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About a year and a half ago, I noticed a puddle of foamy power steering fluid on my driveway when it was cold. I took the truck to a shop to get it inspected and they replaced the rack and pinion and all was good until recently.

Recently while on a trip, my power steering started growling and the reservoir with normal levels, but while parked I could hardly turn the steering wheel. I was able to drive home. I bought a new pump and put it in and it was still growling, even worse than before.

I took this to a mechanic and let them “Fix” the problem. They put in another new pump and said it was all fixed. I drove the truck home and it still made a subtle whine, then after about 200 miles and the pump was whining louder quite a bit. I checked the fluid and it all seemed okay.

I spoke with a mechanic friend and he said that the shop should have replaced the rack and pinion, the power steering pump, all of the lines and the steering cooler as there is a risk of metal shavings clogging the system and that if this is not done, then I will always have a continual problem if I only replace some of the parts.

Frustrated, and not knowing what to do or willing to fork over another bundle of cash, I let the truck sit for the past 5 months!

Today, after searching online I read where some people found that the cause for the entire common Dodge Ram truck power steering problem is a small factory crimped low pressure clamp where the return hose from the steering cooler attaches to the metal fitting on the rack.

I went to investigate my truck to see if this hose was leaking and it was quite lose, I could turn the entire hose around by hand, it was very sloppy and definitely leaking. I checked the power steering reservoir and it was bone dry after sitting for so long and leaking foamy fluid on my driveway for 5 months. I decided to fix this hose clamp myself by cutting off the factory crimped clamp and added a normal hose clamp on both ends of this return line. Then filled the reservoir, put the front end on jack stands and started it up, turned the wheel back and forth numerous times while idling, and the whiny pump noise started to settle down and seemed pretty good. Checked the pump fluid and it was normal level.

Then I thought I would give it some gas and see if it was noisy, about 2500 rpm, and it was squealing a bit. So I turned it wheel back and forth a bit and then it sounded like the pump was running low. I turned off the motor, and needed to add more fluid. Started it up, turned the wheel a few more times, idling, added more fluid to normal level. I added almost 2 quarts of fluid total. Started the truck and ran the rpm to 2500 and heard a loud “POP” only to see that the power steering fluid was spraying from the rubber boot on the rack on the driver side. I also noticed that my reservoir was about quarter full.

After this long history, now I will get to my questions, sorry, thanks for hanging in there!

Questions 1: Was the system plugged and then during higher rpm did this dislodge something in the high pressure line, then keep sucking in fluid from the reservoir so much that it blew a seal? Or was this something that I cause the rack seals to blow by turning the steering wheel too tight while the engine was at a high rpm and the wheels off the ground? Did I add to much fluid? I figured if the level of the fluid decreased that I needed more fluid, so I kept adding.

Questions 2: Obviously I need a new rack at this point. Should I replace everything, pump (even though it is new) all the high and low pressure lines, and the steering cooler? Or just the rack and the high and low pressure lines? Can the steering cooler, by itself, be flushed and back flushed to ensure that it is not clogged rather than replace it?

If I am missing something else obvious on how to properly repair this please let me know.

Thanks for reading my novel! I look forward to your help.
 

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07 Hemi here. Subbed I'm having horrible problems as well

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