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Old 10-17-2007, 06:51 PM   #1
68 Shark
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what power steering fluid is best?

What brand/type power steering fluid is best?
I'm running jeep box and hydroboost so would you recommend racing power steering fluid as it is designed for more endurance and less foaming?
Any links to your power steering fluid of choice would be helpful.
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Old 10-17-2007, 07:08 PM   #2
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I'll give it a shot. Jim Shea will tell you GM fluid is the best, and was specifically formulated for Saginaw Steering systems.
I have had fine luck with generic P/S fluid.
The main one to avoid is tranny fluid. It swells up the seals, and thus shortens their life in the long run.
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Old 10-17-2007, 07:14 PM   #3
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a long time ago i used ATF for a while. It seemed to leak more with transmission fluid.

There is some modifier that causes the seals to stay plyable in normal power steering fluid.

When mine starts to drip i use a bottle of PS sealer. it works for a while then it goes fast. I think those additives that cause the seals to swell work good but also cause the seals to harden up too. So its a dual edge sword.
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Old 10-17-2007, 07:35 PM   #4
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The power steering juice is basically a light hydraulic oil I think. Feels like it anyway. It's designed for more heat and pressure than ATF. Have to look at the specs on the bottle and see what it is. And with the hydroboost and the power steering, it's going to run a bit hotter than just power steering would.
ATF has lots of additives- anti foam, anti wear, just for a couple.
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:01 PM   #5
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I use red line synthetic with a filter on the return line it works very well for me.
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Old 10-18-2007, 05:42 AM   #6
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History of the GM Power Steering Fluid

Originally in the 1950s, automatic transmission fluid (ATF) was specified for use in both General Motors automatic transmissions and also for their power steering systems. But as vehicles got heavier, engines bigger, and temperatures hotter, the requirements for the two different systems changed. The GM Research Labs had a Lubricants Section that began testing and modifying the ATF formulation to improve the performance of the GM Hydramatic, Dynaflow, and Powerglide transmissions. They did this without much regard to the fact that the power steering system was using the ATF fluid as well.

So around the same time, Saginaw Steering Gear Division and Texaco began testing and developing a fluid specifically for power steering. The fluid characteristics were specifically formulated to provide anti-corrosion and non-foaming qualities with excellent lubrication for year around use. There was also particular emphasis placed on wear testing performance with respect to the vanes, rotor, cam ring, and the driveshaft bushing in the big Saginaw P model power steering pump. By the way, the P model was the only power steering pump used in all C2/C3 Corvettes and all GM passenger cars and light trucks with power steering in the 1960s and 1970s.

That is why some of the early power steering reservoir caps had ATF specified as the proper fluid to use. All the later pump caps and the owner's manuals have said to use "Approved Fluid". The GM power steering fluid is approved for use in any vehicle with a Saginaw power steering pump.

To be honest, all of the Saginaw power steering pumps adapt fairly well to all kinds of fluids. The pumps are marketed and sold all over the world and are used by many vehicle manufacturers who specify their own power steering fluids. Chrysler in the past has used a very simple mineral based fluid. They eventually changed to GM power steering fluid. I am not sure if they still use GM fluid today or not. Ford uses a special Ford ATF fluid. VW uses a European brand of fluid called Pentosin. All of these fluids reportedly work well in their vehicles.

I know that through the years there was always pressure to develop a common automatic transmission and power steering fluid. For instance, there is considerable expense to the assembly plants to have to handle two separate fluids, two separate fill systems, ect. Whatever the reason, there has always seemed to be good reasons to have two different fluids.

I have no idea who formulated the PS fluid that is sold at K-mart, Pep Boys, NAPA, etc. This isnt to say that it is bad. However, the amber colored GM fluid is the only fluid that has been certified and tested in GM durability test vehicles for millions of miles. It also is the only fluid that have been durability tested in the Saginaw Steering Gear engineering labs for hundreds of thousands of hours. All of the rubber compounds that are used in the seals, hoses, etc in the production GM power steering system are tested in the materials laboratory for compatibility with the fluid.

The GM part number for a quart of power steering fluid is 89020661. The previous GM part number for power steering fluid was 1050017. Both fluids work equally well.

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Old 10-18-2007, 06:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIML82 View Post
History of the GM Power Steering Fluid

Originally in the 1950s, automatic transmission fluid (ATF) was specified for use in both General Motors automatic transmissions and also for their power steering systems. But as vehicles got heavier, engines bigger, and temperatures hotter, the requirements for the two different systems changed. The GM Research Labs had a Lubricants Section that began testing and modifying the ATF formulation to improve the performance of the GM Hydramatic, Dynaflow, and Powerglide transmissions. They did this without much regard to the fact that the power steering system was using the ATF fluid as well.

So around the same time, Saginaw Steering Gear Division and Texaco began testing and developing a fluid specifically for power steering. The fluid characteristics were specifically formulated to provide anti-corrosion and non-foaming qualities with excellent lubrication for year around use. There was also particular emphasis placed on wear testing performance with respect to the vanes, rotor, cam ring, and the driveshaft bushing in the big Saginaw P model power steering pump. By the way, the P model was the only power steering pump used in all C2/C3 Corvettes and all GM passenger cars and light trucks with power steering in the 1960s and 1970s.

That is why some of the early power steering reservoir caps had ATF specified as the proper fluid to use. All the later pump caps and the owner's manuals have said to use "Approved Fluid". The GM power steering fluid is approved for use in any vehicle with a Saginaw power steering pump.

To be honest, all of the Saginaw power steering pumps adapt fairly well to all kinds of fluids. The pumps are marketed and sold all over the world and are used by many vehicle manufacturers who specify their own power steering fluids. Chrysler in the past has used a very simple mineral based fluid. They eventually changed to GM power steering fluid. I am not sure if they still use GM fluid today or not. Ford uses a special Ford ATF fluid. VW uses a European brand of fluid called Pentosin. All of these fluids reportedly work well in their vehicles.

I know that through the years there was always pressure to develop a common automatic transmission and power steering fluid. For instance, there is considerable expense to the assembly plants to have to handle two separate fluids, two separate fill systems, ect. Whatever the reason, there has always seemed to be good reasons to have two different fluids.

I have no idea who formulated the PS fluid that is sold at K-mart, Pep Boys, NAPA, etc. This isnt to say that it is bad. However, the amber colored GM fluid is the only fluid that has been certified and tested in GM durability test vehicles for millions of miles. It also is the only fluid that have been durability tested in the Saginaw Steering Gear engineering labs for hundreds of thousands of hours. All of the rubber compounds that are used in the seals, hoses, etc in the production GM power steering system are tested in the materials laboratory for compatibility with the fluid.

The GM part number for a quart of power steering fluid is 89020661. The previous GM part number for power steering fluid was 1050017. Both fluids work equally well.

JIML82@aol.com


Hey Horse, you dun said a mouthful.....

but seriously, that answers a question that pops up in back of my mind over the years, mainly when handling the p/s fluids.....I think if have seen a problem with p/s systems leaking from ATF useage too, but hard for me to correlate A to B on that, too many years, too many cars...vague memory....

really interesting history there, good post....

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Old 10-18-2007, 07:59 AM   #8
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Redline
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Old 10-19-2007, 08:27 AM   #9
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Good info. Looking into the Redline product as my combination of components can heat up the fluid and I'd rather be safe then foamy.

How much fluid do you think I will need with a dry system? Have to fill the stock resoviour, hydroboost unit, jeep box and lines.
How many quarts will i need??
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Old 10-19-2007, 12:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 68 Shark View Post
Good info. Looking into the Redline product as my combination of components can heat up the fluid and I'd rather be safe then foamy.

How much fluid do you think I will need with a dry system? Have to fill the stock resoviour, hydroboost unit, jeep box and lines.
How many quarts will i need??
jeep box, stock resoviour and lines took slightly over a qt. no hydroboost.
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Old 10-20-2007, 07:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racervette69 View Post
Redline
I'm using redline with a powersteering cooler mounted to the front crossmember.
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