Not sure, but I may have a power steering problem - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 04-22-2008
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Not sure, but I may have a power steering problem

I have a 1999 Mazda B4000 (just bought it a few weeks ago) that makes a whining sound when I turn the steering wheel on my truck while sitting in my driveway or a parking lot. I don't have to move the steering wheel very far for it to make a faint, noticeable sound and the more I turn the steering wheel, in either direction, the louder the whining sound gets. I'm sure it's making this sound whenever I drive the truck on the road -- I just don't hear it because of the engine and road noises. I've checked the steering fluid and it seems like it's pretty full and the fluid appears to be fairly clean. I do have some exceptionally large tires on this lifted truck and maybe that's what is causing the sound (I've included a picture of the truck below). It's been making this sound ever since I got it a few weeks ago.

What do you think is going on? Is this normal or not?

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Old 04-22-2008
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By the way, the truck steers and turns just like it should. No problems other than just the sound it makes when turning the steering wheel.
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  #3  
Old 04-22-2008
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The pump Ford uses is very noisy under load, and my stock pump is working a steering box from a 1979 F-150, turning 35" tires on a Dana 44 axle. It works, but it's loud.

I'd change your fluid for sure though. I use synthetic ATF in mine and it quieted it some.

I just think a high load may cause that sound. An upgraded pump is a good option for both of us but I'm lazy and cheap, lol.
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Old 04-22-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz View Post
The pump Ford uses is very noisy under load, and my stock pump is working a steering box from a 1979 F-150, turning 35" tires on a Dana 44 axle. It works, but it's loud.

I'd change your fluid for sure though. I use synthetic ATF in mine and it quieted it some.

I just think a high load may cause that sound. An upgraded pump is a good option for both of us but I'm lazy and cheap, lol.
What's involved in changing the power steering fluid? I'm not much of a handyman when it comes to truck engines. Thanks.
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Old 04-22-2008
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Simplest way is with a pump of some kind, or if your mouth is brave, a siphon.

I use a small pump that looks like a grease gun kind of. It has a cylinder about that big with a t-handle attached to a rod and piston on one end, and a rubber hose on the other end. It's a handy thing for changing axle fluids without removing the diff cover also. You can use it to add fluids where it's difficult also, like transfer cases and what not. I think mine was about $15 to $20 and it holds a pint of fluid. You'll only get a pint or two out of your power steering reservoir.
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Old 04-22-2008
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My pump is noisy too, they are crappy, this is my third pump in less than a year with new fluid and it is still noisy but works fine. Make sure you bleed all the air out if you change the fluid or pump.
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  #7  
Old 04-22-2008
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The pump is originally a TRW design, modified by Ford. It's reliable more or less, but very noisy under load.
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  #8  
Old 04-22-2008
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Thanks for all of your help. At least it doesn't sound like there's a serious problem going on.
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Old 04-22-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveler5 View Post
Thanks for all of your help. At least it doesn't sound like there's a serious problem going on.
nope, they make noise, nothing wrong with it.

almost ALL rangers make the whining noise when you turn the wheel.


i agree with john, put some synthetic atf fluid in it and see if that helps.
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Old 04-22-2008
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When people replace them to the aftermarket ones make as much noise?
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  #11  
Old 04-22-2008
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There's two schools of thought on this.

First of all, a rebuilt TRW pump is still a TRW pump. New pumps are quieter -- for awhile, lol.

You can get some pumps that are "improved" for flow and pressure. They might still be noisy, but they're better suited to heavy duty applications.

So that's the one school of thought: a TRW equivalent "bolt in".

The other school of thought is to modify or fabricate the bracketry and fit some kind of Saginaw pump. Saginaw makes some awesome stuff using a different pump design that is more expensive to make, but is quiet and long lived. But that's probably the best thing you could do though there's no "cookie cutter" solution for a Ranger. Certainly not for my 3.0 though the Explorer guys may have figured something nice out for 4.0's.
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Old 04-22-2008
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What about going full Hydro steering! LOL
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  #13  
Old 04-22-2008
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Good idea! But then you really need a better pump, lol.

And some really good insurance if you street drive it...
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  #14  
Old 04-22-2008
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lucas oil makes a really good power steering fix/fluid.even quiets good pumps.also frees stuck or hard racks.highly recommend it.
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  #15  
Old 04-22-2008
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Mine is loud also, but seems mechanically fine so i don't mess with it. Your truck is nice man, good find. What site tires/rims are those?
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