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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

Power steering issue

Old 03-05-2019, 08:01 AM
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Power steering issue

This began as I was 4x4ing down a mellow trail in the snow when I tried to backup to see something I heard a POP as soon as I let the clutch out in reverse and suddenly there's a whining power steering noise. So I get out and check and the power steering reservior seems as though it overflowed and leaked from the cap..

I ease my way to auto zone and grab some atf, put it in and it's still whining loud as hell... and when I check again, the fluid had came out AGAIN..

I don't know how air could have gotten in there, it's always been fine since I bought it. I've tried bleeding it etc etc..

At first it was just whining really loud when turning, but not hard to turn and the wheel was returning to center just fine. But after driving it a few times to test it, it now won't re-center the wheel, it will literally hold the wheel in a turn no matter how fast I'm going, it would be far less of a hassle if I had no power steering at all.. also, it slowly stopped whining I think but still won't center itself.. it's pretty tricky and difficult to hold it perfectly straight, almost as if it wants to either go slightly left or slightly right but not STRAIGHT ahead.

I have also flipped the rubber washer inside the reservoir trick that I read somewhere and it seemed to have fixed it for a few miles until it leaked and whined again..

Currently it doesn't seem to be whining so much.. and it isn't hard to turn really, but it's holding it's position in turns at any speed and idk what to do at the point..

Last edited by Jakez; 03-05-2019 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 03-12-2019, 02:55 PM
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After a ton of searching and reading people saying it's the alignment and this and that and the other, I finally realized it's gotta be the steering box adjustment bolt (which I thought is the bleeding valve?)!! I haven't made sure yet but it just hit me because I sure as hell torque'd that sucker down hard thinking air was coming in through there..
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Jakez View Post
After a ton of searching and reading people saying it's the alignment and this and that and the other, I finally realized it's gotta be the steering box adjustment bolt (which I thought is the bleeding valve?)!! I haven't made sure yet but it just hit me because I sure as hell torque'd that sucker down hard thinking air was coming in through there..
yeah, don't do that! the adjuster bolt should have a slot on top and a lock nut around the base, if you don't ever mess with it you will likely never have a problem, but now that you do you need to loosen the lock nut, back out the slotted center shaft and tighten the lock nut. I don't remember the proper method for adjusting this, but you need to have at least a little play in the steering wheel.
This may not fix your fluid loss issues, but in the future when you bleed the air out of a power steering system the easiest way is to jack up the front end until both tires are off of the ground, fill the reservoir and with the engine off turn the steering slowly left and right lock to lock checking the fluid level periodically.
after MANY repetitions of this start the engine, shut it off and check the fluid level again. then start the engine and turn lock to lock slowly (don't hold it at full lock, just bump it and go back the other way). Always check the fluid level with the engine off unless you find documentation stating otherwise.
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:14 AM
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So don't leave the cap off while I start the engine?
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:19 AM
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Someone else told me to run the engine for 5mind with the reservoir cap off, then shut it off and let it cool, start/run it again, etc. do this a few times and do not touch the steering wheel at all during the entire process. Sounds a lot easier than the usual method everyone says?
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:20 AM
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Here's the FSM procedure for setting the screw in the steering box: http://web.archive.org/web/201310211.../3onvehicl.pdf
Here's the FSM procedure for bleeding the system: http://web.archive.org/web/201207101...10onvehicl.pdf
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by scope103 View Post
Here's the FSM procedure for setting the screw in the steering box: http://web.archive.org/web/201310211.../3onvehicl.pdf
Here's the FSM procedure for bleeding the system: http://web.archive.org/web/201207101...10onvehicl.pdf
Oh man, that first one confused the hell out of me for a second at the bottom where it says check the steering box gear oil level, cause I was positive that the power steering fluid lines ran into the gear box haha..
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Old 03-13-2019, 12:18 PM
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Until you move the steering wheel you are not moving any fluid through all of the passages in the steering box, maybe some I'm not sure on that, but regardless there is still air in the system until you turn lock to lock and when you fire the engine the fluid will be foamy and whine.
So, it is best to bleed all the air out that you can with the engine off.
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