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Why you should take better care of your PS pump than I did

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by bates, December 24, 2004.

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    1. bates

      bates Shine on Benevolent Sun

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      City, State:
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      Well, earlier this week I got the power steering pump replaced in my 91. The thing seized up in traffic and spewed fluid everywhere, nice big puddle in the walmart parking lot. Thought I would share the costs involved at the bottom. Anyone know why this might happen? I figured it was the deep water I went through that stalled my engine out. Probably got some fluid in there, I know I was low on fluid big time when I got out of the hole I was in.

      PS Pump from Ford (wholesale)(I got connections) - $168.88 plus $60 core
      Fan Belt from Garage (I got screwed here I think) - $59.90
      Fluid - $7.90
      Towing (dollies charge included) - $80
      Labour (2 hours) - $130

      All prices in $CDN and before taxes (15% here)
       
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    3. F14CRAZY

      F14CRAZY To the flo...

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      I always figured that power steering fluid gets neglected in most vehicles. I sucked out (turkey baster) and replaced the fluid in my Explorers a few times when I got them, and suck out the resevoir and replace at every oil change. Type F is inexpensive anyway
       
    4. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Don't ever use Type F. No offense, but there is a product called power steering fluid. Power steering fluid can be used in any power steering pump. Whereas Type F will ruin a rack and pinion unit.

      Someone with a vehicle that has a rack and pinion will read a post like this, and assume Type F is appropriate for their vehicle.

      The slight difference in cost is not worth the damage caused by a stranger missunderstanding what fluid is okay for what type of steering box. It is better to just use power steering fluid in all power steering boxes.
      I like Valvoline Synthetic power steering fluid.
      DW
       
    5. F14CRAZY

      F14CRAZY To the flo...

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      Sorry. I use type F because my manuals call for type F, and bates' Explorer, being a 1991, would also call for type F.
       
    6. Diff Whack Daddy

      Diff Whack Daddy And the Roll Over Posse! Under the Hood Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I am pretty sure that all Explorers call for ATF in the power steering pumps.
       
    7. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      That's why I made the comment. A large percentage of readers here will have 1995 or newer Explorers, etc. They all have rack and pinions. Unless some magic has happened inside of racks lately, they can't handle ATF. It will ruin the seals.

      Most of the time when a rack is found to be leaking, from the seals, you will find bad fluid(ATF) in them. It's an easy general rule to simply use power steering fluid in power steering fluid pumps.
       
    8. Diff Whack Daddy

      Diff Whack Daddy And the Roll Over Posse! Under the Hood Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Let me rephrase,

      I am pretty sure that all 91-94 explorers call for ATF in the power steering pumps as per the owners manual that I have for a 91 and a 93. I can't speek for the models with crap and pinion:D Sorry, not a big fan of rack and pinion. Power steering fluid in my 93 didn't cause any leaks, however it created a horrible whine in the pump. After I figured out my error, I flushed the whole power steering system and refilled with ATF and the whine was squelched to a more normal sounding steering system.
       
    9. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      You might also try an additive by, ... I forgot. It is the same high quality additive company that people use there trans additive.(Small dark colored bottle, good stuff). Night,
      DonW
       
    10. dreamr

      dreamr Well-Known Member

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      I will second that and add that 2nd gen's also use ATF. As stated in my Owners Manual.

      I flushed mine when I bought it. Replaced it 4 months later.

      The plan is to flush all my fluids while I am bored every winter and again in the summer. PS included.
       
    11. Opera House

      Opera House Well-Known Member

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      "I am pretty sure that all 91-94 explorers call for ATF in the power steering pumps as per the owners manual that I have for a 91 and a 93. "

      My 92 owners manual specifies TYPE F ATF and 97 specifies MERCON. So, we should be specific. Frankly, I don't believe changing fluid often has any effect on preventing the pump shaft seal from blowing out. That is more of a design issue that many with pristene fluid have experienced.
       
    12. dreamr

      dreamr Well-Known Member

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      Opera House is correct. Mercon Atf is the stuff for me. Hate it when I forget the little details ;)
       
    13. Eneurb

      Eneurb Active Member

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      If using Mercon, use Mercon III, not Mercon V. We use Mercon III in rack and pinion systems, and Type F in systems that use a steering box.
       
    14. Rhett

      Rhett Let Them Eat Cake Elite Explorer

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      And the REAL question is, is changing the fluid even necessary? Even after 100,000 miles? I fear that if I turkey-baster the old ATF out, my P/S will begin whining. At present (110,000 miles) it is quiet. I've heard enough whiney Ford p/s pumps in my time, and I don't need another.
       
    15. mctoy

      mctoy Active Member

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      FWIW....I checked my (online) manual for an '03 4.0 sport, and it also calls for Mercon.
      The plot thickens!!! Seems some (Gen3) are calling for PS fluid, and others for Mercon(?) They are all R and P arent they? I will also change to synthetic in mine. (When I know for sure what the heck it should be :confused: ) Guess I'd better stick with the owners manual....
      MCTOY
       
    16. Con Seann3ry

      Con Seann3ry Active Member

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      I agree. I think it's probably good to change it every now and then, but twice a year seems excessive.
       
    17. briantf

      briantf Active Member

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      Mercon Synthetic or Valvoline Synthetic PS

      My 97 Ranger (equ to 1st Gen Ex) takes Mercon III in its power steering pump (definitely not rack & pinion steering), my wife's 98 Explorer takes Mercon III, and her old 94 T-Bird takes traditional power steering fluid. For all three, I use synthetics. It's cheap to use the best hydraulic fluid you can get.

      I use a vacuum pump to siphon the reservoirs every spring. I've only addressed the T-Bird 2x as it was handed down to another family member, but it now has 151K on the original power steering pump. Considering how poorly people speak of Ford power steering units (and how loud they are in parking lots), that's pretty good results.

      BTW, the new full synthetics are Dexron III/Mercon/Mercon V rated.

      Regards,
      Brian in CA
       
    18. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      There is a great possibility that most power steering pump problems, and noises, come from lack of service, and poor fluids. Nevermind what a "book" says, or a "friend" says, or an expert, or a relative, or a manual, etc. Power steering fluid can be used in any power steering system. It is compatible with all systems. The problem is everybody trying to do what their individual vehicle, book, manual, etc., etc., etc. has told them to do, and someone else assumes that that is good for their system also. And bingo, another mistake causes a failure, or noise.

      Again, the best decision is to use power steering fluid in all power steering systems. Then no one missunderstands, and no mistake by "someone else" causes problems. Why do people fight common sense?
      Regards,
      DonW
       
    19. BeauJ

      BeauJ Moderator Emeritus

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      PS is for sissies. Like section525 says, you dont even need it along with AC or cruise control.
       
    20. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      True, my first car was a 1972 Gran Torino, no PS, and a 351C 2V. Back then that was called a midsize car, hah. It weighed 4100 pounds, and parking it was interesting.
      DW
       
    21. briantf

      briantf Active Member

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      I don't understand what you're saying, CDW6212R

      Are you saying you should disregard the manufacturer's specified lubricant/hydraulic fluid for power steering?

      >>>>
      . Nevermind what a "book" says, or a "friend" says, or an expert, or a relative, or a manual, etc. Power steering fluid can be used in any power steering system. It is compatible with all systems
      >>>

      Your statement seems nonsensical, since the Ford factory manual is very specific as to what lubricant goes where. Following your logic, gear oil is gear oil, transmission fluid is transmission fluid, and no one should bother to read the factory manuals for their maintenance requirements. I can't imagine that's what you mean, so could you clarify?

      Regards,
      Brian in CA
       
    22. Eneurb

      Eneurb Active Member

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      I don't believe that all steering fluids are compatible with each other... Try putting Type F in a Chrysler (junk) and get back to us... I'm sure that the engineers that developed the system would know.
       
    23. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Common sense is more important than what any book tells you.
      I have witnessed, or heard about, way to many "accidents" happening because of what advice was followed, in the face of logic, or common sense.

      Transmission fluid has no business ever being used in anything except a transmission, period. The same goes for any other application specific fluid. Stop looking to some manual as a "God", and use a little common sense.

      Common sense should be the first thought. If you don't have any knowledge of the subject, then look to the book, or advice.

      End of subject, it's been beaten to death. Let it lie in peace,
      Good night.
      Don W
       
    24. Eneurb

      Eneurb Active Member

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      Ummm... I don't think I can "let it lie in peace" that easily... I couldn't disagree more with your last post...
       
    25. FordLover

      FordLover Active Member

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      When in doubt, whip it out (the book that is). Keep in mind Manual Transmissions used to take gear oil, now most (if not all) call for Automatic Transmission Fluid. Common sense you say? maybe for some. If your not 100% sure what fluid goes where, read the manual, at least you can't be blamed for voiding your warranty by using innappropriate fluids.
       
    26. Mr Medo

      Mr Medo New Member

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      Someone once said "a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing."
      Always use the manufacturers recommended fluids. Let's not try to think we know better than the engineer who designed the different steering mechanicals.

       

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