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Old 11-23-2007, 06:40 PM   #1
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Rack and Pinion - Use PS fluid or ATF?

I keep hearing some people recommending Power Steering fluid in the rack while some people recommend ATF

I've heard the ATF is thinner and will give a looser steering feel. Any truth to this?

The car is a 94GT if it matters. I wanted to see what you guys recommend before I put it into thru my PS pump. Thanks

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Old 11-23-2007, 08:46 PM   #2
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I believe the good ole Owner's Manual says ATF. That's all I've ever used.
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Old 11-23-2007, 09:15 PM   #3
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I've been using Valvoline's synthetic PS fluid. So far, no ill effects, but is it the best choice? What would be recommended for a car with hybrid parts? I have a Fox pump, which originally saw Type F and an '03 Cobra Rack, which probably was spec'd for Mercon.
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Old 11-23-2007, 09:37 PM   #4
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Foxbody racks and power steering pump spec is Type F ATF. If you run regular PS fluid in them you'll regret it.

EDITED, it was late and I got it wrong

Last edited by MFE; 11-24-2007 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 11-24-2007, 02:12 AM   #5
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Here is what I have used in the past.

The fluid that is in my rack right now certainly is not red however. Looks like motor oil

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Old 11-24-2007, 09:15 AM   #6
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Gold, or black?
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Old 11-24-2007, 09:58 AM   #7
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Yes, sorry, Type F is what's called for in these systems, not Mercon or PS fluid.
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Old 11-24-2007, 10:18 AM   #8
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huessman, it is gold
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Old 11-26-2007, 03:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Foxbody racks and power steering pump spec is Type F ATF. If you run regular PS fluid in them you'll regret it.

EDITED, it was late and I got it wrong
Any idea what to use for a system with a Fox pump and an SN95 rack? It's two different recommended fluids.
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Old 11-26-2007, 03:42 PM   #10
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I'd go with the Type F, because it's the pump that's sensitive to it, not so much the rack
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Old 11-27-2007, 12:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ND4SPDLSC View Post
Any idea what to use for a system with a Fox pump and an SN95 rack? It's two different recommended fluids.
You telling me there is a different recommended fluid for 94-95 vs fox?
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
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You telling me there is a different recommended fluid for 94-95 vs fox?
According to my Mitchell-on-Demand a 1990 and a 1995 Mustang both specify ATF Type F for power steering. There is a possibility that seal compatibility might be an issue with long term use of something that does not meet Ford requirements.

The main difference in Type F fluid is it has a different friction modifier vs the Dexron/Mercon fluids. This was a concern in transmissions of older Fords but I can't see it being a major issue in power steering. FWIW I have used PS fluid, Mercon and now Mobil-1 ATF in my system. The Mobil-1 seems to take to on-track driving better than the others with a noticeably reduced tendency to foam, especially in autocross events.
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Old 11-27-2007, 08:47 AM   #13
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The owners manual for my 99 GT specifically says Mercon V. My 03 F150 just says use Mercon.

Like stated above the earlier cars called for type F but I have no idea when they changed.

Years ago we had to use type F in most all european cars due to seals being damaged by Dexron but I was told the compatibility issues were due to the use of natural rubber seals verses neoprene.
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Last edited by Han Solo; 11-27-2007 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 11-27-2007, 01:37 PM   #14
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I run mercon V in mine.
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Old 12-06-2007, 01:29 AM   #15
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Lots of opinions here guys, lol

Any other opinions before I put in the wrong stuff and cause a premature leak
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Old 12-06-2007, 09:02 AM   #16
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ATF type F. That's what the Ford manual calls for.
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Old 12-06-2007, 10:58 PM   #17
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Thanks guys!
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:05 PM   #18
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I'm running a AGR pump with a 93 Cobra rack. AGR says they require using clear PS fluid. If not you pump is void of warrenty. I was running normal PS fluid and switched this year to Valvoline Syntec. That being the case I had always ran Amsoil ATF in the past and would still be if AGR didn't specify PS fluid. Run a synthetic fluid if you can find it.
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Old 12-15-2007, 02:27 PM   #19
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according to fords latest tsb's ALLLLLLLL ford systems are to be switched to merc 5 atf after service. Ford recomends to add up to 2 tablespoons of friction modifier commonly used in the rear of trac-loc cars. It will quiet the pump and give the steering a smoother feel
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Old 12-16-2007, 04:05 AM   #20
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Interesting about the friction modifier.
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:04 AM   #21
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Never heard of that before. If you just flush and fill should you add the friction mod?
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Old 12-18-2007, 12:34 AM   #22
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Friction modifier in the PS pump... That's a new one for me too...
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Old 12-18-2007, 08:01 AM   #23
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According to Mitchell, the TSB applies only to those vehicles that use Mercon®, mainly Fords from 1996 and newer. The change is due to Mercon® being phased out and eventually no longer being available. According to the TSB July 1, 2007 was the cutoff date for producing Mercon®. Once supplies are exhausted you will then use Mercon ® V.

There is also a CAUTION in the TSB for systems that have Type F as the recommended fluid. These systems should continue to use Type F or they may suffer reduced functionality or system damage.

For the record, I did not see any reference in the TSB to addding friction modifier.

The TSB is Reference Number(s) 07-1-7, Date of Issue: January 22, 2007
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Old 12-18-2007, 08:02 AM   #24
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Off topic but I use friction modifier in my T-45 tranny with 10w30 synthetic blend motor oil. Made a big difference in shifting and no problems with syncros after 60K+ miles.
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:24 AM   #25
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Quote:
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According to Mitchell, the TSB applies only to those vehicles that use Mercon®, mainly Fords from 1996 and newer. The change is due to Mercon® being phased out and eventually no longer being available. According to the TSB July 1, 2007 was the cutoff date for producing Mercon®. Once supplies are exhausted you will then use Mercon ® V.

There is also a CAUTION in the TSB for systems that have Type F as the recommended fluid. These systems should continue to use Type F or they may suffer reduced functionality or system damage.

For the record, I did not see any reference in the TSB to addding friction modifier.

The TSB is Reference Number(s) 07-1-7, Date of Issue: January 22, 2007

Yay for REAL ####ING TECH!
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:29 AM   #26
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Yay for REAL ####ING TECH!

AMEN!!
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Old 12-19-2007, 07:57 AM   #27
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Only those use ATF in the PS right no early foxes those just use PS fluid like everything else.
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Old 12-20-2007, 09:14 AM   #28
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Your grammAr doesn't make sense.

Use ATF Type F in your Fox. End of story. No power steering fluid.
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Last edited by dan50; 12-20-2007 at 12:01 PM. Reason: Make Luke happy
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Old 12-20-2007, 11:45 AM   #29
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Quote:
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grammer
If you are going to comment on someone's grammar, at least spell the word right. I don't know which is worse.
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Old 12-20-2007, 12:00 PM   #30
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At least you could figure out what I was saying.

Big difference between a typo 3 and year old grammAr.
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Old 12-21-2007, 08:08 AM   #31
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Big difference between a typo 3 and year old grammAr.
Are you dyslexic too?
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Old 12-21-2007, 10:51 AM   #32
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Just sometimes
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Old 12-22-2007, 12:28 PM   #33
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The manual calls out ATF Type F. So I use ATF Type F.
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