Power Steering Leak

Discussion in 'Road Racing' started by v6mustang94, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. v6mustang94

    v6mustang94 Well-Known Member

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    Starting this here since I can't replicate the issue in normal street driving. I replaced the PS pump, high pressure line, and fluid in my '95 5.0 this winter. I haven't had any leaks for a few months in normal street driving until I went to the track for the first time this year.

    So, yesterday my track day was cut short after I realized I was splashing PS fluid all over the place after my first 25 minute track session. My initial thought is the fluid is getting hot and boiling out the top of the filler. The cap is fairly loose.

    After sitting for about an hour the fluid got low enough in the filler neck I could start seeing the bottom "grate" thing at the end of the neck. So I topped it off past the grate (plus a little extra since it was still hot enough that the fluid should be elevated due to heat), let the car sit over lunch, and went back out for my next session. I did 3 laps (so about 6 minutes), pulled in to check on things and I had fluid all over the place again. I let the car cool for a while and fluid level seemed to only drop a little bit, if at all, this time. I pulled it up on the trailer ramps so I could get under and check things out. There was fluid just about everywhere, both ends of the high pressure line seem to be dry (as far as leaks are concerned), buy I couldn't really check the low pressure side with the tools I had.

    It simply looks like it's just boiling over. Anyone experience this before? What's the fix? I can only seem to replicate it on the track, and I really don't want to shell out $310 to go to the track for a few laps to see if my PS fluid is going to overflow again.
     
  2. 98snakehorse

    98snakehorse Well-Known Member

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    What type of fluid are you using?
     
  3. v6mustang94

    v6mustang94 Well-Known Member

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    I used ATF Type F.

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  4. mcglsr2

    mcglsr2 Well-Known Member SN95 Supporter

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    Do you still have the power steering cooler in front of the radiator (not sure if this was stock on all the SN95's - I think it was)?

    I have yet to have PS fluid overflow on me while at the track <knocks on wood>
     
  5. v6mustang94

    v6mustang94 Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe I have one. I installed a new radiator last fall, and I don't recall doing anything with power steering at that time.

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  6. mcglsr2

    mcglsr2 Well-Known Member SN95 Supporter

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    The stock cooler sits in front of the rad, parallel to the ground. If you do not have one, I believe, then, this is your issue. I don't know what years off the top of my head, but Ford put PS coolers on the cars stock. I understand that the Mustang pumps can heat the fluid up pretty good.

    If you are racing, and on a budget, see if you can source a stock cooler and lines. If you have some money to spend, plumb in a Setrab cooler and lines.

    I'd be interested to hear if RichV, ReplicaR, duh09, hotmustang95 have issues with PS heating up?
     
  7. v6mustang94

    v6mustang94 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info. I thought maybe it would have been mounted to the radiator... not sure why. So I likely have one.

    I'm curious what those gentlemen have to say as well. I've been on track many times before I replaced the pump and had no issues. It's weird that is happening after replacing the pump and high pressure line. Wasn't even close to the hottest weather I've run in too.

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  8. mcglsr2

    mcglsr2 Well-Known Member SN95 Supporter

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    You replaced the pump with a stock one?
     
  9. v6mustang94

    v6mustang94 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, grabbed a reman. from O'Reilly's.

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  10. v6mustang94

    v6mustang94 Well-Known Member

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    Just to be clear, everything sounds and feels fine. Runs great with no leaks on the street. On track, everything feels right, but I just have fluid spewing out from somewhere (likely out the top of the filler neck).

    The more I think about it, the more I get hung up on the idea that it's just boiling over from track abuse. Why all of a sudden it's doing this, and how I fix it is the question. I'm sure upgrading the cooler is a start. Maybe I need to re-do the flush too. Air caught in the system causing problems maybe? Steering feels normal though, and I'd expect to get some sort of feedback from air in the system.
     
  11. ReplicaR

    ReplicaR Well-Known Member

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    I've had all kinds of power steering heat issues, which were increased once I started using hydraboost. I tried going to a larger cooler, but that changed absolutely nothing. At the end I've figured out that the only way to solve this is to dramatically increase the volume of power steering fluid reservoir, and prevent it from spilling fluid when it's boiling by introducing overflow tank. At the moment, my power steering cap is sealed to the pump reservoir with silicon, I've got a fitting at the top of it, that runs to the breather. My plan is to replace breather with an overflow tank and control the fluid level from there.
     
  12. v6mustang94

    v6mustang94 Well-Known Member

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    I think my next steps are going to be seeing if there is extra air I can get out of the system. I've found a few places on the web saying air can be stuck in the system and cause this. I haven't done a vacuum treatment since refilling. I just put it on jack stands and went lock to lock for a little bit. So I may need to spend more time flushing air out.

    An overflow tank may not be a bad idea though. I feel like I've noticed some wetness on my pump in the past after a track day. It seems like there's a fine line between full and too full on these pumps.
     
  13. ReplicaR

    ReplicaR Well-Known Member

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    No such fine line. Check your reservoir, I can promise you, the level will drop quite a bit after the event. Keep in mind, these cars were never built to race or do anything of this sort, so while some points of these cars are tough enough to put up with abuse without complaining about it, power steering is not one of those systems. If the fluid level is low, it will boil it and spill it out of the filler neck. If the level is high, it will first push it out due to high cornering forces, then boil what's left in there, and push that out again. There is no winning with this pump unfortunately. The reservoir holds almost nothing, and is at an angle, so that's less than optimal design. This is why overflow tank is a great idea. Increase the overall volume, prevent it from spilling out easily even when expanding and boiling.
     
  14. wmfateam

    wmfateam Active Member

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    I spill fluid as well. The overflow Idea that Replica is talking about sounds legit. I just fill it back up after the weekend. I track at 10.1 tenths and have the stock "cooler" line still in front of the radiator. I am just going to remove Hydro boost all together and go manual steering/brakes. #armdayeverytrackday
     
  15. ReplicaR

    ReplicaR Well-Known Member

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    Aren't you running a modular motor car? If so, your reservoir is already a separate piece. All I would do in your case is replace the stock reservoir with something much larger. Just make sure there is baffling inside of the reservoir, don't wanna starve the pump.
     
  16. wmfateam

    wmfateam Active Member

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    The Coyote is going in before the end of the year and as little as possible in the engine bay. I will have a detuned tune for ST2 and a balls deep tune for ST1. IRS in 2017. I want the closest thing to 50/50 as a Mustang can get.
     
  17. RichV

    RichV Well-Known Member

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    I run a rag zip tied to the top of the rez. Ghetto, I know. The solution is to cut the neck off a p/s pump, get a 3"-4" (measure this for you buy) intercooler coupling and some hose clamps, clamp the cut off neck on top of your existing one with the soft coupling. Many racers do this with good results. Keep the fill line same as OEM, have extra expansion.

    I've also talked to a guy that has run a V6 p/s pulley. I guess they are bigger and allow higher RPM not to bubble the fluid as much. Not sure if this works on a SN, we were talking Foxes.

    My fox did not have a cooler, where my SN does. Still the same issue with loosing p/s fluid.
     
  18. hotmustang95

    hotmustang95 Active Member

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    I had issues once but it was only ay Daytona because of the banking and the pump already leaning to that side basically allowed the fluid to spill out. To correct this I found a trick cap made by Ford that was used on super charged Thunderbirds and other cars. I found mine on Ebay but here's a site that sells them.

    https://www.supercoupeperformance.c...-parts-150?pagesize=12&orderby=5&pagenumber=6

    It's basaically a long angled cap with its own dipstick that screws on the pump like the regular cap. It seals itself and allows you to fill the pump more and because of its angled design and corrects the leaning problem and ends up straight up.


    Another option I've seen work very well is to cut the top of the power steering pump off in a way that leaves you a few inches sticking out. Buy a 45 or 35 or whatever degree elbow, whichever works best to correct the angle of the pump, and attach it to the end you cut. Then attach the the top porting of the pump you cut off to the elbow. Now you've corrected the angle of the pump neck and added extra volume for more fluid. Or just use a straight piece but if your gonna do it might as well do it right.

    Btw's here's what that cap looks like when on. In this pic it's not on all the way but you get the idea.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. v6mustang94

    v6mustang94 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! That seems like the simplest solution. Do you know if all SC's came with those? Might try a local junkyard first. Some quick googling didn't come up with much about those.

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  20. evilcw311

    evilcw311 Most Evil Mod! Staff Member Staff

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    I had a couple supercoupes and can confirm that all did have that cap. I'm actually going to try and find one for mine as well.


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