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  • Power steering fluid

    Just changed power steering hoses on my '58. I looked at an older thread concerning power steering fluid. It recommends using Type F transmission fluid.

    I wanting to know why newer power steering fluid is not usable in these systems.
    Thanks.
    Leonard
    sigpic

  • #2
    Originally posted by Yellowbird View Post
    ...I wanting to know why newer power steering fluid is not usable in these systems...
    Len, I wouldn't use any power steering fluid. Who is it approved by (Ford, GM)? They keep improving transmission fluid, and that IS approved by the OEM's. I haven't seen Type-F in awhile, but Dextron III is available everywhere.

    I had a discussion with a Hi-Lo mechanic at the plant about that. He said, "If it's red, go ahead and use it."

    Now, that is a general statement. Remember, Type-F is not meant to be as much a lubricant as, a means to transfer power. It's hydraulic fluid. The system envronment is not hostile so no detergent, and the owner's manual doesn't mention anything about changing it. There isn't even a filter. If kept clean, it should last.

    The only concern is compatability with seal materials. I prefer using tranny fluid because it works the best and is much cheaper than power steering fluid, which can be anything. I use Dextron III (BMW spec's it too).

    What CAN you use? I'm sure you could use expensive synthetic, but why? If you are inclined to change your PS fluid, ok. Nothing works better than transmission fluid.

    When your fluid turns dark, jack up the front tires, remove the drain line, catch it in a container, and turn the wheels from lock to lock until fluid stops coming out. Reconnect the hose, fill with that wonderful Dextron III transmission fluid, turn the wheels lock to lock again several times to work out air bubbles, then top-off. FWIW, IMHO.

    - Dave
    My latest project:
    CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

    "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
    --Lee Iacocca

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    • #3
      Dave,
      The fluid I looked at was approved by Ford. However, what does that mean. I'll go with your advice and go with red. I looked on O'Reilly's website and they have a Type F fluid. I'll try to pick it up.
      I appreciate your input!
      Leonard
      sigpic

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      • #4
        A fluid that meets O.E. standard typically has specific application information printed on the label.

        A general statement claiming the fluid meets O.E. requirements DOES NOT guarantee good fluid quality.

        Currently there are no API (American Petroleum Institute) standards established for power steering fluid which is why there are so many questionable brands out there. The only standards you can trust today come from the O.E.M.
        My latest project:
        CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

        "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
        --Lee Iacocca

        Comment


        • #5
          The one I bought had the following statement: meets performance requirements of ForD ESW-M2C128-C and D. It also listed GM,C hrysler,AMC and Saginaw.
          You are correct that there is not an API number listed. So I'm on my way to look for Type F or Dextron III.
          You also mentioned the removing the drain line to change fluid. Which line do you use as the drain line?
          Thanks.
          Leonard
          sigpic

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          • #6
            Dextron 6 is the latest & greatest.
            The Ford manual says Type F ATF.
            Remember, Sq/Birds don't have true Pwr Strg. It's a manual gearbox with hyd pwr asst. Earlier Corvette's had the same syst. They used ATF too.

            It's a good system. I've had little or no problems. My dad had the hyd cyl rebuilt probably 25 yrs ago. A cntl valve w/new hoses shortly after that.

            I have to admit for a car with more miles than the Space Shuttle, it's relatively bullet proof. It's on it's 3rd engine.
            The only high failure thing I can see is the (stock) transmission. He probably replaced it or rebuilt it 5 or 6 times til he put the large case big boy in there. It's been worked on (massaged) a little but it's been in there 20 years. A C-6 will be next, when this one pukes.
            John Byers
            1960 Convertible (Orig owner)
            sigpic

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            • #7
              My local Autozone has Type F fluid as well. That's what I put back in my 1960 Bird's pwr. steering system....

              -Jon
              sigpic
              The 1960 Ford Thunderbird. The WORLD'S most wanted car....

              VTCI Member#6287.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tbird430 View Post
                My local Autozone has Type F fluid as well. That's what I put back in my 1960 Bird's pwr. steering system...
                Jon, after all those years of using Type-F, have you ever had an issue with it? I never did. Kinda makes me wonder why anyone would buy power steering fluid, or why does it even exist? Some sites push changing it. Well, ok. After a decade of service, I guess a changing mine might be in order. I just never think about it (unless it gets dark). Sometimes, I think folks do more damage by letting dirt in the cap when they open it. That's why many reservoirs are see-through. - Dave
                My latest project:
                CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                --Lee Iacocca

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well, I'm only 37 yrs old & I've owned my '60 since 1991. I haven't had any problems with Type 'F' fluid in these years. I even used it in my Cruise-O-Matic up until I had to have it rebuilt (around 1995). The shop owner told me the newer style clutch material would be fine with regular Mercon-Dextron trans fluid...

                  -Jon
                  sigpic
                  The 1960 Ford Thunderbird. The WORLD'S most wanted car....

                  VTCI Member#6287.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Jon:

                    Correct on using the Dex with new style clutch material. Type F can be used but will give a more solid shift.

                    With older style clutch material, Dex can give a sluggish shift. Type F is what should be used.

                    If in doubt as to whether the tranny has been rebuilt, Type F is best because it can go both ways.

                    We went through this back in 200??? Type F also for PS.

                    Is KULTULZ around any more?

                    Ford Transmission Forum link http://www.network54.com/Forum/260730/
                    Last edited by bcomo; September 15th, 2009, 11:30 PM.
                    Bart
                    1960 Hard Top/430
                    Thunderbird Registry Number 1231

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                    • #11
                      Power steering fluid

                      Hi Bart,

                      Thanks for the information. I am sure our newer members will appreciate that very much.

                      As for KULTULZ, no, he has not been around for awhile.

                      Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                      '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                      "It's Hip To Be Square"
                      Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                      Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                      http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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