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Removing and replacing the stock power steering cooler

This is a discussion on Removing and replacing the stock power steering cooler within the External Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; After reading about a couple of failures on here, I have been a bit nervous about the power steering cooler ...

  1. #1
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    Removing and replacing the stock power steering cooler

    After reading about a couple of failures on here, I have been a bit nervous about the power steering cooler on our Trans Am. The cooler is an aluminum tube that is situate in the upper radiator hose. Power steering fluid returning from the rack flows through the cooler and back into the reservoir. The cooler has been known to fail and this results in both the power steering sytem being contaminated with engine coolant and the engine cooling system being contaminated with power steering fluid. I understand that not all F-bodies are equipped with the power steering cooler and it is probably fine to run our car without one. However, as an aftermarket tube and fin cooler is relatively inexpensive I believe it is cheap insurance to install one in place of the stock cooler.

    From beneath the car, things are a bit cramped behind the radiator where the cooler is situate. I started by draining out approximately one (1) gallon of engine coolant to drop the level below the upper radiator hose connections. I then disconnected both the feed and return lines from the cooler and allowed them to drain. The hoses are retained by spring clamps and I gained better access by unclipping the wire harness that runs behind the radiator fans and pushing it out of the way.

















    After allowing the cooler to drain, I then moved up top and disconnected the upper radiator hose at the radiator and water pump and then removed it from the car as a unit. Setting that aside, I then wiped down the outlet and inlet before installing a one piece hose in its place. GM has apparently discontinued this hose, so I was able to procure a "Made in U.S.A." hose from our local NAPA. I then moved back down under the car and considered several possible locations to mount the cooler.

    I really wanted to keep my hose runs as short as possible. Mounting the unit in front of the radiator would have required that the hoses be extended. The return hose from the cooler to the pump is simply clamped onto each and is easy to replace. Unfortunately, the hose from the rack to the cooler has a swedged end and would have to be either cut and flared or a union would be needed. After much debate, I elected to mount the cooler just above the K-member. I bent one end of the mounting bracket straight and then notched it with my die grinder to fit the contour of the rack. Rubber vacuum caps were placed on the two "legs" to cushion the cooler and prevent metal on metal contact. Likewise, two short sections of rubber fuel line were split lengthwise and slipped over the steel lines on the rack. The new cooler was then secured with zip ties and is quite stable. The stock hoses easily reached the cooler in this position and I shortened the supply line by approximately 2".




















    The stock cooler will be saved for now. It is unlikely that it will ever be re-installed on the car. For those that may not be familiar with what it looks like, here are some pics:





    Last edited by pajeff02; 08-05-2011 at 01:43 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    that new cooler looks lika a baby version of mine. Is it a Katech?

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    son of baby cooler....LOL.....git r dun

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    It's a Derale. I went small to allow for more mounting options.

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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    It's a Derale. I went small to allow for more mounting options.
    lol im thinking so much about guns lately lol. thats what i meant a Derale.

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    Member Eganslp's Avatar
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    Subbed...... So when I go to rebuild the motor that blew on me I'll install this with it.

    Hey Jeff, do you have a part number or place were I could purchase it?! Thx & good work btw
    The sound of your piss hitting the urinal.......yea it sounds feminine!

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    I think I picked this one up from Jeg's. Just type "power steering cooler" in the search box on their site and you'll find a couple to choose from. This one is the smallest that Derale makes.

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    Nice work Jeff.

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    I will be doing this soon. Good job man.

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    I ended up selling the stock cooler at GM Carlisle for $25.00. Good riddance!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    I ended up selling the stock cooler at GM Carlisle for $25.00. Good riddance!
    20 yrs from now............they will be 500$ at swap meets for pontiac restorers LOL

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    ^^^yup.


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