Suspension Power steering pump issues

sav22rem22

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Feb 6, 2020
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So my old power steering pump and rack on my 89 GT were old and worn out and the rack was leaking badly. I had a fox body guy local to me that’s done work for me several times in the past replace the pump and rack since my driveway is sloped and is gravel and I didn’t feel comfortable putting it on jack stands. I upgraded to the 99-04 rack and got both the pump and rack from LMR. I got the car back and immediately noticed that the steering was super jerky and and the power steering pump was whining bad when I was pulling out of his driveway. Figured there might be some air caught in the system. I parked it and started it up the next day and the pump whine was awful and the steering was kind of stiff and still very jerky as in you could see the wheel jerking as it turned.

I took the cap off the reservoir (which is very sideways for some reason, pic included at the bottom) and the fluid wasn’t low but it was very brownish. No frothing or bubbles though. I rotated it lock to lock a few times and the level didn’t change and still no bubbles or frothing. Steering was still super jerky and power steering pump was whining super bad. I took it back to him and he’s taking a look and seeing what it could be. He didn’t use the proper Mercon V that the newer reman racks and pumps call for. He used generic parts store fluid which even though I’m irritated about it, I don’t think the fluid would’ve caused this. While he has the car I’m posting here to see if you all may have some ideas or insight as to what may be going on. I’m really hoping I didn’t get a bad rack or pump because if one failed I’m sure it took the other with it and I’m not sure on LMRs policy regarding those two. Should also mention I bought new hoses for it as well and can confirm they were put on.
69361C5A-BD82-4F13-AD4D-AD3CAD15CE74.jpeg

And what could the deal with this be? The reservoir is so far over that it just barely fits by my battery tray that was already butchered. I also broke the dipstick off the cap just trying to get the cap off and had to throw away the broken dipstick. My battery is over sized but it still shouldn’t lean that far over. Any help is appreciated.

Edit: I forgot to include the picture of the fluid
8CF2D832-1826-4DFC-85FD-3C1F910D0C68.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Pinellas50

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Aug 5, 2020
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It's likely he didn't get the air out of the system. The instructions say it has to be done with a vacuum pump. When I replaced my sysyem, I first tried the typical way of having the sysyem purge the air itself. I found the vacuum pump method was the only way to get the air out.
 

manicmechanic007

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Sep 26, 2017
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20 turns lock to lock with the front wheels elevated
That is the Ford procedure
The guy just did not get it bled out all the way
Put a little more fluid in it and do the above Ford procedure
The vacuum pump method works but
I have a vacuum bleeder and you do not need it on your Mustang
Just take your time and do it slow
 

sav22rem22

Active Member
Feb 6, 2020
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North Carolina
20 turns lock to lock with the front wheels elevated
That is the Ford procedure
The guy just did not get it bled out all the way
Put a little more fluid in it and do the above Ford procedure
The vacuum pump method works but
I have a vacuum bleeder and you do not need it on your Mustang
Just take your time and do it slow
This is definitely a possibility. I didn’t have the front elevated when I was turning lock to lock. Do you think I would’ve known if the pump had grenaded itself? The guy hasn’t gotten back to me since it was the weekend but hopefully I’ll know something today
 

sav22rem22

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Feb 6, 2020
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That fluid is not right. Looks contaminated. That stuff need to be flushed out and merconv put in.
I thought the same thing. He said it was generic autozone power steering fluid and I told him to flush it out and out the mercon V I provided in if the pump wasn’t bad. It was discolored and the only thing I can think of is that it mixed with the little bit of the mercon v that the rack had in it. I’m still just trying to figure out why thr resorvoir is so far over towards the battery. I’m not sure if it’s clear in the picture but if the battery tray wasn’t mangled the reservoir wouldn’t even fit at all. I looked to see if the pump could’ve been rotated in the bracket but that would put the resorvoir up on the block and it probably wouldn’t even fit.
 

manicmechanic007

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Sep 26, 2017
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The fluid was just dark and the guy added PS fluid (clear) is what it looks like to me
The pump should be okay
You can use any Mercon or type F you find
Ford even made fancy Merkur power steering fluid that was blue and you can use that too
Pull the return line off the pump add some3/8 hose with a brass barb fitting to get the return line into a 5 gallon bucket
Cap off the return line on the pump housing or reservoir
Have 4 or 5 quarts of new fluid ready and an assistant to turn the steering wheel (you can do it yourself but you have to be quick)
Make sure the wheels are elevated ( I just take most of the pressure off and leave the wheels with about 1/2 inch on the ground)
 
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7991LXnSHO

wanna catch the space herp
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The Dex 5 is synthetic and has a higher temp rating and cost than Dex 3. I’m planning on using it next time I go a flush since there is not a cooler in the system now.
Who knows what the viscosity of the generic fluid? Good stuff (3 or 5) and proper bleeding should help with noise. Several layers of cardboard under the tires will be just as effective as jacking up the front end if you are worried about safety.

Pulling the return line, putting a cap on the res. Return port, and cycling the wheel back and forth while keeping the res. topped off until the fluid comes out clean is what I would do before changing parts.
 
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sav22rem22

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Feb 6, 2020
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The fluid was just dark and the guy added PS fluid (clear) is what it looks like to me
The pump should be okay
You can use any Mercon or type F you find
Ford even made fancy Merkur power steering fluid that was blue and you can use that too
Pull the return line off the pump add some3/8 hose with a brass barb fitting to get the return line into a 5 gallon bucket
Cap off the return line on the pump housing or reservoir
Have 4 or 5 quarts of new fluid ready and an assistant to turn the steering wheel (you can do it yourself but you have to be quick)
Make sure the wheels are elevated ( I just take most of the pressure off and leave the wheels with about 1/2 inch on the ground)
So the guy decided that the brand new pump was gone as he said it wasn’t pumping fluid. Hopefully that didn’t kill the brand new rack. He put a new one on that he had still in a box and put mercon v in it and gave it back to me. This time there is much less jerkiness and shuddering although it’s still there when at a standstill slightly. So I figured he didn’t bleed it properly. I went and finally bought a jack and figured since I’m not getting under the car my driveway would be fine. Jacked the car up by the K member and started the car and turned it lock to lock over and over. No fluid was sucked in and no bubbles. Fluid has little tiny metallic bits in it but it’s definitely mercon v. Pump still pretty whiny but still less shuddery. I’m really hoping my rack didn’t get taken out or wasn’t dead on arrival and it’s killing pumps somehow. I’m out of ideas at this point
 

7991LXnSHO

wanna catch the space herp
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:bang:(I suspect this is you at the moment.)
Metal in the fluid will be taking out whatever is not already ruined. If the fluid is flushed right, they should not be there. A filter in the return like is a good idea. See if they are magnetic. I bet they are aluminum and from the rack with the shuddering at a standstill.
 

sav22rem22

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Feb 6, 2020
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:bang:(I suspect this is you at the moment.)
Metal in the fluid will be taking out whatever is not already ruined. If the fluid is flushed right, they should not be there. A filter in the return like is a good idea. See if they are magnetic. I bet they are aluminum and from the rack with the shuddering at a standstill.
How wonderful. This is beginning to become a nightmare. I agree that it’s probably from the rack because the fluid is bled I’m almost certain and when the wheels are off the ground the steering is (obviously) effortless with no shuddering. As soon as it hits the ground though it’s shuddering that can be felt in the steering wheel and seen in the wheels as they turn. What a mess. I wonder what LMRs policy is on the rack since I already returned the pump for a refund lol.
 

sav22rem22

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Feb 6, 2020
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Also, does anyone have any idea why these pump reservoirs lean so far over with the newer ones? Both the first pump that died and the one the guy put on both lean really far over. If my battery tray wasn’t already hacked I’m not sure that it would even fit
 

Mustang5L5

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That's about where they go. On the non-A/C cars, the pump housing is clocked slightly more to the left keeping the reservoir up straighter. The angle is dictated by clocking the plastic housing on the pump by the output fitting, and the pump body itself only has one set of bolts to mount to the bracket. Unless the reman is molding new housings, there's where it goes.

A lot of folks do have issues with spillage due to the angle of the pump, and that's one of the reasons I switched to a remote mount reservoir and used a housing off a 1990 escort.
 

sav22rem22

Active Member
Feb 6, 2020
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North Carolina
That's about where they go. On the non-A/C cars, the pump housing is clocked slightly more to the left keeping the reservoir up straighter. The angle is dictated by clocking the plastic housing on the pump by the output fitting, and the pump body itself only has one set of bolts to mount to the bracket. Unless the reman is molding new housings, there's where it goes.

A lot of folks do have issues with spillage due to the angle of the pump, and that's one of the reasons I switched to a remote mount reservoir and used a housing off a 1990 escort.
Well that definitely makes me feel a little better. It almost seems like if my battery tray wasn’t all busted it wouldn’t even fit lol. Well I guess I’ll be redoing everything once again myself this time to rule out anyone else’s mistakes. The rack does not look fun to do
 

limp

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Oct 4, 2020
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Well that definitely makes me feel a little better. It almost seems like if my battery tray wasn’t all busted it wouldn’t even fit lol. Well I guess I’ll be redoing everything once again myself this time to rule out anyone else’s mistakes. The rack does not look fun to do
Wondering if that PS pump was designed for cars with the battery on the pass side?? My 83's battery is on the Pass side....
 

85GTStangGuy

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May 19, 2021
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Wondering if that PS pump was designed for cars with the battery on the pass side?? My 83's battery is on the Pass side....

Good point. My 85's battery is on the passenger side also. Plenty of room for the angled p/s reservoir neck.

Didn't they switch from black plastic to an opaque plastic somewhere along the fox body years? Maybe it clocked a little different?
 

Rdub6

So while I wait to figure out my rear end issues
Dec 29, 2017
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I’ll admit I only read the first few posts and then “breezed” through the rest. But when I just did my rack, it took a looooooong time to get all the air out, to where the steering wasn’t chattering. 20 lock to locks definitely did not bleed it all the way out! Eventually, it was all good to go!
 

manicmechanic007

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Let me tell you all how to do this
The first turn lock to lock needs to take about one minute (the pre '78 Saginaw pumps teach you this)
Be patient. After the first lock to lock, I start doing it a bit different
I put it at one lock and let the wheel free, then wait until all the bubbles in the fluid are gone
Put it at the other lock and do the same
Try that a few times and it's easy
Takes about 20 minutes total