North American Turbocoupe Organization

Power Steering Fix
andrewjs18 Offline
Changing your power steering fluid
by Martin Bokesch

One of the most annoying sounds coming from under the hood of the Turbo Coupe, and most Ford vehicles for that matter is the whine of the Power steering system. Although some sound is normal, and associated with the operation of the steering system, as age creeps up on these units, the sounds tend to get louder.

The most overlooked service on the T/C’s is replacing the Power Steering Fluid and Brake Fluids. We all are probably very conciencious about the proper and timely service of Engine, Transmission and Differential oils, but tend to overlook the power steering system. A sure sign that service is due, is a silver discoloration of what would normally be clear/clean Steering Fluid. A high concentration of silver particles is the sign of metal wear in the system. Further into the Flushing procedure I will explain h a quick check to determine the source of the metal.

A brief description of the system used on the T/C’s

The steering system is comprised of plastic reservoir mounted fore of the drivers side shock tower. Conveniently next to the starter solenoid. The reservoir is connected to the power steering pump with the supply line. The smaller line returning from the steering gear is the return line to the reservoir.

The steering pump itself is the Ford model CII and was commonly used on the ThunderBird, Cougar, Mark VII and Mustang of our cars era. The pump itself is commonly referred to as a vane hydraulic pump, comprised of a Nylon reservoir body attached to an Aluminum pump housing. From the pump, the pressure line is comprised of a swivel style outlet fitting on the hose, and is meant to allow swivel movement on the hose to pump. This is normal and does not indicate a loose fitting. If there is leakage at this point, or the hose actually pulls out of the pump body, there is a repair kit available from Ford that allows for the replacement of the swivel seal and retaining ring. Instructions for installation are normally included in the repair kit.

The pump supplies oil to the Integral Power Rack and Pinion Steering Gear. The ThunderBird T/C is supplied with a 15:1 constant ratio gear, and was an option of the handling package. Normal Ford steering R&P’s were 20:1 variable ratios, and are basically the same in physical dimensions. The difference lies in the rack teeth and control valve assembly, both internal. The rack and pinion assembly consists of a one piece, cast aluminum housing. The gear design also incorporates quick style fittings for the pressure and return lines, which allow the fittings to swivel. The internals consist of a one-piece rack/piston assembly and rotary control valve to direct oil flow as required to move the piston, in turn causing the wheels to turn. The return oil line is connected to a one piece steel line, that is mounted in front of the radiator to assist in cooling the return oil before it is returned to the plastic reservoir tank.

The above description is brief, and in know way covers all the items in the pump or Rack and pinion that effect the steering gear and its performance. It is just meant to be an overview of the system in general.

On To The Oil Change

Tools and materials required are minimal.

1) Good screwdriver (or a ¼ drive socket set)

2) At least a one-gallon jug to collect the purged oil. Preferably clean, to inspect the collected used oil.(Plastic Milk jug works for me)

3) 1 gallon of Ford Type F or Equivalent ATF. (I have found that for flushing, cheap works just fine)

4) A remote starter switch is a nice touch (or patient Wife or friend to spin the engine over)

5) Some time and a nice sunny day, or a warm shop!

A) Disconnect the Coil wire and raise the front wheels off the ground. Securely block the car up; do not rely on the jacks to hold it in place. Connect the remote starter switch if available.(or connect your Wife, Friend, Kid in the drivers seat)

B) Disconnect the return line hose clamp at the reservoir. A screwdriver will do, ¼ drive is a bit less likely to slip, but not required. Plug the return line port on the reservoir.

C) Direct the return line from the cooler line into your collection jug. I have found that tying the line to the collection jug stops the line from jumping out of the jug as you do this.

D) Ensure that the reservoir is filled to the top with ATF. Without touching the steering wheel at this time, turn the car over with the ignition switch until you note the fluid level dropping. Leave the cap off the reservoir, and it is easy to see the oil level drop. Just keep adding fresh oil as it goes down; do not let the reservoir run dry. This might take a bit of practice at first!

E) The easy part, just keep topping the reservoir up and spin the engine over until the fluid returning to the collection jug runs clean.

F) While continuing to add oil, turn the engine over while turning the steering wheel from side to side to purge the old oil from the rack and pinion. Again, continue until the oil runs out clean.

G) If the oil is clean, hook the return line back up, top up the steering reservoir to the proper level, connect the coil wire. Lower the car to the ground so the front tires have a load on them. Start the car up and spin the wheel from side to side 3 to 4 times, slowly, and try not to bottom the system out, (go to end of the stroke and sit there!!) Check the reservoir again, note that there should be no air bubbles in the oil (foamy or white looking oil). If this happens, ensure the oil is to the right level, and repeat the process. Some foaming/whiteness is normal and will dissipate in a few days; usually just over night will allow the air to escape.

H) That’s it, oil's done.

Just a few additional tips/reminders.

1) The oil that was collected can be run through a clean rag to filter out the material that was in your oil. From this, you can do a quick check on the material gathered to see what you have. With a magnet of any kind, sweep over the material you have collected. Anything sticking to the magnet indicates steel and can only come from the steering pump. Although the rack and pinion does have a steel piston assembly, it runs in aluminum and the steel will not wear. If you have silver metal in the material that a magnet will not pick up, it is aluminum. This can come from the rack and pinion, usually the first source, and the pump body, usually the second and least likely source. Do not be alarmed by aluminum in the findings, as this is quite normal and unless it is large quantities, does not mean that something is worn out, it just means it is wearing. (Similar to cleaning an Auto Tranny pan!!)

Unless you have had a complete failure, other items will be of little interest and could comprise of bits of plastic from the sealing material, dirt in general and other things that tend to find there way into your oil systems. Most of this will be too fine to recognize, regardless. If the pieces are large enough to see and recognize, some additional repairs are in order.

2) I have never required more than 1 gallon of ATF to do the flush and top the system off. I buy the same oil that I run in my trans and if there is any left over, I have a home for it. If your system is extremely dirty, it may take more, if it is very clean, why bother doing it!!!

3) VERY IMPORTANT. When you are flushing the system out, take great care to keep the fluid level up as much as possible, not letting the pump run dry, so as not to introduce to much air into the system. A few seconds of no oil in the pump will not hurt the pump. Air just cause’s the same old moans and howls to appear.

4) I have done this procedure on many units a number of times and now can do it with the engine idling and with assistance on the steering wheel turns, never allow the pump to run out of oil. Same hoses and theory, just have the front of the car off the ground, stand by with the oil and when the car starts, the oil will begin to drop immediately. You will have to begin to add oil at once, and you can also begin to turn the steering from side to side, slowly, almost immediately also. Have your assistant turn the engine off as you get close the end of your available fluid, as to not run the pump out of oil.

5) Ford recommends Ford ATF. I use true power steering oil; hydraulic formulated, as the viscosity I prefer and the additive packages are more conducive to lubrication and long life. I have never added and type of Additive or friction modifier, but this is one place that it may be worth trying it in, as there is nothing that can be harmed by trying it.

Boost High, Fly Low
Martin Bokesch [December 16, 2000 ]

This information is provided to you as a courtesy from the North American Turbo Coupe Organization (NATO). The user(s) of this information bare sole responsibility for there own actions. The Author, NATO, or its members assume no liability. This information may not be reproduced without the express written consent of NATO or Martin Bokesch [I know when work has been plagerized!] So please, if you'd like to display this information please email the webmaster before posting it. Thank you.

Any questions or comments please email [email protected]

Users browsing this thread:
1 Guest(s)

Theme © iAndrew 2018 - Software MyBB