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Steering near impossible when slow or stopped - 2003 2500 5.9L Cummins


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Went out to a friend's house last weekend to look at his truck for him.  a month or so ago, I put a new steering stab (oem) and sway bar end-links on.   shortly after, he started complaining about super hard steering when slow, or backing up...

So I went out there and disconnected the stabilizer, for SnGs..

No change.

 

Power steering pump is leaking, but had plenty of fluid in it.

Hydra brakes work fine.  Just cannot hardly turn it sitting still..  I don't wanna throw parts at it (pump or steer gear) without knowing pretty sure what is the issue.     Any thoughts on this are greatly appreciated..

 

Pump doesn't whine/groan/nothing..

 

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If the fluid is foamy after running your too low and do have air trapped in the system. You could start it up and purge it out then you have to shut down till the foam goes away typically about 30 minutes or so. If you continue to drive the truck it will eventually go away but the steering and brake performance will be reduced being air does compress so the system is degraded till the air is purge out of the fluid. 

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21 minutes ago, Mopar1973Man said:

If the fluid is foamy after running your too low and do have air trapped in the system. You could start it up and purge it out then you have to shut down till the foam goes away typically about 30 minutes or so. If you continue to drive the truck it will eventually go away but the steering and brake performance will be reduced being air does compress so the system is degraded till the air is purge out of the fluid. 

Purge it, by turning the wheel back/forth while running?   Or is there another trick?  Only thing I can think of is crack a fitting, but that'll make a mess for sure  lol

I still need to find the source of the leak, regardless, so I'll try to do that tomorrow.

 

thanks!

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Best to jack up the axle in the front so the tires are off the ground. Now if the reservoir is full the go from lock to lock WITHOUT the engine running. The movement of the piston in the steering box will pump the fluid back out the return like to the reservoir. You'll be able to look in and see the foam pump out just with the steering going lock to lock.

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So I tried your method on purging..  I only got one tire off ground, worked it back/forth about 20 times while owner watched the fluid..  no bubbles..   then I started the engine with one tire off ground..  turned steering wheel with one finger..  great!   put the tire on the ground?  can't turn it....  Pick the other tire up, turns steering with one finger..   put it on the ground, no turn...

 

I didn't get to pull the pump lines/fittings off, because it started raining..

 

 

Thoughts?  think it's the pump?  brakes felt normal/fine.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/27/2021 at 3:14 PM, Rogan said:

So I tried your method on purging..  I only got one tire off ground, worked it back/forth about 20 times while owner watched the fluid..  no bubbles..   then I started the engine with one tire off ground..  turned steering wheel with one finger..  great!   put the tire on the ground?  can't turn it....  Pick the other tire up, turns steering with one finger..   put it on the ground, no turn...

 

I didn't get to pull the pump lines/fittings off, because it started raining..

 

 

Thoughts?  think it's the pump?  brakes felt normal/fine.

 

 

I've gotta ask what size tires? Then do you know if you got a quick ratio box or standard ratio steering box? If your running oversized tire make sure to have only the standard ratio steering box. Quick ratio will have too mush stress and more prone to steering box failures. Quick ratio is not design for larger tires. 

 

What color is the ATF in the reservoir? Bright red or darken?

 

Do realize that the steering system is complete designed by Ford. (Truth!) Hence why all truck after 2003 switched out all the Sagnaw steering box, hydrobooster, and power steering fluid to Ford steering boxes, hydroboosters, and ATF for fluid. This way they could hopefully upgrade the steering which, I've not seen anything great on this side either being they fail the same way the Sagnaw boxes did from 2nd gen down. I just got done with a 2005 Dodge with a wiped out steering box and he's running 35 inch tires. Even added a steering box brace for this. Hoping it hold up better. Time will tell...

 

Hence I've got my 2006 in the yard I still got to straighten out the steering in that by ditching the 2 inch leveling kit so the caster returns. :rolleyes:

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28 minutes ago, Mopar1973Man said:

 

I've gotta ask what size tires? Then do you know if you got a quick ratio box or standard ratio steering box? If your running oversized tire make sure to have only the standard ratio steering box. Quick ratio will have too mush stress and more prone to steering box failures. Quick ratio is not design for larger tires. 

 

What color is the ATF in the reservoir? Bright red or darken?

 

Do realize that the steering system is complete designed by Ford. (Truth!) Hence why all truck after 2003 switched out all the Sagnaw steering box, hydrobooster, and power steering fluid to Ford steering boxes, hydroboosters, and ATF for fluid. This way they could hopefully upgrade the steering which, I've not seen anything great on this side either being they fail the same way the Sagnaw boxes did from 2nd gen down. I just got done with a 2005 Dodge with a wiped out steering box and he's running 35 inch tires. Even added a steering box brace for this. Hoping it hold up better. Time will tell...

 

Hence I've got my 2006 in the yard I still got to straighten out the steering in that by ditching the 2 inch leveling kit so the caster returns. :rolleyes:

It's all OE.  Stock gear box, etc.  Stock size tires, MAYBE 265s at biggest.  The fluid is slightly dark looking in the res, but not burnt/too dark. it's pretty red to the touch.  

Steering is (guessing on memory) 3ish turns, lock/lock.

Truck has about 230-240k on it.

 

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The only thing I can think of is the pump is just tired out and possibly pushing debris through the system. I would replace the pump and then blow out all the device backwards. So blowing back through the steering box on the return side to push anything out of the power valve. Then the same with the hydrobooster blow it out on the return side. Hopefully you find the reason for low pressure either a restriction or pump issue. I would change and flush the fluid on that system too. The steering box along could hold up to close to quart. Plus the 3rd gens have that small cooler it holds quite a bit too. I would blow it all out backwards and change the fluid. If you can replace the pump too.

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