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Unread 03-05-2013, 10:58 PM   #1
ConnerXJ
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Diagnosing location of power steering leakage?

Hey y'all this is my first post on the jeep forum but I have done my research on this topic and have found no answer to my question. I just purchased a 1998 cherokee classic last week for my first car and it is already leaking a small amount of power steering fluid just slightly in front of and to the right (when sitting in the drivers seat) of the front drivers side wheel. I'm 99% sure it's power steering fluid because of the location of the leak and the reddish color. But my question is, how could I find which component of the power steering is leaking? My guess would be the pressure hose but I'm not positive. I already tried the "turn the wheel and see where the fluid is coming out" trick but was unable to see where it was coming from. Any inquiries or past experiences on this subject would be great! Oh and also, the thick hose just behind the grill (sorry don't remember the name of this part) and the area behind the passenger side headlight were wet from the leak. Thanks so much for your help y'all!

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Unread 03-05-2013, 11:22 PM   #2
ConnerXJ
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My xj:
image.jpg  
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Unread 03-06-2013, 12:27 AM   #3
Hudson
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Is that puddle under the jeep the leak?

Its directly under the blinker OP. Have you checked the blinker fluid recently? The 98 XJs are notorious for driver side blinker fluid leaks.

Kidding aside, how much fluid are you loosing from the reservoir? Power steering fluid shouldn't be red. That's tranny fluid. It's like a clear fluid - almost like brake fluid.
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Unread 03-06-2013, 08:08 AM   #4
ConnerXJ
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No, that's a picture from the dealership. The leak is about four inches closer to the wheel and about a foot left of the puddle in that picture
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Unread 03-06-2013, 08:22 AM   #5
Mistersean86
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I hate drivers side blinker fluid leaks. If left unchecked you can burn the main journals in the blinker and develop a knock when turning left.
???? J/k, couldn't help myself. Nice jeep though. Have you tried going in there with a rag(s) and some cleaner? Wipe it down, let it dry, turn it on, watch for a leak. Mine was leaking out of the pressure line as well as the input shaft on the steering box. How much fluid are you losing?
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Unread 03-06-2013, 08:28 AM   #6
A_Ninja_Racer
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Yea I was also going to suggest going in there with a degreaser and clean everything off then it will be much easier to spot the location of the leek.
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Unread 03-06-2013, 08:37 AM   #7
A_Ninja_Racer
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That's a Good looking Cherokee by the way.
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Unread 03-06-2013, 10:24 AM   #8
ConnerXJ
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Thanks for the compliments y'all. And I'm not losing much fluid at all. I put some Lucas powers steering leak stopper in and I can still hear it leaking when I turn but when sitting overnight the puddle of fluid in the morning is just a little bit smaller than that random puddle of mystery fluid in the picture. I'll take y'all's advice on the degreaser and see if I can get things cleaned up and figured out this weekend. Any suggestions on what degreaser to get?
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Unread 03-06-2013, 10:53 AM   #9
Paradise XJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConnerXJ View Post
I'm 99% sure it's power steering fluid because of the location of the leak and the reddish color.
Red is tranny fluid ... UNLESS you have a 5 speed or the PO put tranny fluid in the P/S pump. My power steering pump has "power steering fluid" in it. I know it's kind of crazy to put power steering fluid in the power steering pump but that's the way I roll.

The transmission line is on the far left of the radiator (if you are sitting in the Jeep). Thr tranny fluid lines go into and out of the "heat exchanger" in the radiator and are very prone to leakage at the disconnects. Those leaks present themselves right in front of and below the P/S pump.

Take the top off you P/S reservoir and stick your finger in there...see if it's red.
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Unread 03-10-2013, 11:39 PM   #10
ConnerXJ
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Hey y'all, just an update: I checked all my fluid levels this weekend and the power steering fluid wasn't much lower than when I put the fluid in and the transmission fluid was almost nonexistent. And paradise xj the power steering fluid was red as well but I believe you were right when you said it was the transmission line that runs Byrne power steering line. On the downside thoug, my dad took it to the shop and refuses to let me fix it myself so looks like I'm probably going to be getting a couple hundred dollars worth of rapairs from the shop soon!
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Unread 03-11-2013, 12:09 AM   #11
Hudson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConnerXJ View Post
Hey y'all, just an update: I checked all my fluid levels this weekend and the power steering fluid wasn't much lower than when I put the fluid in and the transmission fluid was almost nonexistent. And paradise xj the power steering fluid was red as well but I believe you were right when you said it was the transmission line that runs Byrne power steering line. On the downside thoug, my dad took it to the shop and refuses to let me fix it myself so looks like I'm probably going to be getting a couple hundred dollars worth of rapairs from the shop soon!
I'm afraid to ask ... who lifted the jeep?

If he makes you take that thing to the garage for every repair you're going to be one broke dude.
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Unread 03-11-2013, 07:37 AM   #12
ConnerXJ
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That's what I'm saying. And it came with the lift, I'm pretty good with cars so I guess my dad will just have to deal with me fixing it myself. (Most of the time)
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Unread 03-23-2013, 01:39 PM   #13
ConnerXJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradise XJ View Post
Red is tranny fluid ... UNLESS you have a 5 speed or the PO put tranny fluid in the P/S pump. My power steering pump has "power steering fluid" in it. I know it's kind of crazy to put power steering fluid in the power steering pump but that's the way I roll.

The transmission line is on the far left of the radiator (if you are sitting in the Jeep). Thr tranny fluid lines go into and out of the "heat exchanger" in the radiator and are very prone to leakage at the disconnects. Those leaks present themselves right in front of and below the P/S pump.

Take the top off you P/S reservoir and stick your finger in there...see if it's red.
Just an update: the shop replaced the tranny line but its still leaking! I found the place where it's leaking though, I'm just not sure as to how to fix it, any ideas? Here's a picture of it. It's the golden copper part that the leak is coming from.
image.jpg  
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Unread 03-23-2013, 02:06 PM   #14
Hudson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConnerXJ View Post
Just an update: the shop replaced the tranny line but its still leaking! I found the place where it's leaking though, I'm just not sure as to how to fix it, any ideas? Here's a picture of it. It's the golden copper part that the leak is coming from.
You're saying the leak is coming from where place where the tranny line screws into correct?

"Golden Copper" is called brass just as an FYI.

Personally i'd remove the tranny line, unscrew the fitting into the radiator, put some RTV/thread sealant on it, and tighten it back in. Is that the right way to do it? Probably not. Will it work? Most likely.
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Unread 03-24-2013, 05:39 PM   #15
ConnerXJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson View Post
You're saying the leak is coming from where place where the tranny line screws into correct?

"Golden Copper" is called brass just as an FYI.

Personally i'd remove the tranny line, unscrew the fitting into the radiator, put some RTV/thread sealant on it, and tighten it back in. Is that the right way to do it? Probably not. Will it work? Most likely.
Yeah, if you look closely, you can actually see a bit of tranny fluid dripping at the bottom of the brass (sorry the picture is sideways) but yeah it leaking right where the brass is.
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1998 XJ Cherokee classic / 3.5 inch tuff country suspension lift / 33in Hankook Dynapro MT's / Bushwacker fender flares / warrior (d-ringless) steel front bumper

Flexin' cars for the stars and bars. 'Merica.
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