed sensor (VSS), Generic electronic module (GEM) or auxiliary actuator on the power steering rack (or the wiring between each).


[attachment=29063:pwrStrDiagram.jpg]

1: Vehicle speed signal from VSS
2: Generic electronic module
3: Acutuator command signal
4: Power steering auxiliary actuator
5: Steering gear
6: Power steering left turn pressure hose
7: Power steering pump
8: Power steering return hose[/b]
 

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QUOTE (wmmihail @ Apr 5 2009, 06:35 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=715476
Thanks. Someone suggested that if I disconnected the auxiliary actuator the system should revert to 100% assist. Do you know if that is correct? Any reason the car can't be run that way?[/b]
The manual is unclear on that, but I infer that when steering effort is too high, signals are not reaching the auxiliary actuator. So that sounds as though unplugged = no assist.

That might make the most sense, since full assist at highway speeds would be twitchy, possibly dangerous.... I don't see anything in the manual that tells whether the variable system (with disabled actuator system) still has a fall-back restrictor that reduces power at high speeds. Such a restrictor is part of a conventional power steering system to slow down response at high speed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your help.

QUOTE (OldWagon @ Apr 5 2009, 07:18 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=715496
QUOTE (wmmihail @ Apr 5 2009, 06:35 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=715476
Thanks. Someone suggested that if I disconnected the auxiliary actuator the system should revert to 100% assist. Do you know if that is correct? Any reason the car can't be run that way?[/b]
The manual is unclear on that, but I infer that when steering effort is too high, signals are not reaching the auxiliary actuator. So that sounds as though unplugged = no assist.

That might make the most sense, since full assist at highway speeds would be twitchy, possibly dangerous.... I don't see anything in the manual that tells whether the variable system (with disabled actuator system) still has a fall-back restrictor that reduces power at high speeds. Such a restrictor is part of a conventional power steering system to slow down response at high speed.
[/b][/quote]
 
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