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Old 11-11-2012, 11:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Power Steering Issues

Hello,

About two weeks ago my power steering assist stopped working. I ordered a replacement part from Autozone and this weekend I installed it. I removed the old one and installed the rebuilt one from Autozone. I decided to flush the fluid since it looked pretty dirty (my truck has 334K miles) as it looks blackish.

To flush the power steering fluid, I followed the directions that were included in the rebuilt power steering pump. I did this by the following:

1) First, I drained as much fluid from the reservoir using syringe (without the needle).
2) Disconnected the line from the reservoir and plugged the line.
3) I plugged the flange the line was connected to.
4) Disconnected the other side of the line from the metal line and replaced it with a longer line so it would reach a container on the ground to capture the fluid during the flush.
5) Using a 3.5 ton jack I lifted the front of the truck up such that the tires were off the ground.
6) I filled the reservoir with new power steering fluid.
7) I started the truck and a bit of fluid began to come out of the return line into the container.
8) I started turning the wheel from left to right several times then checked the power steering fluid level.
9) I turned the wheel to the right and to the left for a good 15 minutes all the while checking the reservoir to make sure the reservoir didn't run low.

After a bit of time, no more fluid would come out. I only captured about 20 fluid oz, which didn't seem like a lot to me. Plus, as I turned the steering wheel from the left to the right and vice versa no more fluid would come out of the line.

Now, after putting every back together, my steering is still unassisted. The rebuilt power steering pump is making some noise as it wasn't there until I put on the new part. I am thinking the rebuilt pump is bad, but I have the following questions.

1) How likely is it that the rebuilt power steering pump is bad?
2) If the problem isn't the power steering pump, what else might it be?

Any help in determining the issue would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and regards,
Mark
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Mark, I'm having the same problem. I replaced my power steering pump after my power steering left me. Well, after replacing my old one with one from Autozone, as well. This did not fix my problem. So, my next option was to purchase a used rack and pinion. Of course this had to be the problem, right? I still don't have any power steering. I would appreciate any help because i'm at a lost.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Derdatiz,

I am still having issues with my power steering. I did return the power steering pump to Autozone and ordered another one, which I am still waiting to receive. I figured I would try another power steering pump than buying the more expensive rack/pinion as you did. I did search my truck for either a power steering fluid cooler or filter thinking one of those might be clogged, but I didn't see either of them.

On the rack/pinion you received, does it include the steering gear linkage (not sure of the correct name, but I did attached a picture of it)? I am wondering if that might be bad?

Once I get the new (well, re-manufactured) power steering pump installed, I will report back. I am not sure what will be my next step. I am wondering if there is a way to flush the system without using the power steering pump in case there is a clog somewhere, but the pump doesn't have the power to dislodge the clog.

Please let me know if case you resolve the issue and I will do the same.

Regards,
Mark

See image here: http://www.2shared.com/photo/5h-bY2iS/IMG_2297.html

Sorry, I didn't know which service allows me to directly link to an image.

Last edited by LordHog; 11-21-2012 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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When i flushed my power steering, i just took both lines off the steering rack and let them drain. When i refilled the system i cycled the steering lock to lock with the wheels off the ground and the engine off. This helped get all of the bubbles out of the system, looked like foam at first. Then let it set a while. Refilled the tanks and did it again with the engine off. It looked nice and clear. Turned the engine on and went lock to lock and got more bubbles out, refilled and did it again and checked the level. Could have been a bad pump, or just full of air???
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Mark, my next move is to replace my pressure hose & maybe try another pump. I
purchased a used rack & pinion for $65. It just can't be but so
many things.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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still not working properly

Okay, I installed another power steering pump and did as hossmaster suggested. I bleed the system of air after draining as much fluid from the lines as I could by disconnecting the lines from the rack/pinion. I must have turned the steering wheel from the right lock to the left lock about 200 times. I stopped about every fifty or so to allow time for the tiny bubble to ascend to the surface. I was still getting some little bubbles, but decided to start the engine and bleed the system still. I turned the wheel about fifty times, still a bit of tiny bubbles though not much. Decided to go for a test drive. Well, I had some assisted steering, but I say only about 30-40% of what is should be normally. It definitely was not as difficult as before, but not nearly as easy as it should be. I will drive it for a few days and see if it improves. In addition, after a few days I plan on flushing the fluid by removing the return line to bleed out some of the fluid.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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good to hear

how fast were you going lock to lock? You aren't loosing fluid are you?
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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slight correction

hossmaster, as far as I recall, I was turning the wheel from right-lock to left-lock in about 7-10 seconds or so. Does the speed as which turning the wheel from lock to lock matter? After driving the truck after a bit, I am not sure if the new power steering pump has help at all now. When I was test driving the ground was a bit wet, so I think that was helping more than the new power steering pump. I did get the in-line filter and will try to install it this weekend, but it is likely to rain here in SoCal so I might not be able to install it. I am wondering if I will need to replace the rack/pinion next. Lastly, the new pump makes noise just like the last remanufactured power steering pump. I am wondering if it might be worth my while to rebuilt my original pump myself.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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yea thats about right. You fluid level isn't fluctuating is it?

yea rebuilding the pump will give you something to do and test.

Last edited by hossmaster; 11-30-2012 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Lordhog, I think I have found my problem. I have talked to our local Toyota Dealership head mechanic. He stated that he has replaced the pressure hose before, when this problem has occured. He said that the hose will collapse on the inside and will make the fluid push back by the pump. Now, a new hose is around $300. I'm going to take mine off and take it to a guy here that makes pressure hoses. GOOD LUCK!! Will let you know when I try this.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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hossmaster, I don't see the fluid level fluctuating, though I did need to add some after a day of driving which seems likely.

derdatiz, this is great news. Please let me know how it goes. I just dropped about 1K to replace a shock in my wife car (on a Benz). The pressure hose is still cheaper than the rack/pinion. Will you get the pressure hose at the dealer or parts.com? It looks like there are four different pressure lines, will you replace all four of them?

http://www.parts.com/parts/1997/TOYO...iagram=8510250

Regards,
Mark
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