Recent Topics
Anyone signing up for the Space Force
by Shannow
06/20/18 03:58 AM
Pennzoil Platinum at Walmart
by TheLawnRanger
06/19/18 11:21 PM
Mopar OEM and Fram Ultra Oil filters, '18 Jeep JL
by IndyFan
06/19/18 10:45 PM
What’s the odds..
by Eric Smith
06/19/18 09:51 PM
Who can relate?
by Reddy45
06/19/18 09:43 PM
No more oil changes
by goodtimes
06/19/18 09:19 PM
Separating toddlers from their parents?
by fdcg27
06/19/18 08:50 PM
gm 8.6 truetrac
by Spitter
06/19/18 08:45 PM
New addition to my garage: 2000 Corvette FRC
by MrHorspwer
06/19/18 08:34 PM
Rockauto 5% off
by Spitter
06/19/18 08:32 PM
fumoto oil valve
by Santo
06/19/18 08:19 PM
Grand solar minimum...
by ridgerunner
06/19/18 07:57 PM
Pentofrost coolant $10 Autozone
by PD001
06/19/18 07:49 PM
The things you find cleaning Garage 30+ btls slob
by digger327
06/19/18 07:20 PM
Castrol GTX Magantec 0w20 - 6 pack $21.99 - Amazon
by 04SE
06/19/18 07:07 PM
Havoline Pro DS 5w20 $3.15/quart - Amazon
by 04SE
06/19/18 07:06 PM
Needing New Dipstick
by Geauxtiger
06/19/18 05:11 PM
'98 Mercedes E300TD Rotella T5 10W-30 5k miles
by KenO
06/19/18 04:35 PM
Premium guard oil filters
by Jaha24k
06/19/18 04:09 PM
76 super motor oil- synthetic blend 5w-30
by Jaha24k
06/19/18 04:07 PM
Newest Members
Shassis, Santo, aligoodn, memyself, MichiganKid419
65274 Registered Users
Who's Online
22 registered (iontrap, FordCapriDriver, bbhero, Char Baby, Astro14, 69Torino, 5 invisible), 792 Guests and 26 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
65274 Members
67 Forums
285630 Topics
4766678 Posts

Max Online: 3590 @ 01/24/17 08:07 PM
Donate to BITOG
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#4492274 - 08/18/17 08:19 PM Fixing an overheating power steering system
MrHorspwer Offline


Registered: 12/18/06
Posts: 1421
Loc: Michigan
Most people never really tax their power steering system. It's just... there. Until it leaks, nobody really ever gives it a second thought. Maybe a fluid change once in a while.

What if you chronically overheat your power steering? Add a cooler, right? What if it's cause by a system design issue and adding a power steering cooler simply won't fix it? Follow me...

I purchased a 2000 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 specifically as an auto-x and track toy. Yeah, I drive it on the street, but I bought it expressly because it's relatively cheap, has huge aftermarket support, is fitted with a good size tire (with the option to go MUCH bigger), and is fast enough.

This is what happened the first time I auto-x'd it:


That was only after two runs, less than 2 minutes of angry driving. It didn't get better. I didn't have a temp probe with me, but I'd guess temps were well past 350 degrees F. Here's the thing: This is a normal outcome for GM power steering systems! Most just live with it or try to fix it with a cooler, but a cooler is just treating the symptom, not the cause.

Besides puking fluid all over, overheating the power steering fluid has the secondary effect of quickly deteriorating all the seals in the system, particularly in the steering gear or rack. No surprise, my rack was also leaking.

I did mention a cooler. My car, like many 4th gen. F-bodies, has a cooler from the factory. It's fitted to the upper radiator hose and uses engine coolant to cool (or in most cases, warm) the power steering fluid:


GM installed the cooler on the early SS and WS6 models, which were equipped with 275/40-17 tires up front. In 2000, they added the cooler to all V8 cars.

So yeah, it has a cooler, but the fluid will always only be as cool as the coolant temperature. This trips people up and leads them toward thinking a big air cooler will fix it. After all, the fluid is already sitting at 210 degrees because of the factory cooler. Again, a bigger cooler is just treating the symptom, not the cause.

Enter: Turn One Steering

Now, I'm only a customer of Turn One and am in no way affiliated with them. It's just cool to find a shop that is so specialized in one area that they are the de-facto experts. A real part of their business is with NASCAR. Their customer list is a who's who of Cup and Xfinity teams. It's even cooler that they're local to me (relatively local, at least). They're based in Saginaw, MI, former home of GM's Saginaw Steering division. That's not a coincidence.

Anyway, they have some great tech explanations of why GM power steering systems are so prone to overheating. You can read about them here and here, but the short answer is GM pumps flow A LOT (GM used the same pump on dump trucks that they used on Chevettes!) and most of that flow is simply diverted right back into the reservoir by the flow control valve. This constant cycle of pressurization and recirculation allows heat to build and build until it expands and pukes out the pump.

Turn One rebuilds pumps with a close eye on managing flow, reducing recirculation, and ultimately controlling temperature. The downside is less assist, especially at low speed. The upside is you get to keep all your power steering fluid. Fair trade.

As a bonus, Turn One also rebuilds steering racks. So the pump and rack came off and I drove them up to Saginaw for a refresh. Looking at the top picture, you'll see the composite plastic pulley on the pump. Beside being totally cheesy, it completely blocks access to the blots securing the pump. The pulley has to be removed and reinstalled every time the pump goes off and on. Lame. Turn One also makes a sweet billet pulley that has opening that allow easy pump removal and installation. Worth it.

Now comes the bad news: My pump was junk. When I removed it, I noticed there was a remanufacturing sticker on the back. It was also painted black instead of the natural aluminum finish it left the factory with. I noted this when I dropped off the pump and sure enough, I got a call that the pump failed its dyno test (yeah, a power steering pump dyno... sweet!). Something about excessive flow past the pressure relief valve and no way to correct it. They also noted the oil feed port for the shaft bushing was in the wrong location, meaning the pump likely wasn't even an F-body pump in the first place! Of course, all of this may have just made a system already prone to overheating even worse.

So I had to buy a new pump from Turn One. All it takes is money.

New pump in-car:


You'll also notice an AN fitting on the return port in the reservoir. I re-plumbed the return side of the system with push-lock AN-fittings. The return port fitting is super slick piece offered by Turn One. They also supplied the AN adapter for the return out of the steering rack. It's totally possible to plumb the pressure side with AN, but it requires specialized higher pressure line and fittings ($$$) and there was nothing wrong with my current high pressure hose: It wasn't leaking.

I also ended up replacing the cooler:


Turn One says most applications of their pumps don't require a cooler. I wanted to get the factory cooler removed on the off chance it were to rupture and either allowed coolant into the power steering fluid or power steering fluid into the coolant. If I was going through the effort to re-plumb the return line, I figured I may as well add the cooler now. It's an 18" Derale unit mounted just behind the factory air dam. Yeah, it's not in a direct airflow path, but space in front of the radiator is awkward and remember the part about Turn One saying a cooler likely would not be required. I'm not worried.

Since this is BITOG, I filled it with Red Line power steering fluid. Sorry, you get a stock photo for that:


Why Red Line? Pretty much because of this: https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/4472551/1

As a cherry on top, I got rid of the wire thin factory steering wheel with integrated pillow:


So that's it, stem to stern, a completely rebuilt steering system. I haven't had an opportunity to really give it a work out, which is kind of a let down for the purposes of this post. I can report that the "less assist" trade-off is barely noticeable, but I think that is mostly because it is a manual transmission. With an auto, I think it's much easier to simply idle at parking lot speeds while turning the wheel. With a stick, you're constantly modulating the throttle and clutch, which provides enough revs to keep the pump spinning just that much faster.

Top
#4492296 - 08/18/17 08:52 PM Re: Fixing an overheating power steering system [Re: MrHorspwer]
ls1mike Offline


Registered: 06/14/08
Posts: 5116
Loc: In the Garage...
That looks sharp. I have the stock GM setup on my WS6, but have never really had a problem. I have replaced the pump because of a failed hose once, but got it at the dealer.

Anyway nice job! I do like the steering wheel... A LOT!
_________________________
Mike
00 Trans Am WS6 5.7 LS1
02 Silverado 2500HD 6.0
14 Caprice PPV 6.0
15 Malibu LTZ Turbo
12 Passport TT

Top
#4492297 - 08/18/17 08:52 PM Re: Fixing an overheating power steering system [Re: MrHorspwer]
BrocLuno Offline


Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5512
Loc: Kalifornia Kollective
Nice stuff laugh

Does the TurnOne pulley have a fan blade effect to help air-flow over the pump ...
_________________________
Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.

Top
#4492327 - 08/18/17 09:38 PM Re: Fixing an overheating power steering system [Re: MrHorspwer]
JustinH Offline


Registered: 04/17/04
Posts: 5174
Loc: Texas
Looks like a great aftermarket part. Are you monitoring the temps with a gauge at all?

Your powersteering cooler looks very similar to what the 4.6L ford's have out of the factory, only yours is about twice as large. That should keep it plenty cool.

I believe my tbird had it in the exact same location on the car from the factory.
_________________________
'11 Hyundai Sonata GLS
'11 Scion XB

Top
#4492346 - 08/18/17 09:57 PM Re: Fixing an overheating power steering system [Re: MrHorspwer]
mclasser Offline


Registered: 04/13/13
Posts: 2227
Loc: The Northeast
Very cool! I don't own a GM product but that was an enjoyable read.

How about some pics of the exterior?
_________________________
2018 Hyundai Elantra VE -- 3K
2013 Honda Pilot EX-L 4WD -- 55K
2002 Honda Accord EX-L -- 210K


Top
#4492374 - 08/18/17 10:35 PM Re: Fixing an overheating power steering system [Re: mclasser]
MrHorspwer Offline


Registered: 12/18/06
Posts: 1421
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: JustinH
Are you monitoring the temps with a gauge at all?


No gauge. I dipped a temp probe into the reservoir after a normal drive and was reading in the mid-140 degree area.

Originally Posted By: mclasser
How about some pics of the exterior?



Top
#4492488 - 08/19/17 01:55 AM Re: Fixing an overheating power steering system [Re: MrHorspwer]
DoubleWasp Offline


Registered: 05/21/12
Posts: 5236
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL
I've gotten the power steering temps under control on my GMs by installing a transmission cooler behind the primary electric fan to cool the power steering.

After a really nasty romp, I can stick my bare finger comfortably into the fluid reservoir.
_________________________
07 Lincoln Navigator M1 0w-40/FU
68 Charger R/T / Supercharged 440 VR1/DBL7349
07 Ram 3500 4x4 / Cummins 6.7 /DBL7349
17 Maserati GranTurismo Cabrio

Top
#4492508 - 08/19/17 03:58 AM Re: Fixing an overheating power steering system [Re: MrHorspwer]
4WD Offline


Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 6366
Loc: Texas
Great write up - and nice car.
I was surprised to first see a similar PS (air) cooler under my small truck - but two years later the PSF was black - and since then been swapping partial fluid once a year via a 200cc syringe ...

Top
#4492553 - 08/19/17 07:22 AM Re: Fixing an overheating power steering system [Re: MrHorspwer]
E150GT Offline


Registered: 03/11/12
Posts: 1093
Loc: San Antonio, TX
This is the kind of stuff I like. Making something better. I love it
_________________________
1984 Mercedes-Benz 300SD - 100k
1995 F150 XL 4.9 reg cab 5MT - 250k 5w30
2016 Mazda6 Touring 6MT - 56k 10w30

Top
#4492568 - 08/19/17 07:47 AM Re: Fixing an overheating power steering system [Re: MrHorspwer]
Claud Offline


Registered: 02/11/14
Posts: 593
Loc: Margate England
It's great you have your car set up for the track pounding you want to give it, no I'm not being sarcastic.
But for everyday highway use I think it's overkill. Sure, GM (or whoever) could build a bombproof system for all their cars, how much would that raise the sticker price?.
Mostly people don't drive their cars to its limits and the compromise set-up they leave the factory with works just fine.

But if you want to rip round a race track, pound down a drag strip, or see how far you get off road, anyone who has done it will know a heap of money will be needed to keep it together.
Here's wishing you luck at the track, seems to me you know what takes to do well and will stump up the $$$ to get there. smile

Claud.

Top
#4492588 - 08/19/17 08:07 AM Re: Fixing an overheating power steering system [Re: Claud]
4WD Offline


Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 6366
Loc: Texas
Well, I'd have been happy with a drain plug - that can't cost much ...

Top
#4493277 - 08/19/17 10:42 PM Re: Fixing an overheating power steering system [Re: MrHorspwer]
clinebarger Offline


Registered: 12/19/13
Posts: 1907
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Nice Upgrades!! Really like the pulley, Can I ask how much they charged you to rebuild the Rack? I need mine rebuilt.

Are those Hooker Blackheart Headers?
_________________________
2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/Auto

Top
#4493477 - 08/20/17 09:13 AM Re: Fixing an overheating power steering system [Re: clinebarger]
MrHorspwer Offline


Registered: 12/18/06
Posts: 1421
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: clinebarger
Nice Upgrades!! Really like the pulley, Can I ask how much they charged you to rebuild the Rack? I need mine rebuilt.

Are those Hooker Blackheart Headers?


$250 for the rack rebuild.

Yes, those are Blackheart headers. They're the mid-length version. I also did the matching true-dual exhaust. I really wanted to do the long-tube, but they weren't available when I ordered and the cost was about 50% more for the headers and exhaust. I'll probably kick myself later for not waiting for the long-tubes.

Top
#4493505 - 08/20/17 09:56 AM Re: Fixing an overheating power steering system [Re: MrHorspwer]
chrisri Offline


Registered: 06/01/14
Posts: 1744
Loc: Rijeka, EU
That's nice. I have to say all of my Alfa's had factory fitted PS coolers (long plastic or metal pipe in S that is located in front of a radiator) that worked wonderfully. BMW and FIAT had something similar before everybody went electric.
_________________________
99 FIAT Punto Sporting 16v MST 5w40
06 FIAT Stilo MW 1.9 Multijet SHU 5w40
07 Opel Vectra SW 1.9 CDTI 150 MST 5w40

Top
#4493991 - 08/20/17 08:21 PM Re: Fixing an overheating power steering system [Re: MrHorspwer]
clinebarger Offline


Registered: 12/19/13
Posts: 1907
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: MrHorspwer

Yes, those are Blackheart headers. They're the mid-length version. I also did the matching true-dual exhaust. I really wanted to do the long-tube, but they weren't available when I ordered and the cost was about 50% more for the headers and exhaust. I'll probably kick myself later for not waiting for the long-tubes.


I thought so, I have the same system on my car & absolutely love it. I installed a set of 1 7/8" Super Comp's & 3" sections of straight pipe on both collectors for a "Dyno Day" & gained 7 RWHP at 6,000 RPM over the Blackheart 1 7/8" Mid-Length & full exhaust.
My restriction is in the Air Intake, Removing the Air Filter, SLP Lid, & Mass Airflow Sensor netted a 18 RWHP gain at 6,200 RPM running in Speed Density, Injector Duty Cycle hovering around 90%.
Best pull with long tubes, No air intake......431hp/458tq
Best pull with mid lengths, air intake intact....406hp/444tq

I under-cammed my car! But with the Air Intake & Injector upgrades along with a converter re-stall that would have to be done to take advantage.......I'm going to leave it alone, I'm tired of working on the [censored] thing!!

Not trying to de-rail your thread.....I just believe Hooker did an excellent job designing the mid-length's, They would probably out flow many sets of long tubes like Pacesetter & BBK.
_________________________
2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/Auto

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >