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Power steering Cooler, Do i need one

Old 01-21-2020, 02:25 AM
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Default Power steering Cooler, Do i need one

Guys the steering cooler has died, got a race in a couple days. Do i really need one. Have a nice big can and big return lines. Has anyone run without one??
Running a car type pump and a external rams with a fork truck helm. All works good and runs real cold with a small cooler..
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:39 AM
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I had full hyd steering to helm, twin rams on my 272 Baja. I was running the stock ps cooler like most 502 mags have. It cracked where the tab was, dumped all the oil in bilge. looped the two lines togeher and ran it. I didnt end up putting another cooler back in for a couple years, never foamed over, never got hot and moaned so IDK how necessary it really is. This got turned as high as 6300 rpms and got a work out too. I still would put one in if I was building a package to go in a boat though, Smitty
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Old 01-23-2020, 04:19 PM
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at sustained RPM will foam the fluid, trust me they would not do factory if not needed
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Old 01-23-2020, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ezstriper View Post
at sustained RPM will foam the fluid, trust me they would not do factory if not needed
I was wondering about that, plenty of Merc engines donít have oil coolers but I think all Iíve seen have ps coolers.
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Old 01-23-2020, 06:59 PM
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Well, I can tell you this much, When I had the stock 330 hp 454 in the boat (and it never rev'd past about 4600) I developed a very slight leak at the helm.. it would just drip a drop every couple minutes. Of course that was directly over my feet.. After a biut of running, those drops were freaking hot !!!
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:45 PM
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Mines been gone for years . No issues
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Old 01-24-2020, 12:56 AM
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I have twin ram full hyd steering and do not have a PS cooler. Its been fine that way for the last 12 years.
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Old 01-24-2020, 01:18 AM
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Couple of things it boils down to


The marine OEM have to warranty all the systems when newly sold


THE marine OEMs do hold liability if systems fail and causes bad mishaps or deaths. Steering would 4 sure fall under that if it was not designed correctly and failure prone.


heat causes oxidation of the oil


going from wide swings of temps - hot to cool down to cold causes condensation to form in the system and in the oil. So the OEMS try to maintain temps for the power steering system and the oil to have stable temps compared to having wide temp swings


Heat also cause air bubbles in the oil


And the other main reason why Marine OEMs use pwr steering coolers from day one is to keep the oil temp stable in which keeps the operating pressures in the ranges where the steering system was design for.


Keep in mind as mention about liability for systems in a court of law that could be proven for failures. Examples, its oil got too hot, the system got to hot inreturn and the system could not maintain its correct operating pressures in which caused the boat to wreck -- 4 sure can see a lawyer all over that one.

Last edited by BUP; 01-24-2020 at 01:24 AM.
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Old 01-24-2020, 04:28 PM
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Yes you absolutely do need a cooler in that system
in fact mercury is having issues with the new sterndrive engine line up that all have inline coolers with the pumps having such excessive heat they are smoking to the point of starting a fire so mercury came up with an update to replace the stock pulley with a pulley with four large cooling holes
so to answer your question the answer is yes
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:16 PM
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The coolers weren’t factory equipment because it was easy or cheap to include them. I broke a fitting years back and chose to loop around the cooler until I could fix it. After a 30 mile run I opened the hatch to find power steering fluid had boiled out of the cap and the reservoir was smoking when I pulled the cap. Just my personal experience.Ive never had an issue before or since with the inline cooler connected. Good luck and Facebook sucks!
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