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Power Steering Fluid Replacement

Contributed By: Michael Baxter

You have a couple of choices as long as the fluid is clean and not burnt smelling. If you have a set of flare wrenches, you can undo the high pressure hose's compression fitting and then unscrew the pressure union. It is a pain to work behind the reservoir on an installed pump and you'll likely have to hold the pressure union nut to keep it from loosening while you undo the high pressure hose's compression fitting. Have a pan on the floor directly under the pump. The draining fluid will probably still make a mess.

The easy way and the way you have to do it if the fluid is questionable: You have to have 1/2 gallon or so of fluid on hand 1st. I buy PS fluid by the gallon.

  1. Jack-up the front so the wheels are off the ground.
  2. Disconnect the return hose (smaller diameter hose) from the pump reservoir and put it in a drain pan on floor. If it won't reach the pan, you should raise the pan up on something.
  3. Plug the return nipple on the reservoir with a vacuum cap or similar.
  4. Start the engine up for 5 seconds or so and let the PS pump pump the fluid through the steering box and into the pan. Keep starting it for very short intervals and then visually checking until the reservoir is as low as it will drain. Don't run the engine for very long with the reservoir dry and don't turn the steering wheel.
  5. Fill the reservoir with fresh fluid until the level is above the top of the pump body only.
  6. Start the engine again for a few seconds and turn the steering wheel a little left and then a little right while the engine is running.
  7. Repeat the two steps above until the fluid emptying into the pan is nice and fresh looking. This purges the old fluid out of the steering box. Again, don't run the engine with the reservoir dry for more than a few seconds. You can modify the procedure to turn the wheel left one time (not all the way to the stop though), refill and then to the right the next time. There are different fluid flow paths in the box for each direction.
  8. Reconnect the return hose to the reservoir.
  9. Turn the steering wheel to the full left position
  10. Add fluid to the reservoir until it is above the pump body again but, don't top it off.
  11. Start the engine.
  12. Recheck the reservoir while the engine is running and make sure the fluid level stays above the top of the pump body.
  13. Turn the steering wheel full left and full right without contacting the stops several times. This purges the system of air and you may feel momentary power assist interruptions while turning the wheel back and forth.
  14. Top of the reservoir using the marks on the dipstick.

    -- Michael Baxter, MBaxter@Compuserve.com
    http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/MBaxter
    From Reno, NV USA on 05-Mar-1999

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