Power steering flush | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

Power steering flush

Discussion in 'Tech & Repair' started by Mandrew, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. Mandrew

    Mandrew New Member

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    I am planning to do a power steering flush on my 1999 escort sedan 2.0L. I was wondering which hose is the return hose on the PS fluid reservoir. My plan is to place the return hose in a drain pain and run the engine while someone else adds fluid. Thanks for your help.
  2. EscorGo

    EscorGo FEOA Donator

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    Not sure on your model.
    Be careful not to run the system dry. It took longer and used more fluid but I sucked my old fluid out of the reservoir and replaced it with synthetic fluid. Then repeated as necessary until it looked clean. Working the steering wheel helps to circulate the fluid.
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  3. Mandrew

    Mandrew New Member

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    Update

    I did the flush. The return hose is the one on the lower end of the reservoir. I spilled some ATF/PS fluid on the belt but I don't think it will be a problem.
  4. SoccerStar146

    SoccerStar146 FEOA Member

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    I just wanted to make sure of this. I have a small leak from a steering rack linkage, I haven't gotten to thoroughly look exactly where it's coming from, but it looks like one of the seals started leaking. Are those just o-rings where the power steering lines connect to the rack?
  5. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    They are "O" rings, that normally come with new power steering lines. I suppose you could use any "O" ring of the proper size, but getting the lines off and back on again can be a miserably slow chore. I had to replace an entire steering rack assembly on my 94LX 5-speed. To get the power steering fittings unscrewed from the rack meant taking out the battery and battery tray, working from above, and only getting to turn the flare nuts about 1/12th of a turn per use of the wrench - which was either an 18mm or 17mm open end wrench. And getting the fittings to start back into the rack assembly without cross-threading means getting them lined up well enough - and this takes some time too. If the car had had the automatic transmission I could have worked from below; not that this would have made it much easier. With the 5-speed trans there isnt room to do this from below.

    Hopefully the leak you find wont be from the bellows at each end of the rack. That would mean you have a leaking rack seal, deep inside the rack assembly. The Service Manual shows how to replace those seals, but it involves taking the entire steering rack assembly out of the car. A leak from the rack seal was the reason I replace the entire steering rack assembly on my car - plus the rack having become slightly loose. I had about 1/4" of play at the rim of the steering wheel. With the replacement steering rack assembly the steering was properly snug again.

    Its also possible to have a slow leak from where the rubber hose connects to the swaged fitting on its end. The fluid pressure on that fitting can be 800 psi with the steering wheel turned all the way to the 'stop'. I had a leak from the joint between the high pressure hose that attached to the rack and the next section of hose.
    On my 2nd gen Escorts there are three sections of the high power steering hose. One is at the pump, one is at the rack, and one is the intermediate section between the other two. They have a pivot at the 'entry' fitting, which eventually gets worn; most commonly on the hose section coming out of the pump itself. Its not replacable; you have to get a new high pressure hose.
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  6. SoccerStar146

    SoccerStar146 FEOA Member

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    My leak is coming from on top of the rack, so I'm just assuming it's the linkage. I still have to pinpoint the exact location.
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  7. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Hopefully not the pinion shaft seal. If the leak is from the seal at the stub shaft that connects to the steering column, it cant be repaired on the car. Even if removed from the car, it would take some tools I dont have.

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