High Viscosity ATF for Power Steering???

Messages
66
Location
MA
My 1987 Toyota 4Runner was sitting for 14 years before I restored it and brought it back to life. Now I'm dealing with all the maintenance issues that are popping up. The latest is the Power steering pump. Its starting to make a whine noise. Not loud enough to worry about but I figured now is a good time to change the fluid and put some synthetic in there. Who knows whats in there now and its probably the original fluid. It takes ATF, and according to the factory service manual Dexron I or Dexron II. Initially I was thinking Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF because its available locally. But would a thicker, higher viscosity fluid work better? I hear Redline and Amsoil's Universal Power Steering fluid is rated as Dexron I/II and is a bit thicker. Any good recommendations?
 
Messages
13,282
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
Personaly, I would try the Mobil 1 ATF first and go from there. Also, in my wifes Lexus with a sticky Power Steering Rack, I added some BAR's Leak Power Steering Fix(sold at W*M, AAP etc.) which completely removed any sticky/binding that the Rack was experiencing. Not that your P/S is binding, I just thought I bring it up!
 
Messages
2,358
Location
Paradise of Florida
Any full synthetic Dex equivalent ATF would work great. Add on ounce of lubegard red or platinum to clean it up. Mobil1 and Royalpurple would be my 1st choices since they are sold locally. Valvoline Import is another. For those in colder climates or on an MPG push, thinner synth ATFs like Maxlife Mag1 Peak Amalie Lubegard Castrol ... are some choices. You cant go wrong with the collection of ATFs from Amsoil or Redline. Lubegard Royalpurple Amsoil Prestone Redline Neo Driven... also have full synthetic psf.
 
Messages
186
Location
WI
Honestly, I would use Dex VI in it as it is a replacement for the original dex and in this application should work fine. Synthetic would be fine, too - if it's spec'd properly. DON'T worry about thicker oil being needed... in the cold it just makes it worse - for steering and on the pump/lines as it just "pushes" too hard and causes undue stress on the components and harder steering effort with the higher viscosity.
 
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AdmiralYoda

Thread starter
Messages
66
Location
MA
Hmmmmm....Castrol synthetic blend Dexron VI is available at my local AAP. So is Mobil 1 ATF. Decisions, decisions...
 
Messages
4,597
Location
Manchester, England
I'd fill it with whatever i have to hand and run around for a couple hundred miles, then drain and fill with redline. but then I'm a bit of a brand-[censored] with certain things. with a quick flush, just about any syn or dex will be fine smile edit- didnt realise the word starting with W, commonly used to refer to a 'lady of the night' was censored. let me recede the comment and replace said word with...aficionado. thanks
 
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Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
The Lubegard power steering supplement, or the Lubegard fluid that contains the supplement, works. With the pump whining, I'd try this to see if it can extend the life. Syn ATF, which I use, mainly will give longer fluid life, not necessarily make the pump live longer as long as the fluid is good.
 
Messages
36,459
Location
ME
If the whine were gear-on-gear I could see thicker helping but it could (easily) be cavitation, which I'm not sure about. But my pump sounds seriously angry at -15'F with super thick fluid. Just something to ponder... try different high-quality stuff, it's only a few bucks a quart and a quart will do ya.
 

AdmiralYoda

Thread starter
Messages
66
Location
MA
I just looked into the LubeGard stuff. Looks pretty nice! I checked the websites for all the local chains but came up empty. Is this available locally or is it internet only?
 
Messages
13,282
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
I have used the LubeGard P/S fluid in Honda vehicle. It's a regular P/S fluid for use in Honda's. But, I don't know that it's a replacement for the DEXRON ATF as P/S fluid. Double check before using the LubeGard P/S fluid. LubeGard also has a power steering fluid converter. Changes regular P/S fluids to a Honda Type P/S Fluid. Even says so!
 
Messages
2,434
Location
Oconomowoc Wi
Lucas Power Steering fluid with conditioners is what I use in most of my vehicles. Its a synthetic based PS fluid and I have been very impressed with it...
 
Messages
186
Location
WI
Originally Posted By: Boss302fan
Lucas Power Steering fluid with conditioners is what I use in most of my vehicles. Its a synthetic based PS fluid and I have been very impressed with it...
I have to say... I have not personally used the product of which you speak... but from what I have heard/experienced from too many Lucas Oil products... I wouldn't use the stuff to lube the hinges on an outhouse door !!
 
Messages
380
Location
ann arbor, mi
the p/s pump on my car made some noise(not much, could really only be noticed indoors but enough to annoy me) i spec'ed out a thinner atf thinking its less strain on the pump(= less noise, wear ect) and found amsoil atf would fit the bill(and great deal from my dealer). i flushed the system and made sure to purge any air bubbles out. i barely even notice it now. it may have had air in it too from aerating the oem fluid, which i wouldn't doubt. i have heard of people purging the system and getting rid of all pump noise. not saying you have to use amsoil i would not hesitate on using the mobil. but purge the system. i have even driven a 2009 focus with 20,000 miles and it foamed up the p/s fluid. those bubbles sometimes stay in the system and make the pump very audible.
 
Messages
17,318
Location
Silicon Valley
If you want thick fluid, Honda PS fluid is THICK and is the reason for incompatible with other PS fluid / ATF. You can give that a try (it also has a lot of detergents in there too).
 
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