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  • Steering fluid leak

    When the Blue Flame was on the lift getting the rear gear upgrade, I had the chance to examine the underside. Everything seemed good with the exception of what appeared to be a leak of some sort at the front of the front k-member. A closer look and it was apparent it was Mercon V fluid from the power steering.

    What's the odds of it being a hose? I wiped everything down but it was nearly impossible to locate the source. It appeared to be in the area of the power steering pump.

    Click image for larger version

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    The steering rack was replaced last year and I have a spare pump. But I also have been considering deleting the power steering and installing a manual rack.
    JP

  • #2
    So... A good time to try that electric steering thing?
    Eric
    -00 Honda Accord (The MPG'er)
    -97 Mark VIII Base (The Row'er)
    -95 Mark VIII LSC (The Go'er)
    -14 Model T touring (The Show'er)
    -Rebuilding the T

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Lvnmarks View Post
      So... A good time to try that electric steering thing?
      You need to be careful for when the EPS goes, some teen just drove his parents Flex into a lake yesterday http://www.freep.com/story/news/loca...lake/98443536/

      Lack of driving experience and understanding that you have to muscle the wheel when the power assist goes out did not help him. People will say that the EPS is bad not recalling that power steering pumps fail as do the belts that drive them.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Lvnmarks View Post
        So... A good time to try that electric steering thing?
        Ohh.. I had forgotten that thread! I'm going to have to look into that.

        Originally posted by steve View Post

        Lack of driving experience and understanding that you have to muscle the wheel when the power assist goes out did not help him. People will say that the EPS is bad not recalling that power steering pumps fail as do the belts that drive them.
        I've had the serpentine belt let loose on the highway before. I was more worried about how far I could go on the battery than I was about the steering. Luckily I had the electric water pump and the destination hotel was just a few miles away.

        As for now, all I need is to make the turn at the end of the track.
        JP

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        • #5
          most likely a hose or fitting. Good luck getting a wrench on those!
          Does your car still have the variable assist steering sensor in place? My 94's leaked and I had to replace it which I did when I did the oil filter housing gasket.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by BlackIceLSC View Post
            most likely a hose or fitting. Good luck getting a wrench on those!
            Does your car still have the variable assist steering sensor in place? My 94's leaked and I had to replace it which I did when I did the oil filter housing gasket.
            OMG... what a PITA. I finally got some time to look at this yesterday.

            It took about an hour with some rags and brake cleaner to wipe everything down before I could even try to find the leak. The pressure line from the pump seemed "loose" and I managed to get a crow's foot wrench on the nut and was able to loosen it and retighten but not actually remove it. Apparently the line "floats" in the fitting? It doesn't appear to tighten up to where the line is rigid.

            I had a bottle of Lucas Oil Power Steering Stop Leak so I topped off the near empty reservoir. I started the car and raised it on the lift hoping the leak would manifest itself. Apparently, the magic worked because I could not find any leak. I lowered the car and turned the wheel back and forth several times and still could not find any leak. I'm not really 100% confident it is fixed though.

            Today I will find out if it still leaks or not. Of course no local parts stores stock the pressure line. I do have the spare NIB steering pump but I don't have the tools to remove or replace the pulley. I think for a track car it would make more sense to buy the manual rack than the new line and tools to swap the pump?
            JP

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            • #7
              I found the leak.

              I've begun the teardown. I'm going to have to pull the steering rack to R&R the fitting to fix the leak so I'm thinking I may just go with a manual rack.

              This will give me the excuse to buy one of those DIY front end alignment tools to check the toe when I'm done.
              JP

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Lvnmarks View Post
                So... A good time to try that electric steering thing?
                Electric is the way to go for sure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by driller View Post
                  This will give me the excuse to buy one of those DIY front end alignment tools to check the toe when I'm done.
                  This is the tool I use, with toe option. Simple analog spirit level for camber and caster, you use tape measures for toe setting:

                  http://www.jegs.com/i/Specialty-Prod...U03RoCG1nw_wcB

                  This one is newer, digital, and the tape measures lock in real nice.

                  https://www.quicktrickalignment.com/shop/

                  A laser system would be nice though, no tape measures.

                  Bill
                  1994 Deep Jewel Green 183,142 miles
                  1997 White LSC 135k miles
                  1998 White Collectors Edition 175k
                  1994 Black (#2) 100k miles
                  1993 Deep Jewel Green Convertible

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                  • #10
                    I've got an eye on that system from QuickTrick.

                    Day by day, a little at a time... I'm slowly making progress.
                    JP

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                    • #11
                      Just realized this thread needs pics.

                      First, to find the leak...

                      The pressure line at the pump was barely wet but it sure appeared there was a leak from the rack running down the k-member.
                      Click image for larger version

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                      Upon closer inspection, you could see the drip from the line fittings at the rack right above the drivers side mounting bolt.
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                      It appeared to be the return line from the rack was at least one of the leaks.
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                      JP

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                      • #12
                        Time to remove the lines. I borrowed a wrench from work that had been modified to get the pressure line disconnected from the pump. But that wasn't going to help much with the fittings at the rack which were buried deep behind the k-member.

                        Here is the camera stuck up above the front sway bar to get a pic of the lines going to the rack. The return line and hose on the left and the pressure hard-line on the right.
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                        You can barely see the nut at the rack for the pressure line.
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                        Here is the hose connection to the return fitting.
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                        After much perseverance and patience... victory!
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                        JP

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                        • #13
                          With the lines removed it was fairly easy to remove the rack.

                          Click image for larger version

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                          Somewhere along the way I preemptively ordered a manual rack on faith that it would somehow work...

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                          (Should it not for some reason, I will replace the entire system with a reman rack, new pump and new lines.)

                          The manual rack mounting holes measured the same and the inner tie rods were the same thread. The overall length measured to be the same spread as the Mark VIII. However, the input shaft to the rack was immediately noted to be different.

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                          Click image for larger version

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                          The new rack had an obviously smaller shaft. I knew from prior experience the shaft on the Mark VIII rack was a 3/4"-36 spline. After measuring and some online research, it was determined the new rack was a 5/8"-26 spline. That necessitated getting a Flaming River steering joint from Summit. For reference, it was part number FR1709DD - Steering Universal Joint, Steel, Nickel Plated, 9/16 in. 26-Spline, 3/4 in. DD. It should be a direct replacement for the Flaming River steering universal joint with a 3/4"-36 spline already on the car.

                          While we wait on parts, we move on to remove the reservoir and pump and figure out what to do with the serpentine belt now with the power steering being deleted.
                          JP

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                          • #14
                            Very interesting progress, Driller.

                            How did you find this manual rack? was it listed for a specific vehicle?
                            Mike Martin

                            1997 Mark VIII LSC 5.0
                            2001 Dodge Dakota

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                            • #15
                              Very interesting progress, Driller.
                              I think that's a sanitized translation for "WTF?"

                              Our MN12 brethren over on the SCCOA site clued me in on the manual rack. As it turns out the '93-'96 steering racks interchange with the '89-'97 T-birds/Supercoupes, with power steering of course. So far, the only difference I have found is the shaft diameter and spline.

                              Several MN12s had been successfully converted to manual steering in the past with a Flaming River manual rack (Mustang?) with some modifications. The newest source for the manual steering rack conversion is available from Kauffman Products. You have to call and talk to Jake.

                              Update... it appears a Gates 060480 serpentine belt (6 rib / 48" length) is the short belt of choice IF you delete both the power steering and AC. I got this information from researching the FFR forums. Just so happens our local NAPA had one in stock and while it does fit, one of the mounting bosses on the Thump tensioner will need a bit of 'massaging' for clearance. Worst case is going back to a stock tensioner?
                              JP

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