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Old 04-24-2007, 09:41 PM
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Hot power steering fluid

I might be a little pre-mature with this issue but thought I would post to gather information regarding power steering fluid.

Background: The car is a 2 year project and has NEVER been on the road yet. It is a '57 Ford Ranchero with a power rack & pinion (GM Cavalier I believe) steering modification and using the original '57 Ford power steering pump. The engine only has around one hour of operating post cam break in. Testing the brakes, transmission, etc., I have backed the car up and down the driveway.

I have just discovered that the PS reservoir was so hot I could not hold it. I can hang onto the upper radiator coolant hose for a calibration of the temperatures I felt.

I have never notice (or even thought about) PS fluid getting hot.

Is this normal?
How is the PS heat generated?
Are there PS coolers OR is there an inherent problem I need to address?
Is heat a sign of too much pressure?
Is the heat generation an issue of only "driveway" activity?

thx in advance, r

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Old 04-24-2007, 10:21 PM
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Power steering fluid is going to get hot. Running through the pump and being through passages, hoses, and restrictions under pressure is going to raise the temperature. How hot is it supposed to be? I don't know for sure.

http://www.sealseastern.com/PDF/ElastomerInFuel.pdf
If you scroll down to the middle of page 4 this lists a temperature for power steering fluids. How accurate is it, I'm not sure but it still gives you an idea. The temps are listed in degrees C 110-115 deg C is about 230F 160C is about 320F.

Check out Summit Racing or Jegs, they carry coolers and you should be able to find something to fit your needs.
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Old 04-25-2007, 09:44 PM
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Thank you for your response.

I never realized how much heat PS generated. While I suppose these pumps (hopefully they realized this 50 years ago) are designed to accommodate these heat ranges, I probably will look into a PS cooler for my own peace of mind. I want to keep the "look" of the original reservoir/pump.

Thx again, r
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:05 PM
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Some PS pumps have a finned cooler built in ... ( heavy duty, Taxi, Police vehicles ect )
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAW
I want to keep the "look" of the original reservoir/pump.
On top of the vehicles Deuce mentioned, you'll find many 3/4 ton and 1 ton pickups that have power steering coolers installed as factory equipment. I think it might be standard fare for pickups that use hydroboost systems (systems that use power steering to supply braking assistance in lieu vacuum boosters)

You can probably find a small two pass cooler that you can mount in line (on the return side, I imagine) and still be able to mount it in a discrete location.
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:46 PM
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I had a powersteering cooler on my 89 Grand fury and it did make a big difference. They do not take up much room
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Old 04-26-2007, 03:27 PM
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PS fluid on a My racecar can get way over 300 degrees.

Ain't had a problem yet with sals or anything. I'm using a stock box.
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Old 04-26-2007, 09:07 PM
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Thank you for the great responses and information. I plan to look into and install a cooler for my peace of mind and I think is prudent to protect the seals etc.

You guys always come through. Thx again, r
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Old 04-26-2007, 10:00 PM
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Some cars even just have an extra-long return line that features a loop of metal tubing that goes under the rad support to dissipate a little heat.

NAPA has a nice little PS cooler kit:

Part # ATP 14866

I think that after reading the hydroboost comment (which makes perfect sense) I had better get one of these myself. I think I'll also order the PS pump with dual return lines at the same time.
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