Power Steering Fluid

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stevegintn
Posts: 607
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 1:33 pm

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
Posts: 149
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:24 pm

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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Location: Bothell Wa.

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
Posts: 607
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 1:33 pm

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

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MN63Tbird
Posts: 158
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 12:38 am
Location: Minnesota

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

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MN63Tbird
Posts: 158
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 12:38 am
Location: Minnesota

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
Posts: 607
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 1:33 pm

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
Posts: 607
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 1:33 pm

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

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