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power steering EMPTY

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 78Suburban, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. 78Suburban

    78Suburban 1/2 ton status

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    When I bought the by burb a few months ago, I never really thought about checking the power steering fluid (I'm such a loser :crazy: ) .. checked it today with motor off and tires foward... Not 1 drop on the stick.. It seemed like the steering was a little quirkey :eek1: ... never would have thought I was running on empty... so
    1) what kinda fluid should I use, and types better than others?
    2) what did I mess up?
    3)are the rubber hoses and lines hard to replace

    thanks :bow:
    James
     
  2. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    I use ATF in my trucks power steering. It has always worked for me but I have heard that it is hard on the rubber seals in the steering system. They make power steering fluid that is the correct thing to use but it is more expensive.

    I use ATF because it is cheaper and so I don't have to carry around another kind of fluid in my truck.

    It isn't terribly hard to work on the power steering system but it can get pricey if you have to do alot of work. I would fill the system and see how it does. You need to bleed the system though if it is totally dry. Lift the front end of the truck off the ground and put it on jack stands. Then add fluid to the system and turn the wheels back and forth to pump the fluid around the system. Then top it off and do it again and again until it doesn't suck down anymore fluid.

    If the steering system is not working right after that then you can start replacing parts like the lines, pump, and box.

    Harley
     
  3. 78Suburban

    78Suburban 1/2 ton status

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  4. sunnyc123abc

    sunnyc123abc 1/2 ton status

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    i had the same thing happen, my stick was dry. but it seemed like the power steering was working fine, i added fluid and it felt the same way as it did dry... is it suppose to be like that
     
  5. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    whats wrong with adding fluid and cycling it out while its sitting on the ground? if its to save wear and tear on parts, you have to remember that he's been driving it for "a few months" without checking the fluid level. any damage that is going to be done, is already done.
     
  6. 78Suburban

    78Suburban 1/2 ton status

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    owned it a few months... driven it a total of 3 or 4 times
     
  7. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    You can do it on the ground but it is better to do it in the air. The hardest work you can put on your steering system is trying to cycle it while you are not moving especially if you have bigger then stock tires. It is also hard on the tires to turn them back and forth in the same spot without moving.

    Harley
     
  8. 85mudblazin

    85mudblazin 1/2 ton status

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    and the steering box if no hydro assist :crazy:
    I wouldnt sweat it if the pump hasnt been squeeling or anything, fill er up, jack er up and start turning lock to lock.
     
  9. 78Suburban

    78Suburban 1/2 ton status

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    so should the motor be running when I turn the wheel back and forth? do I turn it to one side and add a little atf, then to the other side and add a little atf, or what?
    please help clarify this procedure for the noob. thanks ;)
     
  10. 85mudblazin

    85mudblazin 1/2 ton status

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    jack up the truck and put it on jackstands.
    Fill pump till about 1" from the top of the resivour.
    Leave cap off
    Start truck and turn the wheel lock to lock about 5 times and check PS level, refill if needed, then just continue to turn lock to lock a good 20 times and call it good.

    As for the PS vs. ATF debate I run PS fluid for the fact that it is supposed to be able to handle higher temperatures better then ATF.
     
  11. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

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    Just because it doesn't read on the stick, doesn't mean it was "dry", just very low, but still enough to give you power steering, had mine like more than a few times, you would know if it was totally dry, and i have had it like that as well.

    I also only try to use the actual power steering fluid, if for some reason i am really low, or thats all thats available, then i use the atf.
     

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