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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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. :rocker::clap:
 

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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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Discussion Starter #4
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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Thanks for posting this toyo22r.

DEWFPO
 

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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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Discussion Starter #7
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
 

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Thanks for the updated pics. Looks good!

DEWFPO
 

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Thanks Paul. Great info.
 

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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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Wonderful writeup. I did this on my bronco as I was having the same issue rock crawling.

Just a quick note, if you have a third hand (a helper), I had my dad watch the resevoir while I had one part of the return hose in a new bottle of power steering fluild and the other part draining into a pan. This bassically enabled me to drain the system like a transmission flush. In the end, you will of coarse lose some of the new fluid but the point is to flush out as much of the old fluid as possible. At that point I connected the tubes to the cooler and had to keep refilling the resevoir until it filled up the external resevoir and got ride of the bubbles.
 

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Hey great write-up! :bigthumb: Gonna try to jump on this project tomm, but i have one (retarded) question: what size tubing did u use? Can i just get this at hardware store or is it some kind of special coated tubing? :confused:
 

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Nice job on the install, your power steering is going to love you with the cooler oil temps. I did this a a few years ago to my FJ40 and I can drive around in the rocks all day long and my power steering pump stays happy.
 

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Great writ up. Looking forward to do this in few weeks.


Sent from AutoGuide.com App
 

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Where do you guys dispose of the ATF fluid?
I dispose of the oil at Walmart….but PS/ATF/Gear oil…who takes that?
I take my ATF in with the Motor Oil and the guys at O'Reilly's never ask.

DEWFPO
 

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Finally got around to install the Setrab oil cooler. This thing wasn't cheap. The oil cooler and the Fragola AN-fittings and hoses came close to $400. I could've gone different directions with oil coolers, but needed something sturdy. The old saying, "mounted once and forget about it".
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