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Thread: Victim of power steering issues.....

  1. #1
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    Default Victim of power steering issues.....

    Okay all-

    After doing a little reading today, it appears that I am not the first victim of a power steering related failure. What I'd like to know if it is possible for a person with good mechanical aptitude (but not necessarily a mechanic) to diagnose and repair the problem. I don't really want the dealer to do it (cost and lack of care/knowledge).

    Symptoms - Whining noise coming from the front left of the car on startup, gets worse when applying pressure to the steering wheel. No issues with "hard turning", still feels fine, but everything right now is pointing to the PS pump.... it gets louder when turning the steering wheel. Level was a little low (but not horrible). I topped it off with Mobil Mercon fluid, it didn't help. Damage is apparently already done. After sitting a while, there is a little bit of (what I'm guessing) is PS fluid on the ground. Also, while revving the engine, a little bit of oil is spattered on the underside of my hood, and a bit on top of the engine on the belt side. Again, I have driven the car with this whining noise apparent, and the steering "seems" fine.

    Logic would tell me that it is the pump since the steering seems to be fine. How do I tell if the rack is not also a problem? My guess is that I should replace the pump and high pressure line/fitting, and possible go to redline or mobil PS fluid. Anyone have a different opinion?

    Any advice where to get the pump/lines/fittings for a reasonable price? Is there anything else I should replace while I'm in there? Car has 65k miles.

    Has there been any how to posts on how to change the pump and fluid? I did a search on this site and couldn't find it.

    My SVTF is stock, it's a 2003 that was purchased new, by me, in early 2004 as a daily driver. I drive 120 miles/day, and I have around 65k miles on it. I guess I can't complain too much, this is really the first major problem I have had. The only other failure I've had is the thermostat. ($20 and an hour, not too bad). I love this car and I'd love to keep it to 150k miles or so, but we'll see!

    Any help is appreciated, feel free to reply here or email me at rgonyer@mchsi.com

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior TEAM Member COSVT03's Avatar
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    Default Re: Victim of power steering issues.....

    Call Steve at Tousley Ford in MN. He's got great prices. If I were you I wouldn't worry too much about the rack & pinion as it's more than likely fine. What you DO need to do is find where the leak is coming from. Find out where it is coming from and diagnose from there. As for the Power Steering pump- Take your serpantine belt off and turn it by hand. See if it wobbles. The High Pressure line is known to fail on our cars yes. If you have time you can fix it. It's easy if you can get under the car. Just remember to use line wrenches so you dont round the fittings.

    If you replace both the High Pressure Line and the Power Steering Pump it shoud take you less than 2 hours. Sepantine Belt and 4 Bolts for the PS Pump and 2 ends, a sensor, and a nut on the HP Line. Then all you have left is fishing out the old and fishing in the new. MAKE SURE TO START ALL BOLTS AND FITTING BY HAND!!! If you cant start it by hand it's not angled correctly and will MOST LIKELY cross thread.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Victim of power steering issues.....

    Mine leaked on both the high pressure fitting and the pump shaft seal. They pump shaft seal would only leak when the car was turned off, after about 15 minuts. Took forever to figure out that leak.

    The nut is not included with the high pressure line.

    Yes, use redline power steering fluid. No problems for me for the last 2 years.

  4. #4
    Formerly focus_wrc Reza's Avatar
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    Default Re: Victim of power steering issues.....

    i think using UDP is a good idea too
    at 7000 rpm is like your runing at 5000 rpm.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Victim of power steering issues.....

    get your power sterring flushed
    2004 CD Silver SVT
    FocusSport UDP, FocusSport Euro Grill, Focus Central ORP, AEM CAI, Rieger RX bumper, Eibach Pro kit and Dampers, F1 rear motor mount, Fidanza FW, Sachs clutch kit
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    Just stock it's a rice eater...

  6. #6
    Cantankerous Quacker Dukman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Victim of power steering issues.....

    Changing the pump out is not that bad. A bit time consuming is all. 4 bolts, the low pressure line and the high pressure line and your done.

    Steve at Tousely Ford can get you the best prices on a new one. You'll need to remove and replace the pulley as the new pump will not have one.
    2001 ZX3, Rainforest Green - Somewhat un-modified.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Victim of power steering issues.....

    Did my local Ford dealor quote me for a new steering rack just to get more money out of labor from me? I never see a puddle so makes me confused as to what my issue is with my power steering.
    2003 Pitch Black SVT
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Victim of power steering issues.....

    Thank you for all the suggestions guys!

    How do I flush out the old fluid and make sure it's all out before putting the new redline stuff in? What's the best way to remove the fluid before I pull the pump, so I'm not making too much of a mess in my garage?

    Thanks
    Robb

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Victim of power steering issues.....

    Basically,
    Get front wheels off the ground.
    Pull the 3 excitor wire plug from the coil pack. This lets you turn the motor over without starting the car.
    Get the coolant resevoir out the way.
    I used an empty 1 gallon jug. Take the return line (that's going to the resevoir) and stick it in the gallon jug about 1/2 way up. I think I then set the power steering resevoir on top of the jug. I also dumped the old fluid out and topped it off with redline. Then you basically just turn the motor over while turning the steering wheel lock to lock. Have a buddy keep the resevoir full while you do this.

    You might get by with 1 quart but I'm not exactly sure.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Victim of power steering issues.....

    So basically you are pushing the new redline fluid through the system until you see new redline fluid going into the jug?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Victim of power steering issues.....

    Yes.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Victim of power steering issues.....

    Wow you are fast.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Victim of power steering issues.....

    by turning the motor over does that mean you lock the steering wheel and then push the key forward crankin it?
    No more SVT.
    05 SRT-4

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Victim of power steering issues.....

    Yes, use the key to crank it. The power steering pump will turn at crank speed, not 1,100 rpm.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Victim of power steering issues.....

    Okay, I went out to check tonight to try to figure out what exactly the problem was, and of course it's not making any noise now (haven't driven it in a week, so who knows). However, the PS oil level is low again (just topped it off last time) and there is an obvious "oil stripe" on the hood liner above where the belt runs. There is also a lot of oil on the plastic tray that is under the car, right under the PS pump. It looks like the pump is oily around the shaft. Anyway to tell for sure if it's the pump or pressure line, or should I just change both and be sure?

    Also, I'm assuming the small line coming out of the bottom of the reservoir is the hp line, and the larger diameter one going to the pump is the return line? The small line goes down behind the passenger side headlight, then down under the car.....

    Robb


 
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