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Ls400 Replacement Ps Solenoid Filter?


woodt3
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My 93 LS PS has been acting up, I rebuilt the PS Pump, and replaced the valve, and bled it all but still had problems of the PS coming and going intermittently, so today I took a look at the 2nd screen in PS solenoid, and it is torn a little bit, I was wondering there was anyway to buy another w/o having to buy a whole other solenoid or rack, or possible to repair the screen?

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My 93 LS PS has been acting up, I rebuilt the PS Pump, and replaced the valve, and bled it all but still had problems of the PS coming and going intermittently, so today I took a look at the 2nd screen in PS solenoid, and it is torn a little bit, I was wondering there was anyway to buy another w/o having to buy a whole other solenoid or rack, or possible to repair the screen?

wood:

Having been down this road myself, I've resigned myself to the fact that a small tear probably isn't going to hurt anything. I've been considering removing it altogether and putting a good filter in the return to the pump reservoir. I just haven't gotten up the nerve or gotten around to taking the time to do it. I'm about 98% convinced that little screen does nothing but harm.

Myself and others have tried to locate a source for that little screen, with essentially no luck. I've just been living with it for the last 5 years.

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Give some detail as to what's happening when it stops working, for how long and then when it starts to work again. A little background may help diagnose your issue.

You did use ATF instead of PS fluid, correct?

Yes I used ATF, as far exactly whats happening, its difficult to explain so bear with me. If you turn the wheel it will turn part way easily, and then you'll hit a "hard" spot where it becomes difficult to turn, and then the power steering will kick in making it easier, but this jerks the car around a bit, of course the goal being to make the turn smoothly without the intermittent on and off of the steering.

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I'd like to add to this topic. My 92 LS400's power steering is leaking, too. I had my pump replaced a little while ago (less than 1 year), but there are still leaks coming from the rack and the high pressure lines - just not from the pump. My solenoid has never been cleaned (that I know of). I'd like to hear what you guys come up with. I don't have the money to replace my rack and lines! Think cleaning would help fix my problem?

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I'd like to add to this topic. My 92 LS400's power steering is leaking, too. I had my pump replaced a little while ago (less than 1 year), but there are still leaks coming from the rack and the high pressure lines - just not from the pump. My solenoid has never been cleaned (that I know of). I'd like to hear what you guys come up with. I don't have the money to replace my rack and lines! Think cleaning would help fix my problem?

You can try, I've read that the clogged screen increases the pressure causing leaks, but I'd just fix the leaks if you can, NAPA has a PS high pressure line for cheaper than the dealer I'm sure. My problem is that my power steering pump IS NOT leaking, yet I still have intermittent power steering.

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I'd like to add to this topic. My 92 LS400's power steering is leaking, too. I had my pump replaced a little while ago (less than 1 year), but there are still leaks coming from the rack and the high pressure lines - just not from the pump. My solenoid has never been cleaned (that I know of). I'd like to hear what you guys come up with. I don't have the money to replace my rack and lines! Think cleaning would help fix my problem?

intel;

There is a huge volume of information and posts on this subject. Very short story is........Clean the screen on the rack solenoid. It is the cause of excessively high pressure, which is causing your leaks. Please do a search for power steering, power steering solenoid, etc..........many, many pages.

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I'd like to add to this topic. My 92 LS400's power steering is leaking, too. I had my pump replaced a little while ago (less than 1 year), but there are still leaks coming from the rack and the high pressure lines - just not from the pump. My solenoid has never been cleaned (that I know of). I'd like to hear what you guys come up with. I don't have the money to replace my rack and lines! Think cleaning would help fix my problem?

intel;

There is a huge volume of information and posts on this subject. Very short story is........Clean the screen on the rack solenoid. It is the cause of excessively high pressure, which is causing your leaks. Please do a search for power steering, power steering solenoid, etc..........many, many pages.

Thanks - done and done. I also called the drummer of my old band (Lexus tech) and a Lexus service department in Northern Denver and they said the same thing: "Let's just do a flush (I have the wrong fluid in - and am NEVER going back to a 10 minute place again) and clean the solenoid filter before we go crazy and tear the thing apart."

Thanks! I'll share my findings, too.

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  • 1 year later...
My 93 LS PS has been acting up, I rebuilt the PS Pump, and replaced the valve, and bled it all but still had problems of the PS coming and going intermittently, so today I took a look at the 2nd screen in PS solenoid, and it is torn a little bit, I was wondering there was anyway to buy another w/o having to buy a whole other solenoid or rack, or possible to repair the screen?

wood:

Having been down this road myself, I've resigned myself to the fact that a small tear probably isn't going to hurt anything. I've been considering removing it altogether and putting a good filter in the return to the pump reservoir. I just haven't gotten up the nerve or gotten around to taking the time to do it. I'm about 98% convinced that little screen does nothing but harm.

Myself and others have tried to locate a source for that little screen, with essentially no luck. I've just been living with it for the last 5 years.

I had the same thought as woodt3, then came to the same conclusion as Threadcutter, and then ...

I was in the pet store the other day and saw in the aisle for aquarium pumps and filters a few little filters that appeared to be made of similar enough material that maybe something could be custom engineered (i.e., rigged) to serve this purpose. Maybe just as a backup to the filter that is already in there.

Has anyone else seen these filters or thought about it, or even tried it? If you're thinking of some other filter material, that is not it. When you see the filters I'm talking about, you'll recognize them as looking almost identical in material and even size (cylindrical). Just without the 6-panel plastic frame that the solenoid filters have. If only Lexus sold this as a separate item.

For anyone that has never cleaned their solenoid filter, I can confirm that it makes a night-and-day difference with your power steering feel. I just wish my filter did not have some holes in the screen.

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You can't buy the screen seperate. You'll have to buy the whole $650 valve with solenoid to get it. You best bet if you want to replace it is salvage. The screens are thin and very very easy to tear when cleaning. Is only one of your bay's in the screen torn? If so do this:

Remove your solenoid and look up into where it screws in. You'll see the passange where the fluid enters the area around the screen then passes through the top of the solenoid after it passes the screen. I think it is on the side of the cavity closest to the center of the rack. Screw the solenoid on the rack and tighten it down. Take a screwdriver or something a scribe a mark on the outside of the solenoid body closest to the center of the rack to show where the passagway lines up with screen. Remove the solenoid and index the tear on the screen on the exact opposite side of where the fluid passageway will meet the screen. That way, the fluid will have to go all the way around the screen and enter from the back to pass through the solenoid valve unfiltered. Most of the fluid will take the easiest path and pass through the intact part of the screen facing the passageway. Mine has 2 torn bay's and I did this with full confidence that it'll be okay like that. Way better than without a screen.

Let me tell you guy's how important the screen is. I replaced my whole rack with a salvaged rack because the solenoid wasn't functioning correctly. The screen was removed at some point, probably some idiot mechanic that worked on the car before thinking he was some miracle worker while saving him time in the process. The screen is necessary and keeps the solenoid working freely. I cleaned the solenoid several times and go alot of black cunk out of it but it still never worked the same. It would work for a week or so then freeze up again. The steering would get very stiff due to the valve stuck in the wrong position. The excess pressure caused a few leaks in the rack so I just replaced the whole thing from a low mileage salvage. Works awesome now, nice and easy steering. That screen is necessary for longevity. My car worked for several years without it but it finally died.

Index your tears away from the passageway where the fluid enters that cavity and that will be your best bet for reusing that screen. Be careful with the other bay's.

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You can't buy the screen seperate. You'll have to buy the whole $650 valve with solenoid to get it. You best bet if you want to replace it is salvage. The screens are thin and very very easy to tear when cleaning. Is only one of your bay's in the screen torn? If so do this:

Remove your solenoid and look up into where it screws in. You'll see the passange where the fluid enters the area around the screen then passes through the top of the solenoid after it passes the screen. I think it is on the side of the cavity closest to the center of the rack. Screw the solenoid on the rack and tighten it down. Take a screwdriver or something a scribe a mark on the outside of the solenoid body closest to the center of the rack to show where the passagway lines up with screen. Remove the solenoid and index the tear on the screen on the exact opposite side of where the fluid passageway will meet the screen. That way, the fluid will have to go all the way around the screen and enter from the back to pass through the solenoid valve unfiltered. Most of the fluid will take the easiest path and pass through the intact part of the screen facing the passageway. Mine has 2 torn bay's and I did this with full confidence that it'll be okay like that. Way better than without a screen.

Let me tell you guy's how important the screen is. I replaced my whole rack with a salvaged rack because the solenoid wasn't functioning correctly. The screen was removed at some point, probably some idiot mechanic that worked on the car before thinking he was some miracle worker while saving him time in the process. The screen is necessary and keeps the solenoid working freely. I cleaned the solenoid several times and go alot of black cunk out of it but it still never worked the same. It would work for a week or so then freeze up again. The steering would get very stiff due to the valve stuck in the wrong position. The excess pressure caused a few leaks in the rack so I just replaced the whole thing from a low mileage salvage. Works awesome now, nice and easy steering. That screen is necessary for longevity. My car worked for several years without it but it finally died.

Index your tears away from the passageway where the fluid enters that cavity and that will be your best bet for reusing that screen. Be careful with the other bay's.

my 97 is getting stiff when cold (first startup), while my 96, I can spin freely. (no effort)

what do you use to clean the screen?

I dont want to damage it..... of course it might already be torn.

let me see if I understand..... if the screen is torn, the fluid bypasses and returnes to the pump

without assisting the rack properly..... right?

thanks in advance..

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An old toothbrush. I cut the top off of a gallon milk jug and let the fluid drain into it. After letting is settle for a bit, I would dip the toothbrush into the fluid then brush the screen then blowing it off with compressed air when done.

I'm not sure what damage a torn screen would allow but I don't think it would go as far as not "assisting the rack properly". What ever crud or metal shavings it blocks would pass through into the rack.

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