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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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Old 09-04-2010, 11:39 PM
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Is my power steering pump bad? or is it something else?

Hey folks....My power steering pump leaks a little but has plenty of fluid (for now) and I have this problem: When I turn the steering wheel nearly all the way to the right (I said nearly) it groans pretty noticeably. It does not do this when turning to the left. Any thoughts, suggestions? Is my pump bad or is it something else?
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:48 AM
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Possibly. How bad is the leak and where on the pump is it leaking from? The groaning and leak could be related to one another.

If you can, fix the leak. Once that's done, drain the steering system of all fluid and fill it with all new fluid and see if that does any good. Sometimes the steering fluid gets dirty and will cause groaning when there's really nothing wrong. I was surprised, after a seal change over a year ago, that to this day the power steering hasn't made any noise since putting fresh, clean fluid in the system.

If you can't fix the leak, then perhaps you should look into replacing the pump.
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:51 AM
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Thanks DBGrif
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:30 AM
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If you end up replacing the pump then do the "Saginaw swap". I did it and the Saginaw pump is silent and much better than the ford pumps.
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:32 PM
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It's not leaking at the pump though, I think it's the steering box? There are some lines from the pump to another unit and that's where it's leaking. Could that be the source of my groaning sound and not the pump?
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Old 09-06-2010, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by presidentsdad View Post
It's not leaking at the pump though, I think it's the steering box? There are some lines from the pump to another unit and that's where it's leaking. Could that be the source of my groaning sound and not the pump?
No it's definitely the pump that's groaning. If it was the steering box you probably wouldn't have any control over the truck.

Does it look like it's leaking from the bottom of the box, where the shaft and the pitman arm connect? If so, that's a pretty easy seal to change.

Depending on who you ask, you can replace it in the truck or you'll have to drop it. When I replaced that seal on my truck [1991 F150] I ended up dropping the steering box- the advantage here was that I was able to disassemble the box and give everything a really good cleaning. But be extremely careful if you're going to do it this way- DO NOT mess with the adjusting nut on top of the box tho because you don't need to touch it to disassemble the box.

If you can, take a picture of where you think it's leaking from and we can advise you further from there.
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Old 09-06-2010, 02:57 PM
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I will but I cannot post pix here....can I email 'em to ya? And to be clear it only groans while I'm going though the range (about 2/3 of the way turning right only)
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:04 PM
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I will but I cannot post pix here....can I email 'em to ya? And to be clear it only groans while I'm going though the range (about 2/3 of the way turning right only)
Yeah it's definitely the pump that's groaning. But if you need to replace a seal on the steering box, I'd see how it turns out after putting clean fluid in the system.

My email is dbgriffith75@yahoo.com
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Old 09-08-2010, 04:54 PM
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Hey Marc I just wanted to see if you sent that email yet? Just curious as it could have ended up in my spam mailbox and I may have accidentally deleted it without checking.
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Old 09-08-2010, 05:30 PM
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make sure you use the correct fluid! Fords don't use regular power steering fluid.
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Old 09-08-2010, 05:46 PM
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make sure you use the correct fluid! Fords don't use regular power steering fluid.
Well this is news to me. I've done nothing but use generic, run of the mill power steering fluid with my truck and I've never had a problem. Care to clue me in on what I "should" be using?
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Old 09-08-2010, 05:56 PM
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fords from i believe 80-94 should be using type f atf. The reason you see so many bad ford power steering pumps is because people put in the regular stuff.....I think it may also say this in the repair manuals too but don't quote my on it.
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:33 PM
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Type F ATF is the correct fluid for the years mentioned in the last post, and also up to 96-98 according to the Motorcraft fluids catalog. I have used power steering fluid before without any issues (other than a leaking shaft seal), but after I rebuilt the pump, I flushed and filled with Type F.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:48 PM
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Hey Marc I just wanted to see if you sent that email yet? Just curious as it could have ended up in my spam mailbox and I may have accidentally deleted it without checking.
Nope...It's dark when I get home lately, so I thought I'd take it this weekend and send it to you. Cool?
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:50 PM
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DBGrif...if it's three turns from center to right lock, it'll make the groaning sound at about 2.5 turns. Based on that...do you still think it's the pump?
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:50 PM
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