Track runs and low power steering pressure

Messages
529
Location
Richmond, BC, Canada
On Friday nights here at Mission Raceway in Mission, BC, Canada, they have the street legal drag racing nights, where anyone with a drivable street legal car with mufflers can race anyone for bragging rights or even just to see how their car can do. I usually go out with my friend who drives a 79 Mustang with a 460 big block swap. That car runs mid to high 11's. I've been going out there to watch and be the pit crew for a couple years now, so I decided to see how my daily driver, my 1995 Dodge Stratus with 212,000km, 2.0L engine 5 speed could do. Low 18's, but If i try harder I might be able to make high 17's. That's besides the point. After about 5 runs I noticed as I was coming back in the return lane that it was getting difficult to steer. I replaced the power steering pump with a reman one about 4 months ago shortly after I bought the car, because it lost all pressure and made noises while accelerating. Everything was fine until the 6th run, when I had no power steering at all. I decided to call it quits there. What I think happened is that from the idle to 6000 rpm runs and then slow driving after that gave it no time to cool down completely between runs, even though each run was 20-30 min in between. When I did the power steering pump originally back in february, I decided to use AMSOIL PSF because it met the chrysler/mopar spec for my car, after seeing how long and difficult of a job it was to change, I didn't want to do it again anytime soon. On the way home from the track (I live in Richmond, BC, about 1.5 hrs believe from the track) the power steering started to improve. By the next morning everything was normal again. I'm wondering if I should flush out the old fluid and put new stuff in, because it might have overheated? Can that cause loss of pressure if the fluid gets too hot? The pump never made any weird noises that night, just a loss of pressurized steering.
 
Messages
8,756
Location
RI
Pressure will drop as fluid temp increase. Visc drops with temp. Don't be surprise if at that RPM, there wasn't enough dwell time in the reservoir for air to rise to the top. You probably sucked in some air too that slowly burped its way out. I would siphon/refill once for peace of mind.
 
Messages
962
Location
San Antonio, Texas
You had some airation and some foaming as said above. Be mindful to see how often that happens. If it airates and foams like that too often it will quickly kill the new PS pump. Trust me, I know. I go to the track faily often and I've ended up filling the PS reservoir a little over the full line and doing fluid changes w/ Mobil1 ATF about every 18 months and haven't had a problem since.
 
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Messages
8,756
Location
RI
No, at high rpms, PSF temp shoots up very quickly. Not much you can do if your PSF temp hits 300-400f. Higher RPM thermal runaway is the cause and a temp gauge would prove it. A fix would be a PSF cooler or increased sump capacity. Since Chrysler had some PS issues, and has a bunch of updated TSB's over the years, PSF might be the WRONG fluid here. You should check to see if the PSF has been superceded with ATF, in which case you should flush it with Amsoil ATF or any ATF+4. Lubegard/Smartblend make PSF additives to help. I would use it with a generic or OE PSF. Its probably not needed with a 'full synthetic' PSF like Amsoil, Redline, Royalpurple, BG, Wynns....
 
Messages
962
Location
San Antonio, Texas
 Originally Posted By: Gary Allan
Can he can get a defoamer/anti-foam agent that will prevent this?
A quick search brought up this. http://www.sweetmfg.biz/products2.asp?edit_id=28 I've never personally used anything that had anti-foam additives in it so I don't have any experience with them. The other thing I would suggest is that next time he's at the track he ask some of the racers around the pits if they know of or use anything like this. I've found some of my best info asking guys that are constantly racing, tearing down engines, changing fluids, and things like that. Another good place to ask would be at autocross events or on an autocross forum. I think I might just start doing some reaarch now.
 
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