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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] Resto Revival

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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
    912, speedtre, tunyota and 6 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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    Hand Protectors
    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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    Dead stock with oem 16" starfish wheels. We'll see how long that lasts. :) Topper of unknown origin.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2021
    RustyShackle323 [OP] likes this.
  5. Mar 15, 2021 at 7:39 AM
    #5
    RustyShackle323

    RustyShackle323 [OP] Resto Revival

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    Restoration project
    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
     

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