View Full Version : Power steering problems

10-24-2013, 07:11 AM
First of all sorry about the long post, but wanted to try to describe all symptoms best I could, so here goes;

I just restorected a '90 XR7 that had been sitting for 10 yrs or more. The power steering fluid was water contaminated. I flushed it several times, filled, let it run up to temp for a while, and flushed a couple more times, filled and added Lucas treatment (always had good luck with it in transmissions). I can not get the air to bleed out, every time I do the lock to lock thing it continues to blow bubbles out/push fluid out the filler neck, and the pump growls pretty loudly/worse AFTER. After driving a few miles without getting into steering lock it quiets down pretty good. There do not appear to be any other leaks in the system. When driving the firm ride light will flash 4 times every 30 seconds or so when in auto, but does not flash when switched to firm (I also notice no difference in ride stiffness regardless of switch position, not sure that is related, or just old/bad shocks). I know the ARC is tied to power steering system, but not sure how. The steering wheel will also "pulse", or twitch slightly (just enough to feel) at highway speeds. This is NOT a vibration, but an actual rotation of the wheel. I am thinking the twitchy wheel is from the power assist pressure fluctuating, possibly because of the air in the system. The level of assist is also not consistant, some time it acts like it has almost no power at all, and others it seems "over boosted" or extremely light, both when at low speeds (cornering from stop or 10-20 mph).

Anyone experience these symptoms before? Any ideas/suggestions for where to start? I have never had a car do this before and don't really want to just throwing parts (pump, rack, ect) at it, although I think I'll have to do a pump eventually I wanted to sort out anything/everything else first if possible.

Thanks 4 any suggestion/help


10-24-2013, 09:13 AM
It sounds like the EVO switch on your PSP is contaminated like the rest of your power steering system was. Unfortunately there is not much you can do about it, except to replace that EVO switch, or find another PSP from someone selling one in the classifieds here. My wifes is stuck completely wide open, so I have full power steering all the time. Kind of a pain on teh highway, very twitchy just touching the steering wheel. it is getting changed this weekend.

As far as the firm light blinking, that has to do with the actuators on the shock not working properly. Perhaps someone here that remembers which one correlates to 4 blinks of the light, FWIR, I think it might be the passenger rear one, but don't quote me on the one.


10-24-2013, 04:36 PM
Thanks Smitty,

Where is that switch located in the system? I have parted a couple of these, so probly have a spare if I can find it:cool:


10-24-2013, 04:50 PM
It is located attached to the power steering pump where the high pressure line screws in. The only electrical connection on the power steering pump actually.

10-27-2013, 09:09 PM
Hey Smitty,

Thanks. sorry I didn't get back sooner, modem died and I've been offline for a couple days. I replaced that unit with a used from 89 SC 5spd. It solved all but the growling, so the pump is gonna need done too.

If anyone else does this be aware that the hi pressure line fittings are not all the same. The '89 5spd part had an internal shoulder where the diameter became smaller about 1/2 in deep, the '90 Cougar automatic did not, its threads were deeper and one diameter all the way. This caused the line to seat on the shoulder before the Teflon washer could seal and a bad leak. This fitting can be swapped on the switches tho, remove the o-ring where the switch seats to the pump, tap the swivel portion off, and tap it back on to the replacement switch and replace o-ring.