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The First Gen Power Steering Bible

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Old 01-29-08, 05:24 PM   #31
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so i know i've been told by a few people what i might need to check out with the whining noise i'm having in my 91 ls400...the thing is that I have had no difficulty in turning the wheel, no smoke, no nothing...everything still seems normal except this noise from the pump and I've been told that i just need to clean the solenoid, i've found some forums and info on cleaning it, but could anyone else offer any insight as to why it would be whining and me not experience any problems or leaking...because i've checked the fluid level and it is still high so that is ruled out...and it's not hard to turn the wheel (or maybe it's just that I haven't experienced these problems yet?)

...and no i'm not ignoring the advice on cleaning the solenoid...i'm just trying to get other possibilities because I haven't necessarily had the time to jack up my car and clean the solenoid so any other information would be greatly apreciated, also do i need any special tools to clean the solenoid?
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Old 02-14-08, 08:01 AM   #32
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After printing part 2 from the OP and the picture of the part, The service manager and the mechanic looked at the pump and said it was leaking externally and that the rack was leaking too and there was no fluid in the vacuum tubes. I insisted that they just plug it, I won't afford to replace everything. They said they will, but didn't think it would would, couldn't get a bolt to plug it with (even after visits to Tractor Supply), so they eventually came up with the solution of looping the vacuum tube. Seems to be working great, but I hope that lasts as I don't see mention of that solution here. Thanks, OP!
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Old 02-15-08, 09:22 AM   #33
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are you sure its the pump that is making the noise? there is a idler pulley on the top in the middle next to the pump that could be bad. that just happened to me and I thought it was the pump. the bearings went bad in that pulley and it was like $56 for a new one from parts store.


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Originally Posted by nawls400 View Post
so i know i've been told by a few people what i might need to check out with the whining noise i'm having in my 91 ls400...the thing is that I have had no difficulty in turning the wheel, no smoke, no nothing...everything still seems normal except this noise from the pump and I've been told that i just need to clean the solenoid, i've found some forums and info on cleaning it, but could anyone else offer any insight as to why it would be whining and me not experience any problems or leaking...because i've checked the fluid level and it is still high so that is ruled out...and it's not hard to turn the wheel (or maybe it's just that I haven't experienced these problems yet?)

...and no i'm not ignoring the advice on cleaning the solenoid...i'm just trying to get other possibilities because I haven't necessarily had the time to jack up my car and clean the solenoid so any other information would be greatly apreciated, also do i need any special tools to clean the solenoid?
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Old 02-17-08, 10:38 PM   #34
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are you sure its the pump that is making the noise? there is a idler pulley on the top in the middle next to the pump that could be bad. that just happened to me and I thought it was the pump. the bearings went bad in that pulley and it was like $56 for a new one from parts store.

it's very possible because the noise is very prominent between 600-900rpm and after that i can't tell if it still makes the noise...when it drops to it's low idle (below 600 or so) i don't hear the noise anymore...and then above 800 or so i don't hear it but i'm not sure if it's just the engine drowning out the noise...hmmm i'll have to check that out thanks!
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Old 02-19-08, 07:39 PM   #35
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Is there some pics or a procedure of how to remove the power steering pump? I took a good look tonight as I wanted to loop the air idle valve at the barb and it seems a bit more involved than I expected as the ABS and brake lines are in the way to make it simple. Looping the lines for the idle valve at the source must be done from below I guess as I don't see how I could do it from above.
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Old 02-20-08, 07:40 AM   #36
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My Power Steering problem is a mystery to me. I've read all of this thread, and asked others.. still dont' have a definite answer.

Here is the short of it:

Problem currently: -- There is a 'dull' moaning/straining sound that is not high pitched when I turn the steering wheel either when the car is at a complete stop, or going under 2Mph. After I get 'rolling' basically (engine revved up more than idle) it makes no noise. During this time when it is making this noise the steering wheel is harder to turn.

Of interest: -- This does NOT occur on a complete cold start. It takes it a few minutes at least to start doing this. Then from there on out it will do it constantly at stop lights or such.

Also of interest: -- The PS fluid is not leaking (reservoir is full).

The mechanic has replaced the Rack and Pinion to alleviate the Power Steering leak it had before. So it doesn't leak, but it makes this noise at a dead stop when turning the wheel, and is harder to turn the wheel at a dead stop.

Also of interest: The pulley that drives the PS Pump wobbles a little in comparison to the other pulleys. (Others don't move at all.. perfect rotation).

That about covers any aspect I can think of.

So my question is:

With all of those characteristics does this point to any one thing?

IE: Yup, you've replaced the Rack, it makes that noise and is hard to turn wheel at dead stop, it is definitely a bad pump. Replace your PS pump and the noise will go away and it will be easy to turn wheel at a stand still.

Or whatever you think these clues lead to.

I just don't want to replace the PS pump if that isn't the problem. It sure seems like it would be, but my problem isn't like any I've read about thus far.. If I had a leak it would be more obvious, but I don't anymore.

Thanks
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Old 02-20-08, 11:23 AM   #37
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FYI I did find instructions for removing a PS pump from a 1st gen SC400 and its looks identical:

http://planetsoarer.com/Power%20steering%20pump.htm

NeoFate - Have you rebuilt/replaced your unit? The pulley should definitely not wobble - have you checked that its aligned and torqued properly? Also have you cleaned your solenoid, from what I have read researching my own problem it sounds like that could be your culprit.
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Old 02-20-08, 12:33 PM   #38
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I would start with a fluid flush as it often solves these mysterious problems, and then you can eliminate that as a source of issues. Cleaning the solenoid filter will help as well.

That pulley should definitely not be wobbling.. that might have something to do with it. Maybe others can chime in, that's the extent of my knowledge.
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Old 02-22-08, 11:42 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommyboy72 View Post
FYI I did find instructions for removing a PS pump from a 1st gen SC400 and its looks identical:

http://planetsoarer.com/Power%20steering%20pump.htm

NeoFate - Have you rebuilt/replaced your unit? The pulley should definitely not wobble - have you checked that its aligned and torqued properly? Also have you cleaned your solenoid, from what I have read researching my own problem it sounds like that could be your culprit.
I have done nothing 'yet'.

The unit is not rebuilt. It is stock and it had a leak before I bought the car. The mechanic (seller) replaced the rack and pinion as he thought that was the root of the leak/problem, and it has since NOT leaked. However, the described problem still exists. So it makes noise at a dead stop/not moving (foot on brake) turning the wheel side to side. Also at that same position it is harder to turn.

But functions perfectly at any 'speed' when the car is moving no noise ,and easy steering.

The mechanic has said he will replace the pump for free if the rack didn't fix the problem.

Well the problem of a 'leak' is fixed, but the problem I describe isn't fixed. I hope he will honor the replacement of pump due to this problem.

But, as you can tell from all I've read and what has been told to me I surely dont' want to get the pump replaced if it somehow wont' fix my problem. I am almost certain the replacement of the pump would fix the issue. If it is the pulley/bearing -- A new pump will have a new bearing/pulley so it would be fixed.

If it is the pump itself,.. well, a new one will fix it.

However, if it is some other issue (not many left) and I have a new PS pump, and new Rack and Pinion I dunno

I want to clean the 'filters' and solenoid and all of that. I just don't know exactly where they are located. People tell me to clean the filter and the filter on the rack.. (But with a new rack wouldn't the RACK filter be clean now? or no?) -- The solenoid I have read a little about it, but don't have any DIY pictures to refer to , to go pop the hood and start cleaning.

Is there any DIY or pictures of cleaning all of these components? Solenoid/and any screens? Is there any chance of messing things up by cleaning these? How 'fragile' are the solenoid and two screens?

As for the pulley -- I don't have a torquewrench,.. I really need to find one , but those I have found are 80-90$ -- And I am not going to spend almost $100 on a torque wrench. I don't have the money to be honest to spend on something like that. I know I bought a cheap one a loooong time ago from walmart or maybe a hardware store for under $20. I can justify buying a relatively cheap torque wrench for maybe 20-40$ -- Really don't want to go over $50.00 for a torque wrench. Given what it is, I would think I could get a mid-grade torque wrench for $50.

I have not been to sears.. as has been recommended. Though am I going to have to spend the 80+$ for a torque wrench, or are those just jacked up prices at the Lowes and Home Depot I found them at?

Anyhow -- I am going to put in a new airfilter, and drivebelt (serpentine) today. That is when I was planning on checking the play on the pulley of the water pump because the belt would be off anyway.

I'd really like to have a torque wrench on hand to check that as well.. but I currently do not. Any round-about way to check the torque in general without such a tool? Or should I just rotate the pulley manually by hand and wiggle it and report back with my findings?

*Doing such,.. what should a WP pulley feel like? How should it rotate? How much force should be required and so on. So I know what to be looking for when I am experimenting with it while the belt is off.*

I get 12 different solutions/opinions from 12 different people.

3-5 people say , replace your Water pump and it should take care of the problem since you have a rack and no leak.. 99% sure.

A few others say replace the bearing in the housing/pulley since it wobbles.. that is my culprit.

Then others say clean this and that screen..

You say cleaning my solenoid is likely the problem, not the 'wobble' in the pulley.

The obvious answer is to do all of it,.. the 'free' things before I go to mechanic and get him to replace the pump. I intend on it, and will do it today providing I can research and find enough information on how to find the screens/solenoid, then how to properly clean them.

Only thing I know is how to jack the vehicle up in the front, and turn the wheels side to side 50 times with the cap off reservoir to ensure no air is in the system. (Doubt that is my problem, but I'll do it).

Thanks for the insight.
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Old 02-22-08, 11:45 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suneet View Post
I would start with a fluid flush as it often solves these mysterious problems, and then you can eliminate that as a source of issues. Cleaning the solenoid filter will help as well.

That pulley should definitely not be wobbling.. that might have something to do with it. Maybe others can chime in, that's the extent of my knowledge.
Well,.. another 'solution' hehe.. I don't think this is the culprit, only because the rack was changed 2 weeks ago and the system was flushed then out of necessity.

The solenoid I will clean, have to figure it out though.

And, yes , I know the pulley isn't supposed to wobble. That is, honestly, what I think is causing the problem. Just a hunch, I think something has gone bad in the housing, and at low speeds (low idle/pressure) the wobble is causing undue stress on the pump and it just can't do its job properly with that problem. Once the car is moving a little, there is enough force on it to allow it to work flawlessly even with a 'wobble' in the pulley (it is still turning).

Thanks suneet.. and I hope you figure out your Coolant leak.
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Old 02-24-08, 06:20 PM   #41
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Old 03-18-08, 11:07 PM   #42
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Anyways --

Update. New Power steering pump and reservoir.

Whine/moan gone.

But now it has no power steering when at idle sitting still at 600rpms. When you move the wheel the rpms move a little down and then seem to jump back up a little (I'm talking 50-150rpms max change from lock to lock). Very hard to turn. If I put in neutral rev up a bit it turns just fine.

Obviously driving at any speed the power steering works fine.

You guys know how this system works,.. with a new pump, new rack and pinion, flushed fluid, and cleaned Solenoid screen.. what else would cause it to be so tough to turn at idle?

Could the Air control valve be the main culprit on this, or do the symptoms not fit it? If they don't, what else could it be? -- If they do fit it.. Would plugging the ACV cause the wheel to turn freely at idle again?
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Old 03-22-08, 07:34 PM   #43
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Ok -- as of this moment things are fixed -- I did everything listed in this power steering bible.

New Rack n pinion, new PS pump, cleaned Solenoid screen, plugged ACV valve, flushed system with many times its volume, and bled it for nearly an hour with close monitoring. Some or all of that combined worked, (so far).

So I made a DIY thread combining the Solenoid procedure, ACV procedure (and how to make your own plug out of your ACV valve) -- with pics on the aforementioned,.. then listed my own methods on the drain/fill, flushing of the system, and my special 'bleed' process.. which was super necessary to get things running right.

Thread is located :

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/ls400/343856-all-in-one-power-steering-fix-s-solenoid-acv-plug-drain-flush-bleed-system-diy.html

Figure it would be best linked in here, as it is quite long and no one has to do the whole shebang like I did, but might get some help out of any one step of it.
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Old 03-25-08, 10:12 PM   #44
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Yeah its good advice, but the 14mm x 1.5 doesn't work the only thing that works is the ACV itself. Its an automotive thread so only an automotive store would have it WWRROONNGG!! We didn't weld ours. We just found a screw with deep threads about the same length as the ACV and a metal washer and screwed it in to the cupped side of the ACV. The deep threads made their own grooves into the metal inside. Worked great. It feels really good not smoking the neighborhood up at every startup. Or leaving a puddle of fluid every time it sits a while. The power steering has never felt or sounded better. No more growling when I turn the wheel. Just glad I got to it before it messed up the altenator. Now I am in love with my baby again.
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Old 03-25-08, 10:13 PM   #45
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We were using about 2 quarts daily until the fix. It was a bad leak.
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Old 03-25-08, 10:13 PM
 
 
 
 
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