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Steering Hydraulics Flush

How do you flush the system? What's the purpose?
Model/Type:  All Power Steering

From:  George Goff

In a message dated 11/16/03 6:36:22 PM, korkwood@WSHOST.NET writes:

<< How do you flush the system? What's the purpose? >>


A clean hydraulic system will last damn near forever, but it has to be kept
as clean as a space shuttle assembly room. If a rack is queefed out, it's
going to have some form of ca-ca floating around in it. If you install a new rack
without flushing the system, there is a good chance that the residual crap
will cause a seal to leak in a short time. Also, replacing a pump without
flushing can ruin a perfectly good rack.

I had this come home to roost the first time I changed out a Volvo rack about
25 years ago. Within weeks after installing the replacement rack, my
Sweetheart told me her car was steering "funny". Knowing and loving women as I do, I
figured she just had smeared on too much Jergens. When I checked it, I found
steering fluid dripping from the wheelhouses and the reservoir bone dry.
Also, both rack boots were split. I would have loved to have seen those boots
right before they shit the bed.

To flush the system, I made a temporary reservoir from a gallon metal pour
can by cutting out its bottom and adapting a hose barb to its screw on lid. I
hang it above the reservoir and connect it to the pump supply line. I
disconnect the return at the reservoir and run it to a catch basin. I fill the can
leaving some room for slosh then start the engine and while it is idling I turn
the steering from lock to lock until the fluid is expended. It is nice to
have a helper at the wheel so that you don't have to run back and forth from the
front of the van to the rear. When the pump starts spinning the fluid
disappears pretty damn fast and if you have a helper you can add even more fluid to
the flush. Of course, the reservoir also has to be scrubbed clean before the
system is filled.

After I bought my first Syncro, with 130 Kmi on it, the steering was starting
to get hard at start up on cold mornings. I flushed the system as I
described with 6 quarts of fluid. When I parked that van for the final time, it had
216 Kmi on the clock and the power steering was still working perfectly.

The only problem is what to do with the wasted ATF left over from the
flushing. I keep a couple gallons of it around to use for a quench when heat
treating, the rest I dump into a pristine, babbling mountain stream near Latrobe,PA.
I think it is the same one the Rolling Rock brewery uses.

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