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Hello, my name is Bob. It is apparent that you are having power steering issues, how can we help you?
Are you having a repeated failure of your cooler hoses?
so, tell me a little about how often and where the failure occurs. How long does the new hose last and before the hose fails, does the power steering seem to work properly when the hose is intact? Is the failure always in the same part of the same hose? Are you replacing the hose with a ford part or aftermarket hose? Is the failure in an area that can contact any part of the frame or anything else? I don't know of any known concerns that could cause this, so I must start at ground zero and help you figure this out based on how and when things happened. Is your truck a gas engine with a vacuum brake booster or a diesel engine with a power steering fluid actuated brake booster?
one of two things come to mind right away, #1 I wonder if your replacement hose is not a power steering fluid rated hose, but a vacuum hose that does not have the correct type of rubber to handle a petroleum based oil and no internal cords as a proper hose would? #2 if the hose is the correct type, the only other explanation that comes to mind is a restriction at the inlet nipple at your power steering reservoir! If you were to remove the return hose at the fluid reservoir, fluid should run out immediately! Those cooler hoses run directly back to the reservoir and there should be no resistance to fluid flowing! If the cooler hose is currently ruptured, I would suggest adding a little fluid to the reservoir and then check to see if it runs out of the ruptured hose, if it doesn't then disconnect the return hose at the fluid reservoir, if the fluid does not run out of the nipple at the reservoir, remove the reservoir and inspect the inside of the nipple for a foreign object lodged inside of it.
also, I am still unclear as to weather your gas engine 5.4 has a vacuum brake booster or a power steering actuated hydro boost brake booster. Your truck could be equipped with either, do you have a power steering fluid pressure and return hose running to the booster that the brake master cylinder is bolted to or is it a vacuum booster with a single vacuum hose running to it?
ok, that makes it simpler. Will you have time today to put some fluid in that reservoir to see if it runs right out? also check for possible kinks in the return hose between the cooler and the reservoir
These hoses can withstand very high pressure, I would definitely look for a kink in the hose or debris in the return nipple at the reservoir
ok, I will be in and out today but will check periodically to see if you reply
You sir have a bizarre one here for sure! If I had this truck in my shop at this point, I would disconnect the cooler inlet side that comes from the gear box to see if fluid flows out freely from the reservoir side. There is a restriction somewhere! have you ever replaced the actual cooler?
what type of fluid are you using when you fill the system?
inspect that cooler real good and look for ding or dent in the tube that might restrict the fluid flow, perhaps even remove and cap both hoses and then attach a separate free hose to one of the nipples of the cooler and see if you can freely and easily blow air though the cooler. Also have you noticed any water in the fluid that could possibly freeze?
though the hoses do not have kinks, do either make a sharp turn 90 degrees or sharper in the routing to the reservoir? Also, when you replaced the ruptured hoses, did you replace the entire length of hoses, from the gear to the cooler and from the cooler to the reservoir? or did you splice in replacement pieces at the failure location?
I am also wondering as a long shot, have you inspected your serpentine belt for a frayed rib? It is possible that the belt could have a rib torn loose that is slapping the hose like a whip! Is the failure area in line at all with the serpentine belt?
Do the hose failures always fail in the same location, and where exactly do they fail?
I have an 03 f250 on the lot, give me a few minutes to look it over and see if can come up with something, back in a bit
ok, up till now I have been referring to memory and shop manuals on this system and did not realize the system had that steel line between the cooler and the reservoir on the return side. have you tested that portion of steel tube for restriction or replaced it?
if the rubber hose between this steel tube and reservoir has a tear inside that is behaving like a flap and intermittently folding over causing a restriction, could cause this! Though it is a long shot, I would run a new hose as an overlay, connect one end of a new rubber hose to the outlet of the cooler and route it securely to the return line inlet at the reservoir! leave the original hose/tube assembly in place, just bypassed (not connected at either end). test the system on a cold morning and see if the problem reoccurs.
Also, if and when you do this as the reservoir will most likely be drained out, take a drill bit of similar size to the inside diameter of the reservoir nipple and by hand twist the drill bit to verify that there is not a plastic casting issue causing even a slight restriction of fluid flow back into the reservoir. I will check back in periodically to see what your results are. Thank you for the challenge, sorry we didn't get to the bottom of it today.