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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. I saw a puddle in the driveway today and crawled under the Ram only to find that I have a power steering leak in at least one place, maybe two. I know it is leaking where the rubber hose meets the metal cooler line but I think I can fix that easily enough. I intend to replace the hose and use a screw-tighten clamp rather than the squeeze clamp that comes factory. Anyway, while looking I also determined that the steering rack has been replaced fairly recently and that the fluid in the PS reservsoir is brownish clear rather than pink as I would assume ATF4 should be. I'm seriously thinking that someone has put regular PS fluid in the system rather than ATF4. Anyone know how bad on the system this would be? Also, is there any magic to completely flushing the system? I'm thinking that pulling those cooler hoses will get most of it out. Should I start the truck and move the wheel back and forth to help flush it all out? I'm assuming I would need a helper and someone constantly adding fluid to the reservoir if I do that in order to keep the pump from running dry? Will this get air the system? Thanks!!
 

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Just finished replacing the hoses and clamps on mine with screw clamps. Seems to have done the job. To completely flush it out drain it from those return lines. Then top up your fluid and turn it to full right and full left. This will drain all the old fluid out of your rack and pinion. Keep doing this until it is clear atf4 fluid coming out of those lines. Make sure you keep filling up the reservoir. Put the lines back on and top up your reservoir. If you get air in the system just let it run and it will foam out. The reason atf4 is used is because its a synthetic fluid so it doesn't thicken in cold weather. If you get cold weather and you have regular ps fluid in it you can end up blowing the piston out of your steering gear. ATF4 appears a brownish colour when it is used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. It may very well be ATF+4 in there but I figured while I'm going to have those lines off I might as well flush it. I looked a little closer this evening and it looks like the hose that is leaking on the cooler end is also leaking on the end that attaches to the steering gear. There is quite a bit of fluid on the steering gear and the rack boot right under it and I really hope it's coming from the leaking line. Oddly enough, the hose from the reservoir is the one I have seen the most complaints on and it's not leaking, lol.

Did you just buy a length of hose and cut to fit? That's what I'm seeing at the local parts place instead of a vehicle-specific part.
 

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Ya i just bought a length of hose and cut it the same length as the one i took off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Well I got this done today but it was a litte bit of a PITA. First problem was getting the OEM line from the cooler to the steering gear removed. It is held on near the steering gear with a permanent crimp clamp which I had to destroy to get off. Got both cooler lines off and fetched the new line that I picked up at Advance Auto only to find it too small in diameter. I took it back and ended up going to three parts houses and finally the dealer before I got some hose that would work. With the majority of the fluid drained into a small drain pan I noticed it does have a slight pink tint to it so I belive it is ATF+4 after all. I cut the new hose to fit and reinstalled the lines. Seems to be doing good so far!!
 
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