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Discussion Starter #1
Materials needed:

Floor jack
2 jack stands
Plastic tubing that fits inside the large return hose (left lower side of the reservoir)

small plug or tube to plug the reservoir
gallon jug

Pliers to release the spring clamp.

Plenty of towels.

2 qts of power steering fluid or synthetic ATF (I used Royal Purple ATF)


Engine is OFF and NOT RUNNING!!!

1. Use a baster or suction hose to remove all the fluid from the power steering reservoir.

2. Slide the spring clamp down the return hose. This is the hose that is closest to the battery tray and fits to the lower left side of the reservoir. Remove the connection from the hose to the bottom of the reservoir. Have a cup below as there will be some fluid still in there. There will also be some that comes out of the hose, so place a towel below.

3. Plug the bottom of the reservoir with some tape, or just run a piece of tubing from the outlet back into the top.

4. Connect a long piece of tubing from the return line to a gallon jug or other suitable container. I use the existing spring clamp to keep them together.

5. Jack up both sides of the truck so that both wheels are off the ground. Use the jack stands.

6. Turn the key so that the steering is unlocked, but the engine should not run.

7. Turn the wheel to the left and right. This will get the old fluid out of the rack and into the gallon jug.

8. Place new fluid in the reservoir and repeat step 7 until new clear fluid is coming out the tubing. Make sure to keep fresh fluid in the reservoir throughout the process.

9. Reconnect the return line to the reservoir and fill the reservoir about halfway.

10. Turn the wheel back and forth and top off fluid as needed.

11. Double check connections and start the truck. Remove any towels!

12. The power steering pump will start circulating the fluid and you will have to add some. Keep the top off until there are no bubbles.

Total cost for this should be less than $30.00.
 

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I thought there was supposed to be a bleeding step. Maybe step 13 (or 12a) would be: With the engine running turn the steering wheel lock to lock three times.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I thought there was supposed to be a bleeding step. Maybe step 13 (or 12a) would be: With the engine running turn the steering wheel lock to lock three times.

When the engine is running, the pump moves the fluid out pretty fast and you would have to have some help keeping the reservoir full and would probably waste some doing it that way, but it would work.

By turning the wheel back and forth without the engine running, the system still bleeds and the old fluid is circulated out, it's just that you are in control.

Just sharing this as I did it yesterday and it worked fine.
 

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I just did this procedure and it works quite well. Some notes:

1. It might be best to use different color fluid. Example: If you have existing purple fluid, use clear fluid to flush and fill. If you have existing clear fluid, use purple fluid to flush and fill. If you replace purple fluid with purple fluid, then there is no simple visual indication of complete fluid replacement, but you can base completion on the fluid capacity of the system per the service manual (1 and 1/8 US quarts for 2004).

2. There is a big potential for spilling power steering fluid on serpentine belt and pulleys. I did the procedure with the serpentine belt removed and then cleaned the pulleys and other spills after.

3. On my 2004, the return line is the smaller of the two hoses connected to the power steering fluid reservoir. I used 3/8" ID clear vinyl tubing and a 3/8" barb to 3/8" barb connector to splice the vinyl tubing to the return line.

4. Make sure to replace the fluid reservoir cap before reconnecting the return line (step 9) as a vented tank drains quicker than an unvented tank according to Bernoulli's Law.

5. There is surprisingly little potential for introduction of air into the system while reconnecting the return line to the reservoir tank because (a) the return line is full of power steering fluid if kept oriented upwards during the flush process and (b) fluid is draining from the reservoir while reconnecting the return line, preventing introduction of air.
 
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