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Power Steering Cooler Installed on a Gen1

Discussion in 'RT/10 and GTS Discussions' started by snampro, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. snampro

    snampro Enthusiast

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    Quick history of this problem. Here's the first post when I noticed the issue:

    http://forums.viperclub.org/showthread.php?t=584375&highlight=steering

    and here's a recent post regarding the installation of a cooler:

    http://forums.viperclub.org/showthread.php?t=601297&highlight=steering

    So, my problem is when I'm driving aggressively for extended periods my power steering pump starts screaming. My working assumption is that, since Gen I VIPERs don't have power steering coolers, the fluid is getting very hot under high demand, possibly foaming, and likely causing cavitation and therefore the noise. Once thing that backs this up is the fact that Dodge felt it necessary to include a cooler on Gen II VIPERs (I'm sure they did it for a reason).

    I looked for a few days and finally found a solution. I went with Perma-Cool PRM-1200 from Summit Racing.

    [​IMG]

    http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?autofilter=1&part=PRM-1200&N=700+0&autoview=sku

    I did find several other coolers that would work great, but this was the best fit for the location I chose. I had considered installing a cooler on the upper crossmember in front of the engine (either the top or bottom of it), but the space in this area is very limited, didn't seem to provide significant cooling air (airbox causes a major obstruction), and would not be easy to route fluid lines. I chose the top of the lower crossmember in front of the engine.

    This location is optimum. There is plenty of space to install the cooler, routing fluid lines was easy, the cooler is exposed to some airflow behind the radiator cooling fan, and freestream air can easily reach the cooler from below the car.

    Here are a few pictures of the installed cooler. First is the cooler as viewed from under the car looking backward and up toward the crankshaft pulley:

    [​IMG]

    Yes, that is a ziptie on the left side of the cooler. The cooler is securely bolted to the frame rail, but I also included the ziptie just in case the bolts back out as a way to prevent the cooler from becoming damaged or causing a leak.

    Second is from the right side of the car looking down through the oil cooler lines:

    [​IMG]

    Finally, from under the car looking outside the left framerail up at the new fluid lines:

    [​IMG]

    I am very happy with this installation. It required no compromises. The cooler is hardmounted to the frame with 1/2 inch rubber insulation and metal screws. The lines make gentle bends that do not restrict the flow. The routing allowed me to ziptie the lines in several places to prevent the lines from moving around. It also avoided moving parts such as the crank pulley, steering rack, and front suspension.

    Just a few lessons learned:

    - no way is anyone fitting a regular drill in front of the engine to drill holes for the screws. I used my air drill and had no problem. its compact size made squeezing into the tight spaces simple.

    - have extra hose, because the kit doesn't provide enough. luckily I had plenty available.

    - removing the hood would have made this a thousand times easier, but I didn't have a helper to lift it so I worked around it.

    - wrap painters tape (masking tape) around the cooler when test fitting, this prevents easy cuts from the thin aluminum fins (old tip but a good one).

    If the weather is nice I'll be in the mountains this weekend and see if this eliminated the noise. If not, I'll be installing a new steering rack.
     
  2. Tom F&L GoR

    Tom F&L GoR Enthusiast

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    Bravo. Very excellent work.

    (Just noticed the 3.73 gears. Higher average RPM might have something to do with higher average pump speed and temp. ;)
     
  3. snampro

    snampro Enthusiast

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    actually, the 3.73 gears are a new addition, the problem was there before.

    I'm also considering that underdrive crank pully you suggested.
     
  4. Early93Viper

    Early93Viper Enthusiast

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    I want to do that looks like it would be great for track days. But I think it will take more skill then I have to give. How long did that take you? So I can take that number and times it by 10.:)
     
  5. snampro

    snampro Enthusiast

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    hardest part was squeezing in there. I don't work fast and it took me about 3 hours total, including removing the airbox and figuring out how to run the lines. it did help that I know that area of the car well after replacing a power steering pump and the radiator & fan.

    I had the car out this weekend on some very demanding roads. I did hear very little noise from the pump, just a tiny bit, but only when pushing really hard and it went away as soon as the road straightened, which it didn't do before. the sound used to linger for a few seconds (like 30) before fading. definitely didn't hear any of the loud shreaking I used to on this same road (and my engine temps were high after following some very slow cars).

    I think I'll slap some redline ps fluid in and be done.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2007

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