Well I'd noticed that fluid was leaking from the power steering box and I'd checked the level a couple of times but it seemed alright. You know when the fluid is down because it starts getting hard to steer and you get a shimmy as you turn the wheel from the air bubbles that are appearing in the pump. Whoops.
The sad news about Toyota power steering boxes (both landcruiser and hilux/4runners so I'm told) is that on the bottom of the shaft in the box lives a dust seal and an oil seal. The story goes that water gets trapped in between them and corrodes the chrome shaft, leaving behind pits that eat out the seals, thus the fluid leaks out. It is particularly costly to have this shaft repaired but it is possible, it just needs to be ground back and rechromed. Not your rocker cover style chroming, this is close tolerance super-chroming that is critical in holding that fluid in.
Undecided what to do here, the easy way out is to keep topping up the power steering. The expensive way is to cough up the AUD$600 for somebody to recon the box (nobody does exchange for these). I'm bound to go somewhere in the middle.
Well after topping up the fluid and tightening the power steer belt, heh, she's working back to normal again but still leaking. Mental note: top the fluid up often and never let us speak of this again.