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  #1  
Old 12-26-2011, 06:42 PM
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'78 and '79 Power steering fix!

In case you've been as upset about your steering as I have, I wanted to share how I finally fixed my power steering.

First, I'll share some background on the subject. Ever since I put my truck on a 4WD frame, the power steering has not worked. ...at all. In six months I put TEN power steering pumps on my truck, FIVE gear boxes, and FOUR sets of hoses. No matter what I did, I could NOT get the power steering to work.

Now, Ford obviously realized their mistake, because 1978 and 1979 are the only two years that have this particular problem. The system gets air bound and it's just about impossible to bleed the air back out. ....and here's why. If you look where the lines go in on most gear boxes, you'll see that they go in on the top, right next to the input shaft. (The highest point in the gear box.) Now look at the '78-'79 gear box. The lines go in on the BOTTOM, a good 2 inches from the input shaft. So if you fill the reservoir, only HALF the gear box gets full of fluid. I battled this problem for MONTHS. I didn't realize what my problem was until I walked around the junk yard to look at other trucks. Then I came up with a solution. ....and it WORKED!!!!

I unbolted the gear box from the frame and stood it up straight up and down on the frame with both lines still hooked up. I leaned the gear box to one side so the lines were now the absolute highest HIGHEST point in the gear box. Then I started the truck. The reservoir instantly sucked in 3/4 of a quart of fluid. I worked the input shaft back and forth about 20 times with the engine running. Then I topped off the fluid again. Then I cracked the pressure line loose and worked it back and forth about 10 times like that. Then I tightened the pressure line and shut the truck off. Then I turned the gear box to full lock and let it sit like that for about an hour. After an hour, I turned the gear box full lock in the other direction and let it sit like that for another hour. Then I topped off the fluid again.

When I was all done bleeding it, I bolted the box back on to the frame without touching the lines. I fired it up and went for a ride. PERFECT steering. No whine at all and it steers freely.

In case you've had problems like mine, this is how you fix it. After 30 years of turning wrenches, I HAVE NEVER had a truck kick my butt like this one. I hope this information helps someone else.
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'73 F-100 360, 3 on the tree 2WD (Uncle Jesse's truck)
'75 F-250 468, C6 Monster Truck (Earthquake III)
'78 F-250 Ranger 460, C6 2WD
'79 F-200 300-6, 4 spd. 4x4 (Alice)
'79 F-150 400, C6 4x4 (Ka'Bluey)
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:08 PM
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Wow, you are so right on about this one. When I changed the PS on my 79 F150 4x4 I spent HOURS trying to get the air out of the lines and LOTS of gas used with the 351M at idle and still couldnt get the air out...

I finally got so frustrated I grabbed an old washing machine motor that was 120 V. 1/2 hp with a V-pulley on it and bolted the motor to a piece of plywood then, set in on my radiator. Got a long belt at the hardware store and run it from the motor down to the PS pump...

Plugged the motor in to the wall outlet and let in run for HOURS and just kept adding fluid as needed while it bled out. Finally got it de-aired without using any more gas
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:13 PM
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Well about time you figured it out for all of us Alan, JK, glad to hear you got it up and running. Sounds like a great way to get all the air out and so does the 12v way.

I will let you prove it on ol Blue some day and Unk Bob's Kabluey.....
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77 351M auto, a/c, add a leaf 33x12.50's
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:18 PM
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2x Congrats of finding the solution! That's one for the books....

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1964 F100 4x4 460ci C-6 3/4t springs 31 spline Lincoln rear axle front disks AC ect...
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:44 PM
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I rarely mess with 1/2 tons, could you post a picture of the box ?
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:01 PM
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Not sure of who you meant so here's mine. From 79 Bronco.


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1956 F600 352 (on propane) Boom Truck w/2 22t wenches
1964 F100 4x4 460ci C-6 3/4t springs 31 spline Lincoln rear axle front disks AC ect...
1973 F100 4x2 360 (DOA)
1974 F100 4x4 360 flatbed
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:21 PM
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That is wierd. They should have had a bleeder at the top of the box for it.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthquake68 View Post
In case you've been as upset about your steering as I have, I wanted to share how I finally fixed my power steering.

First, I'll share some background on the subject. Ever since I put my truck on a 4WD frame, the power steering has not worked. ...at all. In six months I put TEN power steering pumps on my truck, FIVE gear boxes, and FOUR sets of hoses. No matter what I did, I could NOT get the power steering to work.

{PERFORMED THE EXORCISM}

When I was all done bleeding it, I bolted the box back on to the frame without touching the lines. I fired it up and went for a ride. PERFECT steering. No whine at all and it steers freely.

In case you've had problems like mine, this is how you fix it. After 30 years of turning wrenches, I HAVE NEVER had a truck kick my butt like this one. I hope this information helps someone else.
See, I told ya to perform an exorcism and it worked!!!

Congrats. Cheers and beers all around!!!
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:39 PM
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What do you mean "unbolted the gear box from the frame and stood it up straight up and down on the frame"?
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:45 PM
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Hey...look at my above post
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:56 PM
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Just what I said. I unhooked the steering column and pitman arm and took the bolts out that hold the steering gear box onto the frame. Then I rotated the gear box so the input shaft (the part the steering column bolts to) was pointing straight up. (leave both hoses attached while you start it and run it)
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'73 F-100 360, 3 on the tree 2WD (Uncle Jesse's truck)
'75 F-250 468, C6 Monster Truck (Earthquake III)
'78 F-250 Ranger 460, C6 2WD
'79 F-200 300-6, 4 spd. 4x4 (Alice)
'79 F-150 400, C6 4x4 (Ka'Bluey)
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:23 PM
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Ok, I'm replacing my steering gear box so I will do this. Do I have to keep it turned for 1 hr both ways? I don't have alot of time to do that lol.
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:38 PM
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Find the time. Yes, one hour at full lock in one direction, one hour at full lock in the other direction. How much time will you have to do this the third or fourth or TENTH time after you try a short cut?

I don't mean to be rude about this, but short cuts don't work with bleeding these systems. I was fighting my steering issues for 8 months! I spent DAYS trying everything under the sun to bleed this system. The way I described is THE ONLY way I found to work.

Good luck. Keep us posted. If you do it exactly like I describe, you should be good to go in 2 1/2 hours. That's not long at all considering what I went through.
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'73 F-100 360, 3 on the tree 2WD (Uncle Jesse's truck)
'75 F-250 468, C6 Monster Truck (Earthquake III)
'78 F-250 Ranger 460, C6 2WD
'79 F-200 300-6, 4 spd. 4x4 (Alice)
'79 F-150 400, C6 4x4 (Ka'Bluey)
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:45 PM
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GREAT post. I just did an engine swap on my sons 79 shorty 1/2 4x4. The PS won't work for chit...arg ! The truck had an engine fire, not horrible, but bad enough to need some new sheet metal. I had a donor 2wd w/a solid running 400. We spent some time and swapped the tin and the engine.

All worked great....except the PS. The PS worked fine in the donor truck, and I guessed the box in the 4wd took some heat and it was garbage. After reading your post, this may not be the case ???? No matter what I do, it just foams the fluid. It seems to work turning right, but never to the left. I went through a gallon of PS fluid, same end result.

Now I'm rethinking this and will have to try your method. Although one can't help but think what would the dealer of done if they had to replace a steering box ?????
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:56 PM
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Well I got the new gear box on...poured out the old ps fluid in the power steering pump..it was milky colored.

Hooked everything up and poured fluid in it, lock to lock, poured some more fluid. No whines...turns easy (even though I have it jacked up lol) will lower it.

Fluid not really milky color, just like tannish colored looking.


MY DAMN Water pump was leaking underneath all of the sudden when I was working on the steering. I tighten the bolts some more..it drips drips but I just turned on my truck and it stopped. Has a new gasket.
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:56 PM
 
 
 
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