What is this stuff leaking from my Power Steering Box?

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I have a mini-truck PS/Box conversion on my '81. Do not know what year this mini-truck box is from (possibly '79-80), but it is a conversion kit from JTO. Box was refurbished as well as a OEM Toyota Pump (did not use the pump provided in their kit).

The fluid I am seeing is at the main worm drive (?) and pitman arm and appears to come coming from that area. There is no leakage above the box or from the hydraulic lines - and I am seeing a small brownish puddle under my rig after the car sits from a drive. The liquid is not the ATF/red fluid that you would expect - but almost like a mix of water/rust and some oil.

Has anyone seen this before and is this box rebuilable? I assume there is still in production a Toyota rebuild kit for a mini-truck box like this (not the OEM FJ40 box as I am sure that is slightly different internals) - assuming that the seal is leaking at this location (no idea why after it was rebuilt).

But anyone know what this liquid is?! Appreciate anyone's early morning advice here.

AM-JKLXcoXyYxPkEi2HEXVAGeO4Wq4MOp6AJ72YCH2vM306W-vZxy8Kr_Bkr9vbt2D2BtF7HvZYpayxalkKXYtdwv-q5j-CJGfP599RSZdJPY5mDqmCYYAgE7126G_ca1rdJq4v33hUDFLF-bTEWo3I0CJKC=w636-h847-no



AM-JKLUUTSgBCD7J_USCWJsvc9srRzzvPjdrchCKbcAY41AzhC7v3Fp-PgsO7fgHAHxvkREwn6e0LoRz6Vtfd8zfyF9CAaUhSebYicdMRrYgGcqJI_-0vKg55xszs42Uuw5bci8zj2YoSl3mDxDCleauJHf0=w1130-h848-no


AM-JKLXU8rsBfE2-05DI4KopczitXpws8O7-LLZ8AnCWEYovjKZbcoRkHWRop8Ks1rpr0ybhtUbbiZfRPHTKZhBFIr_4X-XQgJKgeEBsBbkH6jcg1RnWRvoD_IVsKbalhIzIGSGxukW1kA2no1IZNgKvREij=w636-h847-no


AM-JKLVZVTOP5eW6d7dfVe8QWl8b_b1S90O5gcyJgkLYkcPiXeSEkfUatYkm4co7vTK5Cug7ZsZzu9j-qiUNygFv_MJnsfTMQYjhvgzmU5Z7lhaFFyMwfPLj_G1dhsnEk2wL2T-Zy_-0jJkOoJsN9ziqpjFg=w1130-h848-no
 
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Rusty water?

Wrong sealant on the gasket and the power steering fluid is dissolving it?

I'm totally guessing. Somebody on here knows though.

I believe that box is supposed to be full of 90w, and most people fill them with grease until they can be rebuilt.
 

ceylonfj40nut

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More information please. Is this a recent mini-truck conversion? Any history on the PS box? What is the color of fluid in the PS reservoir? What do you mean by “box was refurbished”? Rebuilt? There is a seal kit. Looks like a seal is leaking. No water source on that side of the engine to drip down on to the box. If it is water, it is from the box. Report back the color and consistency of the PS reservoir fluid.
 
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Rusty water?

Wrong sealant on the gasket and the power steering fluid is dissolving it?

I'm totally guessing. Somebody on here knows though.

I believe that box is supposed to be full of 90w, and most people fill them with grease until they can be rebuilt.
But maybe I am missing something - there is ATF running through the box via the pump so not sure if that is correct - unless the box itself has its own gear oil resovoir? I am a but new here to these things. But still want to know if anyone has seen this or can help guide me to how to fix.
 
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More information please. Is this a recent mini-truck conversion? Any history on the PS box? What is the color of fluid in the PS reservoir? What do you mean by “box was refurbished”? Rebuilt? There is a seal kit. Looks like a seal is leaking. No water source on that side of the engine to drip down on to the box. If it is water, it is from the box. Report back the color and consistency of the PS reservoir fluid.
@ceylonfj40nut

More information please. Is this a recent mini-truck conversion?
- Yes, this is a conversion kit from JT Outfitters (I linked it above).

Any history on the PS box?
- Unknown, but used (and refurbished - see below). I can only assume it is a pre 1984 Toyota mini truck box.

What is the color of fluid in the PS reservoir?
- Looking at it now - nice and red like ATF fluid

What do you mean by “box was refurbished”? Rebuilt?
- I was told that the pump and box "was serviced by JT Outfitters" - so I assume it was "serviced" for whatever that means.

No water source on that side of the engine to drip down on to the box. If it is water, it is from the box.
- Correct - I looked up and down and it is coming from that pitman arm (where it enters the box).

I am curious if this liquid is pointing to something more serious...it is a weird mix of something.

Also saw this post after an very exhaustive search.
 

ceylonfj40nut

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Could be a mix. Water/PS fluid. “Serviced” could mean “two guys stared at it and said Meh, good enough for the girls we date”.

Does the box make any whirring noise? If not I would run it and see what happens.
 
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Could be a mix. Water/PS fluid. “Serviced” could mean “two guys stared at it and said Meh, good enough for the girls we date”.

Does the box make any whirring noise? If not I would run it and see what happens.
No, I had a leak at on the hydraulic line where it mates with the bottom of the pump. Need to torque it correctly and that fixed it. Leak was red and very easy to know where and why. Also PO used fuel line tubing for the return and because of that prior leak and deteriorated rubber from the ATF, air was getting in and yes, had big moaning at that time. Since then, it has been working fine with no odd noises or weirdness to driving.

Just need to know what this stuff is so I can get a game-plan together. Ultimately I may have it comepletely rebuilt or resealed. I am also worried that the pitman arm may be bent or damaged somehow as it was also used. Not sure if that would have an impact.
 
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Obviously, PS fluid (Dexron III) is the only thing that can be leaking from that spot. I suspect it's mixing with sludgy rust bits and maybe water from a recent car wash (?).

I would wipe the area clean and let it leak for a while - the oil should eventually be the color of the red ATF in your reservoir. Based on a buddy's recent experience with a JTO box, it may not have been 'rebuilt' and may just be leaking from age.

Your box is from a '79-'85 Toyota 4x4 minitruck. Rebuild kits are available, and you may choose to DIY. I have done several conversions and handled many boxes, and that's a fairly rare leak.
 

65swb45

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When I first opened my shop 32 years ago, there was a local rebuilder that serviced my brake boosters. The majority of their business was servicing steering boxes and front wheel drive CV axles. It was from their cutthroat competitive CV business that I first became aware of the ‘spray and pray’ phenomenon.

The competition in the CV market was literally SO fierce that they had to deal with competitors that would just wash and spray paint parts and sell them as rebuilds in the hopes they would last longer than the warranty.

Years later I ran into one of these operations. They offered to sell me ‘rebuilt’ alternators for $22 exchange! WHAT COULD THEY POSSIBLY REPLACE FOR $22?

All of which is to say My money is on JTO having been sold a ‘spray and pray’ box from one of their suppliers, which they unwittingly resold. I’d ask for a replacement.
 
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When I first opened my shop 32 years ago, there was a local rebuilder that serviced my brake boosters. The majority of their business was servicing steering boxes and front wheel drive CV axles. It was from their cutthroat competitive CV business that I first became aware of the ‘spray and pray’ phenomenon.

The competition in the CV market was literally SO fierce that they had to deal with competitors that would just wash and spray paint parts and sell them as rebuilds in the hopes they would last longer than the warranty.

Years later I ran into one of these operations. They offered to sell me ‘rebuilt’ alternators for $22 exchange! WHAT COULD THEY POSSIBLY REPLACE FOR $22?

All of which is to say My money is on JTO having been sold a ‘spray and pray’ box from one of their suppliers, which they unwittingly resold. I’d ask for a replacement.
Good. Lord. Man. I thought that practice was really bad in the British classic car scene that I was in recently....thank you for sharing this story.
 

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