Power Steering Fluid

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stevegintn
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Power Steering Fluid

Post by stevegintn » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:50 pm

Guys, a quickie - my power steering gearbox has been growling (but my car has not been driven for nearly a year).

When I pop the cover off the fluid reservoir (engine warm), the fluid looks like a milkshake - is that normal?
Steve G.
'62 TBird HT
'61 TBird HT (parts car)
'02 Sportrac 4x4
'49 Ford 8N

Cliff Rankin
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Re: Power Steering Fluid

Post by Cliff Rankin » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:34 pm

For the most part NO. If the fluid is foaming you have air in the system and that will cause the whine. On an old car , ok I can see it for a short period if the car has been setting up. Fords are notorious for the whine But no , if
You are foaming you are sucking air somewhere. Turning
The wheel from lock to lock bleeds the air. Sometimes
Walking away grabbing a beer , letting things settle helps.
Also check the low side line. Hope that helps.
Cliff

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RedBird64
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Re: Power Steering Fluid

Post by RedBird64 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:00 am

No, not normal at all.
I had some problems with mine. It was aerating the fluid and making noise when cold because of of a worn impeller in the PS pump (My fault -long story).
I flushed it and used a full synthetic Type F trans fluid by AMSoil and it solved all my problems. No foam and no noise!
Of course, if you have leak and it's sucking air, that will need to be fixed but mine was foamy without that issue and normal fluid would just foam again.

Scott
1964 Coupe Wimbledon white/Rangoon Red w/black int. Owned for 41 years. It was my folks car before that (second owners). VTCI # 12013.

stevegintn
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Re: Power Steering Fluid

Post by stevegintn » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:59 am

Many thanks, Cliff & RedBird04 - so other than the 2 rubber hoses, where else should I check for leaks?
Steve G.
'62 TBird HT
'61 TBird HT (parts car)
'02 Sportrac 4x4
'49 Ford 8N

MN63Tbird
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Re: Power Steering Fluid

Post by MN63Tbird » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:12 pm

There was a post thread last August that also talked about noisy power steering. Check that out too. My experience with the groaning noise at low RPM when you just start out was due to cavitation of the power steering pump. Cavitation is when you suck in air into the system on the suction side of the pump. The air gets compressed and then explodes when it hits the pump impeller. That causes the groaning or growling noise. Check your fittings and hose on the suction side of the pump ( reservoir to pump) . I noticed foam in my reservoir after driving and that was the source of the noise.

In my case the source of the foam was not the fittings but the reservoir filter was plugged causing the return fluid to foam. Replacing the filter and allowing just a little of pressure relief at the top of the reservoir cured the noise. Note: if you remove the filter you can also experience foaming much like running a hose of water into a bucket. You see some aeration occurring as the force of the fluid hits the wall. Better to keep the filter than removing it. After you stop the car with air in the lines it will rise to the high points in the lines. That is why turning your steering wheel back and forth and turning on your windshield wipers (for 63 T birds) ensures all the air is flushed out with fresh fluid.

MN63
1963 Thunderbird Hardtop
1966 Mustang Coupe A code

MN63Tbird
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Re: Power Steering Fluid

Post by MN63Tbird » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:14 pm

There was a post thread last August that also talked about noisy power steering. Check that out too. My experience with the groaning noise at low RPM when you just start out was due to cavitation of the power steering pump. Cavitation is when you suck in air into the system on the suction side of the pump. The air gets compressed and then explodes when it hits the pump impeller. That causes the groaning or growling noise. Check your fittings and hose on the suction side of the pump ( reservoir to pump) . I noticed foam in my reservoir after driving and that was the source of the noise.

In my case the source of the foam was not the fittings but the reservoir filter was plugged causing the return fluid to foam. Replacing the filter and allowing just a little of pressure relief at the top of the reservoir cured the noise. Note: if you remove the filter you can also experience foaming much like running a hose of water into a bucket. You see some aeration occurring as the force of the fluid hits the wall. Better to keep the filter than removing it. After you stop the car with air in the lines it will rise to the high points in the lines. That is why turning your steering wheel back and forth and turning on your windshield wipers (for 63 T birds) ensures all the air is flushed out with fresh fluid.

MN63
1963 Thunderbird Hardtop
1966 Mustang Coupe A code

stevegintn
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Re: Power Steering Fluid

Post by stevegintn » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:31 am

MN63Tbird wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:14 pm
There was a post thread last August that also talked about noisy power steering. Check that out too. My experience with the groaning noise at low RPM when you just start out was due to cavitation of the power steering pump. Cavitation is when you suck in air into the system on the suction side of the pump. The air gets compressed and then explodes when it hits the pump impeller. That causes the groaning or growling noise. Check your fittings and hose on the suction side of the pump ( reservoir to pump) . I noticed foam in my reservoir after driving and that was the source of the noise.

In my case the source of the foam was not the fittings but the reservoir filter was plugged causing the return fluid to foam. Replacing the filter and allowing just a little of pressure relief at the top of the reservoir cured the noise. Note: if you remove the filter you can also experience foaming much like running a hose of water into a bucket. You see some aeration occurring as the force of the fluid hits the wall. Better to keep the filter than removing it. After you stop the car with air in the lines it will rise to the high points in the lines. That is why turning your steering wheel back and forth and turning on your windshield wipers (for 63 T birds) ensures all the air is flushed out with fresh fluid.

MN63
Thanks, MN63 - I also found this great post, started by Karl
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=10687&p=63468&hilit ... oir#p63468

I am not sure, but suspect that I have NO FILTER in my reservoir?
So, I will check that, and the reservoir cover seal. I did not see any visible leaks from the hose connections, so will try the simplest solution, first.

Here's that great reservoir assembly diagram from the thread I ref'd (1962 Shop Manual showed or said nothing about it)
PS_filter.png
Steve G.
'62 TBird HT
'61 TBird HT (parts car)
'02 Sportrac 4x4
'49 Ford 8N

stevegintn
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Re: Power Steering Fluid

Post by stevegintn » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:02 am

OK, just as I suspected - NO filter and NO lid seal o-ring (I can fix that)
Steve G.
'62 TBird HT
'61 TBird HT (parts car)
'02 Sportrac 4x4
'49 Ford 8N

stevegintn
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Re: Power Steering Fluid

Post by stevegintn » Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:13 am

A couple more question about the reservoir filter ...

I ordered the cover seal yesterday from Mac's. They also have the filter, but not the spring or washers shown in the diagram above.
Where can I procure these?

Also, the retaining stud is offset from center - will the filter fit in the reservoir, if it's pulled to the side?
Steve G.
'62 TBird HT
'61 TBird HT (parts car)
'02 Sportrac 4x4
'49 Ford 8N

tbird
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Re: Power Steering Fluid

Post by tbird » Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:59 pm

Steve

Karl has a 63 they had filters in them the 62 and earlier did not you do not have any of the parts to hold the filter in place.
Jim Mills
VTCI # 8071
VTCI 1964-66 Technical Editor
2002 Thunderbird
1965 Convertible
1962 Convertible (in progress)
1959 Ford Retractable HT
Many parts cars

MN63Tbird
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Re: Power Steering Fluid

Post by MN63Tbird » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:35 pm

Steve, The 63 has a filter. The inlet to the filter from the return hose is designed to flow the power steering fluid through the filter. With no filter it will spray and cause foam. Once you get the filter from Macs you will see it is smaller in diameter than the reservoir. My car is still in storage now but if my memory is correct there is about a half inch gap between the filter and the reservoir wall. Being off center should not be an issue. The spring is just to provide tension to hold the filter in place. There is enough tension so that you need to hold the reservoir lid down with one hand and put the wing nut on with the other. In a pinch you probably can find one that will work at Home Depot, Lowe's or whatever hardware store is near you. There is a little grommet that fits on the lid that is special but the other washers I believe are stock hardware items. You will need to fill the reservoir with power steering fluid to cover the filter.

MN63
1963 Thunderbird Hardtop
1966 Mustang Coupe A code

stevegintn
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Re: Power Steering Fluid

Post by stevegintn » Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:52 am

tbird wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:59 pm
Steve

Karl has a 63 they had filters in them the 62 and earlier did not you do not have any of the parts to hold the filter in place.
Thanks, Jim! (that explains why I could not find it in the Shop Manual)
Steve G.
'62 TBird HT
'61 TBird HT (parts car)
'02 Sportrac 4x4
'49 Ford 8N

Aaron65
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Re: Power Steering Fluid

Post by Aaron65 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:29 pm

I can attest that a '63 will growl without a filter...mine did until I installed one.
1963 T-Bird Hardtop
1965 Mustang
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ICON 1961
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Re: Power Steering Fluid

Post by ICON 1961 » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:01 pm

When I had my 61 the power steering only growled softly when I would make a turn...
1956 Thunderbird Sage Green
1997 Heritage Springer with Motorvation matching side Car Red/Birch White
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Karl
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Re: Power Steering Fluid

Post by Karl » Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:53 am

G'day,
Reading through this thread it seems that the filter may only be there to stop the foaming of the oil.
Some time ago I purchased a remote reservoir for my 63. My car has a 66 engine and no air conditioning, so I purchased a 63 engine close to the correct date with air conditioning as the car had all the evaporator and controls in the dash.
I cleaned it up reservoir, painted it and fitted a new filter. On assembling all the parts I noticed that the pressed metal plate that supports the filter and the small diameter pipe that goes into this pressed metal plate had nothing to seal the oil. So the oil could bypass the filter. Unlike the oil filter that is in the engine, this system is not 100 % filtered. I thought I was either missing some parts or the oil didn't need the same filtering as the engine.
So now I'm thinking that the primary role for the filter is to stop aeration of the oil and secondary is the filtering.

Any thoughts on this?

Karl.
1963 Thunderbird Hardtop

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