power steering bleeding on 2000 Ford Taurus/Sable

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power steering bleeding on 2000 Ford Taurus/Sable

Postby 888 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:48 am

It appears a lot of guys have various experiences so I thought I would post something that's giving me fits.

I have my son's 2000 Mercury Sable 90% reassembled after an encounter with a tree that required replacing everything from the block forward. Core support, radiator, bumper bar, bumper skin etc. I left the front bumper skin and fender liners etc off in case there were problems/leaks. I indeed have a problem/leak but it's nothing I replaced.

It started right up last night with no drama or CELs so I drove it down the driveway to the barn, about 100 feet all told. Shifts were a little delayed and the power steering was not working. I saw a finned cooler up front that had to be disassembled and leaked ATF when I took it apart, now I know what that was for, the power steering system. I replaced the radiator so I expected to be down some ATF for the automatic.

I've added ATF and the tranny is good now but I am having a hell of a time bleeding the PS circuit. On my truck, I just added PS fluid to the reservoir and worked the wheel back and forth while adding fluid and that was what it took to bleed it out. I don't think that one was completely dry because it only had problems when cold.

On the Sable, it is popping off one of the lines to the cooler when I try to steer it, even after letting it run a bit and topping off the reservoir until it stopped bubbling. There is no doubt the circuit is completely dry so I have air in there. The line popping off has a spring clamp so it's not a pressure line. What I think is happening is the air in the line under pressure when I turn the wheels is stronger than the spring clamp and the last time I felt the line pop off, I jumped out and the ATF coming out was very foamy so I no doubt have air in there.

I guess my question is how do I purge the air on this kind of PS circuit? I've checked the web and tried raising the front end and moving the wheels by hand back and forth with the engine off and the engine on, this does not bleed the circuit judging by the reservoir level and lack of consistent bubbles. I only get a few bubbles and then it stops.

I've gone through three or four quarts of MERCON ATF trying to sort this out and I am now to the point where I have my son start the car as I am pouring ATF into the PS circuit so I am sure it is not going dry and the same line pops off 5 seconds later with lots of foam in the ATF. So the time between starting the car and popping the line has decreased from a few minutes to 5 seconds.

The cap is off the PS reservoir so it can vent and everything is back together properly, I took photos before it came apart and the diameters of the lines into and out of the cooler are error proofed. I checked and there is ATF at all four lines into the cooler so nothing in the cooler assembly is blocked.

The car drove down the driveway just fine after it hit the tree, just had a radiator leak I had to address and the core support is fiberglas so it cracked.

Any suggestions? I can post photos if anyone is interested.

TIA

Joe
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Re: power steering bleeding on 2000 Ford Taurus/Sable

Postby ellis93 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:04 am

Which motor in it.....3.0 0HV or 3.0 DOHC

I've fought these before and it'll make you pull your hair out. Best advice I can give is to just keep turning the steering wheel lock to lock,bottoming the wheel for a few seconds each way. Usually that's all it takes,when it doesn't work then it's that check valve/spool valve under the pumps pressure line fitting. They will stick and cause some pretty bad issues.
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Re: power steering bleeding on 2000 Ford Taurus/Sable

Postby DodgeFreak » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:13 am

it shouldn't be popping the line off...I think you have a valving issue going on. we've had problems getting the air out of fords but never blew the line off one because of air.
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Re: power steering bleeding on 2000 Ford Taurus/Sable

Postby 888 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:25 am

ellis93 wrote:Which motor in it.....3.0 0HV or 3.0 DOHC

I've fought these before and it'll make you pull your hair out. Best advice I can give is to just keep turning the steering wheel lock to lock,bottoming the wheel for a few seconds each way. Usually that's all it takes,when it doesn't work then it's that check valve/spool valve under the pumps pressure line fitting. They will stick and cause some pretty bad issues.


Thanks! Yeah, this has been a pain.

3.0 DOHC engine.

I turn the wheel with the ignition on (to unlock the column)/engine off, right? If I start the car, I blow the line.

Front end in the air with wheels unloaded?

I should eventually see the level drop in the reservoir or some bubbling, right?

The only other thing I can think of (and I will check again) is that I have a line pinched by the core support, they snake back through small voids towards the engine.

If you are familiar with the layout, the line that is coming off is the bottom drivers side line. The larger diameter line that passes through the tube rather than the smaller diameter cooler finned line on top.
93 Dodge D-350 Cummins Xcab DRW - completely stock
89 Dodge D-250 Cummins SRW 5 speed father and son project
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Re: power steering bleeding on 2000 Ford Taurus/Sable

Postby 888 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:28 am

DodgeFreak wrote:it shouldn't be popping the line off...I think you have a valving issue going on. we've had problems getting the air out of fords but never blew the line off one because of air.


I hear you and agree but it was fine when I parked it and all I have done is R&R the front end bits ahead of the block, which drained the PS cooler and lines. I've seen reference on the web to blowing off the PS caps after people have replaced the pump or rack and pinion so I think this particular setup must be a bear to purge air out of.
93 Dodge D-350 Cummins Xcab DRW - completely stock
89 Dodge D-250 Cummins SRW 5 speed father and son project
84 Dodge D-100 5 speed slant 6
92 Dodge D-350 Cummins DRW 5 speed
others....
888
fuel screw!!!!
 
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Re: power steering bleeding on 2000 Ford Taurus/Sable

Postby ellis93 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:09 pm

888 wrote:
ellis93 wrote:Which motor in it.....3.0 0HV or 3.0 DOHC

I've fought these before and it'll make you pull your hair out. Best advice I can give is to just keep turning the steering wheel lock to lock,bottoming the wheel for a few seconds each way. Usually that's all it takes,when it doesn't work then it's that check valve/spool valve under the pumps pressure line fitting. They will stick and cause some pretty bad issues.


Thanks! Yeah, this has been a pain.

3.0 DOHC engine.

I turn the wheel with the ignition on (to unlock the column)/engine off, right? If I start the car, I blow the line.

Front end in the air with wheels unloaded?

I should eventually see the level drop in the reservoir or some bubbling, right?

The only other thing I can think of (and I will check again) is that I have a line pinched by the core support, they snake back through small voids towards the engine.

If you are familiar with the layout, the line that is coming off is the bottom drivers side line. The larger diameter line that passes through the tube rather than the smaller diameter cooler finned line on top.

Reason I asked about what engine is there is a difference in pump mounting,a small one but there non the less.

No I meant turn with engin running. The fact that your blowing off that line is concerning.

To get this right in my mind....where exactly is the line poping off at?
Nipple on res?
Or cooler?
Or rack?
93 D250 ,5 speed,4.11s,k&n autometer tach pyro trans boost guages,GDS 60mm h1c 14cm,honed 5x10,hplp/reg,1/8 timing,M+H M2 fuel pin, tims cooler tubz
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Re: power steering bleeding on 2000 Ford Taurus/Sable

Postby 888 » Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:54 pm

ellis93 wrote:
888 wrote:
ellis93 wrote:Which motor in it.....3.0 0HV or 3.0 DOHC

I've fought these before and it'll make you pull your hair out. Best advice I can give is to just keep turning the steering wheel lock to lock,bottoming the wheel for a few seconds each way. Usually that's all it takes,when it doesn't work then it's that check valve/spool valve under the pumps pressure line fitting. They will stick and cause some pretty bad issues.


Thanks! Yeah, this has been a pain.

3.0 DOHC engine.

I turn the wheel with the ignition on (to unlock the column)/engine off, right? If I start the car, I blow the line.

Front end in the air with wheels unloaded?

I should eventually see the level drop in the reservoir or some bubbling, right?

The only other thing I can think of (and I will check again) is that I have a line pinched by the core support, they snake back through small voids towards the engine.

If you are familiar with the layout, the line that is coming off is the bottom drivers side line. The larger diameter line that passes through the tube rather than the smaller diameter cooler finned line on top.

Reason I asked about what engine is there is a difference in pump mounting,a small one but there non the less.

No I meant turn with engin running. The fact that your blowing off that line is concerning.

To get this right in my mind....where exactly is the line poping off at?
Nipple on res?
Or cooler?
Or rack?


No can do with the engine running, the line pops off.

The line is on the cooler, see photos below.

Image

Image

Image

I checked last night and nothing appears pinched on the pass side lines which is where I thought they may be. One of the lines goes into the side of the radiator, which has been replaced with a used but pressure tested unit from a reputable yard.

Thank you
93 Dodge D-350 Cummins Xcab DRW - completely stock
89 Dodge D-250 Cummins SRW 5 speed father and son project
84 Dodge D-100 5 speed slant 6
92 Dodge D-350 Cummins DRW 5 speed
others....
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Re: power steering bleeding on 2000 Ford Taurus/Sable

Postby ellis93 » Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:18 pm

Has to be a blockage somewhere. Nothing else can cause that,not even the valving in the pump.

For about 1.65 a foot you can buy that ps return hose. Bypass all that cooler and metal line,run the hose from rack to res and see if it still does it.
93 D250 ,5 speed,4.11s,k&n autometer tach pyro trans boost guages,GDS 60mm h1c 14cm,honed 5x10,hplp/reg,1/8 timing,M+H M2 fuel pin, tims cooler tubz
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Re: power steering bleeding on 2000 Ford Taurus/Sable

Postby 888 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:32 am

ellis93 wrote:Has to be a blockage somewhere. Nothing else can cause that,not even the valving in the pump.

For about 1.65 a foot you can buy that ps return hose. Bypass all that cooler and metal line,run the hose from rack to res and see if it still does it.


Will do. What about the radiator? Blockage in there? The only things I have disturbed are the cooler and the radiator, which as mentioned is a used unit.

Thanks
93 Dodge D-350 Cummins Xcab DRW - completely stock
89 Dodge D-250 Cummins SRW 5 speed father and son project
84 Dodge D-100 5 speed slant 6
92 Dodge D-350 Cummins DRW 5 speed
others....
888
fuel screw!!!!
 
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Re: power steering bleeding on 2000 Ford Taurus/Sable

Postby ellis93 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:45 am

It's possible. Dirt dobber could have built a nest in a tube or something of the sort. The coolers in radiators are a good bit different than their external counterparts. They have really small holes that are subject to plug if the smallest of debris flow to it,it take a bunch to cause what's happening to you tho.
I'd just by pass all of it till I was sure the pump and rack work properly,then worry with the blockage.

You may find it if you use compressed air and blow thru the individual coolers and lines.
93 D250 ,5 speed,4.11s,k&n autometer tach pyro trans boost guages,GDS 60mm h1c 14cm,honed 5x10,hplp/reg,1/8 timing,M+H M2 fuel pin, tims cooler tubz
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Re: power steering bleeding on 2000 Ford Taurus/Sable

Postby 888 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:54 am

ellis93 wrote:It's possible. Dirt dobber could have built a nest in a tube or something of the sort. The coolers in radiators are a good bit different than their external counterparts. They have really small holes that are subject to plug if the smallest of debris flow to it,it take a bunch to cause what's happening to you tho.
I'd just by pass all of it till I was sure the pump and rack work properly,then worry with the blockage.

You may find it if you use compressed air and blow thru the individual coolers and lines.


It did sit outside for a while till I got some time to work on it and I live in the woods, so wasps are a good possibility. If a tiny bit of debris will cause an issue, that could be what is happening. A new radiator is only $100 through Rock Auto so if bypassing the cooler doesn't bring anything to the party I may go that direction. I'll have quite a bit of time taking everything back apart to get the rad out so if there is a chance it has clogs in it, I'll probably just replace it.
93 Dodge D-350 Cummins Xcab DRW - completely stock
89 Dodge D-250 Cummins SRW 5 speed father and son project
84 Dodge D-100 5 speed slant 6
92 Dodge D-350 Cummins DRW 5 speed
others....
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fuel screw!!!!
 
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Re: power steering bleeding on 2000 Ford Taurus/Sable

Postby 888 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:47 am

As an update, I have the old radiator here at the shop to put in the scrap bin and I took the pushlok fitting (for the metal lines) out of the rad so I could reuse it if needed. When I pulled that fitting out, I noticed that the entire cooler assembly inside the side panel of the radiator assembly moves inside the radiator independently of the cooling fins in the radiator. So they are not connected in any way.

Image

So I'm not entirely sure how what appears to be a 2 port manifold assembly inside a sealed box on the outside of the radiator assembly can function as a cooling unit (unless the coolant in the fins passing through that area of the radiator assembly surrounds the manifold and transfers heat) but I can try to figure out a way to bypass it and see if it is the problem.

Thanks
93 Dodge D-350 Cummins Xcab DRW - completely stock
89 Dodge D-250 Cummins SRW 5 speed father and son project
84 Dodge D-100 5 speed slant 6
92 Dodge D-350 Cummins DRW 5 speed
others....
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fuel screw!!!!
 
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Re: power steering bleeding on 2000 Ford Taurus/Sable

Postby DodgeFreak » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:23 am

It's just like the transmission cooler in radiators. Pump the fluid through a tube in the radiator and the surrounding coolant will bring it up to engine temp quicker for winter time and if the fluid gets over coolant temps it will transfer the heat and cool it back to engine temp. same thing with the trans cooler. its liquid to liquid cooling then the radiator is liquid to air.
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92 W250 Ext cab rotted completely out. Auto, pump maxed, 215 ppump nozzles, Denny T2 pin.
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Re: power steering bleeding on 2000 Ford Taurus/Sable

Postby DodgeFreak » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:25 am

same thing as the heat exchangers on the auto diesels it just mounted outside the radiator and pumps coolant through it. If the cooler sat out side with out the ends capped you probably have all sorts of stuff in it. Never leave ports open on stuff that sits outside or inside for that matter rodents and all sorts of things make a home out of it.
92 D350 Cab and Chassis. Auto stock, wiring gremlins. 330k miles
92 W250 Ext cab rotted completely out. Auto, pump maxed, 215 ppump nozzles, Denny T2 pin.
85 D350 single wheel, converted to cummins, getrag, turned up 2 turns and afc screw flush.
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Re: power steering bleeding on 2000 Ford Taurus/Sable

Postby 888 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:39 am

Makes sense. It was fully capped off 95% of the time it was out there, I did pull off a cap for the PS circuit to see the arrangement of the pushlok for the metal lines into the PS cooler, I needed to get a plastic tool to release the fitting. I recall working to get the rad connection caps off after I reassembled the front of the car, which kinda sucked, but I know they were covered till I put the car back together and reconnected the rad hoses.

Takeaway for you guys is that the core support for a Sable is not the same as for a Taurus, even though the interchange reference says they are the same. Not even close. If you ever own a Sable and someone tries to sell you a black ABS support rather than the fiberglass version, don't buy it.
93 Dodge D-350 Cummins Xcab DRW - completely stock
89 Dodge D-250 Cummins SRW 5 speed father and son project
84 Dodge D-100 5 speed slant 6
92 Dodge D-350 Cummins DRW 5 speed
others....
888
fuel screw!!!!
 
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