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when i used to go mudding or in muddy water when i was 2wd, the power steering on my truck always seemed rough and made more noise. it always went away after a few days of normal driving. you are describing more pronounced effects though. i don't know what the cause is, sorry.
 

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thanks.

maybe another thing to do is check for proper belt tension. if the belt has the correct amount of tension, it could be the bearings on the pump taking a dump. in addition to that, old belts get sort of polished or smooth and slip on the pulleys. especially when water and sand is introduced. how many miles are on that belt?
 
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