How To: Add Power Steering Fluid Cooler
Note: LBZ, but others are the same.
If you’ve never removed your front grill, it’s quick/easy. Remove the top core cover, remove your headlights, and with a flat blade screwdriver, depress the spring clips to remove. Once you’ve done it before, it takes less than 5 minutes to remove.
There are a variety of paths to choose from in adding a Power Steering Fluid Cooler.
One choice (thx Eric!) is to obtain and add the GM part # 10385584 ($130) for the 6.6L.
Or you can choose GM part #15295847 ($80) for the 8.1L and adapt it to fit, the nipples/bends are a bit different.
Both mount here, utilizing the condenser coil’s top mounting bolt with an added bolt (#11589039, $1.50) to an existing hole in the trans cooler bracket.
In pursuit of lowering the price further, look around fleaBay and Amaz and you'll find numerous kits available in various sizes that can fit in the same area as the GM shown above.
This one is a bit smaller;
Not wanting to play the ship and wait game, pursue available inventory on a local basis.
These are cheap enough that you could bridge two together to equal the GM size for $40.
Hayden Power Steering Oil Cooler
I ended up with THIS cooler from VatoZone.
It was larger than the others and only $30.
It comes with a 4’ section of 3/8" hose and 4 hose clamps. Add another 3’ piece of hose, a 3/8"x3/8" inline connector, and a few extra hose clamps.
You’ll need 5 clamps total, unless you reuse the lame OEM spring clamp, and you might strip one out over-tightening. Better to have an extra than make a return trip in the middle of the project.
Lift the front corner up enough (tire on ground) to open up the tire well area and make it easier to access. Remove your Driver’s side inner fender liner. You can try and work around the boost tube, but it’s easier to just remove it and give your self some room. It and the couplers could probably use a good cleaning anyway.
This is the location where the Low Pressure return line, coming from the steering box below, attaches to the PS pump inlet tube with a spring clamp.
Remove the hose from the inlet, insert the 3/8" connector and attach the 3' section of hose and the hose clamps. I had some extras, so I doubled up.
In it's ^^ place, Attach the 4' section that came with the cooler kit and clamp off.
Looking down from the top, here is (with PS fluid spilled on it :rolleyes:) the new 4’ return hose attached at the PS pump's inlet tube. Both hoses will route in the gap between the lower boost tube coupler and the ECM, thru existing holes in the core support to the side of the CAC unit and below the DRL/Turn fixtures.
Attach the two lines to the cooler and clamp. The kit came with a self-adhesive isolator pad that was the same width as the trans cooler bracket up front and I already had some black plastic zip ties to affix thru the existing holes.
Dust it with a light coating of flat-black enamel paint to hide behind the grill's darkness. In hindsight, I should have also sprayed the top of the trans cooler too. For you'll see in the last pic, it's not totally dark behind the grill. :cool:
Start up, move the wheel back and forth a few times to displace the air in the new lines/cooler, then fill PS reservoir to proper level. This is post steering box, so you don't need to do a more extensive procedure for bleeding the air off.
Re-install the Grill and both headlights, and we're done. :D
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