NEED HELP Changing Power Steering Lines

PProph

Well-Known Member
'03 Trailblazer LTZ, over 300,000km.

Was gonna have my car guy do a bunch of stuff for me but he's in isolation and so am I due to this little pandemic thingy we got goin' on. So now I'm tackling things myself. At least I have the time for it, and he will loan me tools if I need something also (I have plenty of tools but not *all* of the tools). No rush on this job as I'm driving something different for now, and it's in the garage so I can leave it apart and do this over several days. (I also plan to do all my front control arms and sway bar links as well as a new manifold exit pipe gasket, all the parts are here).

Anyways, I've searched and searched and found plenty of advice on doing this job, but I'm looking for a little more detail.

I'll probably keep coming back to this as I go if people reply and help me out. I have a few pages bookmarked and will follow along the procedures people have done.

I'm currently trying to clear the way from above to get to the lines. In this thread (https://gmtnation.com/forums/threads/procedure-for-replacing-return-power-steering-hose-on-2003-trailblazer.10040/#post-541543) the OP moved the fuse box out of the way. I'm having trouble with that as all of the heaps of wiring coming to the fuse box doesn't seem to be that simple to disconnect. Is their a procedure for removing/moving this properly? I've already removed the battery and its base, as well as the horn. I've removed the bolts that attaches the fuse box base to the frame, it's literally just all the wiring that's got me at a halt at this moment. Please advise! Thanks in advance!
 
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PProph

PProph

Well-Known Member
I've got the fuse box out of the way. Currently struggling with removing one bolt for the clips on the hoses driver side. I've decided that once I remove the one line I'll more easily be able to remove that bolt. I've loosened the clips so that once the lines are disconnected that should come out. Now I'm having a heck of a time getting the clamps off at the cooler to disconnect the lines. It's pretty cool out today, hovering zero, I don't know if that makes it worse perhaps? Can't get the hose clamps to slide up the hose. Do people often just cut this line instead and deal with the clamps after?
 

Mooseman

Moderator
You talking about the spring clamps at the cooler? Those can be a PITA but they should come off easily once squeezed together with pliers. I'd use a worm gear clamp to replace them.
 
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PProph

PProph

Well-Known Member
Yeah those are the ones. I can get them squeezed and moving around the hose a little, can't get em to slide to save my life. I gave up for the day, it's going to be a little warmer tomorrow so I'll go at it again.
 
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PProph

PProph

Well-Known Member
Brute force did the trick, my next task is disconnecting from the gear. Looks like a tight spot. I noticed some people mentioned removing the CV to have more room to work, is that a fairly easy thing to do?
 
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PProph

PProph

Well-Known Member
Welcome to my live blog....

I'll probably just keep posting my progress and thoughts along the way. All lines are disconnected, going to drain over night. I could see why removing the CV would be beneficial, I haven't yet as I was able to get my girly little hands where I needed to. But I could see the advantage when trying to push the new lines into the rack.

I'm only putting a few hours a day into this so far, between going back and forth for tools and instructions and actually doing the work. It's barely above zero out and while it's warming up in the sun, my garage stays chilly. Nothing like smashing cold knuckles on cold steel... I will resume tomorrow.
 
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PProph

PProph

Well-Known Member
Lines are out. Now the fun part with the seals at the rack. I was able to pop the rubber cup seal out on the return line (looks like these: https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=8462120&cc=1412277&jsn=476&jsn=476), but haven't been able to get anything out where the pressure line goes in. Must these seals be replaced? And I read about some metal seals to remove? Need a bit of clarification on this. The videos I've seen don't even mention the seals, but there is a lot of talk about them from everything I've read here. I've tried the wrench trick to no avail. I have a pick set but not here, it's on my list of things to grab from the in-laws when we break our self-isolation.

I'm kind of at a stand still for now til I get the seal thing sorted out.
 
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PProph

PProph

Well-Known Member
Tried to get at it from the top, I could see how it might be a workable position to start the new lines in but my arms are definitely not long enough to try and get the seal out from above. I did get my mirror down there to confirm that there is indeed still one seal in place. 2 pictures, one is showing the cavity with the seal removed, the other showing with the seal still in.
 

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Mooseman

Moderator
IIRC, I had the same problem with the pressure line cup seal. Maybe it gets expanded by the pressure jamming it in there more than the return line. I remember the return line seal came out with the line. I think I wound up using a pic on it. If you do that, you have to be careful to not nick or scratch the interior.
 
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PProph

PProph

Well-Known Member
And they have to be changed hey? Not wise to leave it in there/reuse it?
 

gpking

Well-Known Member
And they have to be changed hey? Not wise to leave it in there/reuse it?
I too thought I was going to go crazy with the cup seal. Mine looked like there was still one in there too. I picked at it for about a half hour before I finally said eff it and buttoned it up. I've had no issues since I did it in August.


On the driver's side, I didn't remove anything except for the wheel so I tackled the lines from within the wheel well (cut the old lines out to speed things up). I used the jack under the steering knuckle to adjust the angle of the CV axle as needed.
It took some contortionism and brute force, but it was doable.

On the passenger's side, I removed the air box and washer reservoir and tackled the lines from above.
 
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PProph

PProph

Well-Known Member
I did remove the fuse box and such from above, probably not necessary but gives a little more wiggle room. I'm going to get my pick set maybe and try with that. I won't be too aggressive, last thing I want is rubber pieces in the rack.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
I might have left the old seal in there too. It's been so long ago, I can't remember. Eventually I wound up replacing the rack that came with new seals.
 

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