This is a factory engine oil cooler on a restored Boss 302, but there are similar tube-and-fin units that can be found especially on taxis, police cars, and heavy-duty trucks.This is a factory engine oil cooler on a restored Boss 302, but there are similar tube-and There is a wealth of budget-based components sitting in your local recycling yard just waiting for you to come and rescue them from the crusher. On Pro Touring cars that have taken up the challenge of the increasingly popular track days and tight-turn autocross events, these competitions also put lots of heat into power steering systems. Twice we’ve seen Saginaw GM power steering pump towers actually fall off due to the deadly combination of killer heat and vibration at Pro Touring events. So if heat is the big culprit, how ’bout trimming those temps with an inexpensive cooler? We were cruising the boneyard awhile back when we noticed a power steering cooler languishing on a fullsize Ford that looked like it would work on our road racer Chevelle. We’ve seen lots of factory heat sinks on taxis and police cruisers, so those cars would make great ground zero starting places. Our buddy Bill Irwin bought an interesting power steering cooler on eBay for $25.00 that was factory on an ’01 LS1 Camaro. The cooler is different because instead of resorting to the typical air-to-oil cooler, GM engineers created a more efficient design using engine coolant. Using a large, aluminum housing placed in the upper radiator hose, the heat exchanger routes engine coolant around cooling tubes inside the housing to manage the power steering fluid temperature. The most common cooler is the classic tube-and-fin cooler. But there are other ideas such as this layout found on staffer McGann’s Crown Vic police car. The extra-long pressure lines can also double as simple coolers that expose the fluid to a large surface area and reduce the temperature without spending extra dollars on a dedicated cooler.The most common cooler is the classic tube-and-fin cooler. But there are other ideas such We talked with Tom Lee of Lee Manufacturing who builds racing power steering boxes, and pumps and he prefers the fluid temperature at 180 degrees F, but he also says anything below 250 degrees F is acceptable. What will kill pumps is temperatures exceeding 300 degrees F. Another idea that helps control temperature is to replace the late-model, plastic power steering pump reservoirs with a remote reservoir. Remote reservoirs help reduce heat by reducing the aeration in the oil. We’ve also considered the idea of converting engine radiator automatic transmission cooler fittings to cool the power steering fluid. Lee has lots of experience with coolers and claims that because of the severe pressure fluctuations in a power steering system the old tube-and-fin coolers do a much better job of controlling inherent vibrations compared with the flat, segmented coolers. Lee says the segmented units are more thermally efficient but tend to be susceptible to vibration. He says that return side pressures are usually around 100 psi, but when the system is cold, it can spike to more than 200 psi for a few moments. As far as fluid is concerned, he prefers using a mineral-based oil. So now that we’ve given you a few ideas, go searching through the junkyard and see what you can turn up. This is a factory GM power steering cooler used in line with the upper radiator hose on fourth-generation Camaros. This particular unit was pulled off an ’01 Camaro SS. Those hose barb fittings could easily be replaced with -6AN fittings for a more permanent, leak-free connection. The cooler lines are always plumbed into the return line where the pressure can be more than 100 psi.This is a factory GM power steering cooler used in line with the upper radiator hose on fo Looking for an inexpensive way to measure power steering fluid temps? Our Innovate digital multimeter also features a flexible temperature probe. All you have to do is dip the probe in the oil and read the temperature.Looking for an inexpensive way to measure power steering fluid temps? Our Innovate digital These tube-and-fin power steering coolers are especially prevalent on trucks. Mount the cooler in a location that sees cool air, like just in front of the engine radiator, and your power steering pump will thank you for it.These tube-and-fin power steering coolers are especially prevalent on trucks. Mount the co The ’60s GM P style or Saginaw pump has been replaced by the late-model TC pump. One way to reduce temperature is to remove the plastic reservoir from the pump and replace it with a remote aluminum reservoir. This will require adapting an AN fitting to the pump, but the conversion is easy.The ’60s GM P style or Saginaw pump has been replaced by the late-model TC pump. One way t SOURCES AFCO 977 Hyrock Blvd Boonville IN 47601 800-623-2320 www.afcoracing.com Lee Manufacturing 11661 Pendleton St. Sun Valley CA 91352 818-768-2687 www.lee-powersteering.com By Jeff Smith Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!