Power steering hose?

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by rdharper02, May 4, 2009.


  1. rdharper02

    rdharper02 Member

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    I need some help from someone who knows about the power steering in our foxes. I just replaced the line I thought, and hoped, was bad. Unfortunately it was the wrong line. What I need to know is what are the four lines coming into the rack? From the drivers wheel well, I have two lines toward the firewall amd two lines toward the radiator. I assume that the one I need to replace (firewall/passenger side on mounting surface) is a high pressure line (due to the jet of fluid coming out of it), but can not find a listing for anything other than the other high pressure line I replaced. Can anyone verify this is high pressure? Can anyone tell me what line this is and where the other end terminates?
    #1
  2. jrichker

    jrichker StangNet's favorite TOOL SN Certified Technician Founding Member

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    The cooler (radiator connected) lines are the low pressure lines.

    [​IMG]

    Power steering hose replacement 87-93 Mustang

    Do not attempt to do this job without good jackstands.


    The return hoses are all low pressure and are most commonly secured to the pump and associated plumbing with worm gear hose clamps. After a while they will frequently soften up at the end where they are clamped, and should be replaced. The auto parts store will sell you hose by the foot and it takes about 3 feet or less, depending if you have the fluid cooler in the low pressure side of the line.

    Each hose uses an O ring on each end to seal them. The hoses will swivel when they are installed and tightened into place. That is why there are O rings on the fittings. The O ring is the part that actually makes the pressure seal. If you slide the nut all the way back as far as it will go, you will see the O ring and the groove cut into the center section of the fitting.
    [​IMG]

    Sometimes you will get some white Teflon rings with the pump or rack. The rings go on the threaded part of the fitting to reduce or prevent small leaks. They are not meant to seal the pressure part of the line or substitute for the rubber O ring. Heat the white Teflon seals in hot water and they will be easier to install. You can install the fittings without them and not have any leaks if the O rings seal good.

    You may find it is easier to drop the rack down to get to the hose fittings. 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.

    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. I replaced the rack mount bushings with some Energy Suspension urethane ones. When you re-install the rack assembly, put the rear bushings in the rack assembly and lift it into place. Then install the front bushings & washers and tighten down the nuts. Doing it this way makes room for the hydraulic lines without having them bind against the frame.

    Time to do the job:
    It takes 20 minutes to get the car up on jackstands.
    It takes 20 minutes to disconnect the steering joint (rag joint). WD40 is your friend, so squirt the 2 rag joint coupler bolts with plenty of it. Do not attempt to disconnect the rag joint from the rack by removing the clamp joint bolt. It is hard to get apart and hard to align and put back together.

    It takes 10 minutes to remove the two mount bolts that secure the steering rack to the k member.

    It takes 10 minutes to remove the front rubber bushings and washers from the rack to K member mount so that you can slide the rack forward and then down.
    You do not need to disconnect the rack from the tie rod ends, or remove the tie rod ends from the steering knuckles.

    It takes 5 minutes per hydraulic line to disconnect them from the rack. Get a catch pan to dump the fluid in when you disconnect the hydraulic lines.

    Total disassembly time roughly 1 1/2 hour, allowing time for some of the bolts to be rusty or hard to turn...

    Figure a little more to reinstall and you have 2 3/4 to 3 hours total time. It you have an impact wrench, subtract 20-30 minutes from the total time

    Attached Files:

    #2
  3. rdharper02

    rdharper02 Member

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    J,
    once again, thanks for being the only one to reply to an un exciting thread. The line that is leaking (in your schematic) is the blue line. I dont know much about hydraulic systems, so I assume the steering shaft controls a valve body and the two (your red and blue lines) act as pressure lines. Can I purchase these anywhere, or do I need to pay a hundred dollars to buy a new rack?
    #3
  4. jrichker

    jrichker StangNet's favorite TOOL SN Certified Technician Founding Member

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    According to the shop manual I have, there is a plastic seal on each of the fittings for the hard lines. I suspect that the seals are a Ford dealership item, although they may simply be an O ring. I have never removed one of the hard lines, so I can't say for sure.
    #4
  5. LiquidGT

    LiquidGT Member

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    I unscrewed the hardline on my rack, it's just like a brake line from what I remember, no O-rings or washers. ...But that was on a '00 GT rack, which physically looks the same except for the steering shaft connection.
    #5
  6. LXstang5.0

    LXstang5.0 New Member

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    i was just replacing my lines too and i was wondering how important is the cooler for the PS lines on our cars? mine was pinched and i tried to unkink it but i ddint really work so now i dont have one....not trying to steal the thread:nice:
    #6
  7. rdharper02

    rdharper02 Member

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    Well gents, I probably could have bent one up, but just dont have the time. I bought another rack at Autozone for a little over a hundred.

    For J and those that have tried to help, thanks.
    #7
  8. jrichker

    jrichker StangNet's favorite TOOL SN Certified Technician Founding Member

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    A length of 3/8" copper tubing rolled up to make 4 or 5 smooth, neat turns would make a pretty good substitute for the PS cooler. Try coiling the tubing around a paint can or something similar to make the coils.
    #8
  9. LiquidGT

    LiquidGT Member

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    FWIW I used a tranny cooler from a limo that I found in the junkyard to upgrade the stock "power steering cooler". Any small 3/8" tube trans cooler will do.
    #9
  10. Aye_plus

    Aye_plus New Member

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    I didnt want to create a new thread so i figured id post here since this thread is the most informative.
    So let me get this straight. BOTH ends have an O ring? The kit came with 2 but i figured the second O ring was for a different style connecting end. It took me a good while to connect the end closest to the rack but it looked like i did it right. When i turn it on, it began to drip. I would feel better knowing that an O ring goes on that end and have to spends another hour connecting that end, then having stripped that connector :(
    #10
  11. jrichker

    jrichker StangNet's favorite TOOL SN Certified Technician Founding Member

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    Any threaded hose connector on the power steering is supposed to have an O ring.
    #11
  12. Aye_plus

    Aye_plus New Member

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    So that other ring wasn't just there as an extra. Guess I'll get back under there then :(
    Thanks.

    Edit*
    I got back under there and slipped the other ring on and tightened it back up and it appears that the leak has stopped! I love how the second time is always the quickest. Took be about 45min. I removed the driver tire this time.
    #12
  13. Mark Cappello

    Mark Cappello New Member

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    Hello, I have a few questions. The information that you wrote doesn't match the picture that you posted about the return and pressure hoses. The pic shows the high pressure line coming from the nipple on the bottom of the pump directly to the rack, and the lower pressure line going to the cooler and then to the rack. I think This pic is wrong. But you have it correct when you word it at the top of your reply that the its the low pressure lines coming from the nipple on pump to cooler to rack. The high pressure line is the one piece hose that connects to the side of the pump directly to the rack. My question is that they sell return hose as just plain hose that connects from the pump to the cooler. But isn't it a special line that runs from the cooler to the rack? Where can you get that hose? and is there a o ring seal on that end?
    #13
  14. jrichker

    jrichker StangNet's favorite TOOL SN Certified Technician Founding Member

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    The picture shows the flow and not necessarily the exact position of the lines. The return hose is often plain fuel line type hose that uses clamps to secure it to the reusable fittings. The reusable return line fittings still use O rings if they are the swivel type fittings that allows free movement of the hose when th fitting is tightened properly.
    #14
  15. Mark Cappello

    Mark Cappello New Member

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    I have a 93 mustang convertible and having power steering issues. The pump went dry and air got in, and it was hard to steer. The underneath was all grimey but not wet and I couldnt tell where the leak came from. I filled it with fluid, and turned the wheel lock to lock to get the air out. But where does the air come out? There is a hole in the ps cap. Is that where the air comes out? I thought the cap is a non vented cap? why does it have a hole? About 2 months later, it was empty again. I sprayed gunk all under the car, on all the lines, fittings, hoses, etc. I cleaned them all with a rag and got everything pretty clean. I can't find a leak anywhere. The fluid is kinda black and milky. Is there a bleeder valve somewhere on the rack? I used power steering fluid that says it was for ford. I heard that i should use ford type f transmission fluid. Which should I use? I'm guessing that the first time it went dry, i didnt get the air out. and the hole in the ps cap was clogged with dirt, so the air couldn't escape, and it pushed the fluid out the return hose or somewhere else. I'm about to just replace all the hoses, and ps pump, and rack, if i cant find the leak. Don't want to mess with steering not working. Oh and the rag joint looks like it needs replaced too, its rusty, paint peeling up, and the shaft looks kinda thin like metal has been eaten away. Any suggestions?
    #15
  16. jrichker

    jrichker StangNet's favorite TOOL SN Certified Technician Founding Member

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    The leak may be inside the tie rod cover boots. That would make it difficult to spot on casual examination. The bleeding procedure pumps the air back to the reservoir where it escapes through the cap.


    Power steering overview:

    You may find it is easier to drop the rack down to get to the hose fittings. 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.

    Time to do the job:
    It takes 20 minutes to get the car up on jackstands.
    It takes 20 minutes to disconnect the steering joint (rag joint). WD40 is your friend, so squirt the 2 rag joint coupler bolts with plenty of it. Do not attempt to disconnect the rag joint from the rack by removing the clamp joint bolt. It is hard to get apart and hard to align and put back together.

    It takes 10 minutes to remove the two mount bolts that secure the steering rack to the k member.

    It takes 10 minutes to remove the front rubber bushings and washers from the rack to K member mount so that you can slide the rack forward and then down.
    You do not need to disconnect the rack from the tie rod ends, or remove the tie rod ends from the steering knuckles.

    It takes 5 minutes per hydraulic line to disconnect them from the rack. Get a catch pan to dump the fluid in when you disconnect the hydraulic lines.

    Total disassembly time roughly 1 1/2 hour, allowing time for some of the bolts to be rusty or hard to turn...

    Figure a little more to reinstall and you have 2 3/4 to 3 hours total time. It you have an impact wrench, subtract 20-30 minutes from the total time

    Power Steering pump replacement:
    You will need to rent or buy a PS steering puller. The PS pulley has a ridge that the puller seats on. Then you crank the screw on the middle of the puller to get the pulley off the shaft.

    [​IMG]

    You can rent the tool at Autozone or other auto parts stores.

    I have used a bearing separator & harmonic balancer puller together to do the job.

    Use this tool to put it back on...

    [​IMG]

    I usually just use the bolt that comes with the new PS pump.

    Each hose uses an O ring on each end to seal them. The hoses will swivel when they are installed and tightened into place. That is why there are O rings on the fittings. The O ring is the part that actually makes the pressure seal. If you slide the nut all the way back as far as it will go, you will see the O ring and the groove cut into the center section of the fitting. The auto parts stores I tried seemed to have a problem finding the correct O ring for the pump end high pressure fitting. I had persistent leaks until I gave up and replaced the hose assembly.
    [​IMG]

    Sometimes you will get some white Teflon rings with the pump or rack. The rings go on the threaded part of the fitting to reduce or prevent small leaks. They are not meant to seal the pressure part of the line or substitute for the rubber O ring. Heat the white Teflon seals in hot water and they will be easier to install. You can install the fittings without them and not have any leaks if the O rings seal good.

    [​IMG]

    The return hoses are all low pressure and are most commonly secured to the pump and associated plumbing with worm gear hose clamps. After a while they will frequently soften up at the end where they are clamped, and should be replaced. The auto parts store will sell you hose by the foot and it takes about 3 feet or less, depending if you have the fluid cooler in the low pressure side of the line.

    You may find it is easier to drop the rack down to get to the hose fittings. If you try and do it with the rack in place it takes about 20 minutes per fitting to loosen them with a fancy Snap-On 45/65 degree angle head open end wrench. Putting them back on takes even longer. 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.

    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. I replaced the rack mount bushings with some Energy Suspension urethane ones. When you re-install the rack assembly, put the rear bushings in the rack assembly and lift it into place. Then install the front bushings & washers and tighten down the nuts. Doing it this way makes room for the hydraulic lines without having them bind against the frame.


    Steering rack replacement
    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 removing 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. Dropping the rack before attempting to remove the hydraulic lines with save you 30-45 minutes of fussing and sweating, and you’re going to have to remove them anyway. Get a catch pan to dump the fluid in when you disconnect the hydraulic lines. I replaced the rack mount bushings with some Energy Suspension urethane ones. When you re-install the rack assembly, put the rear bushings in the rack assembly and lift it into place. Then install the hydraulic lines, front bushings & washers and tighten down the nuts. Doing it this way makes room for the hydraulic lines without having them bind against the frame.

    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 to the alignment shop.

    Buy several extra quarts of fluid to run through the system to flush it when you change the rack. The car needs to be up on jackstands for the next step. 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.

    Power steering pressure lines:
    Each hose uses an O ring on each end to seal them. The hoses will swivel when they are installed and tightened into place. That is why there are O rings on the fittings. The O ring is the part that actually makes the pressure seal. If you slide the nut all the way back as far as it will go, you will see the O ring and the groove cut into the center section of the fitting.

    [​IMG]

    Sometimes you will get some white Teflon rings with the pump or rack. The rings go on the threaded part of the fitting to reduce or prevent small leaks. They are not meant to seal the pressure part of the line or substitute for the rubber O ring. Heat the white Teflon seals in hot water and they will be easier to install. You can install the fittings without them and not have any leaks if the O rings seal good.
    #16
  17. Mark Cappello

    Mark Cappello New Member

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    #17
  18. Mark Cappello

    Mark Cappello New Member

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    Hello, I removed the pressure line from the pump and the rack and I don't see the o rings, there is no way to push that threaded nut back. I got a new pump today and it came with o ring and white teflon ring but there is no way to push that nut back to expose the o ring. the same thing on the steel portion of the return line that screwed into the rack. i took that off too and no way to get to that o ring either. took pics so that you can see what i mean. I figure if i buy a new pressure line it should have new o rings installed on each end, so that i will only have to install the white ring on each end. but that doesn't solve the return line that screws into the rack because they don't sell that. i s tried to upload pics but keep getting errors.
    #18
  19. Mark Cappello

    Mark Cappello New Member

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    Okay another piece to the puzzle, I went to autozone and picked up a new pressure line, and its exactly like my old hose, and there are instructions with the new hose, and NO rubber orings included just the white teflon rings. In the illustration instructions for the new pressure hose, it shows 3 different types of connections. type 1 and type 2 have the visible o ring that when the nut is pushed back is exposed and is replaceable. Type 3 shows NO o ring. I'm not sure if there is one thats built into it and not replaceable, or if there isn't one at all in TYPE 3. So a new pressure hose solves the issue of the o rings at the pump end and rack end. BUT the return line that attaches to the rack is also a TYPE 3 connection. But they don't sell that section of return steel line at any store. So if you take it off, you need a new white teflon ring, but will it go back on and not leak? Or can i get that part at Ford?
    #19
  20. mikestang63

    mikestang63 Mustang Master

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    Great advice as always... Ive used varuous size old pulleys to make bends in fuel and brake line without kinking them.
    #20

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