Steering Problem--Gremlins at work

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I've owned my '96 FZJ80 for about 2.5 years now and am starting to reap the benefits of the lack of maintenance the previous owner performed on it. Currently, I've got a situation where my power steering is intermittent and doesn't assist at all when I am not moving. I just replaced the power steering pump today (bled it properly) and much to my disgust the problem wasn't the pump. I am hesitant to replace the gear box because I would rather not spend the money if it isn't necessary. My linkage seems tight and the steering damper is not binding. Is there a sensor that is tied into the PS? Any information anyone has would be a great help.


I own a '96 LC and have the FSM on it..... :D I checked every page in the SR (steering) section and did not see any sensor in the assembly :'(. There is a section on the steering column and tilt streering, but it list no sensor, and the power steering vane pump and steering gear assemblies appear to be strictly hydro-mechanical (no electrical compontents).

Don't know if that's good news or bad news ???.

Maybe some of the other guys on this board will be more specifically helpful :D.

Wayne S :cheers:
Did you use an OEM pump?

It is possible that the replacement pump is not functioning properly, even if it is a new OEM unit. A steering gear, 44110-60211, is only $2,345.79 :eek:
Thank you all for your input. Ohhhh Man! 2G's--My 'Cruiser has ~85kMi on it. I did empty the reservior and put new ATF fluid in twice and bled the system. How do I know if the pump I am replacing it with is any good? Is there a pre-install test I can do on it? Thanks again for the price quote--what are the ramifications of driving my '96 w/o PS? :-X that's a :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: job on my bank account!

Just to try to clarify what is happening...if I am not moving, I can't turn the steering wheel. If I am moving slowly, the steering wheel will turn, then hit a point where it won't turn for a moment, then turn some more, then hit a point where it won't turn.

Thanks again,
It sounds as though it has air in it. Is the replacement pump a new OEM unit?
Can you turn the wheel when the engine is off. If so I think you have an issue with the valve body on the gear box. With the pump on the valve could be applying pressure equally to both sides locking it in possition. I've seen this same sort of thing with brake boosters where the pedal gets rock hard when the engine is running. Different system but the same principle.
This is a much less technical comment than Dan's or Rick's...but, is the belt loose or slipping?

:whoops:, I was thinking about a similar problem on a past vehicle.

I do know how to add fluid to my FZJ's PS pump, however. I practice about once/month.

Not much help here but I highly doubt that the gear box is bad, it takes alot to waste a 80 series box. But if this is the case, I gather late model fj60 and 62 gear box are the same as a 80 if looking for used or rebuilt this might give you some more options, but again I doubt its the box, sounds like a pump problem, air, fluid, line ect. Also no sensor on the box or pump.

John H
Thank you all for you input--sorry for the delay--today was belts, CV joints and tire rotation on my other car!

The pump is remanufactured. I bled the system according to the instructions and the fluid is not foamy as would be indicativie of air in the system (I think, anyway). The reservior has a beautiful fountain (~3/4 in) of ATF fluid and appears to be stronger than when the old pump was in. Before I put the new (reman) in, I observed that the pumps appeared to function the same, but I knew of no "real" test to see if the old pump had failed or the new (reman) pump was bad.

I haven't tried the turning the steering wheel with the car off yet, but will try anything. Let me know of other bleeding techniques other than lock-to-lock w/ wheels off the ground 20x.

Thank you all again,
I would toss the reman pump and get a real one.

Is there any way to test it out to see if it is bad or not?

Thank you,
The FSM is a bit vague in that regard. In the troulbeshooting tree the reasons for "hard steering" range from "tires improperly inflated" to "Steering column binding" There is a test for pressure. you will need a special gauge that goes above 1400 psi to perform this test.

I don't recall the reason for replacement of the pump in the first place. Is the problem you are having with the reman different than the original trouble? I can tell you that there is a flow control valve in the pump and the reman pump may not be functionoing properly. There is also a possibility that air remains in the system.
I understand that when you say you can't turn it, you can't turn it, right. Wouldn't a bad pump imitate the engine being turned off. I can turn my wheel with the engine off. That is why I asked if you can yours with the engine off. If there is no difference with the engine on or off then I'm with the pump deal. But if it is different for the worse with the engine on then I still think the problem is with the valve unit in the gear box.

Thank you for your continued effort in helping me solve this problem. I am having the same problem with the reman that I had with the original pump. This problem originally came up right after a 1400mi road trip.

Of note: I returned to the car after it had sit for a day an the PS worked as it should. After traveling for about 1Mi the problem returned. I then observed that when I increase the rpms in to ~2700RPM the steering (while not moving) worked reluctantly as the pump clicked and groaned when I turned the steering wheel.

Rick: With the front wheels lifted off the ground by a jack, the engine off and the steering lock disengaged, I was able to turn the front wheels without any issue.

PS, CDan, since you are 'cruiser savvy and work at a dealership, would you let me know what parts/numbers I need to replace seals on the front axle. I am aware of the inner seals, outer seals and hub gasket.

Again I thank you both for your time.

Boo, what I'm thinking is that you are standing still with the engine running and having the steering problem. You then turn off the engine. Does this change the steering effort in any way? The same or harder or easier?

Thanks for your persistance. When I have the wheels on the ground, and the engine running, the steering will work (only if cold), and when I turn off the engine, the steering wheel is hard to turn. I figure this is the way it should work with the PS making it easier to turn while the engine is running.

This will be my last attempt at getting the answer to my question. All I'm interested in is the comparison of the steering effort when the truck is experiencing the problem between the engine running and not running.

So it's quite simple, when the truck is experiencing the problem turn off the engine and try to turn the wheel.

now there are three answers you can choose from:

1. the steering is harder with the engine off

2. the steering is the same with the engine off

3. the steering is easier with the engine off

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