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Old 04-27-2008, 10:46 PM   #1
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power steering cooler

Has anyone added a power steering cooler to their SVT?

I went to a track event this weekend, and after the first session, I lost power steering at idle (leaking fluid at pump shaft). After obtaining a new pump and installing, I was able to drive two sessions before I lost power steering again. It seems to have 'repaired' it self after the drive home, but I don't trust it.

Does the SVT share the same pump as other Foci? My guess is yes and the 7000 rpm engine speeds are very hard on it.

I'm beginging to believe the SVT has a very weak power steering system if it can't handle 15 minutes of road course driving without giving out.

I checked the temp of the fluid after the last session and it was 190 degrees on a 60 degree day, I'd hate to see what it'd get up to on a 100 degree day!


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Old 04-28-2008, 06:26 AM   #2
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You need a synthetic fluid like Redline power steering fluid. If it's still leaking, it's most likely from the high pressure fitting on the output of the pump. You'll need the line and the washer/o-ring.
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Old 04-28-2008, 06:58 AM   #3
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A bad steering rack can kill a PS pump. Did you have the chance to flush out the entire system when you installed the new pump?
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Old 04-28-2008, 12:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FordloverSVT View Post
Has anyone added a power steering cooler to their SVT?

I went to a track event this weekend, and after the first session, I lost power steering at idle (leaking fluid at pump shaft). After obtaining a new pump and installing, I was able to drive two sessions before I lost power steering again. It seems to have 'repaired' it self after the drive home, but I don't trust it.

Does the SVT share the same pump as other Foci? My guess is yes and the 7000 rpm engine speeds are very hard on it.

I'm beginging to believe the SVT has a very weak power steering system if it can't handle 15 minutes of road course driving without giving out.

I checked the temp of the fluid after the last session and it was 190 degrees on a 60 degree day, I'd hate to see what it'd get up to on a 100 degree day!
A cooler will help tremendously for track conditions. I blew a pump after my 5th track event and began monitoring the temperatures with a thermocouple located in the reservoir with another placed in various locations throughout the system to discover where the heat was coming from. The temperature in the reservoir can reach 260+ degrees while on track, while it runs around 160 on the street under normal driving conditions. Once you drive into the pits after a session, the temperature will fall back to normal by the time the car is parked. It cools that quickly.
I found there is no single heat source such as the header or catalytic convertor that contributes to the heat load. It is merely a function of not enough fluid capacity for the cooling provided by the factory. If you have ever flushed the PS system you will realize that the reservoir is merely a fill point and not a true reservoir. The fluid travels through the stock system so quickly that it does not have time to cool off when exposed to track use.
I installed a Derale 13103 cooler on both of my SVT’s. The normal temperature is now around 100 to 110 degrees on the street. As an example on the track at Miller Motorsports Park last year on a 105+ degree weekend at ~5000 ft elevation the PS fluid never ran above 160 degrees.
I purchased the cooler from Summit for $48.70 delivered. Part # DER-13103.
You will also need five to six feet of 3/8” ID hose, a couple of extra hose clamps and a 3/8” hose mender or coupler. I did not want to cut any original hoses so I used the mender/coupler to create a loop from the return line to the cooler and back to the reservoir. Here is the coupler: http://www.acehardwareoutlet.com/(hv...rce=GoogleBase
Zip ties will securely hold the cooler to the original Ford cooler. You may also need to purchase four trim pins which hold the lower air deflector/shield to the front fascia. My originals could not be removed without breaking them. Suitable replacements can be found at Home Depot or Lowes in the specialty fastener section.
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Old 04-28-2008, 12:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildosvt View Post
A bad steering rack can kill a PS pump. Did you have the chance to flush out the entire system when you installed the new pump?

The old fluid was very dark when it came out, and the new pump isnt leaking at all, but I was only able to flush part of the system. I will do a full flush next, and see if the fluid stays clear. It's going to be a while before I do another track event, so i'll have some time before I'll push it hard again.

Today driving around it seems just fine. I never really thought about the rack being bad, since the pump shaft seal was what was leaking.
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Old 04-28-2008, 08:40 PM   #6
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Doesnt the SVT already have a PS cooler on it???

I'm pretty darn sure mine does and I'm the original owner.
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Old 04-29-2008, 01:51 AM   #7
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Every vehicle I've owned beginning with my 1990 Honda Accord had a power steering cooler. It's a coil that fluid passes through in-line. Usually mounted in front of the lower radiator support. SVTF is similar. Most OE coolers are nearly identical.

These coolers are crap at disipating heat at low speed on warm days. The reason the SVTF has a habit of forming sludgy power steering fluid is because (as shlbygt pointed out) the system is very short. The capacity is low (my Mazda Protege by comparison holds twice as much as my SVTF) and the fluid gets hot very quickly.

I haven't upgraded my cooler, but I put synthetic fluid in all my cars and never have power steering problems.

Although you can use the "dump and pump" method to flush your fluid with new stuff, I recommend bleeding from the rack if you are going to add a new cooler because you will most definately get air in the system, which won't completely evacuate with the dump and pump fluid exchange.
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FordloverSVT View Post
The old fluid was very dark when it came out, and the new pump isnt leaking at all, but I was only able to flush part of the system. I will do a full flush next, and see if the fluid stays clear. It's going to be a while before I do another track event, so i'll have some time before I'll push it hard again.

Today driving around it seems just fine. I never really thought about the rack being bad, since the pump shaft seal was what was leaking.
I was just throwing it out there. My Dad's Aerostar had a issue with the PS pump. The original took a dump, And when the new one was replaced it went bad as well not long after . It was the rack afterall . Im sure its not your rack, But your uber driving skills.

Im just pointing out that quirky things can happen.
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Old 04-29-2008, 12:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildosvt View Post
I was just throwing it out there. My Dad's Aerostar had a issue with the PS pump. The original took a dump, And when the new one was replaced it went bad as well not long after . It was the rack afterall . Im sure its not your rack, But your uber driving skills.

Im just pointing out that quirky things can happen.

I was mearly stating that I hadn't considered a bad rack, and now it's a consideration, thanks to your suggestion. So... Thanks
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:30 PM   #10
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Racks are expensive. Synthetic fluid cheap and easy.
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