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I'm sure most of us are experiencing cold weather one way or another, and so I'm curious if you have had any problems related to steering/ hydroboost issues.

 

Whenever it gets to the low teens or single digit temps, I start the truck in the morning, and fires right up, and you can hear and feel loud humming vibrations in the cab. It gets loud if I touch the brakes or turn the steering wheel, and you can definitely feel it vibrating through both. I figure something maybe with the hydroboost. It had been doing this for years, and I thought maybe a new steering pump would fix it, but it didn't.(needed to be replaced anyway.) Anyone else experiencing this issue?

 

 

Going to the steering issue:

I replaced my steering pump last spring with the one from genos.  From day one, it felt under powered....but I thought maybe it would get better with time, maybe a little air in the system, despite a thorough bleeding and following the steps to get the air out.(also new lines to and from the the hydroboost. Even disconnected the return line from the steering box to get ALL the old fluid out.)

 

Sitting in my truck now, operating temp and all, I cannot physically turn the steering wheel while the truck is standing in place, the tires won't budge.(265 75r 16 Michelin Defenders) I have to be moving ever so slightly to get some assistance to turn the wheels (increasing rpms does nothing to help either.)

 

Does this sound right? this issue isn't because of cold weather, but it probably makes it worse.

 

The pump has Redline full synthetic powersteering fluid in it. 

 

Here's the pump.

https://www.genosgarage.com/product/BORG-800328/power-steering-pump

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My truck makes the humming/light vibration when cold also, especially right now In Oklahoma. wrote is off as cold fluid And usually goes away after a minute or so.

I will say it was worse with my old pump, got a new one from oriellys last summer when my brakes/steering wanted to check out. 
but since you can’t steer even at a idle when sitting still, I’d say the pump is done. Especially if you did all the other work to ensure good fluid and new lines without leaks or air. 

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Running 245/75 R16 tires, super easy to spin the steering. I've got a quick ratio Blue Top Steering box. Just run NAPA power steering fluid. (Not synthetic). I just went to McCall ID and it was barely +9°F outside. Super tight steering, no Humm of the pump.

 

NOTE: Do not attempt to use a quick ratio box on oversized tires, ratio is not enough for pulling the tires and gear box damage will occur. Oversized tires needs the standard ratio to ease stress on the steering box like running 4.10 axle gears for 35 inch tires and up.

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Pumps not even a year old, was it just garbage from the start? I'd think the synthetic would work just fine, would there be a difference between normal and synthetic fluid that would affect the way the pump would work? 

 

I haven't replaced the steering box, just the powersteering pump.

 

The humming lingered for a bit, probably 5 min. plus, even after a short freeway drive. About 8° F this morning 

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This is just a personal opinion, but I think the power steering system on our generation of Dodge Rams is pushed to the limits from an engineering point of view.  Years ago when I would design hydraulic systems for custom applications, I would always look at the maximum required force and maximum required speed of the system.  I would then design the system to perform at 15% higher pressure and flow so that the system would never reach relief pressures or have the operation slow down under normal operating conditions. 

 

I don't think the engineers did that with our power steering systems.  I think that the power steering pump is adequate for flow and pressure, but I think the steering gearbox is too light duty - mainly that the piston diameter is too small.  Small piston area equates to a reduction of force with a specific pressure available (approximately 1500 psi maximum).  Higher flow pumps do not help because it is the pressure that dictates the force (steering effort).  

 

I have 245 tires on my truck and a NAPA remanufactured power steering pump and a NAPA high ratio steering gearbox.  When I am on a flat hard dry surface (concrete or asphalt) as I let the clutch out (slight drop in engine RPM) and turn away from a curb, I sometimes feel the power steering stall.  It also did this when my truck was new with 265 tires and a slow ratio steering gearbox.  Other than the noticeable brief stall under certain conditions, both pumps worked and work fine (the OEM I replaced at 215,000 miles although it was still working fine, and the NAPA one that am currently running).

 

If the pump you received had the pressure relief valve set slightly low, the symptoms you describe would be logical.  I don't think the quality control of setting / testing the relief valve pressure and setting /testing the flow control  volume at a precise setting is there - especially with remanufactured pumps.

 

- John

 

 

Edited by Tractorman
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2 hours ago, Alexio Auditore said:

would there be a difference between normal and synthetic fluid that would affect the way the pump would work? 

No, synthetic just flows better in cold temperature and doesn't brake down as fast. It sounds like you may still have a problem with a pump.

3 minutes ago, Tractorman said:

This is just a personal opinion, but I think the power steering system on our generation of Dodge Rams is pushed to the limits from an engineering point of view. 

I agree, sometimes when slippery I have to correct the steering when rear end slides sideways and if I let off the go pedal it often makes me wonder if the pump will have enough pressure to correct the steering wheel. Few times I had to rev it up just to avoid going in the ditch, bit for the most part it steers fine.

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 I have run into what @Tractorman described as power steering stall while backing in a camper a time or two. 

Most notable time was while backing in a 5th wheel for my son. It was a bit of a tight spot so a few pull up corrections were needed to get it where he wanted it since it was going to be a permanent site for them. While releasing the clutch and trying to cut the wheel I would seem to loose the power assist. Outside of a situation like that I don't normally have any issues with it.

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Isn't it the seals that don't like synthetic oil, When I changed my pump last year which I did because it was leaking and seemed to have a low pressure problem I originally filled with ATF then noticed people saying don't use ATF, I spent ages trying to find the correct oil over here in the UK, parts stores here do not stock mineral PSO as everything is synthetic.

 

Mine was probably leaking because I'd used atf, I didn't make any difference to the feel of the system though, but it was well worn anyway

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1989 to 2002 are strictly "Power Steering Fluid"

2003 to current are are strictly "ATF+4"

 

Why the switch because the old school Sagnaw box was replaced all Ford Hydrobooster and Ford Steering box. You cannot put ATF in a power steering fluid  system because the seeals are not design for it nor is the pump design to pump something that thin. 

 

Reason for hmm and buzz noise is debris lodged in the power side of either hydro booster or the steering box. With everything is in the neutral position (brake pedal and steering wheel) the pump should just free flow back on the return line. If it humming or grunting like its applying pressure you might have a plugged passage. I've keep my system clean with every 30k miles I dump, flush and refill the system. Never once had a issue in 428k miles and counting. Never used synthetics either, no need. 

 

So from 2003 on to current the steering system is fully Ford. Hence the use of ATF+4 for the system. Matter of fact I just had @Blue-Top Steeringrebuild a 2005 Steering box which I get to install this weekend.

Edited by Mopar1973Man
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2 hours ago, Mopar1973Man said:

 Reason for hmm and buzz noise is debris lodged in the power side of either hydro booster or the steering box.

I can't say with certainty that the hydroboost is free and clear of debris, but the powersteering pump is brand new, and I bled the crap out of it before reconnecting the return line.

 

It only hums and buzz' when it drop to single digits. Other wise it's quiet.

 

Only time I've hear synthetic being a issue with seals is when you've used conventional oil for the life of a vehicle and then decided to change to synthetic. Even then, I didn't really see that problem on my 93 Dakota.

 

@Tractorman, so what I'm understanding is that the weak powersteering pump issue is normal? Maybe the relief is just set lower or something?

 

Edited by Alexio Auditore
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7 minutes ago, Alexio Auditore said:

It only hums and buzz' when it drop to single digits. Other wise it's quiet.

 

I'm going to be dropping to below zero next week and still silent pump and the system no issues. The pump is most likely creating plenty of pressure it just then there is a restriction of the pressure getting to where it needs to go. That noise is created when the pressure has nowhere to go or the flow is restricted. Then you hear the pump whine.

 

This morning...DSCF5202.JPG

 

What it's like outside in the yard... My truck is NOT plugged in.DSCF5201.JPG

 

Last weekend we took a road trip to Warm Lake, Idaho. This is looking back towards Cascade ID. (Black white photo)

DSCF5187.JPG

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On 2/12/2021 at 1:41 PM, Alexio Auditore said:

Sitting in my truck now, operating temp and all, I cannot physically turn the steering wheel while the truck is standing in place, the tires won't budge.

 

10 hours ago, Alexio Auditore said:

@Tractorman, so what I'm understanding is that the weak powersteering pump issue is normal? Maybe the relief is just set lower or something

 

Are you saying that you cannot turn the steering wheel at all? Or, are saying that you can turn the steering wheel a ways either direction and then it stops.  If it is the former, then there is definitely something wrong. It could be many things - a relief pressure setting too low, something binding in the steering linkage, a stiff suspension ball joint, a faulty spool valve in the steering gearbox, etc.   If it is the latter, then yes, it could be normal.  

 

As far as the power steering pump making noise when it is very cold outside, vane pumps are notorious for making a groaning noise when cold.  Many vehicle manufacturers use vibration dampeners on the hoses to suppress the harmonics developed from the pump.  I would thoroughly check the hose routing for the power steering pump and the brake booster for contact with the body or frame of the truck.  Make sure the mounting of the brake booster is secure.  Loose or touching components can easily transmit noise and vibrations into the cab.

 

- John 

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13 hours ago, Mopar1973Man said:

going to be dropping to below zero next week

Kansas City should not be colder than the mountains of ID! Zero right now, high of 1 tomorrow, Tuesday morning supposed to be -10.

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@TractormanI can turn the steering wheel a little then it stops. I hang my head out the window to see tire movement, the tires barely budge.

 

I'll check the mountings around the hydroboost, see if something needs tightening up. Go from there. 

 

As far cold goes, Idaho is kinda on the edge of this polar vortex. I'm a few hours north of moparman, and we haven't hit zero yet this year, suppose to start warming back up into the 30s by mid week

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9 hours ago, Tractorman said:

As far as the power steering pump making noise when it is very cold outside, vane pumps are notorious for making a groaning noise when cold. 

 

No the normally don't. Again the only reason I know is partial blockage of the system making it whine or the pump can't return fully like it suppose too. Being I run up here in fully winter conditions. I'll firing up again today and attempting my trip north. Yesterday we got started too late and the road in bad shape. 

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