Power Steering Cooler Install - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-17-2009, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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Power Steering Cooler Install

I thought I would document the installation of a PS cooler. I was surprised to see there was not a factory cooler for the power steering system on the FJ. My 95 4Runner had a tube cooler for the PS and the pump never gave me an issue just shy of 300Kmi before I traded her.

My PS pump has started making noises, moaning and groaning when its hot. This surfaced about a month ago on a trail where there were many large rocks and the going was slow, definitely giving the PS system a workout. When i checked the fluid it was black and smelled burnt. Over the course of a week or so I would siphon the PS res. and refill with Mobil 1 synthetic ATF. The pump would only make noise when it was hot and getting worked hard. Took to the dealership and they told me my pump was going bad but denied the claim for "larger tires putting too much stress on the pump". Thus the impetus for installing the cooler.

I picked up this 5x10 Torqflo cooler at Autozone for $26.


Start by draining the res. i used a turkey baster with a piece of tubing so that it would reach to the bottom of the res.


I did not like the idea of using the zip tie things you have to push through the AC condenser to mount the cooler. Instead, i chose to remove the center vertical support and using three self-tapping screws attached the cooler. For aesthetics I put an inch piece of vacuum hose over the exposed screws.




The hoses route through the existing hole for the AC line. The other end of the cooler is zip tied in place to the AC line manifold with high pressure port. It is very secure.




Final connection is made to the res.


Before I connected the return line to the res. I attempted to use a funnel and fill this tube and cooler. Mistake. It just made a huge mess. So, attach to the res. and fill almost to the top with ATF. As soon as you start the engine it will suck the res. low pretty fast so either has an assistant to help or be ready with ATF bottle in hand and run back to the res. to fill. It will be very foamy at this point. I jacked the front up to take the weight off the wheels. Then slowly turn the steering wheel from lock to lock about 20 times or so. Keep an eye on the level in the res. the whole time. Add some if needed. For me the foaming was gone at this point indicating all air had been evacuated from the system.

Final view with grill installed.


I think this just may save my pump. Prior to adding the cooler, i could simulate the heavy use by turning the steering wheel lock to lock (full weight on the ground) and it would be groaning by then. Now there is no noise when i do this.

07 FJ Voodoo Blue (The Nostromo)

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Last edited by toyo22r; 04-17-2009 at 11:29 AM.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-17-2009, 11:46 AM
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Re: Power Steering Cooler Install

Paul, very nice mod...great write up.
I did something similar in Switzerland on my Elise. These kind of mods are what save you $$$ in the future.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-17-2009, 12:42 PM
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Re: Power Steering Cooler Install

Thanks for the write up! It's hard to tell from the pics exactly how you have it mounted. You think it will stay put off road?

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-17-2009, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Power Steering Cooler Install

Looking at the ends of the cooler you can see mounting flanges that have 3 holes. Its mounted on the center support with 3 screws. The other end is zip tied to the AC line as shown. Its very secure and should have no issues off road.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-17-2009, 05:31 PM
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Re: Power Steering Cooler Install

Thanks for posting this toyo22r.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-17-2009, 05:42 PM
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Re: Power Steering Cooler Install

Mine is still new, but I think I'm doing this BEFORE I have any issues. I've seen a few posts about ps pumps now. Good write up.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-21-2009, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Power Steering Cooler Install

PS cooler has been working just fine. The groaning is gone now. The real test will be on the next trail run. I did make some changes to how the cooler is mounted. Maybe its the engineer in me but as secure as the zip tie was holding it, it just didn't sit well with me. So I fab'd a 3/4" x 7.5" bracket and drilled to line up with the 3 mounting holes on the cooler's flange. As luck would have it the width of the cooler was just such that where the bracket will bolt to the core support ends up right between two holes requiring a new hole be drilled. One hole was threaded where i had my 2nd horn mounted. I ended up moving the 2nd horn over next to the oem horn. Also took this time to tidy up the hole where i pass the winch power cables through. I took a piece of vacuum hose and cut it length-wise and pushed onto the lip of the hole. Thus protecting the wires from chaffing. I also did the same for where the PS cooler lines pass through.

Bracket


Mounted


Relocated Horn


Homemade grommet
jorge and daltondrose like this.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-21-2009, 05:58 PM
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Re: Power Steering Cooler Install

Thanks for the updated pics. Looks good!

DEWFPO

2007 FJ, 5AT, Sun Fusion Yellow, CQ, UP, GY, RB, 2Q, EL, VS.

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"Wanted - young, skinny, wiry fellows, not over 18. Must be expert riders willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred"
Original newspaper add placed by William Hepburn Russell, founder of the The Pony Express
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-22-2009, 03:44 AM
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Re: Power Steering Cooler Install

Thanks Paul. Great info.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 05:01 PM
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Re: Power Steering Cooler Install

I wonder if I can use one of those dual core coolers so that I can cool the power steering fluid, and the transmission fluid in one unit?

-B

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