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Unread 01-24-2010, 11:50 PM   #1
BlairB
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Default Power Steering Failure (something to watch out for if you have a body lift)

Well today I had my power steering fail while driving from one trail to another in Big Bear. I was going around a corner when the steering started feeling weird and a few seconds later the power steering went out all together. I got on the radio and said I needed to pull over because of what had happened and was told a huge puff of smoke had just come from my truck.

I pulled over and got out of my truck to find fluid that had sprayed everywhere on the passenger side of the engine compartment. There was also a huge puddle where I had parked. I went and checked all my fluids and although I assumed it was power steering fluid, we looked at the outside of the reservoir and it looked full, it was not until we took the cap off that we realized it was bone dry and the reservoir was stained, so we were definitely confused at first.

I pulled my flashlight out and started looking around the engine compartment to find where the fluid was coming from (which was difficult at first as it was everywhere). I noticed that one of the hoses coming off the power steering fluid reservoir had pulled apart from its mount deeper in the engine compartment. As soon as it pulled away I lost all my fluid in a matter of seconds.

Mark saved the day and went to the nearest gas station and bought some power steering fluid. Jim also had a perfect sized hoseclamp to reconnect the hose to the mounting point. (thanks to you both). When I reattached the hose I was able to run it along a slightly shorter route and do not think I will be having the problem again.

Once the fluid is put back in, you just crank the steering wheel lock to lock repeatedly and it will get the air out of the system, and also make a TERRIBLE noise until it does so.

It is pretty clear that this is something that is directly related to the body lift. When the body was lifted the hose stretched just a little too far and this gave way. Who knows, my factory clamp may not have been put on quite as well as most or hose could have been 1/4" shorter, but the fact it happened a week after putting on the body lift is pretty telling. If you have a large body lift, I would just check out the hose.

Anywhere here are some pics of the clamp ,the mess it made and deceiving reservoir from Jim's Big Bear snow run report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teotwaki View Post
Eventually we got over to Lytle Creek but Blair got on the radio to announce his power steering was disappearing!

And here is why


A combination of the routing of the return hose and the body lift stretched the hose to the limit. Bouncing on snow kept tugging at it until it pooped on Lytle Creek road

Making a big mess



The empty power steering reservoir fooled us because the dirt on the sides made it look full


But it wasn't!

Expat generously ran back down to a gas station at the freeway and bought some unknown label "Premium" power steering fluid. It even had a picture of a Porsche to let you know it must be good!

A new hose clamp and ready to start it up.


Just a note that the air in the system will make for some awful sounds when first started, but just run the steering wheel left and right to work it out
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Last edited by BlairB; 01-24-2010 at 11:53 PM.
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Unread 01-25-2010, 12:12 AM   #2
medic83
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Weird...I really dont think this was due to "having the BL on your truck" Im sure I have the biggest BL here and I have ran it in the snow and on very bumpy terrain and I havent had this problem...Have you seen if anyone else here has had this issue? There is a lot of people here that have been running the BL without any issues for a long time. I personally had wheeled mine very hard in the rocks and fast in the desert and everything has been fine. I will check the line tomorrow, but when me and Todd (crazydubman) were putting on the bigger BL 2.5". we inspected all wires and hoses that may be getting stretched......By doing this, there is actually room for a 3-4" BL. I personally would not do it, but even the fuel pump wires had more room without having to extend them. All this aside, maybe you jacked up the body too much when installing the BL.... or perhaps like you said, a loose or bad clamp. Do you think maybe when the guys were doing your welds for your engine mount, they pulled the hose???
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Unread 01-25-2010, 12:14 AM   #3
.K.C.
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thank you BlairB for reporting this & informing us 4Runner lovers!!
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Unread 01-25-2010, 12:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medic83 View Post
Weird... Im sure I have the biggest BL here and I have ran it in the snow and on very bumpy terrain and I havent had this problem... I will check the line tomorrow, but when me and Todd (crazydubman) were putting on the bigger BL 2.5". we inspected all wires and hoses that may be getting stretched......By doing this, there is actually room for a 3-4" BL. I personally would not do it, but even the fuel pump wires had more room without having to extend them. All this aside, maybe you jacked up the body too much when installing the BL.... or perhaps like you said, a loose or bad clamp. Do you think maybe when the guys were doing your welds for your engine mount, they pulled the hose???
Actually when it happened I started thinking of your 2.5" body lift and was wondering if you had lengthened yours. I was very surprised to have it happen. It may be something that is slightly different in the V6's when compared to the V8 or slightly different on the 2006+ later 4Runners, not sure.

I doubt it was from installing the BL, when we did it we just jacked up the body enough to sqeeze the lift pucks in. Not sure about the motor mount, I may call DMZ and ask, but if they had to disconnect hoses/bleed lines etc... I think he would have mentioned it since I talked to the owner at length about the motor mount problem as well as exactly what they do to fix it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by .K.C. View Post
thank you BlairB for reporting this & informing us 4Runner lovers!!
Not a problem

Not something most need to worry about, but always a possibility.
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Last edited by BlairB; 01-25-2010 at 12:22 AM.
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Unread 01-25-2010, 12:32 AM   #5
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Hmm, definitely something to check.

BTW ATF works very nice in a PS. I use Amsoil ATF and I think Toyota specifies ATF for the PS.
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Unread 01-25-2010, 12:53 AM   #6
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Weird, like I said, people here have the BL on the v8 and v6 and I havent seen this. Like I was saying, we checked everything we could and we actually have room for a 3-4" BL without extending anything from what we could tell. I didnt have to lenghten anything. This might just be a weird case. Glad its fixed tho... Weird, both my friend this last week lost their power steering, the 08 4door Jeep Rubi blew his power steering pump and so did my friends 01 2dr Jeep while snow wheelin this last week.. .
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Unread 01-25-2010, 12:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldog View Post
Hmm, definitely something to check.

BTW ATF works very nice in a PS. I use Amsoil ATF and I think Toyota specifies ATF for the PS.
I will probably flush the system and put in some ATF this week. I may also buy and install a slightly longer hose, not sure yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by medic83 View Post
Weird, like I said, people here have the BL on the v8 and v6 and I havent seen this. Like I was saying, we checked everything we could and we actually have room for a 3-4" BL without extending anything from what we could tell. I didnt have to lenghten anything. This might just be a weird case. Glad its fixed tho... Weird, both my friend this last week lost their power steering, the 08 4door Jeep Rubi blew his power steering pump and so did my friends 01 2dr Jeep while snow wheelin this last week.. .
Yeah it definitely is weird and I have never heard of it happening either. Maybe I am just lucky like that

Odds are it was a bad clamp or a slightly shorter hose, who knows.
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Unread 01-25-2010, 10:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medic83 View Post
...Weird, both my friend this last week lost their power steering, the 08 4door Jeep Rubi blew his power steering pump and so did my friends 01 2dr Jeep while snow wheelin this last week.. .
It's that Jeep thing...
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I had that Jeep thing... But I went to my local Toyota dealer, bought a 4Runner and it cleared that crap right up.
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Unread 02-11-2010, 07:27 PM   #9
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I was thinking bout a 1.5" body lift but now i am pretty skeptical to do so...do you think it will be safe?
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Unread 02-12-2010, 12:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aws24689 View Post
I was thinking bout a 1.5" body lift but now i am pretty skeptical to do so...do you think it will be safe?
Andries,Mark and a few others have had there 1.5" body lifts for years with no reported trouble....

Maybe the incident with Blair is a very rare occurrence...
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Unread 02-12-2010, 12:18 AM   #11
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I wonder if you lifted the body too high when you were doing the instal and pulled on the line and it was just a matter of time before it slide off under pressure?

I'm also not sure if this is just an old wives tale but i remember people telling me to never crank the steering all the way to one side or another, because it forces the pump to build pressure. If this were true and you had your steering crank all the way to one side for too long it MIGHT be another possibility.

I have checked my lines and no problems.

This is a unique and so far ONLY identified case. I think it might have been an instal issue rather than the BL itself.
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Unread 02-12-2010, 12:21 AM   #12
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I suspect they pulled the line when fixing his engine mounts and didn't run it back the correct way, thus causing way more stress on it than other have had. Or maybe he got lucky and they ran it incorrectly at the factory.
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Unread 02-12-2010, 12:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldog View Post
I suspect they pulled the line when fixing his engine mounts and didn't run it back the correct way, thus causing way more stress on it than other have had. Or maybe he got lucky and they ran it incorrectly at the factory.
Oh yeah. Forgot he had that work done. That would be it.
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Unread 02-12-2010, 12:50 AM   #14
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so i shouldnt have any trouble...It is mostly because of the work he had done?
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Unread 02-12-2010, 12:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldog View Post
I suspect they pulled the line when fixing his engine mounts and didn't run it back the correct way, thus causing way more stress on it than other have had. Or maybe he got lucky and they ran it incorrectly at the factory.
X2... Thats what I figured from the begining. Because all of us have ran the BL for a long time without incident.
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Unread 02-12-2010, 12:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
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so i shouldnt have any trouble...It is mostly because of the work he had done?
I really dont think ull have any issues.
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Unread 02-12-2010, 12:54 AM   #17
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Does it make any really noticeable differences in ride quality?
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Unread 02-12-2010, 01:02 AM   #18
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IMHO..... No. In old yotas and big chevy's.. 3-4" body lifts are very common.... 1.5" is nothing.
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