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Rack & Pinion or air in system?

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by RickM, July 11, 2011.

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    1. RickM

      RickM Active Member

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      Hi all,

      My '02 4.6 4x4 had been sitting for a couple weeks and when I backed it out of driveway I noticed the wheel shutter as I was turning...also what sounded like a power steering groan.

      I noticed a small puddle of what looked like power steering fluid under the area close to where the PS reservoir is situated.

      I checked the PS fluid level and it seemed to be ok...I put a bit more in to get it to the max level and it seemed to help a bit but that was short lived.

      So, does it appear to be the rack & pinion or should I attempt the exercise where I turn the steering wheel from side to side in an attempt to get all air out of the system.

      Any suggestions or feedback welcome.
       
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    3. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      Rick, can you see a spot where the PS fluid is leaking from. Try following the hoses in both directions to see if you can spot the leak. I would definitely do "the exercise" and see if that clears it up.
       
    4. RickM

      RickM Active Member

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      I'll take a look tonight or tomorrow....hopefully I'll be able to locate the source of the leak.

      Funny how the leak occurred while it was sitting.

      Oh I have a dumb question: what type of fluid is the R&P filled with? Is it PS fluid.

      Thanks for the feedback.
       
    5. RickM

      RickM Active Member

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      I had time over the weekend to take a look.

      but let me back up a bit.

      I filled the reservoir and while the front was jacked up I turned from stop to stop until the air was bled from the system. I drove fro a day and it ran as normal. However the leak continued. I went back under looked for the highest point with leaking fluid. It seemed to be from one of the four hard lines attached to the rack.

      I had a friend look as well and he agreed that it looks to be leaking from one of the connections.

      So, can someone help me find a diagram describing these lines? I'm guessing two may be high pressure and two low pressure return lines? Do these connections have O rings or seals I can possibly purchase?


      Thanks for any insight....especially on how to access these connections...they look really hard to get to.

      (Fingers are crossed that I'm spared at least one major repair.)
       
    6. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      Rick, I'll check my shop manual and post what I find. If you get nothing from me by tomorrow night then feel free to remind me. :thumbsup:
       
    7. RickM

      RickM Active Member

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      Thanks Rondo, I appreciate you taking the time to look.
       
    8. RickM

      RickM Active Member

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      OK, the only decent diagram I can find is attached. Any info on what each line is and possibly the o-ring size or part numbers would be helpful.

      [​IMG]
       
    9. RickM

      RickM Active Member

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      Bump
       
    10. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      Rick, sorry but I forgot all about this post. I will check the shop manuals tonight and post up any pertinent info.
       
    11. RickM

      RickM Active Member

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      Thanks Rondo.

      I was able to get a good look over the weekend and it is weeping from the top right connection.

      Looks like a real mother to access. Wondering if I have to drop the assembly in order to repair.

      Any additional info is appreciated.
       
    12. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      Rick, it looks like the pressure line & return line have o-ring seals. According to the manual, if the connection has an o-ring seal, you must use a new o-ring.

      Check your PM. I am sending some scans that way now.
       
      Last edited: September 8, 2011
    13. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      Bump for an update.
       
    14. RickM

      RickM Active Member

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      Rondo,

      Thanks again for the scans. They helped as I was able to back trace the part(s) I needed from the special tool said to be needed to install the seals.

      I also found a pic that illustrates the connections into the rack. Apparently there are two "seals".....an O-ring and a Teflon ring seal. From what I've found the O-ring is just sized up locally, if needed. The Teflon seal for the rack is part # 388897-S. It seems the Teflon washer is slightly undersized. Many have recommended placing the washer in very warm to hot water for a few minutes to soften and pushing onto a tapered drift or punch in order to slightly enlarge the center hole of the washer. The part can then be placed onto the threaded connector.

      FWIU, a different Teflon washer is used on the power steering pump side of the hose. This part # is 388898-S.

      I will take pics and add when I can devote time to this fix.

      Diagram credit: SuperMotors.net

      [​IMG]
       
    15. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      Glad I could help out. Good luck with the fix. :thumbsup:
       

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