Project X = Power Steering with AGR Pump | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Project X = Power Steering with AGR Pump


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Elite In Memoriam
March 4, 2007
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City, State
anaheim hills,california
Year, Model & Trim Level
95 ranger 4x4/ 91 X 4x4
This is also a "How to Bleed a Power Steering System" thread

...My power steering system took a dump literally...The seals on the steering gear had leaked all all my fluid out even with the help of the Lucas, there was no saving it...It was time for replacements...

...I did the usual search's at the parts store's online for the usual replacement parts then, I noticed Autozone of all places had a couple performance power steering pumps...:scratch:...So this got me into to reviewing the differences in the performance pumps until I found AGR's site and began reading...

"Choices for Ford Trucks are very limited. About the only way to improve steering performance is to install a well-built O.E. steering box and add a Super Pump. AGR only offers a premium remanufactured O.E. steering box to replace the Ford type steering box. Due to the fact that steering boxes manufactured by Ford Motor Co. were never used in any performance or racing applications, no performance and / or modified components were ever produced. Adding to the equation, the scarcity of certain steering boxes prevents new components from being available. AGR steering boxes are manufactured with the highest quality new parts where available and all core components are thoroughly inspected and reconditioned. This is not your typical remanufactured steering box you get at your local auto part store."

...I elected to go with the OE replacement for the steering box instead of the $330 AGR box...But the search on AGR's site turned up this performance pump for $130 so I went back to Autozones site where it read...

Part Number: 809156

Pump with reservoir The AGR Ford pump is professionally remanufactured With a new cam-pack, ported and tuned for maximum flow and 1500PSI, completed with a vibratory finished housing and new reservoir.

...I can get this locally and save time and money doing it...It was time for an upgrade...:bounce:

..On to the pics and the project..:hammer:








Notes and Answers:

...How much fluid does it take to fill a new power steering system?
36 fluid ounces

Why did you use "Royal Purple" instead of ATF?
...Note found in box on install instructions...

"Use only clear, name brand, premium, racing or synthetic power steering fluid, such as Royal Purple or Red Line. Do not use transmission fluid, as transmission fluid does not contain the same friction inhibitors/additives and tends to breakdown and overheat. Use of transmission fluid will void warranty.

Is this AGR swap a direct bolt on replacement for the stock steering pump without any modifications?

How long did it take to swap out the Power Steering gear, pump, and hoses?
2 1/4 hours

How long did it take to bleed the whole system?
45 minutes

Is the AGR power steering pump quieter than normal OE pumps?
...I have installed several Ford power steering pumps over the years on several different pick ups...Most all of the pumps say they take 500 miles for break in and the noise should quiet down by then...This is the first pump I have ever had that was quiet form the start...;)

Did you notice any improvement from a normal pump?
...It seems that the whole new system was about the same except, when turning my 35's it seems effortless and quiet...I have not had the opportunity to take my X off road yet but will update when I do..(My old system sounded like a tank with the locker engaged)


Bleeding instructions that came with this AGR pump...

When to bleed:

- After any steering component replacement.

- If any part of the power steering system is opened for any reason.

Why to bleed:

- To prevent pump damage.

- To ensure proper system operation.

- To stop steering systemnoise.

Before bleeding:

- Carefully inspect steering system.

- Hoses must not touch any other part of vehicle. Steering system noise could be caused by hose touching frame, body, or engine.

- All hose connections must be tight. Loose connections might not leak, but could allow air into system. Do not over tighten o-ring hoses as the o-ring might be crushed. Check flare seat type connections for exact fit.

How to bleed:

1) Do not start the engine until system is fully bled. Doing so may cause damage to the power steering components. Pump internals are metal on metal. Any air in the system can cause metal on metal contact and damage.

2) Raise the front wheels off the ground, or remove the pitman arm or tie rod.

3) Turn steering wheel to the full left.

4) Fill fluid reservoir to "full cold" level. Leave cap off.

(above posted Royal Purple note was found here)

5) With an assistant checking the fluid level and condition, turn the steering wheel lock to lock until fluid level drops in pump reservoir. If fluid level has not dropped, no fluid has moved through the system. This normally indicates a large bubble in the system reservoir or pump. Until this passes, no fluid will circulate through the system.

- On systems with coolers, winches, Rock Ram assist, you may need to cycle in excess of 40 times.

- Do not turn the steering wheel fast as this will cause the fluid to overflow the reservoir. Trapped air may cause fluid to overflow. Thoroughly clean any spilled fluid to allow for leak check.

6) Check fluid constantly to ensure proper level and that no bubbles exist.

- If you see any signs of bubbles, recheck all connections then repeat the steps above.

- Fluid level should be steady (Rock Ram's level will vary slightly).

7) Disable engine from starting. (Non hydro boost brake systems)

- crank wheel several revolutions. If fluid level drops, there is compressed air trapped in the system. Repeat above steps until fluid level is stable.

- If fluid foams while cranking, wait 10 minutes or more until dispersed air has time to accumulate and purge through the reservoir.

8) Continue steps above until fluid level remains constant and no air bubbles are visible.

9) If you have a hydro boost brake system continue, if not skip to 11

11) Reinstall reservoir cap

12) Return wheels to center.

13) Lower front wheels to ground or install pitman arm or tie rod if removed in Step 2.

14) Start and run engine for two minutes. Turn Steering wheel in both directions.

15) Do not hold steering wheel against the stops.

16) Verify the following conditions:

- Smooth power assist.

- Noiseless operation.

-Proper fluid level.

- No system leaks.

- Proper fluid condition.

- No bubbles, foam, or discoloration.

17) If all conditions are satisfied, the bleeding procedure is complete.

18) If any problems exists, turn off engine, and see Special Conditions below.

Special Conditions:

If you experience any of the conditions listed below, there is still air in the system.

- Foam or bubbles in fluid (fluid must be completely free of bubbles).

- Power steering fluid should not rise in the reservoir when engine is turned off. If this occurs, there is trapped air in the system.

- Be alert to periodic bubbles that could indicate a loose connection, leaky o-ring, or a bad flare seat in either the pressure or return hose.

- Discolored fluid. (milky, opaque, or light tan color)

Eliminating Air in the Power Steering System

1) Turn Ignition off. Wait thirty minutes. Recheck hose connections. Repeat start up procedures. If problem still exists, replace or check for possible causes including.

- Return hose clamps.

- Return hose o-ring or flare seat.

- Pressure hose o-ring or flare seat.

- Any other connections.

2) Fill system and repeat bleed procedure for each possible cause.

Eliminating Noise in the Power Steering System:

- If you hear a pump whining or groaning noise originating from the pump after all air is out of system (if air is not out, then see Special Conditions), then do the following.

1) Check belts for slippage.

2) Mark pulley and make sure it is not slipping on the shaft.

3) With the engine running, recheck hoses for possible contact with frame, body, or engine. If no contact is found, cool fluid and repressurize system.

4) After cooling fluid, start engine to come up to operating temperature. recheck.

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If only i had this thread to reference a few months ago for my 91. Your how-to threads are always so full of helpful info.

...Thank you ...I'll keep adding "How to" threads here as long as they can be of use to others..:salute:

...And I personally looked for the steering fluid capacity and could only find, "about 1 bottle" posted by 410fortune...None of the parts stores or even the Haynes manual had this info...

...The day I opened the AGR box up and started reading, A new search began trying to find Royal Purple or Red Line power steering fluid locally...I was told that Red Line only sells it by the case so the stores don't bother stocking it...

...I had to go to my local speed shop to find the Royal Purple and they sent a driver out to get me 4 bottles...I was rewarded by having to wait an hour at a place that was packed full of Project Street rods under construction and a parade of them coming in and out...:biggthump

..:scratch:..I think they said the Royal Purple power steering fluid was like $7 bucks for a 12 oz. bottle, but they sold me 4-12 oz. bottles for $17 ....:D

Nice writeup!

...I thought you would appreciate it..;)

...I have been reading a lot of your writings on steering the last couple of years as I've been looking to upgrade mine...This is a good start but for the more serious off road use, they have this also to offer...

The AGR ROCKRAM* System features all the performance upgrades included with the improved streering gearbox and Ford Super Pump plus the addition of the ROCK RAM* cylinder. Adding the Ram Cylinder effectively doubles the turning force available. The ROCKRAM* makes short work of turning oversize tires, even 44s. In addition to doubling the turning force the Ram Cylinder becomes a powered steering stabilizer. The ROCKRAM* cylinder holds the tires in line, eliminating most tire shimmy and wobble. Tests have shown that the ROCKRAM* actually increases tire life by reducing or eliminating tire cupping.

That RockRam is nice but a bit on the high side as far as price goes. You can get a hydraulic cylinder for $50-$200 depending on the specs (single ended vs double ended, bore diameter, ends, etc...).

...It would be a long time before you see me part with that kind of money...:D

...:scratch:...But maybe one day I will add the hydro assist to my X...

I wish they had a direct bolt up for the 5.0. I contacted them a month ago and they said they'd "probably" have an option for me, but it might take a few mods to make it happen.

I'm getting pretty tired of my whiney pump.

Great write up.

I'm getting pretty tired of my whiney pump.
The 5.0 uses a pretty universal pump unlike the 4.0 SOHC so bolt-in aftermarket support is cake.

The 5.0 uses a pretty universal pump unlike the 4.0 SOHC so bolt-in aftermarket support is cake.

Good to know.

I'm very weak mechanically. The guy who responded to me at AGR got all techno on me so I didn't have a clue what he was talking about with respect to any customizing I'd need to do to make an AGR pump to work. Life would be simpler if they just had a part # for the 5.0. :D

...I just looked and it looks like both of their pumps are for 97 and older for the Explorer and the Rangers..:(

..I did find out that the pump for my 91 X 4.0L, is also the very same pump for my 95 Ranger 2.3L..:biggthump

The steering pump on my '00 Explorer 5.0 is COMPLETELY quiet...the steering pump on my '99 Ranger 4.0 OHV is WHINEY. I could have sworn I heard that the 5.0 pump with the remote reservoir is a direct bolt-on for my Ranger...except I need to find a spot to mount the reservoir...anyone hear about this?

...My old pump was still quiet while driving around locally, in fact, I kept it for a spare for my Ranger...

...This is the only other Power Steering pump that AGR sells found in this thread...I am not sure of all their Ford vehicles they fit though...

...EDIT:...I read your post wrong...:rolleyes:

...I just read your thread about your Ranger p.s. pump...That sounds like my results when previously replacing pumps from Ford...Those are the ones with the note in the box telling you they will be noisy for the first 500 miles..After 500 miles they sound basically the same..:mad:

...Take a look and just make sure your hoses are not able to touch anything also...Some times it's simple..

Sometimes fluid has a lot to do with how the pump sounds -- maybe try the GM fluid, its mineral oil based, or go synthetic.

IZ...Mercon V is we've got that covered, right?

Oh i didnt know you were using Mercon.

...Celly and 35Remmy, any updates on your steering issues???

My power steering system took a dump literally...The seals on the steering gear had leaked all all my fluid out even with the help of the Lucas, there was no saving it...It was time for replacements...

Why didnt you just replace the seals? Autozone sells those too, much cheaper and you dont even have to remove the box from the frame.

Nice writeup, if my pump ever goes out the AGR will go in.

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...Because...........I needed an excuse to start upgrading my steering ...:p:

..Plus, with the Aussie up front, I needed to make sure my steering system was at least up to par..:D