A bad rack without the external leaks???? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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A bad rack without the external leaks????


Active Member
May 11, 2011
Reaction score
City, State
Danbury, Connecticut
Year, Model & Trim Level
1995 XLT
Hi Folks. I'm still struggling with trying to get my power steering back to normal. The latest has been replacing the pump I bought about 2 months ago when my pwr steering problems began. A couple of days ago after a short drive the pump got a very loud "buzzing" sound ( thats the only way I can describe it ). Chk'd fluid level and that was fine. Istalled new pump today and flushed out old fluid before I started bleeding process. It still "shutters" when I turn the wheel back n forth. Very frustrating. My question is: Can the rack have some kind of internal problem that will cause this kind of issue? There's NO fluid leaking from either end of rack as I'd loosened the clamps on the boots and squeeze checked to see if any came out. Can the rack be flushed and bleed seperately? The last thing is is that it still holds a constant vacuum on the vacuum pump gauge. Again, I'd appreciate any suggestions. Thanks. gk

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there's something inside a rack called spool valves. if they go bad they get noisy and can cause stiff/hard steering. a bad spool valve will not cause a fluid leak.

You still have air. The vacuum bleed will do you new good.
While moving very slowly, turn the steering lock to lock several times. You might need to repeat this over a day or two.

Did you flush the fluid right out of the cooler by removing the line?

Much appreciate your replies. The hose from the cooler to the pump I removed @ the pump and inserted a length of clear tubing into the hose ( a nice tight fit ) so I can see the color of the fluid. Closed off pump return inlet with the rubber cap that came with new pump and proceeded to add fluid to pump and turn over engine ( disconnected ignition ) in short bursts while watching level and chking color.
As for the "bad spool valve", would this "noise" be heard while car is idling? or just when turning the wheel?
And finally, I see that there's a few of you who put no faith in the "vacuum pump" method so I will box the pump for awhile and go the "old school" way of bleeding. Thanks again. have a good weekend. gk

my experience with bad spool valves is that they only made noise when turning the wheel. my assumption is that the valves purpose is to direct the power steering pump supplied pressure in the direction necessary to provide power assist when turning right or left.

Thanks again Koda2000, appreciate you taking the time for the reply. Guess I'll just have a little more patience and see if the air will work its way out on its own. Will just stay in the slow lane and keep the speed below 35 for a while. :)