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Power steering stiff when cold


Ash333
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Hi, new to forum, and although I have made use of many of the interesting posts on here its high time I posted an appeal for help!

Basically a very long story short...

Bought an ex Mil defender 90 about a year ago had 2.5 na engine swapped for 200tdi and at same time secondhand power steering system fitted.

All well until it started cooling down late September when steering became stiff on cold start up. The colder the weather got the stiffer and longer it took to warm up and work properly.

The guy who did the work said it was probably the pump, so I bought and fitted myself a brand new bearmach one... No change the guy then said it must be the box ( 6 bolt) got exchange 6bolt recon box and drop arm from paddocks fitted that, still the same...

Replaced ujs on steering column... Still same except getting colder and worse!

Swapped fluid for fully synthetic ATF dextron lll level correct on cap dip stick..still same.

Brand new belt fitted and tensioned correctly.

System bled properly as far as I can work out, I have done it to the letter according to Haynes .

No kinks or leaks in lines.

Still same except now as its getting colder I'm also getting a chirruping noise on full lock!!

Tonight lifted front on axle stands and checked track rod end ball joints and seem fine, boots ok and no movement in them.

Also no leaks from ball hub thingy and oil levels correct.

Getting to end of tether...Help!

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I think I may know the answer!

6 Bolt boxes (and 3 bolt) are designed to run at higher pressure than 4 bolt. If you have a 200 tdi pump, the steering will be heavy.

Either change to a 4 bolt box or put a Range Rover pump on it. If you feel more technical, you can adjust the pressure relief valve in the pump. This is usually a grub screw which compresses a spring pushing a ball bearing into a relief port on the exhaust.

If it's the correct pump for the box, it may just be that the relief is opening too early.

The "chirruping noise" is either the belt slipping or the relief valve opening.

Si

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Thanks for all the feedback, lots to think a about now...

How would I know which range rover pump fits a 200tdi?

I just noticed The last mot ( before I owned vehicle and without pas ) has an advisory say steering slightly stiff... Could this be a clue? Maybe it's not related to cold weather but just progressively getting worse

I spoke to a local mechanic who said he would chec the track rod ends aren't seized...

What is the best way to do this?

As mentioned before I have had front on axle stands and ther was no movement in them but if they were seized there wouldn't be!

I could turn the wheels reasonably easily left and right whith my hands, woul that suggest that they aren't seized? Rubber boots seem ok. Or would they only seize under load with wheels on ground?

Any more advise greatly appreciated

Thanks!

I think I may know the answer!

6 Bolt boxes (and 3 bolt) are designed to run at higher pressure than 4 bolt. If you have a 200 tdi pump, the steering will be heavy.

Either change to a 4 bolt box or put a Range Rover pump on it. If you feel more technical, you can adjust the pressure relief valve in the pump. This is usually a grub screw which compresses a spring pushing a ball bearing into a relief port on the exhaust.

If it's the correct pump for the box, it may just be that the relief is opening too early.

The "chirruping noise" is either the belt slipping or the relief valve opening.

Si

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I note the OP says the column uj's have already been changed.

Check the oil level in the front hubs, if the top bushes dry out the steering can get very stiff. This can also happen if it's got one shot grease in the hubs as this can't get into the bushes like EP oil.

Anyway, if you disconnect each component in the steering in order you should be able to locate the stiffness.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Finally got to the bottom of it!

After going through everything that it could possibly be I gave up and put it in my local garage .

They went through everything systematically even changing a couple of ball joints because they were 'a little bit stiff '

They could find nothing wrong either so the blame pointed back to the steering box being duff again.

It was a gamble but I bit the bullet and got a brand new Adwest 4bolt box and got them to fit it.

Ta da! Perfect steering .... Like a dream!!

6 bolt gemmer recon box actually worse than the one I traded it in for,

Just relieved and happy to have got it sorted in the end.

Thanks all for your help .

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