power steering return hose

billj

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2005 Ford Escape, 2.3 litre 4Cly. I am going to change the power steering fluid myself to Mercon V. I have the link for the fluid change procedure and also I have the Ford Workshop Manuals, but I am still not sure which line is the return line to the power steering fluid reservoir. Is it the large (maybe 3/4") line that goes to the side of the reservoir or the smaller (maybe 3/8") line that goes to the bottom of the reservoir? ???
 

kev2

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this shows both hoses and names them...again the larger is suction smaller pressure
 

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Mobile Dan

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There is very little pressure in the reservoir (unless were a restriction to flow). Not much pressure in a garden hose unless you try to cap it with your thumb.
 

billj

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I am modifying my last post here. Should I disconnect the large hose at the end that attaches to the power steering pump and drain the PS fluid from there or should I discone ct the small hose at the reservoir and drain from that hose?
 

Mobile Dan

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I think you should remove the small hose from the rez and get ready to collect the fluid that will come out of the hose when the engine is started. You might want to cap the small nipple on the rez in case you get enough fluid in there to leak out during the flush procedure. Keep adding clean fluid to the rez until fluid coming out of small hose is clean. You will need a helper to start and stop the engine. Might be a good idea to put it back together and turn lock-to-lock several times, then repeat flushing procedure.
 

NickD

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Granted, a 2005 Escape escapes me, never worked on one, for years Ford was using a steel tube for the high pressure line and a much larger neoprene for the return. And for whatever reason with Fords, when the fluid becomes contaminated, the steering wheel had a mind of its own, especially around turns, even shallow ones.

Last one was my son's 2000 Taurus, same old procedure used for years. Jack up the front to take off the weight off the tires, but can skip that and just grind your tires up with flat spots. Remove the return line and jury rig an extension hose to it, other end has to be securely tied to a heavy container or will end up whipping fluid all over the place.

Kid gets in the car, runs the engine at idle and whips the steering wheel from stop to stop as fast as he can. I like the discomfort of working under the hood, pour in fresh fluid wasting a quart or two until it comes out clean. Stop the engine, return the return line. Start it up again, same stop to stop and fill it back up, but on the low side. Drop the vehicle and use the dip stick for the proper fillup. Yeah, I also like to add some Lucas power steering seal conditioner, not that I am a Lucas salesman. His also had a minor leak that cured that, was about three years ago, hasn't leaked since.

Even a wife can crank that steering wheel without breaking a finger nail, heaven forbid. But need some kind of an assistant to flush it out good and avoid air pockets.
 

billj

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Ok, if I am reading the above correctly Danica is saying the small hose to the reservior is the return line but Nick D is saying the large hose is the return line. I am very confused. I appreciate everyones input, but which line goes into the drain bucket?
 

Mobile Dan

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I believe Nick is flushing a car that has the rez mounted right on the pump. Fluid path is much simpler. Pump-to-gear, gear-back-to-pump.

Your rez has two nipples :D, take hose off the small nipple, cap the nipple, put the hose in a bucket. I prefer to secure hose into the neck of a 2 liter soda bottle, leaving enough room in the neck for air to escape as the bottle fills.
 

NickD

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This your pump? Also appears to have an external reservoir where the return somehow goes back to that. By using a 2 liter pop bottle, 1,500 psi pressure may blow quite a hole in it. Stand back!

Tell me to shut up, never saw under the hood of an Escape before, but one my kids is taking about getting one. Will tell them to be prepared for PS pump problems.
 

billj

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Yes, I think that may be my pump. And yes it has an external reservoir. The small return hose goes to the bottom of the reservoir. The only real problem with the Escape power steering that I am aware of is the factory fluid. The fluid causes a squeak in the steering box that resinates up through the steering column. Ford recommends flushing out the factory fluid and replacing it with Mercon V. Oh, and I think I'll forgo the 2 litre bottle and stick with a plastic pail. :warn
 

NickD

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Certainly you are old enough to remember galvanized steel buckets. They don't make them like they use to.
 
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