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Power Steering appears to be tighter than usual

Posts: 87
Joined: 05/08
Posted: 06/03/12 08:18 PM

The power steering on my 1998 GT was always a bit tight but reasonable, I stored the car for 3 months during the winter, since I started driving it again I noticed the steering is tighter than usual, the resevoir is full of fluid and the pump isn't leaking or making any noises at all...Does this appear to be normal??????  

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New User
Posts: 39
Joined: 01/12
Posted: 06/03/12 08:38 PM

There is a nut on the top of your steering box. You can just loosen that until fluid comes out,you need to hold the screw or allen head in the from turning.

If that doesn't do it you can loosen the screw or allen screw a 1/4 turn CCW and see if that helps.Then lock everything in place.  

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Posts: 87
Joined: 05/08
Posted: 06/16/12 05:23 PM

Steering box????? Please explain.
This car has rack and pinion and not a box like the older cars had.

Whats the purpose of letting fluid out of it????  

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Posts: 96
Joined: 04/12
Posted: 06/17/12 07:39 PM

i don't know what bob was talking about.. he has been a professional mechanic for well over 30 years..

but there are actual tension adjustments with rack and pinion steering

see the steering input shaft.. at the bottom there is a cap... inside there are various adjustments depending on the rack brand.. usually to set the depth of the pinion into the rack for proper gear lash...

there is sometimes another that forces the RACK against the pinion..  this is sometimes a big spring and a rubbing block..  

i would think that  i would jack the front wheels up.. so the suspension is close to ride height but the wheels are in the air.... if POSSIBLE..  then i would slowly turn the wheels back and forth to see where its dragging..

could have an issue with the clock spring device just below the steering wheel..    this allows wires from the car to be connected to the steering wheel and be totally reliable..     usually horn... cruise control.. and always air bags..

this is what the clockspring looks like...    when removing the steering wheel...  the wheels have to be pointed straight ahead...  care when removing the steering wheel to NOT LET the clock spring unwind or turn... a tie rap/zip tie is used to LOCK it in place.. this is something that you have to install when removing it..

there is also a steering shaft rotation sensor..   that could be hanging up..

there is usually a support bearing at the firewall where the steering shaft sticks through the floor pan..

strut top mounts can seize up and increase turning torque..

defective fan belt tensioner..  undersized crank pulley..    power steering hoses that are coming apart..

contamination in the power steering system..   this is hard to prove..

bad seals in the piston of the rack and piston...

best thing to do ..  CHANGE the power steering fluid..     purchase a 99 cent turkey baster.. not the one the wife uses..

pull as much power steering fluid out of the reservoir as you can.. top it up.. work the steering wheel while the engine is running...   shut it off..    pull out all that you can again...    refill with fresh...   start engine and work back and forth again..   this does NOT change all the fluid.. but changes a large percentage of it ... this can really really help with stiff steering ...  

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