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View Full Version : 97 LX450 - weak steering?


theRash
10-07-2010, 01:32 PM
The thread title has the question mark because I didn't think I have a problem until I drove another LX450 my brother was looking at. (And maybe its not really a problem other than its in my head).

My LX has no obvious steering problems, no leaks or any kind I can find or noise of any kind. The reservior was checked cold and it was at the cold level indicator from the cap. I've taken it 4wheeling several places with not real distinctive indicators of weakness. Tires are properly inflated.

When my brother and I test drove another LX the steering was amazingly easy. Borderline one-finger controlled. Very simple and easy to manuever the steering wheel. I get back to my LX and the ease of steering isn't there but not enough to cause any complaints (execept this thread).
Moving the steering wheel from side to side doesn't show any signs or spots indicating a problem.

Its not bad now but Eventually when money permits, I want to go w/ a 6" lift and 35 inch tires minimum. I'm sure the steering will be a bigger issue then.

Is this an indication that the pump could be wearing out? Or should I check the fluid with the engine warm? Perhaps the fluid from the PO is not ATF? Or clean ATF?

Anyone have suggestions on improving my ease of my steering (other than getting bigger muscles)? :)

AShoe
10-07-2010, 03:27 PM
Power steering fluid is often the most overlooked on a vehicle IMHO. It almost certainly needs to be changed. That being said, factory spec for maximum steering effort is 8.8lbs by a spring scale attached to the wheel.

corsair23
10-07-2010, 04:00 PM
My first thought would be tire pressure...

Sounds like both trucks are stock, but higher pressure in the tires in the other rig compared to yours could certainly affect the "feel" of steering effort.

My LX with 285s and lower tire pressure has a higher steering effort than the 80 does with stock size tires

subzali
10-07-2010, 04:10 PM
Springboarding off of this thread, but what is the proper way to flush a power steering system? Hope you don't mind me piggybacking Scott.

corsair23
10-07-2010, 04:19 PM
Springboarding off of this thread, but what is the proper way to flush a power steering system? Hope you don't mind me piggybacking Scott.

Not sure if this is the 100% "proper" way...Probably the most complete way and time intensive way:

80 series power steering fluid change (http://forum.ih8mud.com/80-series-tech/78646-how-change-power-steering-fluid.html)

Hulk
10-07-2010, 04:32 PM
I have done this process, and it's quite easy and fast. It really makes a difference. That said, I have recently been experiencing problems with my own PS, and think that a new pump may be in my future. There is a thread on Mud about a new pump with more pressure, and when the time comes, I may look into that one!

coax
10-07-2010, 05:24 PM
I did the mediocre flush, where every so often I get a syringe, take out as much fluid from the res as I can and fill up with fresh. Kinda the same way I flush the tranny. No disconnecting lines, no mess, just a bit inefficient. :hill:

To the point of the OP, has one of the steering dampners on a cruiser been changed? Maybe a worn vs. new or after market could have some difference? Tire tread, width, and as mentioned pressure?

ttubb
10-07-2010, 05:40 PM
When I did the engine swap on my 4Runner, the PS pump groaned something awful. I thought it may be a bad pump so I bought a reman. Same thing.

Then I was reading about high performance pumps and they have a statement that if you use any fluid but Royal Purple Syn PS fluid it voids the warranty.
http://www.pscmotorsports.com/Royal-...ing-Fluid.html

Same statement from the Trail-Gear here -
http://www.trail-gear.com/full-hydraulic-pumps.

I switched to the Royal Purple and within 10-15 miles it was smooth as silk. Must be something to it. Might give it a try and see if it quiets down. Do NOT use ATF fluid, even synthetic, as that is what I was using (Mobil 1 ATF) prior to switching to the Royal Purple. Terry
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theRash
10-08-2010, 08:15 AM
Springboarding off of this thread, but what is the proper way to flush a power steering system? Hope you don't mind me piggybacking Scott.

Not at all.

My first thought would be tire pressure...

It may be just a tire pressure thing. Tire pressure was my first thought too and I am driving with soft rubber blizzaks with no previous tire to compare to.

I am going to start with the quick and dirty syringe flush option. I'm not sure I want to dive into a problem that isn't necesarily a real problem until it gets worse or a windfall of money and boredom shows up at my door.

I'll report if I notice any difference.

Inukshuk
10-08-2010, 01:18 PM
I switched to the Royal Purple and within 10-15 miles it was smooth as silk. Must be something to it. Might give it a try and see if it quiets down. Do NOT use ATF fluid, even synthetic, as that is what I was using (Mobil 1 ATF) prior to switching to the Royal Purple. Terry

Would be worth trying. Twice now I experienced PS loss. First time was for several days last summer. Second time was for 5 minutes this summer. Both after long, high RPM climbs.

I have done this process, and it's quite easy and fast. It really makes a difference. That said, I have recently been experiencing problems with my own PS, and think that a new pump may be in my future. There is a thread on Mud about a new pump with more pressure, and when the time comes, I may look into that one!

Yes, Matt and I worked on the flush together. First took some time as we figured it out. Second was 5 minutes. I have also been thinking a rebuild - is it possible - would be a good idea.