Power Steering Cooler Tube? - Chevy Impala Forums

It appears you have not yet registered with our community. To register please click here...

Chevy Impala Forums

Go Back   Chevy Impala Forums > Performance and Technical > Chevy Impala 7th Gen Discussion

Chevy Impala 7th Gen Discussion W-Body 2000-2005. Discuss all Chevy Impala 7th Generation Performance and Technical Discussion here.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-26-2012, 03:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
LS03Impala's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SoCAL
Posts: 25
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Power Steering Cooler Tube?

First time poster, good to be here.

03 Impala LS, 105k miles, 3.8

Found a decent sized nick on what I just learned is called a "power steering cooler tube" that had been leaking slightly and finally blew out today while I was on the freeway. The back of my car is coated in oil film.

This tube looks like a major pain in the ass to replace, as it winds down from the PS pump, runs along the front frame, then loops back into the steering system with just about everything in its way.

I have no idea what caused the nick. Nothing is loose or rattly, and the tube was firmly snapped into its mount. The nick is right below a pulley, and only visible by removing the right front tire and inner panel.

I'm curious if anyone has replaced this part themselves, if it's a DIY thing, or if I should buckle over and have it towed to the dealer (the car will not steer properly as no fluid returns to the system.) So far it seems its a gmpartsdirect or dealer part availability.

It looks like this was a recall type problem in later vehicles, and I saw no documentation that it was a problem in the '03's, so I'd appreciate any info on this problem.

Also, would it be possible to replace this 'cooler tube' with a standard power steering cooler system, with a small finned cooler that mounts to the radiator, for example?

Thanks for any info.

LS03Impala is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 09-26-2012, 04:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
auntjemima's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Trenton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,781
Thanks: 126
Thanked 422 Times in 324 Posts
I would see no problem replacing the line with something aftermarket that does the same thing. If I was you I would attempt to replace the line yourself and if it becomes too difficult then tow it. Power steering lines can be tricky on any vehicle and require patience but can be done at home.

Lastly, any flying debris from below can cause a line to become damaged.

auntjemima is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-26-2012, 11:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
8th Gen Antagonist
 
kingnutin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Vancouver , WA
Posts: 13,658
Thanks: 517
Thanked 1,202 Times in 791 Posts
I have done several of these, they have been a problem area for me in the 8th gens, it's done exactly the same way in the 7th gen cars. The part is fairly inexpensive, but it is a pain to replace. It doesn't go all the way up to the pump, there is a rubber line connection behind the motor with a hose clamp. The other end goes to the steering rack. You will need to lower the back of the subframe and disconnect the sway bar links to get room, disconnect the tie-rod end from the knuckle, it may help to remove the brakes and unbolt the strut from the steering knuckle as well. This is only on the drivers side remember, except for the subframe and sway bar links, those need to be done on both sides. You need an 18mm flare nut wrench for the line on the rack, or maybe it was 16mm, I forget because I use a double ended wrench with a 16 on one end and 18 on the other.

__________________
1978 Caprice Classic Landau
350 2-bolt, stock 4bbl
Stock rebuilt TH350
Edelbrock performer cam + intake
Dual 2 1/2" Flowmaster exhuast (waiting to be installed)
Edelbrock IAS Classic shocks
95 9C1 3.08 posi
4 wheel disc brakes!
16x8 American Racing Baja's with 225/60/16 Pirelli P4's

kingnutin is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-26-2013, 12:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
StressFreeCarpentry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thumbs down P/s cooler tube (my horrific experience was with an 08 ls 3.5l)

In my experience I did not have to remove anything special, nor drop the subframe to do the line replacement. Granted I was working on an 08 LS with the 3.5L flex, but I was handed the car with the high pressure line already pulled off and no clue of how to route it back in. I was able to start in the passenger wheel well and work from the middle out by feeding one side to the gear and the other to the front then up to the pump.

At my DARLING SWEET WIFE'S behest, I performed the repair of the high pressure ps line, the low pressure line and the cooler tube on her "BFF'"s 2008 Impala LS. The cooler tube I could have spliced without any major problem and been done with it in just a few minutes as it broke very near the wheel well, but I did not trust the tubings' integrity with the failure of so many of these lines on the vehicles currently fighting with gm for a full blown recall and the supporting evidence that both of the other hard lines on this particular vehicle had already failed. I did not run the VIN on this car because it was my wife's "BFF"'s ride and not mine, but I did get volunteered to repair her power steering, which turned into a nightmare. I got the car after a friend of hers offered to repair the power steering and removed the high pressure line (which I was told by my wife who was told by her {BFF} who was told by him {friend of a friend} was spraying like a pressure washer all over the underside of the engine, brakes, struts, backside of the rim, etc.) which really caused a lot more work for me in installing the line because I had no idea how it was routed until I finally broke down and asked my neighbor if I could look at his which is an 06 LT but pretty much same deal. If I was a cruel man I would have let my wife's friend allow this fool to finish the job but when she told me what was going on in how he had cut the line out and couldn't get the new one in, I intervened, mostly because this woman has three darling daughters and I didn't want this guy or her husband to cause those children to die in a car fire. After the installation of that line I bled the system and was unable to get it to bleed properly. I checked my fittings and connections, went back to bleeding it, failed, read online to see if I was just stupid, came to realize that it could take as much as 60 full lock to lock turns to bleed the system, tried again, and failed to build pressure.

I get back under the car and notice a drip, praying I didn't bend the hard line too much, which I was pretty much sure I hadn't, though maybe I had scuffed it hard enough to damage it, which I hadn't, and upon further inspection I found that the return line had a leak in it. Replace that, go to bleed system and it won't build pressure again.......... At this point I am seriously considering telling my wife to get her "BFF" over to the house with a tow truck (though she drove it to the house twice previously with little or no power steering). After beating my head against the wall for another half an hour and turning the wheels by hand after I had run the car with the return line off the pump and the pump blocked properly to bleed it into a drain pan, I finally give up and drop the car and pull forward so I can have a fresh spot of my nice freshly power washed driveway to find a drip. I spot a leak, this time in the COOLER TUBE, which I was unfamiliar with having always driven trucks with either no cooler tube or a proper finned cooler, or POS's I did not realize this car just had a tube to cool the system and that there was more lines for the system. Having come to this final observation I set about replacing the cooler tube. I debated with myself about just splicing the line, patching over the line being that it is low pressure, or replacing it after the PITA time I had fishing the HIGH PRESSURE LINE through. I could not believe that in one sitting I was going to repair all three lines to the PS system for a failure.... one thing to do it when it is just for redundancy or prevention, but wholely another deal when every line has failed at once of its own accord. The cooler tube and return line went right in. after a while scratching my head the high pressure line got installed without dropping the subframe as well. I did have to flex the bends a little to get it through and I did have to really fight it but it was much faster to fish it through there and touch up the bends than to pull the axles and input shaft in order to drop the subframe. It can be done without disassembly of the subframe on the 08, I don't know about an 03 but I am going to say unless it has a rather large engine you can probably wiggle it through to the connection at the box.

If anyone can give me any information as to why these three lines may have failed all at once, besides the obvious, "GM put trashy worthless hard lines in a certain block of impalas", I'd be all ears and very thankful for the explanation because what was supposed to be a quick 2 hour rescue of my wife's "BFF" (it drives me f****** crazy every time she refers to this woman as her BFF but I feel I must communicate this to you all as I am sure I can find sympathy here, if nowhere else on planet earth, for the stupid **** my wife does that makes me crazy...) that turned into a 12 hour ordeal, which of course I couldn't bill her for because theres no way my wife would have her BFF pay me for a repair to her car's POS steering system! Goodnight sorry for the rant and ramble. Cheers!

StressFreeCarpentry is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-26-2013, 09:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
8th Gen Antagonist
 
kingnutin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Vancouver , WA
Posts: 13,658
Thanks: 517
Thanked 1,202 Times in 791 Posts
Wow... I do indeed sympathize. I have no idea how you managed to replace the cooler line without moving anything, but props to you! As for the multiple failures, perhaps the first was a misdiagnosis, which seems probable given the other information. One of the lines had a recall issued, might have been the low pressure, but I can't remember offhand. That would explain why one would have failed. The cooler tube I find often fails because it rubs the fenderwell splash guard and wears through, you'll notice the new line comes zip-tied to the clip on the side, thats so it doesn't pop out and rub through again. I go a step further and wrap the lines to protect them.

__________________
1978 Caprice Classic Landau
350 2-bolt, stock 4bbl
Stock rebuilt TH350
Edelbrock performer cam + intake
Dual 2 1/2" Flowmaster exhuast (waiting to be installed)
Edelbrock IAS Classic shocks
95 9C1 3.08 posi
4 wheel disc brakes!
16x8 American Racing Baja's with 225/60/16 Pirelli P4's

kingnutin is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-28-2013, 07:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Cowboy_Customs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Green NY
Posts: 19
Thanks: 1
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have experienced this on the '02 before I picked it up from the PO... Here's what I did... High pressure rubber line. I too found this interesting "nick" in the line, my only thought was either the splash guard or engine pulley was rubbing on it. I did nothing more than cut out that section of line, and replaced it with rubber high pressure oil cooler hose. This was over a year ago and NO problems still. The cooler lines are NOT high pressure, so oil/tranny cooler line is more that sufficient. IT IS A LIVID PITA trying to remove the whole cooler line assembly...

Also note I found BOTH upper engine torsion mounts were shot, (could be the cause of the nick?) so you may want to look into those too... Their VERY easy to do, a hammer to tap the bolt out, 2 wrench's and a light pry bar just to line up the mounts to slide the bolts back in.

Cowboy_Customs is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-01-2013, 12:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
LS03Impala's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SoCAL
Posts: 25
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Cowboy,
Yep, sounds like exactly what I had. I spent the better part of a day under the car trying to figure out how to remove/replace the tube before I decided to take it in. I just don't have the maneuverability in my garage to snake under the car. Cost me a good 4 bills at the local shop.

The mechanic at the shop said my only choices were to buy a new part, or have it welded with no guarantee on the weld. I asked about slipping a high pressure rubber line over it but he said it wouldn't hold the pressure. Frankly, I couldn't imagine there being high pressure in that portion of the system, but I had already had it towed there and needed it back asap. If it happens again I'll try it with the high pressure rubber line and 2 sets of clamps.

Now that I think about it, the stretch of freeway I was on was a sweeping bank, and I actually remember the car wallowing a bit just before I heard the pop. I'll check out the torsion mounts. I do know that one of the bolts on the front bracket of one of the mounts was sheared off not to long ago. I'll have to check the bushings and see what they look like.

Good info, thanks

LS03Impala is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-01-2013, 02:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
Mr. Handy
 
g25racer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 5,530
Thanks: 462
Thanked 686 Times in 559 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingnutin View Post
I go a step further and wrap the lines to protect them.
Also did this on mine once I noticed how close it sits after replacing front abs harness's and installing "proper" hose clamps on the power steering lines going to the ps pump. Did not notice any damage so, I just installed some wire looming to this section.

What do you guys mean by the torsion mounts? Assume you mean upper motor mounts (attached to block), dog bones, or crossmember mounts?

The passenger engine mount (attached to block) is the most commonly broken mount. I would suggest going to a junkyard and getting a complete l67 (3800 supercharged) mount as these are cast iron and NOT aluminum. Many people with higher HP have gone with these mounts as well but, it doesn't require more than stock power to break these. Make sure you pick up the adapter plate for the ICM and coil packs for this mount. These l67 mounts are hard to find so, if you do find one, buy it even if you can't get the adapter plate (I couldn't and ended up cutting the stock ICM mount and using JB weld to attach to mount).

__________________
2001 Impala LS
TransGO Shift kit
Spectre Cone Filter
Thunderbolt Spun Cat
ZZP Alternator Power Cable
Wagner Thermoquiet Pads
KYB Strut Plus (Rr)
L67 Pass Eng Mount
Tinted tail lights
Painted Trim
Dipped Rims and emblems
Led plate, full interior, trunk, and console
Black interior accents (handles and switch panels)
Jbl gto 6.5" and 6x9" with trunk amp bypass
Sony MEX-GS600BT stereo

"Apply Dielectric Grease or I kick some arse"
g25racer is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-01-2013, 11:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
8th Gen Antagonist
 
kingnutin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Vancouver , WA
Posts: 13,658
Thanks: 517
Thanked 1,202 Times in 791 Posts
There is no reason to worry about using clamps on that section of pipe, if you look further back it already has a clamped section of rubber hose on it anyway.

__________________
1978 Caprice Classic Landau
350 2-bolt, stock 4bbl
Stock rebuilt TH350
Edelbrock performer cam + intake
Dual 2 1/2" Flowmaster exhuast (waiting to be installed)
Edelbrock IAS Classic shocks
95 9C1 3.08 posi
4 wheel disc brakes!
16x8 American Racing Baja's with 225/60/16 Pirelli P4's

kingnutin is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-01-2013, 10:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
Mr. Handy
 
g25racer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 5,530
Thanks: 462
Thanked 686 Times in 559 Posts
King: To clarify I was talking at the ps pump. Both the high pressure and return lines where loose and leaking due to the crap crimp on clamps.

__________________
2001 Impala LS
TransGO Shift kit
Spectre Cone Filter
Thunderbolt Spun Cat
ZZP Alternator Power Cable
Wagner Thermoquiet Pads
KYB Strut Plus (Rr)
L67 Pass Eng Mount
Tinted tail lights
Painted Trim
Dipped Rims and emblems
Led plate, full interior, trunk, and console
Black interior accents (handles and switch panels)
Jbl gto 6.5" and 6x9" with trunk amp bypass
Sony MEX-GS600BT stereo

"Apply Dielectric Grease or I kick some arse"
g25racer is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-18-2014, 08:48 AM   #11 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
da1andonlyO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 1
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
RE: Power Steering Cooler Tube

I just finished my first one this past weekend and trust me, it really sucked!

2005 Impala 3400 SFI 186k

Thursday my wife calls to tell me she has no power steering while at the school picking up a child from b-ball practice. So when she gets it home, we discuss whether or not it's the p/s pump or a line. I'm set on the line and not the pump (i didn't want to deal with the pump) since I didn't see anything near the pump that could be leaking. We add some fluid to it, start her up and heard hissing and spitting noises from underneath along with the spraying of fluid. I goto the parts store and pick up the p/s line (the one leading to the steering box). I started this about 8:15p taking the old line off and placing the new line in. This wasn't too bad but did cause a few issues connecting it back to the pump. Gave up about 1:a and went to bed.
Got up about 7:30 Fri morn and started up again. only after I reshaped it line a very small bit was I able to get the screw connection back in place at the p/s pump site. Added some fluid and started it up....S.O.B. it didn't work but I now can see where it was leaking from... the Cooler line (only after we researched this line thoroughly on the web! Unfortunately, our other vehicle was having a coolant leak issue and we couldn't drive it. So we drove the impala to a Chevy dealer for the cooler line ($118 before tax) and I was already not wanting to put this on since it was in a particular shape an all. Needless to say, I didn't start this back up until Sunday (I got the other vehicle running by Sat about 4:p)
Sunday morn, about 9:30, I took my oldest son outside and we jacked up the vehicle, placed it on stands, took both tires off and splash guards, took out the air filter box to see the steering box. We were able to see exactly where to leak was coming from. A high pressure connection near a bend with the rubber section had come loose. I even thought about placing a clamp on this and calling it done but I didn't know if the issue would come back so decided to replace the line anyways.
We disconnected the line from the return line portion to the p/s pump, disconnected the line from the steering box, unhinged 3 plastic clips from the frame and the line from a 4th clip that had 3 other lines attached. The easy part is over. Since one piece of the line was already not connected, we removed that without any probs. As for the other section that ran under the radiator and back, I simple pulled on it since I couldn't reuse the line. Once it came out I noticed a place where the line was squeezed together like someone or something crimped it shut, which I figured caused the line to come apart due to the pressure. At this point, I google'd and read and looked all over the place for any insight as to getting this in the vehicle without taking apart certain components. This sight helped quite a bit! I liked the ways people had come up with for replacing this line back in. However I did not have to take any of my suspension off to replace the line. It took my son on the end next to the steering box, my wife on the end with the 180 degree turn around, and me on the side by the p/s pump to piece this back in according to the shape and design of the part. Afterwards, I we had to do was re-connect the end with the return hose to the pump, re-connect ti end to the steering box, and clamp the line in the proper places and we're done.
The last problem I faced was the fact that the screw end would not get started into the steering box. one thing to remember, CHECK YOUR THREADING!! On the new one, the threading wasn't even started good enough to catch. I ended up tapping it in the hole so the thread would catch, (don't do this too hard as to damage the line, screw hole, and / or the steering box) and sure enough, the screw caught and I was done. Replaced everything we took off, added fluid (p/s not tranny, i don't care what other say, the system stated p/s fluid so that's what I used), started her up and started cranking the wheel back and forth. Did this for several minutes, added more, and did this again until the whining stopped and it runs great now. Two vehicles, 3 days of actual work, and around $565.00 later (impala only took $184 after parts and fluid).

I hated hearing "StressFreeCarpentry"'s issue with the BFF's ride. that had to suck balls!!! I hope this helps anyone with an 05 that may have had the same issue. Yes it probably would have been easier if the entire steering and suspension was removed, but that would have also created more labor for me since I haven't yet done major suspension work. It's a huge puzzle and as long as you find the right angle, you can slide that line right into place. I didn't have to lift the engine or anything like that. The only things again we removed was both wheels, splash guards, a few clips, and the air filter box.

Good Luck to anyone else fixing this issue!

FYI: I'm not a mechanic, just someone who'll fix my rides when they stop running and don't want to take it to the shop to save money!!

da1andonlyO is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Chevy Impala Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


LinkBacks (?)
LinkBack to this Thread: http://www.impalaforums.com/chevy-impala-7th-gen-discussion/331426-power-steering-cooler-tube.html
Posted By For Type Date
Power Steering Cooler Tube? - Chevy Impala Forums This thread Refback 03-12-2013 04:13 AM

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Chevrolet : Impala SOUTHERN CAR FOR 25+ YEARS, POWER STEERING, POWER BRAKES, AM/FM/CA RSS Bot eBay Cars For Sale: Impala 0 02-16-2012 12:40 PM
Chevrolet : Impala LS LS 3.8L Air Conditioning Power Steering Power Door Locks Power RSS Bot eBay Cars For Sale: Impala 0 12-28-2011 06:40 PM
Chevrolet : Impala SS SS 5.7L CD Power Steering Power Door Locks Alloy Wheels RSS Bot eBay Cars For Sale: Impala 0 05-06-2011 04:41 AM
Chevrolet : Impala LT LT 3.5L Power Steering Power Brakes Power Door Locks RSS Bot eBay Cars For Sale: Impala 0 11-09-2010 05:40 PM
Chevrolet : Impala 3.4L CD Power Steering Power Door Locks Power Windows RSS Bot eBay Cars For Sale: Impala 0 09-15-2010 01:40 PM




Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
This site is not affiliated nor endorsed by General Motors Corp. Chevy Impala and related trademarks are the property of General Motors Corp.