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Power Steering Flush - "How To"

Discussion in '1st Gen Tundras (2000-2006)' started by RustyShackle323, Mar 14, 2021.

  1. Mar 14, 2021 at 7:04 AM
    #1
    RustyShackle323

    RustyShackle323 [OP] New Member

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    Ask and you shall receive!

    I recently purchased my Tundra a few months ago and first on the list is performing basic maintenance items & detail work... See my build thread below

    https://www.tundras.com/threads/04-double-cab-return-to-glory-pic-heavy.84540/

    On that list was Power Steering flush as I assume by the look of the fluid it had never been completed before.. So, I decided to compile a small parts list to perform this simple task and figured I'd share a step by step procedure for anyone to use.

    First, the list of items to perform this procedure correctly.
    Now that you have the proper equipment to perform this job, let's get started!
    1. If you don't have a narrow turkey baster, I'd recommend getting a cheapy one. I have had the same "garage" one for years. Cheap and very useful! Start by simply removing as much of the old fluid in the reservoir as possible. Place the baster at the bottom and suck away. The point here is to get not only the junk worn fluid out, but to remove some larger debris/sludge out as well that is stuck at the bottom. I pretty much cleaned the res before I even started the flushing process. I took a picture for comparison between the fluid and my black truck.. Pretty close to the same color!
      IMG_5571.jpg
    2. Once you have the res cleaned up as much as possible, now the process of creating the dialysis lines (aka flushing lines). I started by cutting about ~8-10" of the of 10ft hose to place on the return port on the res. The point of this is to keep the fluid in the res from just pouring out when you remove the return line. Reason for the length is to keep this hose always sitting higher than the res. I had a little yellow vinyl cap laying around from a previous job and installed one of the two barb fittings supplied with the kit above and capped it. Though, not sure this was even necessary as fluid never made even a quarter of the way up the tube. "Always keep this hose above the res"
      IMG_5573 (2).jpg
    3. Once this line is made up, its time to make up the actual line used to connect to the return hose with the other barb fitting and hose clamp. Install the barb fitting in one of the clear tube ends and tighten down the hose clamp. Now, disconnect the return hose from the res and plumb the flushing hose into it. Before taking the return hose off, place a few rags under the res as residual fluid will leak out once the return hose is removed. Take the small hose from step two and slip it over the nipple on the return port as quick as possible to prevent a mess as shown in the picture above. While doing this, hold the actual return hose upright to prevent spillage. (Have to sort of multi task quickly here):quickdraw: Now, your setup should look similar to the picture below and you are ready to being the flushing procedure! The flushing hose is running up and over the passenger side head light and to the ground into a 5QT oil jug.
      IMG_5574.jpg
    4. Next step is to raise the front tires off the ground just enough that you can turn the wheels from lock to lock. Fill the res to as full as possible without over spilling. Place the cap back on (without threading it) and turn the key to ACC. DO NOT START ENGINE. Only need to be able to rotate the steering wheel. I have to stand on my tip toes as I am short ha ha, but start turning the wheel all the way to the left slowly while watching the clear tube & res. Do not let the res run dry. You will start to see fluid slowly creep up the tube and down to your catch can as shown below.
      IMG_5572.jpg
    5. Continue rotating the steering wheel lock to lock while monitoring the res. Stop and refill. The process at this point is just repetitive - Rotate steering wheel, refill res, rotate steering wheel.... you get it...IMG_5575.jpg First lock to lock IMG_5576.jpg After roughly 1-1.5qt flushed IMG_5577.jpgAfter flush is completed - Look at that Cherry red goodness!!:yes:

    6. After roughly 2.5-3qts of flushing, you are complete! Time to remove your equipment and put it back together. Process is just reverse of install. Try your best to drain as much of the fluid stuck in the clear tube as possible before removing. When disconnecting hold it higher to prevent spilling.
      IMG_5579.jpg All back together with new clamps!
    7. I found cleaning the long hose worked well if you can stretch it out from a high point and gravity clean it with brake clean. This is what I did to thoroughly clean the hose for storage.
      IMG_5578.jpg
    8. Lastly, for good measure and practice. With everything connected back up and the wheels still off the ground. Rotate the steering wheel lock to lock with the res cap secured tightly and res full to max full line. Watch the res while doing this. You might see a few air bubbles and that is the point of this step. I had one or two. I did not start the engine doing this as I have components removed while at the time. However, I will and would recommend starting the engine and rotate lock to lock with engine running to totally ensure no air bubbles.
    9. You are all finished! Now the power steering fluid is brand new!
    I hope this helps anyone wanting to do this job. Let me know how it works out for you!

    Thanks,
    RustyShackle
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2021
    Altitude, JEVE615, Weagle and 23 others like this.
  2. Mar 14, 2021 at 1:17 PM
    #2
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    Yeah. You can see the little screen inside the rez once you suck the fluid out and peek-a-boo down the hole. Its a heavy mesh looking filter made of the same plastic as the rez. Mine was clean on discovery of said filter mesh after a few suck and fills.

    One time I did a suck and fill with the engine running. Opps! PS Pump started screaming, but my quick Hand Model Moves had a fluid pour back in faster than running to turn the truck off as a Bottle of Dex/Merc was at fingers reach. She quieted down immediately, but blew some boogers out and trapped by the screen! They had a soft sludgy feel to them. Took about 3 suck and fills to catch and release back into the wild.

    upload_2021-3-14_16-16-8.jpg
     
    RustyShackle323[OP] likes this.
  3. Mar 15, 2021 at 6:38 AM
    #3
    baltimorebirds2

    baltimorebirds2 New Member

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    Nice write-up. I was thinking about doing this, but might not since I think I might have a small rack seep due to a wet passenger side boot. I’m a little afraid thinner ATF fluid might cause a leak and make my rack start pissing fluid. It’s been fine the last like 1200+ miles I’ve driven since I last added PS fluid when I added some lucas stop leak. The fluid was a little dirty, because it had some black stuff in it, but apparently some here mention a screen in the reservoir that would catch that kinda stuff. I’m assuming its the original stuff with 99k miles and the pump makes some noise when the wheel is turned but I don’t have any trouble steering. Response actually seems pretty good. Might just leave it alone because I don’t want to buy a new rack...
     
  4. Mar 15, 2021 at 7:00 AM
    #4
    jimf909

    jimf909 Battery almost dead...

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    Very nice write up. Thanks. The cheap turkey baster is a great tool, however, after using one for years I finally got one of these to empty out a coolant tank. Basically a turkey baster on steroids. Recommended if you have assorted tanks to empty.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MPQ8RBG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_image?ie=UTF8
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2021
  5. Mar 15, 2021 at 7:39 AM
    #5
    RustyShackle323

    RustyShackle323 [OP] New Member

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    Awesome, thank you for the tip! Always like improving the tool situation :thumbsup:
     
  6. Mar 18, 2021 at 8:12 AM
    #6
    BobTTundra

    BobTTundra New Member

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    Funny, I did this yesterday without having see your DIY, I did it almost exactly the same!

    I did use a Mityvac(pictured) to evacuate the reservoir, and then attached the Mityvac hose to the PS return hose. One or two pumps and there was a slight vacuum. It was great to see the old black fluid change to bright red.

    I also cleaned out my reservoir, it was black to the point that the screen was more than half covered with impermeable black gunk, the walls were so black that you couldn't see the level.

    The picture is of the reservoir after cleaning with brake cleaner, compressed air, and a little wool paint dauber that I could bend to rub against the inside walls of the reservoir. It cleaned up very nicely! Note there is a little gunk in the drain pan that started out perfectly clean.

    IMG_3597.jpg IMG_3588.jpg
     
  7. Oct 31, 2021 at 9:03 PM
    #7
    Dave8699

    Dave8699 Trackrat

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    On my list to do, excellent write up. :thumbsup:
     
  8. Feb 25, 2022 at 12:46 PM
    #8
    tuner429

    tuner429 New Member

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    Thank you for the write up.

    been using that Fluid extractor from Amazon and pretty much every week I have been removing some fluid and exchanging it with clean new fluid.

    As for the fluid I am using Walmart Auto Trans. Fluid.

    Says its meant for Dextron 3 which from all my research is what it calls for? I know that Dextron III and up is backwards compatible but I have noticed that the steering is smoother and easier.. could be a placebo though.

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Super-Tech-Automatic-Transmission-Fluid-1-Gallon-Bottle/20573820
     
  9. Feb 26, 2022 at 3:19 AM
    #9
    bmf4069

    bmf4069 Yup, that's a whole ass truck in a dishwasher

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    That's what we all use, but I'd stick with the valvoline dex III.
     
    joseph_womack likes this.
  10. Apr 24, 2022 at 2:06 PM
    #10
    jtdunc

    jtdunc New Member

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    At the folks who have used the Mityvac 7201 fluid extractor including @BobTTundra and @tuner429 . . .

    I just finished doing the power steering flush on my 2000 Land Cruiser the old fashioned way jacking up the SUV, turning the wheels lock to lock. Too much time spent dragging out floor jacks, jack stands, wood blocks.

    [​IMG]

    Pulled the reservoir and cleaned it separately. But lots of work. Thinking the Mityvac may be a time saved where I don't need to lift the vehicle for servicing.

    Did you have to turn the wheels and steering wheel lock to lock a few times in addition to pumping the extractor?

    Seems like turning lock to lock to actuate the steering pump is not necessary if you are drawing the steering fluid from the return hose and adding new ATF fluid into the steering fluid reservoir.

    Just evaluating whether the $120 on Amazon is worth it. But I have three Toyotas and a Mazda to service for engine oil, etc.

    Do I need any special attachments with a 7201 for a 2014 Tundra?
     
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  11. Jul 13, 2022 at 1:48 PM
    #11
    tuner429

    tuner429 New Member

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    what i did is that I did it in stages. About once every two weeks I would pop the hood and extract the old fluid from the reservoir and replace it with new fluid from the gallon of Dex III. With about two or three fluid extractions, I noticed that the brighter red color of the Dex III would be brighter. At this point, doing it so much I have about 1.5 quarts left in the gallon i originally had and I don't notice a difference in color vs what I am putting in.

    The method you used is good to do it all in one shot, the method I used allowed me to just extract the old fluid out and and fill with fresh new fluid up to the max line and be done with it.

    The only thing I would like to do next is flush out/ clean out the reservoir. In terms of actual fluid, I think its good. Way better then what was originally in there.
     
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  12. Jul 13, 2022 at 2:25 PM
    #12
    shifty`

    shifty` Louisiana Saturday Night

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    Honestly, you may just want to replace the reservoir with a brand new one.

    Clamp both lines. Drain the old res, either by hand vac or baster. Pull old res. Install new res. Install lines. Fill new res, percuss out the bubbles. Unclamp hoses. Lift front, lock to lock a few times until no bubbles.

    I'd intended to look up the part number just to see how much it costs. I'm gonna do that in a sec.
     
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  13. Jul 13, 2022 at 2:34 PM
    #13
    shifty`

    shifty` Louisiana Saturday Night

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    Well that was a cool thought until it wasn't.

    I looked up the exploded on this for my '06: https://parts.toyota.com/a/Toyota_2...MP--RESERVOIR-POWER-STEERING/841420-4502.html

    Looks like they don't sell the reservoir plastics only. Gotta buy the whole assembly at $222 MSRP, although with discount, my local dealer is at $153. Not sure if $153 is worth the vanity of minty fresh plastics.

    The assembly part number for mine, for those too lazy to look it up, is 443600C030 or stylized the old way as 44360-0C030
     
  14. Jul 13, 2022 at 2:43 PM
    #14
    Dave8699

    Dave8699 Trackrat

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    I posted a thread of what I did ro clean the reservoir and it came out spotless.
     
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  15. May 3, 2023 at 4:03 PM
    #15
    rocky mountain roy

    rocky mountain roy New Member

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    Hi, new to the forum. Pretty new to mechanical work but have done basic things like coolant flush, new tie rod ends, pads and rotors replacement, oil changes, strut replacements).

    RustyShackle323, thanks for the great write up, I feel comfortable doing this now.

    I have questions. I noticed at the parts store they sell LubeGuard PS Flush and PS filters. First, not much info on what the flush fluid is but I’m wondering what you guys think about the product (is it safe in Tundra system? is it necessary?).

    The fluid in reservoir is pretty dark, not quite black. I’ve had truck 7,000 miles, it’s now at 230,000 and I have zero knowledge of any previous repairs and maintenance. Once I get into this process I might be finding sludge or boogers, hence me wondering about a flushing product.

    Once I get reservoir empty will there be a filter in there that can be replaced?

    thanks in advance
     
  16. May 3, 2023 at 6:19 PM
    #16
    shifty`

    shifty` Louisiana Saturday Night

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    Totally unnecessary IMO.

    Also fairly normal, honestly. My fluid was dark as hell until I did a cheater 'ranger method' swap recently to make time 'til a full flush. My truck has 75k miles on the clock, if mine's really damn dark, then ....

    Not a filter, but a plastic screen, if memory serves.

    At that mileage, you may want to consider adding an appropriate amount of ounces of AT-205 to top off the system. It's supposed to help rejuvenate the seals and gaskets in a way that won't distort or over-swell anything. Could help stave off leaks. If you're going to use some flush or additive, that's probably the one to run with.
     
  17. May 3, 2023 at 7:07 PM
    #17
    rocky mountain roy

    rocky mountain roy New Member

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    Thanks for the tips. I have a friend that rebuilds hot rods and he says he doesn’t “trust” stop leak products, thinks they may do more harm than good (I don’t understand why. Your thoughts?
     
  18. May 3, 2023 at 7:11 PM
    #18
    shifty`

    shifty` Louisiana Saturday Night

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    I don't trust stop-leak products either. AT-205 isn't a stop leak product.

    Stop-leak products are a stop gap tactic that are often abused or misused by the user. AT-205 is a seal and gasket conditioner.

    And to that point: Seals and gaskets reduce in size, shrivel, shrink with time. It's inevitable. When that happens, fluid seeps by, thus a leak is formed. Many stop-leak products either coagulate and/or clot within a liquid, or they swell something rubber to fill a void, but unchecked, and can overswell things, causing equal damage in the opposite direction. They can also have unintended side effects, like clogging other things you didn't intend to clog - i.e. collateral damage.

    All this to say, your friend isn't wrong. Stop-leak products are overall garbage. You need to know what you're buying and how it works, when you're supposed to use it, and for how long. Pro tip: Never trust a product that says you can't keep in for the lifetime of a fluid cycle. Stop-leak products are temporary for short term use. AT-205 isn't ... it's an additive.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2023
  19. May 5, 2023 at 7:03 AM
    #19
    rocky mountain roy

    rocky mountain roy New Member

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  20. May 17, 2023 at 6:09 PM
    #20
    rocky mountain roy

    rocky mountain roy New Member

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    Hey @shifty` how much of the additive AT-205? 8oz bottle says it will treat up to 6qts (I’m assuming that is when adding to motor oil) and I’m not sure how much ATF will be in the system. I have a gallon of Max Life for adding until I see red in my drain hose to catch pan
     
  21. May 17, 2023 at 6:14 PM
    #21
    shifty`

    shifty` Louisiana Saturday Night

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    1.5oz per quart of fluid. Your owner's manual will tell you how much power steering fluid is in the system, I expect.
     
  22. Dec 2, 2023 at 5:58 AM
    #22
    bflooks

    bflooks New Member

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    Great write up! Thanks!! Links were still valid, and overall, this is a painless project. Pretty surprised how brown/clear the original fluid was compared to the new. 2019, 49k.
     
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  23. Dec 6, 2023 at 2:58 PM
    #23
    AresEsMaLo

    AresEsMaLo New Member

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    I know you suggest Valvoline. I have a couple quarts of the Toyota ATF WS from when I flushed my transmission. Does anyone think that would be a bad idea using that to swap out my power steering fluid?
     
  24. Dec 6, 2023 at 3:11 PM
    #24
    bflooks

    bflooks New Member

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    Check your manual for specs. Your 06 could vary greatly from the 2/2.5 gens, which do not use WS ATF.
     
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  25. Dec 6, 2023 at 9:10 PM
    #25
    bmf4069

    bmf4069 Yup, that's a whole ass truck in a dishwasher

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    That should work too, as long as the manual says so.
     
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  26. Jan 15, 2024 at 1:59 PM
    #26
    FishNinja

    FishNinja Hide Your Daughters

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    Since I work outta my truck and it’s slow. Here’s a picture directly from the manual.

    IMG_4115.jpg
    IMG_4114.jpg
     
  27. Jan 16, 2024 at 8:38 PM
    #27
    ToyotaDude

    ToyotaDude New Member

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    Have you seen AT-205 fix tiny rack seal leaks? My steering definitely has play after all the years @ almost 247,000 miles, and its a little tight at the same time recently, especially when cold. Have flushed the fluid without increasing what appears as as tiny leak just enough to make bellows wet, but without noticeably reducing the fluid in the reservoir IIRC since about when the factory warranty ended. Going to check the steering shaft u-joint to chase the mild stiffness. Suppose it needs at least poly rack bushings to firm up the play, but considering if it needs rack replacement .. and tie rods ... and I suppose LBJs for PM if I'm in there. Don't see any play in UBJs, LBJs, or wheel bearings. But I picked up some Toyota UBJs since I noted UBJ boots were rotted and split when I spun the knuckle to install CVs. Assuming Toyota reman rack the best option? Looks like some were recommending others like Summit and Cardone from Rock Auto ... but IDK. Guess I'll start with poly bushings. What's the right rack bushing?
     
  28. Jan 17, 2024 at 12:42 AM
    #28
    whodatschrome

    whodatschrome New Member

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    lots of dents
    Energy Suspension makes a great poly bushing for the rack. The sell it in both a black and red color. Sometimes ES impregnates their black poly bushings with graphite, so that’s the reason i only buy their black ploy products. I have no idea if indeed that their black steering rack bushings are impregnated with graphite though.

    https://teamenergysuspension.com/about-energy/faq/

    Also check your steering column’s rag joint for slop.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2024
  29. Jan 17, 2024 at 5:45 AM
    #29
    shifty`

    shifty` Louisiana Saturday Night

    Joined:
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    I haven’t personally witnessed 205 stopping rack leaks. I’ve read accounts of that on Ih8Mud and other forums while surfing around, though. I’d be willing to give it a try. As long as the offending seal isn’t physically damaged (torn, breach) there’s a high likelihood it’ll work. It’s also widely accepted that putting a tablespoon of liquid fabric softener in your PS fluid will reduce PS pump groan, which all of these trucks seem to have.
     
  30. Jan 17, 2024 at 8:55 AM
    #30
    ToyotaDude

    ToyotaDude New Member

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    Looks like an easy job swapping the bushings.

    If the TREs seem tight does the rack typically develop wear/play internally or play is usually attributed to the rag joint, TREs, and bushings, so swapping the rack is usually not the go to for slop?
     
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