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#4113770 - 06/29/21 12:34 PM Power Steering Pump Lugging the Engine??I'm trying
66lincoln Offline

Member

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 125
Loc: Arizona
I'm trying to track down what's dragging the engine down; even though I'm still getting its normal 25mpg.

It's a really noticeable drag and I gotta step on the gas a lot more to get the rpms up to get moving. The drag is more noticeable in the heat of the afternoon (Phoenix heat) and not as much when cooler in the morning. I replaced the belt tensioner (because it was bouncing badly), new belt, new idler. ForScan shows zero misfires, no codes, no problems. Drag is there independent of the compressor being engaged or disengaged. I had the pinion bearing burn out earlier this year and had a full rear end rebuild (axles, bearings, seals etc) and the drag on the engine feels the same. No fluid loss or noise from the rear end.

With the belt off, the compressor, alternator and water pump pulleys spin very easily by hand and feels smooth with no bearing noise (by bare ear and by stethoscope).

The power steering pump will make three rotations very easily and then it becomes difficult with a lot more effort to turn by hand, but feels smooth with no bearing noise. I'm not familiar with ps pumps so is this effort abnormal or is it normal effort from building pressure while turning it?

The ps pump has a small leak at the pulley bearing but after watching it for three months the level in the reservoir hasn't dropped any.

I've had the recurring problem where the VAPS is ineffective at slow speed, making me think it is a pump issue.

Ps fluid was changed by Ford about 7K miles ago and it is still brand new clear looking in the reservoir.

I'm guessing the pump is failing badly internally somehow? Sound reasonable?

Any recommendation on a brand of pulley puller kits? I've read where many people have snapped the puller screw because of rust on the pulley. I'm not into renting.

I've been wanting to wait until fall when its cooler in the garage because its just too hot for me in there right now. But I'm wondering if waiting 3 months until October is too long to wait?


Edited by 66lincoln (06/29/21 12:36 PM)
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2004 MGM LS (M75), 2008 CVPI (P71), 1966 Lincoln Continental convertible

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#4113792 - 06/29/21 05:22 PM Re: Power Steering Pump Lugging the Engine??I'm trying [Re: 66lincoln]
MurkyMerc Offline
Rookie

Registered: 01/06/15
Posts: 51
Loc: NH
Is the steering pretty stiff at slow speed? If so, you might want to drain the reservoir and add half a can of Seafoam Trans Tune and run it for several days to free up the steering. Then drain and flush and fill with new fluid and bleed the system.

Also, for sluggish acceleration you may want to clean out the air box and replace the air filter and remove and clean the intake air temperature sensor (MAF) and replace the fuel filter then add a can of Regane High Mileage injector cleaner to the tank. That will make a big difference I think.

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#4113794 - 06/29/21 05:28 PM Re: Power Steering Pump Lugging the Engine??I'm trying [Re: 66lincoln]
Lance01 Offline
Climber

Registered: 04/02/18
Posts: 520
Loc: Pa
I doubt the power steering pump will cause any issues that you're talking about.

I'm thinking torque converter or transmission is on its way out. How many miles do you have on your transmission? Is is original or rebuild?

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#4113806 - 06/29/21 08:04 PM Re: Power Steering Pump Lugging the Engine?? [Re: Lance01]
66lincoln Offline

Member

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 125
Loc: Arizona
Original transmission 4R70W on the 2004 Mercury. 109K miles on it. Last transmission service was done by Ford in January 2020 at 100K miles. Fluid still looks perfectly clean, no burnt smell.

I was feeling drag and surge a few times on the way home from work today; 70mph freeway with cruise set.
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2004 MGM LS (M75), 2008 CVPI (P71), 1966 Lincoln Continental convertible

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#4113808 - 06/29/21 09:08 PM Re: Power Steering Pump Lugging the Engine?? [Re: 66lincoln]
Old_Guy_Stu Offline

Over the Hill

Registered: 04/28/19
Posts: 2552
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Originally Posted By 66lincoln
and not as much when cooler in the morning.


This makes me think it's just too damn hot and the ECU is pulling timing to prevent pinging.
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1988 CVLX Formal Roof (Love Boat) POTM July 2019 & Aug 2020, 56K
E-code lights w/ relays, LEDs w/ switchbacks, 15x8 Ansen slots w/ 255/60 BFG's, Kenwood stereo, various hacks.

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#4113810 - 06/29/21 09:10 PM Re: Power Steering Pump Lugging the Engine?? [Re: 66lincoln]
Lance01 Offline
Climber

Registered: 04/02/18
Posts: 520
Loc: Pa
Stepping on the gas more to get the rpms up and to get going more sounds like something is slipping in the transmission.

When my transmission went out the fluid was perfectly fine and freshly changed.

If the engine sounds strong and healthy my guess is something with the transmission. If your power steering pump was seized or had some type of inability to turn the belt would have burned up and sheared off by now.

It's hard to diagnose something like this over the net. I would take it to a trusted shop and have them test drive it.

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#4113842 - 06/30/21 09:51 PM Re: Power Steering Pump Lugging the Engine?? [Re: 66lincoln]
66lincoln Offline

Member

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 125
Loc: Arizona
I dropped it at Ford this afternoon. They are pretty backlogged so I may not know until the end of next week.

Today I drove it and ran the full assortment of PIDs in ForScan for the transmission and engine. I had a club member who knows how to read the data help me look at it. No faults or abnormal readings. Trans Fluid Temp was a stable 189 degrees through all the heat of a Phoenix afternoon. No miss fires. Fuel rail pressure always above 38 psi. Alternator and battery checked ok. No trouble codes of any kind. Turning 1750 rpm at 70mph; normal there. So basically came up with zip in data for each theory. It'll be interesting to see what Ford finds and I'll report back when I know.


Edited by 66lincoln (06/30/21 09:55 PM)
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2004 MGM LS (M75), 2008 CVPI (P71), 1966 Lincoln Continental convertible

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#4113902 - 07/01/21 10:35 PM Re: Power Steering Pump Lugging the Engine??I'm trying [Re: 66lincoln]
Bellwestern80 Offline

CVN Discord: Edsel
Over the Hill

Registered: 07/01/11
Posts: 4063
Loc: Evans, Georgia
I'd suspect the heat is just sapping the car in general. Neither of my cars feel particularly perky in the mid 90s or higher down here. Hot air is less dense than cold air, and the hotter it is, the more it's going to sap you of some power.

My '97 has exhibited similar symptoms you describe on "feels perky when it's cool outside, not so much once it gets hot", but it's been that way as long as I've owned it. I'd probably argue your power steering pump is not to blame in this case if everything else seems to be working fine. If the pump was binding, I think weirder things would be occurring or you'd be hearing some awful noises if a bearing was giving up.
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My Cars:
-1964 Mercury Comet 202 (116K Miles | 170 I6) - Restoration Project
-1986 Dodge D-150 Royale SE (112K Miles | 360 V8) - Waiting on a TorqueFlite
-1987 Mercury Colony Park LS (330K Miles | H.O. 302) - March 2017, November 2019, & September 2021 POTM Winner
-1997 Mercury Grand Marquis LS (230K Miles | nPI 4.6) - The Daily Workhorse & April 2013 POTM Winner

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#4114772 - 07/09/21 02:09 PM Re: Lugging on the Engine?? **Update** [Re: Bellwestern80]
66lincoln Offline

Member

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 125
Loc: Arizona
**Update**
After a week at Ford, they ran every test and inspection, looked at data over several days for anything inconsistent on test drives on the engine, fuel system, throttle, ignition system, belt-driven accessories, transmission and drivetrain and they can find absolutely nothing wrong with the car. The technician didn't detect anything abnormal during driving outside of a very slightly out of balance tire; which was easily fixed.

As a long-term driver of it, I KNOW there is something wrong. More drag, more fuel burn, lagging power. It's not behaved like this in past summers. It feels and sounds just like the drag I had when the pinion bearing was failing to the point of failure. But, I had the entire rear axle rebuilt by another shop and Ford can not find anything wrong with the differential right now.

Basically what they said was, keep driving it until it appears the condition has become more noticeable.
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2004 MGM LS (M75), 2008 CVPI (P71), 1966 Lincoln Continental convertible

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