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Discussion Starter #1
I posted this on the old boards but the thread seems to have disappeared.

I replaced my power steering pump after it started making lots of noise and the steering became very choppy.

I'm still having problems. Even with the new pump, nothing has changed. I know there must be air in the system. The fluid is foamy and the pump makes lots of noise. But I turned the wheel lock to lock for some time after installation and its been about a week and the noise persists.

I don't know very much about power steering systems. Can my rack be going out?
 

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Could be....(???)


On a new/rebuilt PS pump install, one should [first] leave the low pressure side disconnected from the pump and plug (cover) the low pressure input port .
Then, fill the pump, start the engine, and with one person turning the wheels lock to lock, another person adds more PS fluid (don't let pump run way low). This will flush out all the old [dirty] fluid in the rack and lines.

Of course, connect some sort of extention hose onto the end of the low pressure line and run it into an oil drain pan or something.... and if both front wheels are off the ground it's better. Plan to run about 6 additional qts of PS fluid (min) through it or untill the fluid coming out looks clean.

After all that, reconnect the low pressure line and fill the pump, run the engine again, turn the wheels some more and top it off.

Never run a PS pump dry. I've known people to start a car before putting any fluid in the new pump; thinking "add it while it's running". It just junked the new pump.

Any way.... Your rack could be bad... but, if you didn't flush the system, contaminated fluid could be the [majority of the] problem. But, then again, the dirty fluid from the lines and rack could have damaged your new pump. Foamy fluid?? Hummmm... Foamy clean fluid?? I'd guess foamy dirty fluid.

Either way, I'd flush it first (or again) to be sure. Fluid is a lot cheaper and eaiser to mess with than a rack. I know, I've pulled a few. When I think I have to mess with my PS system, I use cheap transmission fluid to flush it out real good. Then run it a week or two and flush it again, then swap parts (if it can wait). If that fixes it, I flush again and refill with some good stuff.

Good luck...

P.S. IMHO, the only thing cheap transmission fluid is good for is flushing PS systems and the "old school" 1qt 500 mile engine flush. But I DON'T recommend the latter on newer cars.
 

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Ford has a procedure that puts vacuum on the system while the wheels are turned lock to lock with the engine running. This will pull the air out of the fluid. With a bit of ingenuity this could be done at home using the cars vacuum and a jar with two connectors.

QUOTE
Air Purge with Vacuum External Source Procedure — 3.0L (2V) and 3.0L (4V)

Add Motorcraft MERCON® Multi-purpose (ATF) Transmission Fluid XT-2-QDX or MERCON® equivalent to approximately 2.5 cm (1 in) (make a mark) above the top of the supply line.

Tightly insert the rubber stopper of the air evacuator assembly into the pump reservoir.

Apply 85-88 kPa (20-25 in-Hg) maximum vacuum for a minimum of three minutes.

Add Motorcraft MERCON® Multi-purpose (ATF) Transmission Fluid XT-2-QDX or MERCON® equivalent until the level is at the marked point.

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 until the fluid level stabilizes.

Check reservoir level and add Motorcraft MERCON® Multi-purpose (ATF) Transmission Fluid XT-2-QDX or MERCON® equivalent to the FULL WARM (MAX) mark.

Install the number 10 fuse in the fuse junction panel. Start the engine.

NOTE: The front wheels must be off the floor during lock-to-lock rotation of the steering wheel.



NOTE: Do not hold the steering wheel on stops.



Reinstall the vacuum source and apply 85-88 kPa (20-25 in-Hg) maximum vacuum and cycle the steering wheel from lock-to-lock every thirty seconds for a minimum of 5 minutes.

Shut the engine off, release the vacuum and remove the vacuum source.

Add Motorcraft MERCON® Multi-purpose (ATF) Transmission Fluid XT-2-QDX or MERCON® equivalent to the FULL WARM (MAX) level. Install the dipstick or reservoir cap.

NOTE: Do not hold the steering wheel on stops.



NOTE: In severe cases, it may be necessary to repeat air purge with vacuum source procedure.



Start the engine and cycle the steering wheel from lock-to-lock every thirty seconds for approximately five minutes.

Lower the vehicle front end.

Check for oil leaks at all connections.[/b]
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Before I replaced the pump I had the system flushed. It only improved a little bit, but the noise was still there. I tried to remove as much fluid as possible when I installed the new one. I used Mercon V after replacing the pump.

I'm taking it to my friends shop this weekend. We are going to try the vacuum method with the car off the ground.
 

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Originally posted by sundarpn@Dec 13 2003, 12:03 AM
a BIG question...

why does it say to use ATF.. arent we talking about PS fluid.???
ps fluid is mercron atf
 

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Originally posted by sundarpn@Dec 13 2003, 01:08 AM
but the PS fluid (i got valoline) that was not red in color.. in fact it was transparent
if you look once it goes out of the bottle i think it appeared red to me as i put some in the 99, it was valvoline synpower ps fluid also
 

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I use synthetic ATX in my cars for PS fluid. Mobil One ATX is easy to find.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I didn't get a chance to look at the power steering pump this weekend. I drove the Contour instead to Houston for my cousin's graduation.

I'm really worried that there is going to be more involved than just applying a vacuum to the line and trying to suck the air out. The new pump is probably already damaged at this point, although it was making just as much noise as the old one immediately after being installed. Anyone ever have to replace the rack on their car?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I picked the car up after they vacuum bled the system and everything was fine. After about 15 minutes of driving I had no power steering, so I turned around and returned the car to my mechanic. He's going to run some dye through the system and see if he can find a leak. Next he'll replace the pump with new pump and see if that helps. If neither of those two solutions work, he's gonna start looking at replacing the rack.
 

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Your mechanic needs to break out his power steering presssure analyzer and quit guessing.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Unfortunately my mechanic doesn't have one of those.

Anyway, turns out that the steering rack needs to be replaced. One of the inner seals on the left side of the rack has failed. The leak was not obvious as much of the underside is still wet from when I replaced the pump and dumped the old fluid. When he pushed the rubber boot back oil squirted out.

So, she's up in the air getting a new rack installed. It's only going to cost me $100, my deductible for my warranty. The total will come out to be around $900.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I got the car back today. My buddy replaced the rack under warranty. He told me it was a fairly difficult job.

So far no problems. I haven't had the chance to drive the car though, the girlfriend has it. I was driving my Dad's Nissan Frontier cuz I had to pick up my new SHO leather seats!!!!



I doubt anybody's reading all my posts, but if someone else has a similar problem in the future (and uses the forum search) they might find it all helpful.
 
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