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  #1  
Old 12-17-2007, 06:41 AM
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Power Steering Fluid Milkshake??

A friend of mine was nice to help change the return line on my power steering pump. I am going on a long trip tomorrow and checked the level to see that it's filled with an orange julius!

What the heck made it do that? Was it possibly mixed with brake fluid?? ATF would have made it pink....right?
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Old 12-17-2007, 06:57 AM
ForcedInduction
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Air is a good possibility. Check the tightness of all your lines.
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:19 AM
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I'll have to check the hoses again in the morning. The clamps are all tight and there are no leaks visible.
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Old 12-17-2007, 11:06 AM
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It may have an air bubble in it keeping it underfilled.

Turn wheel lock to lock and hold against bump stop a few times to purge; then check level again.
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Old 12-17-2007, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForcedInduction View Post
Air is a good possibility. Check the tightness of all your lines.
If it was air, wouldn't the air bubbles dissipate after a while and the normal color retun?
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  #6  
Old 12-17-2007, 11:36 AM
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PO realized he was low on fluid while at an Orange Julius???
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Old 12-17-2007, 11:50 AM
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I'd vote for air too, although the other suggestions are intriguing

I just flushed my fluid/filter the other week and when flushing (with 2 qts of cheap PS fluid until clear)....I didn't have a lovely assistant to help me. I'd shut if off as soon as I could....but it sucked some air and looked very, very similar to that. Unfortunately, you're probably getting air somewhere.
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  #8  
Old 12-17-2007, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee8go View Post
If it was air, wouldn't the air bubbles dissipate after a while and the normal color retun?
I added PSF after pumping the reservoir out and it's still like heavy whipping cream out of the container. There aren't any air bubbles anywhere.
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Old 12-17-2007, 02:22 PM
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That looks remarkably like mine did when I accidentally got some water in it from cleaning the motor with a bad pump cap seal. Has the engine bay seen water recently?

I'd try flushing until it's clear, and then see if it happens again. It sure can't be good for it to look like that.

Edit: When I say flushing, I don't mean just replacing what's in the pump reservoir. Unhook the return line and have an assistant handy. One gets to pour fresh fluid in while making sure the bucket catching the old fluid doesn't spray everywhere, and the other person gets to turn the steering wheel back and forth lock to lock several times during the process.

I actually had better luck wiring the stop lever down and running the pump by cranking the motor without starting it. Fluid flow seems too high to ensure I could keep up with it while the motor is running at idle.
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  #10  
Old 12-17-2007, 02:23 PM
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At this point, the air you're looking for would be whipped into such fine bits, it will take a while for it to separate. Put some in a glass jar and let it sit overnight.
Steve
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  #11  
Old 12-17-2007, 02:27 PM
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No it hasn't seen any water. It's been cool but not rainy here. The cap was on securely and hose was changed Saturday, fluid added and then driven about 100 miles since until I discovered what it looked like. I flushed it twice but it still seems to be highly contaminated.
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  #12  
Old 12-17-2007, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sbean View Post
At this point, the air you're looking for would be whipped into such fine bits, it will take a while for it to separate. Put some in a glass jar and let it sit overnight.
Steve
I had a big sample in a brake bleeder container, I just looked at it now and it's still the same homogeneous blend.
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1977 6.9 3(A) - 84k
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  #13  
Old 12-17-2007, 02:32 PM
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Intriguing. Was it the high or low pressure hose you changed? Or both?

Anyway, I wonder what's causing this. fluid incompatibility doesn't seem likely, as I've never seen such a reaction. Perhaps something in the pump is really just whipping air in to it.

Try the suggestion made previously about putting some in a glass jar overnight. That will tell us if it's air in the fluid. (I see you beat me to results with this.)

There's maybe some possibility that when you flushed, some air made it in to the steering box and is trapped there. Turning the wheels fully lock to lock while keeping the reservoir filled up and the pump turning is required to purge the air if it's there. Heck, it;s required to purge the old, nasty fluid, too.
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  #14  
Old 12-17-2007, 02:35 PM
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Exactly what did your friend put in as replacement fluid? ATF maybe? I hope it wasn't brake fluid! The answer to that will explain if its a chemical mistake.
Buy a bunch of cheap PS fluid, the OTC kind for generic cars, usually clear, pour it in as described while turning lock to lock and use a big jug to catch the old fluid. Repeat that until its clear then put in OE fluid the same way, you'll need 2 or 3 jugs of it.
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Old 12-17-2007, 02:35 PM
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If it's not air, or water, I don't know what it is. I'm a bit stumped.

Power steering fluid is cheap. Flush it until it's clear and then take it for a drive to see if it magically transforms again.
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