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Just swapped out my gearbox for a redhead and planning to do a flush. My question is this; the current power steering fluid is almost clear, maybe more engine oil colored. It is not RED/PURPLE like dexron III ATF fluid. I know its virtually impossible to say for sure what fluid this is BUT it definitely is not dexron III. With a new steering gearbox I definitely want to ensure I get the correct fluid in and dont want to worry about mixing synthetic or atf or non-synthetic. Should I just flush it with dexron III and call it good?
 

LHN...We ARE the Joneses
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Don't use ATF, that's old school. Seals used today and unknown additives, aren't always compatible. And testing I've done, it didn't really do any better holding up to the heat load than plain dino did, which was cheaper.

Doubtful that it's syn. Regular is a honey off clear color. Yours is probably dirty/torched.

Not a lot of choices now for syn PS fluid; Redline, purple, ams
Redline actually performed worse than dino did.
Purple, it was okay, but being black in color, you couldn't tell when it was time to flush the fluid.
Both weren't cheap.

If you really want to make a difference with system longevity, your best bet is to add a PS fluid cooler to the mix. Reduces the heat load and increases system volume, then regular off the shelf house brand dino PS fluid holds up just fine.

https://www.duramaxforum.com/forum/diy-tech-discussion/205850-how-add-power-steering-fluid-cooler.html

https://www.duramaxforum.com/forum/diy-tech-discussion/9081-how-power-steering-hydro-boost-flush.html
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Don't use ATF, that's old school. Seals used today and unknown additives, aren't always compatible. And testing I've done, it didn't really do any better holding up to the heat load than plain dino did, which was cheaper.

Doubtful that it's syn. Regular is a honey off clear color. Yours is probably dirty/torched.

Not a lot of choices now for syn PS fluid; Redline, purple, ams
Redline actually performed worse than dino did.
Purple, it was okay, but being black in color, you couldn't tell when it was time to flush the fluid.
Both weren't cheap.

If you really want to make a difference with system longevity, your best bet is to add a PS fluid cooler to the mix. Reduces the heat load and increases system volume, then regular off the shelf house brand dino PS fluid holds up just fine.

https://www.duramaxforum.com/forum/diy-tech-discussion/205850-how-add-power-steering-fluid-cooler.html

https://www.duramaxforum.com/forum/diy-tech-discussion/9081-how-power-steering-hydro-boost-flush.html
Awesome, thanks for the insight! I ended calling RedHead and they said I should just use Dexron III, top it off, follow the fill procedure, then flush it tomorrow with Dexron III. Too much confusing/conflicting information out there now days. Is there anything negative to using ATF??

Thanks again, appreciate the insight!
 

LHN...We ARE the Joneses
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Over time and use and years of daily heavy hauling, I've been thru every component failing and springing leaks. During that period of numerous High Pressure lines failing, HB unit seals failing, pump failing,...I was also testing different fluids.

One of those tried was ATF. And seals failed.
Now, was the real reason for failure, the heat load?
Or was the ATF a contributor to the hose ends failing?
Repeatedly.

Perhaps Red feels good about their seals and Dex. But the PS pump seals, the HB seals, and the crimped hose ends....are not their product. We've already seen that damage can occur to trans seals (that were designed for D-III) and using D-VI.

So seals can differ.

I recommend plain dino with the added fluid cooler. It's the setup that hasn't failed, on any component since it's install. Steering doesn't jamb up when backing a trailer after a long day of towing. Brake boost stays strong. And no leaks.

ATF just never showed to be superlative in holding up to the heat. I saw no gain, and it was more $$ per quart.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Over time and use and years of daily heavy hauling, I've been thru every component failing and springing leaks. During that period of numerous High Pressure lines failing, HB unit seals failing, pump failing,...I was also testing different fluids.

One of those tried was ATF. And seals failed.
Now, was the real reason for failure, the heat load?
Or was the ATF a contributor to the hose ends failing?
Repeatedly.

Perhaps Red feels good about their seals and Dex. But the PS pump seals, the HB seals, and the crimped hose ends....are not their product. We've already seen that damage can occur to trans seals (that were designed for D-III) and using D-VI.

So seals can differ.

I recommend plain dino with the added fluid cooler. It's the setup that hasn't failed, on any component since it's install. Steering doesn't jamb up when backing a trailer after a long day of towing. Brake boost stays strong. And no leaks.

ATF just never showed to be superlative in holding up to the heat. I saw no gain, and it was more $$ per quart.
roger that!! forgive my ignorance but what is plain "dino"?
 

LHN...We ARE the Joneses
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dinosaur fluid.....Oil from the ground. marx
 

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Over time and use and years of daily heavy hauling, I've been thru every component failing and springing leaks. During that period of numerous High Pressure lines failing, HB unit seals failing, pump failing,...I was also testing different fluids.

One of those tried was ATF. And seals failed.
Now, was the real reason for failure, the heat load?
Or was the ATF a contributor to the hose ends failing?
Repeatedly.

Perhaps Red feels good about their seals and Dex. But the PS pump seals, the HB seals, and the crimped hose ends....are not their product. We've already seen that damage can occur to trans seals (that were designed for D-III) and using D-VI.

So seals can differ.

I recommend plain dino with the added fluid cooler. It's the setup that hasn't failed, on any component since it's install. Steering doesn't jamb up when backing a trailer after a long day of towing. Brake boost stays strong. And no leaks.

ATF just never showed to be superlative in holding up to the heat. I saw no gain, and it was more $$ per quart.
What about Mobile Delvac or Transynd? When I hear "ATF" i think old fluid like Dex III and don't know if it applies to modern fluids. I've searched some threads and seen the question asked but no real answers.

Why do I want to do that? K.I.S.S. It's one less different fluid to keep around.
 

LHN...We ARE the Joneses
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It's one less different fluid to keep around.
It's a sealed system. It doesn't 'use' fluid, as the engine can in regards to oil.
It's not something you have to top off regularly, so having it around isn't prudent. If you need fluid, you have a leak. Fix the leak.

Same as with having TES-295 around, other than adding some to the spin-on when replacing, it's a sealed system.


Edit....now that I think about it, there's is that periodic need to flush the PS fluid, so there's that.
I've got two qts of house brand generic PS fluid on the shelf from the Irish, waiting for the next flush needed.
 
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Thanks for your reply but it didn't answer my primary question. Is Mobile Delvac/Transynd good for PS? If you're trying to avoid an argument, don't worry, I'm asking, not telling. I'll take your word for it either way.
 

LHN...We ARE the Joneses
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Try it and see. $11qt vs less than $3qt.

I'm not going to, as stated, I've been down that road and it was a dead end.
It's not PS fluid, it's ATF. My opinion.
 

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Good enough! Although the Royal Purple and Amsoil you recommend is a lot more than $3 per qt. I'm going Royal Purple. Mostly because I can buy it locally from Autozone and don't have to order a case. I'm also doing the cooler you recommended 1000 times. Although the truck made it 11 years and 240K miles without one, and I don't plan on keeping the truck more than another year, you brainwashed me into it, lol.
 

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Although the Royal Purple and Amsoil you recommend is a lot more than $3 per qt.
I don't recall recommending either.
 

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My mistake... I went back and looked and apparently you recommended 'synthetic' but not really a brand and you said Amsoil, Royal Purple, and Redline were the only ones available but Redline couldn't handle the heat.
 

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I don't recall recommending either.
This has been bugging me a bit and I'm probably worried about nothing but, I don't like words put into my mouth, so I try to be careful not to do it to others. You never said "I recommend". I, after looking at some threads about this subject, 'interpreted' what you said about synthetics and the manufacturers that offer them as a recommendation.
 

LHN...We ARE the Joneses
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This has evolved over many years.

Things that I do on a daily basis with the HD exceeds mfrs ratings. Towing 8 tons over their suggested ratings, up and down hills they didn't use in their testing, combined with heavy traffic far beyond their test ranges.

The PS fluid was constantly being torched, and along with that all of the components in the system suffered from the abuse.

1st step was to try and find a fluid that would hold up better. This was about the time that Valvoline gave up on syn PS fluid (there's a clue there if they discontinued it). That left 3 on the market; ams, red and purple.

I did try Valvoline atf (seen in my years old PS/HB flush DIY), it may have been coincidence, but the system soon started springing leaks with ATF.
Subsequent research revealed things in ATF that are not necessarily compatible with today's PS systems (warnings are numerous).

And it didn't hold up to the heat any better than plain PS fluid.

ams was prohibitively expensive and hard to obtain. Red was cheaper than purple, but failed miserably under high heat (it was actually worse than plain PS fluid).

Purple did better than dino, but still failed under high heat extremes.
And the black color after use made it difficult to determine fluid condition.

After years of trial and error, component failures, and what seemed to be a continual mess of fluid in the engine bay, the final solution was found.

Reduce the heat load on the system by adding a fluid cooler to the mix.
Fairly simple to do and cheaper than a single HP fluid line is.

You'll still need to service/change the PS fluid over time (yearly?), but no where near the level of having no cooler at all (monthly).
 
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This has evolved over many years.

Things that I do on a daily basis with the HD exceeds mfrs ratings. Towing 8 tons over their suggested ratings, up and down hills they didn't use in their testing, combined with heavy traffic far beyond their test ranges.
Like a 2500 SRW that weighs 11,000 with EDC plus driver and passenger? I get a chuckle when I go to the scrap yard and I have more weight on the front axle than the gross weight of the mid-size truck/SUV in front of me plus what he's dumping. Occaisionally I exceed 12k and I've been over 13k carrying roughly a ton on the "ladder" rack but that's sketchy AF.

Yes, I know I need a 3500 but I didn't expect the truck to get this heavy.
 
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