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98 5.9 ZJ Power Steering Problems


 
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rory
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Joined: 01 Jul 2008

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:39 am    Post subject: 98 5.9 ZJ Power Steering Problems Reply with quote

First, I've just joined your ranks, sorry for the "speeking up only when you have a problem" syndrome. Second, as with other forums, I've searched and came up short for an answer to this problem.


I have a '98 5.9 ZJ, been in the extended family since new. H&R lowering springs, Bilstein shocks, air helper springs at the rear, KYB steering stabilizer, rear sway bar, etc. On 20s with Bridgestone Alenza tires.

This set up has been very reliable and trouble free for years. I got the GC from my dad a few months ago. About 126k, with nothing but new brakes, a new transmission and shift kit so far. Knowing my dad, every service has been done, and on time. Oil changed before 3k miles, etc.

But, I have a problem.

The Power Steering is acting up. I like to carve up the mountain roads, and I'm loosing my power steering once the engine, and apparently PS fluid gets hot. A intermittent problem of the Power Steering failing has happened about half a dozen times as of yesterday.

I believe the PS pump and box are both factory original. The PS fluid is dirty and brown. My first step will be to drain and refill the fluid a few times to flush it out.


Is this a common problem with a simple solution such as replacing the fluid, or is this the sign of a failing PS pump or steering box? I'm an aircooled Volkswagen guy, and I don't know much about all the power gadgets.


So, symptoms are: Intermittent complete loss of Power Assist on the steering. Has happened during a constant-arc turn, at low speeds in a parking lot, high speeds hitting a 35 mph-recommended turn at about 50, and slowing to a stop on a freeway offramp. Cold, no problem. The problem has shown itself after at least 15-20 of curvy mountain driving, not my normal daily in-town driving. I though there might be an elevation-change based querk, but I've lost power at 10k, 7k, and 4500 feet.

It scared the crap out of me last night while my wife and I were running through the mountains, so it's parked until I figure this out, and I can't afford to replace the PS pump or steering box at this time.


Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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nixt
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Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta/Athens, Georgia

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out http://www.nagca.com/grandtech/steeringcooler.htm if you want an upgrade but you'll have to put the kit together yourself since mopar doesn't offer the kit as a package anymore.
_________________
1998 ZJ 5.9 Limited W/242 swap
JKS disconnects & Garmin GPS
Heavy duty OME Suspension kit
with 2" coil spacers for 3.5-3.75 total lift
235/85R16 Goodyear MTR's Measure a true 32"

Life has No Value,
But Death Has Its Price.
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rory
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Joined: 01 Jul 2008

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that link.

Looks like I might have been on the right track based on this write up - my old, dirty fluid, with the hot weather, and hard driving, have led to the fluid getting too hot and not properly lubricating.

I'll have a vacuum pump tonight so I can start flushing out the fluid and see what I can come up with.

The above page states that vehicles with the factory trailer tow package have high temperature seals for the pump and box. Though I'm not sure if the 5.9 has this feature as it seems to be missing some features of the standard 5.2, like speed-sensitive power assist.
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BIGLUCK615
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Joined: 28 Apr 2008
Location: fort knox

PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rory,i`ve got the 5.9 gc as well it`s definit not the box, your issues coming from the pump!
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98 ZJ 5.9
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