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You must check the Power Steering Oil level, its prpably a little low. You can top it up with ATF (automatic transmission fluid) Also check that the belt is ok and not cracked or contaminated by oil or water. Hope that helps
The whine is most likely your power steering pump. Check the fluid in the pump. If you are low on power steering fluid you may have a leaking hose or fitting or the seals in the pump may have began leaaking. If you continue to run the auto without power steering fluid you will burn up the power steering pump very quickly.
Power steering fluid - Dexron 2 or 3 automatic transmission fluid. Yes transmission fluid. And while you are at it check the fluid level in the transmission.
Since you got the hood up, check the brake fluid, wiper fluid, radiator fluid, battery fluid, oil level.
Hello Dave, I own a 1988 Ram 50 5-Standard and will go off my own experiences to answer this question. I use a synthetic 80W transmission fluid. If you know what is/was already in there; my recommendation is not to change the grade of oil in the transmission unless it is necessary because of driving conditions or vechicle requirements (i.e. towing/hauling/efficiency). Anyway the Ram 50 Manual 4 & 5 Speed transmissions take a range of fluid grades from 70W-90W. You can use this in both conventional and synthetic oils.
For the power steering, universal power steering fluid works the best, and I honestly don't know the exact amount to put in Ram 50, but may I suggest you purchase ~20oz. Fill it half with half the bottle, then check the dipstick, then put in half of that half-bottle (a quarter of the bottle in), check, and repeat until you get it to the appropriate level.