BAD Power Steering fluid leak...Please help

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by playboyracer, Sep 23, 2004.


  1. playboyracer

    playboyracer Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Stationed in N.C.
    Ive just recently returned from a six month deployment from Iraq. My cars been sitting the entire time without being started. Afew days ago i checked the car out and noticed my once small power steering fluid leak on the left side engine bay, has turned into a nightmare. Its leaking the entire resevior in about a five minute drive. I know, I know, I should have taken care of it before i left. At the time (pre-deployment phase) uncle Sam was focused on training for the obvious. That and my wife (pregnant at the time) was driving me up a wall. Anyway, ive already put it on a lift and inspected the area, but its so grime built up, i cant pin point the problem. My guess is that its a leaky hose or loose connection. Has anyone experienced this before? Any suggestions, comments or answers. PLEASE HELLLLLLP!!!
    #1
  2. HISSIN50

    HISSIN50 "How long does it take to get help in here? SN Certified Technician

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 1999
    Messages:
    31,148
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    79
    i would do what you propose. clean it up real good. then top it off and have someone sit in the car and turn the wheel while you stand there and watch the pump. look for fresh snail trails (be careful and all that stuff).

    not much else one can tell you from a screen. i might pay close attention to the high pressure hose - also make sure they are all tight (low side has a hose clamp, as do the 'cooler' lines).

    good luck and glad to hear you made it back safely. :)
    #2
  3. playboyracer

    playboyracer Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Stationed in N.C.
    Thanks HISSIN50, its good to be back and i'll try that tomorrow sometime and get back to you with my results. Anyone else have any input???
    #3
  4. 2000xp8

    2000xp8 Mustang Master

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2003
    Messages:
    5,424
    Likes Received:
    236
    Trophy Points:
    104
    Location:
    NJ
    I've seen it leak in many places.

    From the inner tie rod, worn hoses, from the pump housing (where the plastic meets the metal).

    If it's losing that much, like as said above, power wash it with a good degreaser, fill it up and have a friend steer the car while you are under it (safely of course) as soon as he steers the pressure will cause the leak to get bad and there it is.
    #4
  5. mikegt93

    mikegt93 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Longwood, Florida
    I would change both the high pressure and return hose. I had a leak in my return hose after I changed it the high pressure hose went. If you have to do one might as well do both.
    #5
  6. 2000xp8

    2000xp8 Mustang Master

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2003
    Messages:
    5,424
    Likes Received:
    236
    Trophy Points:
    104
    Location:
    NJ
    Agreed, i was going to say that, but wasn't sure what his budget is. Because there's still a chance that the leak is not a hose, and with a wife and newborn he may not want to be throwing money around.
    #6
  7. playboyracer

    playboyracer Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Stationed in N.C.
    Alright, ive got the degreaser but its gonna have to wait til tuesday. Thats next day i'll have access to a lift. Thanks again for the input and ill let you all know how it turns out.
    #7
  8. playboyracer

    playboyracer Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Stationed in N.C.
    Alright, it was finally nice enough out for me to clean up the underneath out the car. Great news...I found the leak! Its pouring out of some type of medal tubing near the front passenger side axle. My only problem now is how to go about replacing that tube or buying some type of sealant as a temp fix. Thought about taping, but she deserves better than that. I havent made it to Autozone yet, but does anyone have any suggestions?
    #8
  9. HISSIN50

    HISSIN50 "How long does it take to get help in here? SN Certified Technician

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 1999
    Messages:
    31,148
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    79
    is there a front passenger side axle? as far as i recall, there is not PS stuff on the pass side - unless you are leaking out the pass end of the rack.
    #9
  10. 2000xp8

    2000xp8 Mustang Master

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2003
    Messages:
    5,424
    Likes Received:
    236
    Trophy Points:
    104
    Location:
    NJ
    Ya, sounds to me like it's coming from the inner tie rod, i've seen that before. Not a hard fix, but measure carefully so you don't screw the alignment up.
    #10
  11. playboyracer

    playboyracer Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Stationed in N.C.
    Hissin, i stand corrected. Im sure thats whats i was trying to describe, i could find the proper terminology im still learning. All i know is that its a small diameter metal tube attached to the rack that leads to the front passenger tire assembly. Weather permiting, tomorrow i'll get under the car and take a pic to post for you guys.
    2000xp8, what do you mean by measure? Will i need to cut the tubing to replace it? Or can it be purchased at a store? (I'll ask Autozone later)
    Thanks guys...
    #11
  12. 2000xp8

    2000xp8 Mustang Master

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2003
    Messages:
    5,424
    Likes Received:
    236
    Trophy Points:
    104
    Location:
    NJ
    Now it sounds even more like the inner tie rod. I'ts a pain to get off, you are going to need some good channel locks and or vice grips.

    I say measure because you'll be unscrewing the outer tie rod (which you'll also need to completely remove) so your aligment will be off, and you'll want to put it back on in the exact same spot.
    #12
  13. HISSIN50

    HISSIN50 "How long does it take to get help in here? SN Certified Technician

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 1999
    Messages:
    31,148
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    79
    PB racer - dont sweat the terminology. :) accurately describing the part is more much better than incorrectly assuming the name of a part. :)

    i will toss out an alternative to what 2000 said. if one inner tie rod is gone, the other might not be far. for the price of two inners, not much more money gets one a remanufactured rack from a parts store. this should include new inner tie rods (but not outers).
    just an idea - good luck.
    #13
  14. 2000xp8

    2000xp8 Mustang Master

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2003
    Messages:
    5,424
    Likes Received:
    236
    Trophy Points:
    104
    Location:
    NJ
    Agreed, i probably should of said that in the first place. If the rack is old enough that it's leaking, it's probably shot anyway. I gave the cheap answer because 10 years ago when i was a broke kid, i would of just fixed one tie rod.

    When my rack when about 4 years ago, i got an agr 15:1 road race rack from summit, superfast, super easy resistance (almost too easy). cost 250. But a stock remanufactured rack should probably cost you around 120 or so from a chain auto store.
    #14
  15. jrichker

    jrichker StangNet's favorite TOOL SN Certified Technician Founding Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2000
    Messages:
    21,602
    Likes Received:
    359
    Trophy Points:
    134
    Location:
    Dublin GA
    sounds like the pressure/return line on the rack has sprung a leak. It may or may not be repairable.

    The two inner tie rod ends are usually what wears out, and at $45 each, it's better to get a replacement rack assembly since they are part of the package. The rack is about $100 + a $40 refundable core charge, which you get back when you return the old rack. Be sure to ask for the GT or high performance rack, it has fewer turns lock to lock than the standard rack.

    The flex coupling for the steering shaft needs to be disconnected before you can get the rack out. You should disassemble the coupling by undoing the 2 bolts that hold it together. The lower part of the coupling will then come out with the rack, and can easily be removed.

    The tie rod ends can be removed with a tool that looks like a giant "pickle fork", it's less than $8, or some stores will rent/loan one. Remove the cotter pin & nut on the tie end, stick the tool between the rod end and the arm it connects and hammer away. The bigger the hammer, the easier it comes apart.

    Remove the two bolts that bolt the rack assembly to the frame and then pull the rack down. Get a catch pan to dump the fluid in when you disconnect the hydraulic lines.

    To change the tie rod ends, do them one at a time. Loosen the jam nut 1/4 turn, then unscrew the tie rod end from the rack. Turn the jam nut back 1/4 turn to return it to its original position. With the tie rod end removed, use a machinist square to measure the distance between the end of the threaded rod and the jam nut. Sit the bottom of the square against the end of the threaded rod, and the end of the blade of the square against the jam nut. Duplicate the measurement on the new rack and then install the tie rod end and tighten the jam nut. Then do the other side: the front end will need aligning , but the toe in will be close enough to the setting of the original rack to drive.

    Buy several extra quarts of fluid to run through the system to flush it when you change the rack. Fill the pump up, start the car, and turn the wheels lock to lock to bleed the air out. Then stop the engine, disconnect the low pressure hose (the one that is secured with a hose clamp) and drain the pump. Re-connect, refill and do it several more times or until the fluid looks clear and not burnt or black.
    #15
  16. playboyracer

    playboyracer Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Stationed in N.C.
    Guys thanks alot for the the great feedback. Unfortunately i was unable to take the pic yesterday due a large amount of rain that was forced my way by hurricane Jeane. Today looks alot better so i'll try to get it later. Ive got good news, yesterday i finally had the opportunity to picked up a Chiltons manual. On page 8-31 it has and exploded view of the rack and pinion assembly (couldnt find it in my Haynes manual). I identified the part that i was trying to explain above as the "LEFT TURN TRANSFER TUBE" (part #36). I went to salvage yard to in hopes of getting that single part as opposed to the entire rack. Just my luck, they didnt have it. Tryed afew other parts places, they kindly informed me that i couldnt purchase the part seperately from the rack. With my parts search looking pretty dismal, i decided to call the one place a do-it-yourselfer wants to call. Not the mechanic, the dreaded dealership!! Surprising enough they were able to order the part and for an unbelievable $9! The part should be here tomorrow. I'll keep you guys informed of my progress, though im assuming it shouldnt be to difficult. I hope im not wrong. Again thansk for all of the feedback.
    #16
  17. playboyracer

    playboyracer Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Stationed in N.C.
    Alright, i picked up the replacement part earlier today and swaped out the transfer tubes. It took about an hour or so, it wasnt much room to manuver. But i finally got it done. Took some pics but the files are too big so i cant post them or i havent figured it out yet. Well the leak is fixxed for now but my power steering pump is still whining pretty loud. I think the bearings are shut so i'll probably need another one soon. Thanks again for all your feedback, i hope i can return the favor.
    #17
  18. 2000xp8

    2000xp8 Mustang Master

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2003
    Messages:
    5,424
    Likes Received:
    236
    Trophy Points:
    104
    Location:
    NJ
    No prob, when you get another power steering pump do yourself a favor and don't get a chain store pump, get an agr or a real ford one, so you don't need to replace it again in 3 months.

    It sounds like the pump ran dry. and damage occured
    #18
  19. Kakyn

    Kakyn New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    2
    I have a 2004 GT with twin turbos that has been heavily modified and when I purchased the car did not receive any information about it. I am having a horrible time trying to find the lines that go to the rack and pinion. The ford place said that they are discontinued. Also, I can not find the name of the tool that you remove the fittings with? PLEASE HELP! I just had to have the transmission replaced and then the power steering and brakes went out. I am at my wits end. :(
    #19
  20. jrichker

    jrichker StangNet's favorite TOOL SN Certified Technician Founding Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2000
    Messages:
    21,602
    Likes Received:
    359
    Trophy Points:
    134
    Location:
    Dublin GA
    Sorry, I have no experience with Mustangs except Fox body 1979-1993. I suggest you try the local auto parts stores or www.rockauto.com
    #20

Share This Page