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Old 01-31-2016
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: nederland, co
Posts: 21
power steering gear box leak, seals

Hi, I have a 91 4.0 ranger 4x4.
I have power steering fluid leaking from the steering box, at the shaft where the pitman arm attaches. Other than the leak, the steering is great.

I see a seal kit which has a new c clip, dust seal, and oil seal. I am wondering if replacing that would be enough to stop the leak, or is there something that could be more internal that would need to be fixed also to stop the leak?
Has anyone successfully replaced the seal. I have a 4x4, and the front axle pumpkin is right where the pitman arm is attached to the steering gear box shaft and it looks like possibly just enough room to get a pitman arm puller in but not enough to use much of anything to drive the seals in.

To pull the steering box seems like a real BEAR...and if I need to pull it to do the seals I am wondering if it pays to replace it with a rebuilt.

I looked into buying a rebuilt gear box at the parts store website and the feedback was mixed. There was not any problem with leaking but many complaints about play and noise in the rebuilt gear boxes...so I would much rather keep mine and just fix the leak.

Also what fluid is used in the power steering pump. My owners manual says type F, the auto store says Mercon V.....and are they compatable with each other?

Any feedback is apprecitated.
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Old 03-16-2016
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Commack, NY
Posts: 14
'Type F' or 'Merc V' are both suitable replacements....
don't use cheap power steer fluid unless you want whine....
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Old 03-16-2016
TheArcticWolf1911's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 1,667
If you don't know what fluid is already in the system, do be sure to flush out as much as possible.

I saw one video where a guy disconnected the return line and added more line onto it (leading into a bucket or some sort of drain bucket to catch the old fluid) then disconnected the crankshaft position sensor (I believe). End result being the engine never actually starts, and the engine is kept at a low RPM via the starter.

The starter rotates the engine which rotates the serpentine belt and the accessories, causing the pump to, well, pump but slowly. Crank for no more than 15 seconds, refill while the starter cools, repeat until the clear hose you have leading to a bucket shows nice clean ATF.

This is by far the most effective method I've seen. Was demonstrated on a 2000 Ford Winstar van.

ChrisFix also showcases a similar method on his 2001 Mazda B3000 where he lifts the vehicle in the air via floorjack and stands, disconnects the lines going to the cooler, cycles the wheels back and forth to pump the old fluid out and puts new fluid back in. This method though is a lot messier unless you have lines going into a bucket. This also introduces a lot of air into the system to be bled out.

Ericthecarguy introduces a third method with his ~2003 Honda Element. Leaving the vehicle on the floor, he again removes the return line (see a pattern?) and leads it to a drain pan then starts the engine and turns the wheels until all the fluid is out then refills with new fluid.

There's three methods for you to choose from, if you wish. I personally like the first method most.
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