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Old 01-08-2017, 08:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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power steering bubble

I have a giant air bubble in my steering system.

New PSC performance pump ('97 cummins)
hydro boost
3 bolt ford power steering box (short sector shaft) Redhead rebuilt last year

I bypassed my filter, cooler and capped the fittings at the box for the PSC assist ram to try and track down this pocket of air.

With the engine off and running, I crack the high pressure lines and get nothing but straight fluid. I also extended the neck of the res to bring the fluid level above the hydro boost. Fluid level drops around 5" when engine starts. Turn engine off and it rises back. No foam or bubbles of any size with engine running or off.
High pressure lines are -6. No bleeder on steering box.

Previously, when I added my assist ram I had trouble bleeding this system. Three days went by bleeding per Howe's instructions. Had to put an extension on the neck to raise fluid level to put truck back to work. It finally burped after a week or two of driving but, can't help to think that caused premature pump failure.

At what point do I just put that extension back on and let itself burp? I'm driving this rig across the country as soon as possible.
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Old 01-09-2017, 12:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Guys at red head steering were real good helping me on this.

They said because of the inlet location on this particular box, its a real pain to bleed. It's on the side of the box and facing down. This is just nature of the beast and drive it with extra fluid until it burbs itself.
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Old 01-09-2017, 02:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Pulling a vacuum on the system through the fill has helped me bleed some pain in the ass systems too. I do it now every time I work on them just because it's better than listening to the pump howl and having it puke aerated fluid out.
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Old 01-09-2017, 05:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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tried that too. didn't do squat
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I just read about bleeding certain ford boxes, don't remember where. Something about jacking up the right front(?) of the vehicle. It gets that fitting up higher so it can vent the bubble better. Wish I could remember exactly, might have been on ford trucks forum. I was wondering if you could ddrilled the box and put in a bleeder.

Last edited by speedfreak78; 01-09-2017 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Another possibility is that air is getting past an AN fitting.

My boxes from howe and lee both came filled. When attaching the hoses I start with connecting the ends on the lowest points (steering gear/pump/ram) and use a oil can to inject the fluid into the hoses. Once the fluid gets to the top of the line attach. What's nice about hydroboost is that is usually close to the highest point and once I add fluid to those hoses the fluid rises in the reservoir.

Then jack up the front and w/o turning on the eng cycle lock to lock. The piston in the gear moves the fluid enough to bleed the air to the res. Just check the res periodically to see if bubbles come through while cycling the system. Cavitation literally is injecting air bubbles onto the surface of the pump piston at full speed pitting the surface which reduces its ability to move the fluid.

Personally I prefer the swepco 715 over gm and other fluids.

Last edited by 49willys_mogon; 01-09-2017 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 49willys_mogon View Post

Personally I prefer the swepco 715 over gm and other fluids.
As do I but no one should get the impression that a different fluid will fix this problem because it won't.
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAwhiteboy View Post
Guys at red head steering were real good helping me on this.

They said because of the inlet location on this particular box, its a real pain to bleed. It's on the side of the box and facing down. This is just nature of the beast and drive it with extra fluid until it burbs itself.
Not sure if it will help with this particular gear but I've had some that just wouldn't bleed. I cracked the high pressure fitting loose at the steering gear until it would just leak slightly and had my helper start the rig. Shut it down as soon as I could tell fluid was being pumped out around the loose fitting.

That has worked on a few that no amount of turning the tires back and forth in the air would fix.
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