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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 93 taurus 3.0 with the VAPS power steering 165K miles (dont know if the pwr steering pump has ever been replaced or not).

Ive replaced the inner and outer tie rods and the high pressure power steering line. I recent ly aligned the front end and made sure the tires are properly inflated.

I have been getting a loud groaning from the pwr steering pump when turning the wheel. I also get a "kickback" or hitch of the steering wheel if I turn it and hold it. If I hold it steady at the turning position, the wheel will actually go back and forth in my hands.

So, to remedy I have been reading the old posts on the site here and have used the turkey baster method of removing the dirty old dark fluid from the reservoir and then filling with new.....I did this like six or seven times until all the fluid was clean in the reservoir after driving it for 10 minutes.......I used Mercon tranny fluid.

I then went and bought some Lucas pwr steering additive and added it to an empy reservoir (I used the turkey baster method again).

So, this process of flushing the fluid has helped remove some of the hitches and a little of the groan of the pump.....but the groan is still there and the hitching is much improved but I still get it every once in a while.

Before the fluid flush....the steering was very easy (very low effort)....or very little resistance in turning the wheel.....now after the flushing the steering requires a bit more effort.....which I like and seems more normal.

I should add that I have done the lock to lock method of trying to purge the air in the sytem....Ive done it a few times so far.

So I am looking for recommendations or thoughts on what part could be worn out....pump or rack or a part of the VAPS system.
 

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I would recommend that you go to advanced auto and buy royal purple synthetic power steering fluid and do the best you can getting ALL of the old stuff out and use the new stuff. It will be expensive but synthetic can help a car due to its mileage and what not. Give it a try and keep us updated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
As a follow up......I tried some Sea Foam trans tune (as recommended here by a member) to help flush out the system. That didnt help the noise of the pump but Ive since flushed the pwr steering system a couple of times since then and the hitching of the wheel and the severe kickback I was getting when turning the wheel and holding....... is gone. Ive refilled with Mercon V and finally my fluid looks like clean AT fluid .....even after driving for a while.

My pump is still very noisy its howling or groaning louder now so I am gonna continue to purge the air over time. I dont think it enjoyed all the flushings. Ive also added a tranny oil cooler in front of the A/C condenser in the pwr steering return line. My 93 3.0 GL had both the pwr steering pressure line and the return line crossing under the front exhaust manifold back to the rack. So I re-routed the return line to include the oil cooler in front of the A/C condenser......I think both lines and hence the fluid were baking pretty hotly with the design having both lines cross under the front exhaust manifold..

I might install a new rebuilt pump this week just to see if I can get rid of the howling groan that is quite prominent......I am very happy though with the improvement in eliminating the hitching and severe kickback of the wheel while turning and holding. The system was probably full of muck over 165K miles. I bought it 7K miles ago for $50 with a blown engine (the previous owner ran it dry of oil). The pwr steering pump might be original too.

Oh yeah....I agree I need to try some synthetic....I think I'll give it a shot once I get the new pump in there. With the 93 3.0L vulcan pwr steering line routing right under the front exhaust manifold.....will be a good idea to use synthetic since it withstands higher temps so well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update: Installed a rebuilt power steering pump (A1-Cardone from O'Reilly's/Schucks/Kragen) and its quieter. I wouldnt say its totally quiet but a good amount quieter. Its at normal noise for a Ford pump I would say. Steering wheel action while turning is a little better (I think?) but not a whole lot better than my other pump.

I had a tick....tick...tick from my serp belt assembly....I thought it was the pwr steering pump bearing or something......and with reblt pump installed tick is gone.
 
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