Power steering upgrade or maintinence?

619TOY

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I know that 35's and hard wheeling take their toll on the power steering system but would like to know what is "normal".
For starters, when I first got my rig i verified fluid levels and even sniffed my dipstick:eek: I don't remember if I looked at the color of the fluid or not.

When I recently changed the fluid on my 4Runner, I remember it smelling used. I don't remember the fluid from the LX smelling bad at first though. It does a little now.

This is what i'm experiencing now. From a dead stop, if I start steering right away, the wheel fights a little (kind of a little jerk or snap). This has progressed to the same type of steering wheel "feedback" at high speeds. Cruising down the highway, the road bends slightly and as I steer, the wheel has little glitches that I can feel in my hands. When I first lifted my truck, the steering was perfect.

Do you think that changing the fluid will help or is proper fluid maintinence just going to increse longevity? If there actually a portion of the PS system at fault, where do I start? I know that a simple swap out/upgrade isn't an option from what I've read. If there were a better long term improvement I'd like to know.

I'm definately going to change the fluid immediately although I'm not hoping for any improvement. I have the FSM, but what's the best/ easiest way to do the exchange?
 

GXO

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Boots torn or leaking...any loose connections, etc.

Almost sounds like something binding vs. just PS. Usually PS issues show up with a whine in the pump, not glitches in the steering.
 
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I am having same problems with my 96 land crusier, especially at low speeds turning in a parking like. Steering wheel would jerk and bump. If I would rev the engine I would get steering control back. Problem seems to be with the steering gear box. I had it replaced with a rebuilt one but still had the same problem, mechanic thinks the rebulit one was bad and currently waiting on another rebuilt one, which are hard to come by.

foo 57
 

619TOY

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I just wanted to post an update. I exchanged my fluid today (thanks RavenTai for the write up). It took me about half an hour total which was helped by the fact that I had all of the necessary components in my garage (except the earplug which was in my "den"). This is an extremely easy procedure which I recommend to everyone.

Now let me preface this by saying that almost anytime I go wheeling hard (is there any other way?) that at least something doesn't seem right afterwards. This last time it was the steering which had definately worsened. Strangely enough however whatever it is seems to fix itself over time.

I've only driven down to get gas after the maintinence but I definately feel as if the steering has improved. And at the very least I know that I've gone from brown fluid which was starting to smell to nice fresh pink fluid. I've always judged my fluid by what it looks like on a white paper towel, as well as how it smells.

Since I'm using a hose clamp to secure my panhard rod in place of the nut until I get another from CDan, it may be a while until I know for sure if there is an improvement.
 

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