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Power Steering Noise in Cold Weather -- Flush?

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veedub02 View Drop Down
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  Quote veedub02 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Power Steering Noise in Cold Weather -- Flush?
    Posted: 05-Dec-2007 at 12:00
Well, I've been reading about this for a while now on forums, and I think I need to flush my Power Steering pump. Thing is - While I've worked on many cars in the past - Corrado VR6, GTI, 914s, etc - this engine is pretty crammed in there, and I also don't want to 'jack' it in the wrong places / etc.

Some Background -- My power steering makes a bit of noise on cold mornings and you can definitely feel it straining. Seems to get much better after the engine warms up some, and is virtually unnoticeable when it's over 45 degrees F. Before I assume the pump is bad and get it replaced, I want to flush it out and check for leaks.

SO... hopefully I can get some pointers here on what to do to flush out my power steering...

what's the best way to jack the car up and put it on jack stands?

how much work is involved in removing the belly pan,

Where exactly is the PS pump?

Can I get to everything I need to flush the thing this way?

I know I could get me a Bently and such, and I may to that soon, but for now, I just want to check the PS system out before I entrust the dealer to take a look at it...

Many Thanks!
-- 2002 W8
-- 1987 BMW 325i Convertible
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rustybronco View Drop Down
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  Quote rustybronco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Dec-2007 at 13:19
lot of questions...

I'll go for a couple:
power steering pump location:
(picture from doubleu8's W8)

I am not sure exactly which one of the two it is, but it is one of the two in the red box - they both look like pumps to me when I tried to figure out component locations - I think it is the bottom one. Off topic a little, the alternator is on the left side and is removed in this picture.
edit: I finally pulled out my Bentley - the bottom component in the red box is the power steering pump. The top one is the AC compressor. On an interesting side note, the AC compressor pulley does not have a clutch.

removing the belly pan is pretty easy, kind of a PITA the first time IMO, but easy once you find all the fasteners, etc. fitzki's oil change write up talks about removing the pan:
http://www.mjg.dk/forum_posts.asp?TID=58

jacking:
I use two floor jacks and two jack stands for jacking the front, with wood blocks cut from 2*4's as "pads" on top of the stands and jacks - I think there are actual jack pads available that would arguably be safer, but I have never had a problem. I jack it up at the jack positions (on the body seem behind the removable plastic skirt piece) The wood keeps the seem from bending, I also lay the grain perpendicular to the seem so the wood does not split. I put the jack stands on the lift points shown in another pic from doublue8's W8

The Bentley does a good job of pointing them out... I think they are self evident once you get down there, they are the only flat spots down there that look like they could support weight. I put weight on the jack stands and try to equalize the weight between the stands and the jacks. I periodically check everything to make sure it is still supporting weight. I know some people recommend putting a tire/wheel under the body too so if the car comes down it doesn't come all the way down, but I've never done this - tire is just one more thing in my way IMHO.
I have put stands under some of the front and rear suspension components before, but with these uni-body cars that make me nervous... jacking up the bronco is easier in that respect... though the 12 inches of ground clearance make it a little harder

Edited by rustybronco - 08-Dec-2007 at 07:52
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veedub02 View Drop Down
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  Quote veedub02 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Dec-2007 at 12:38
Jon -
Many thanks! To follow up, I found the reservior - it's under the plastic cover on the right-front side of the engine bay. Why it's hidden there I dunno... but I checked the PS fluid level and it was LOW! So, I found some Pentosin fluid and filled it to the 'max' line, and the noise went away.

-- 2002 W8
-- 1987 BMW 325i Convertible
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