Sunday , September 24 2017
Home // The Garage // DIY: Nissan Skyline R33 Power Steering Oil Cooler

DIY: Nissan Skyline R33 Power Steering Oil Cooler

Ever gone to track day, popped your bonnet and said to yourself loudly “OMG what the??! Mad oil leak”, only to realise it’s just your power steering reservoir playing silly buggers again and ejaculating all over the engine bay. Yes, it’s inevitable that you will boil your power steering fluid after several hot and exciting laps resulting in an oily mist that will infiltrate your clean engine bay and smear itself all over it like virus.

Most have asked “Why don’t you just use a sock or sweatband to soak up the fluid?”. I would then ask them “Why would anyone from trak-life.com want a band-aid solution?”.

That’s right, we’re about Do It Once, Do It Right… BAM!

No need for overpriced flashy looking socks or the need to endlessly top up your power steering fluid. In this guide I will show how to fabricate and install a basic power steering cooler from cheap but effective parts.

For this guide, I’ve used my beloved Fridge. She’s a R33 GTS-t Skyline, which from factory does not come with anything to cool down the power steering fluid. I’ve salvaged an old automatic transmissions oil cooler to use as the power steering fluid cooler (good size, and it’s made by Calsonic – think budget & build quality). Although some vehicles may come equipped with a basic power steering oil cooler from factory, in a motorsport scenario they may be just as ineffective as having nothing!

R33 Power Steering Cooler - 03

Parts Required:

  • Automatic Transmission Oil Cooler
  • 2 metres of Gates Oil Resistant Hose – 3/8” OR -6
  • 50cm of Flat Aluminium Bar
  • 6x Nuts & 6x Bolts
  • 4x Hose Clamps
  • Power Steering Fluid OR Red ATF Fluid (same thing)

Tools:

  • Angle Grinder – With Cutting Disc & Flap Disc
  • 8mm & 10mm Spanners / Sockets
  • Philips Head Screw Driver

Duration: 60 minutes
Difficulty: Medium
Profanity Level: High!

Step 1:
Remove front bar off vehicle, this is usually held together with multiple 10mm bolts.

Step 2:
Mock up where the Power Steering Oil Cooler will sit, best to choose a location which does not foul any pipe working or the bumper itself.

Step 3:
Cut the flat bar and make brackets to suit the location, drill mounting holes into body of car and bumper support

R33 Power Steering Cooler - 02

Step 4:
Attach brackets and Power Steering Oil Cooler to the brackets

R33 Power Steering Cooler - 05

Step 5:
Disconnect the power steering oil return line to the reservoir

Step 6:
Cut and connect the oil hose from the return line to the oil cooler and from the oil cooler to the reservoir – at the same time fitting the hose clamps

R33 Power Steering Cooler - 06

R33 Power Steering Cooler - 07

Step 7:
Top up reservoir, start car and turn the steering wheel from side to side topping up the reservoir as required

Alrighty, time to aim for those record smashing track times without worrying about your power steering oil playing funny buggers and spraying like a sperm whale all over your engine bay. How did you go with your DIY power steering oil cooler? Comment below!

About Johnny

Johnny
A typical car nutter that likes to get his hands dirty. Skyline and Silvia fanatic not to mention trak-life's own personal tuner and mechanic. Doesn't mind sparing a few days at the gym to stay fit and definitely likes to eat to keep the balance right.

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2 comments

  1. Hey just wanted to ask why you mounted the cooler core the way you did?? They way you did wouldn’t allow any airflow through the core and that’s how they effectively cool the fluid…

    • Johnny

      Hi Adam – thanks for the comment, the reason behind this was because I couldn’t fit the oil cooler how I wanted it. I originally wanted it vertical however given the space constraints was able to without mounting the oil cooler incorrectly.

      Understand there is quite limited airflow to the oil cooler, but it works much better than no oil cooler. So far on the track my power steering oil has yet to boil, a sign it is working 🙂

      I might revisit this in future and mount it elsewhere but for now it’s doing ok.

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