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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2006 Trailblazer LS 4WD with the 4.2 straight 6 cylinder & I need to replace the power steering lines.

I've seen several YouTube video's on how to replace them, But I haven't heard much about the alternative style lines that use a "O" ring seals instead of the old cup seals?

Is there any advantage to using one or the other?

Doug
 

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When I replaced the power steering hoses on my '04 TrailBlazer, I went with the OEM style lines which use the cup seals, and I have had zero issues with leaks. If you go with the alternate design, you then need to remove the existing seals from the ports where the lines go into, and I have read that some people have nightmares getting the old seals out.
 

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I went with the OEM style lines which use the cup seals, and I have had zero issues with leaks.
So did you just remove the old lines & install the new lines in the old cup seals?

I've noticed that the new lines also come with new cup seals, Are they only used if the old seals were leaking?

If you go with the alternate design, you then need to remove the existing seals from the ports where the lines go into, and I have read that some people have nightmares getting the old seals out.
Doug
 

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When I removed the old lines, the cup seals came out on the lines. I lubricated the new seals with power steering fluid, slipped them on the ends of the new lines (so they matched the orientation of the old ones on the old lines) and then placed the lines into the PS rack. Always use the new seals in order to minimize the chance of leaks down the line.

Replacing the lines is a royal pain because of the way they are routed. Removing all the clamps, battery, etc. does help. Also, remove the driver's side front wheel to allow for better access to the hold down nut for the lines at the steering rack. Also, having several 6 - 12 inch extensions for 1/4" & 3/8" drive ratchets along with several u-joints helps! Keep your cool, take frequent breaks to de-stress and walk around, and you should do just fine.

Good luck!
 

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If yours rusted with pin holes and leaking where my 02 did. This cheap fix has lasted me for years now.

Not my pic. But was done just like this.

envoyps.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #6
When I removed the old lines, the cup seals came out on the lines.
I did not get that lucky with mine, The seals are still in the ports!

Always use the new seals in order to minimize the chance of leaks down the line.
That's what I was thinking also, But if I'm removing them anyway what's the difference between installing new cup seals or going with the alternate "O" ring design?

The one thing I noticed with the alternate design is that the mounting bracket is not permanently attached to the pressure line like the OEM style, Does this somehow help with getting the lines aligned/installed?

Replacing the lines is a royal pain because of the way they are routed. Removing all the clamps, battery, etc. does help. Also, remove the driver's side front wheel to allow for better access to the hold down nut for the lines at the steering rack.
Your not kidding on that one! What a "PITA"
I spent several hour's just getting that 8MM bolt out of the steering rack & getting those un-accessible hold-down clamps off.

Keep your cool, take frequent breaks to de-stress and walk around, and you should do just fine.
Yeah I'm not in too big of a hurry on this project since I have another vehicle I can drive in the meantime. I'll also be replacing the pump since it ran low/out of fluid several times due to the leaking lines.

Doug
 

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If yours rusted with pin holes and leaking where my 02 did. This cheap fix has lasted me for years now.
Unfourntaly my lines have several leaks, Both lines under that rubber bushing were leaking & another line along the frame inside the wheel-well area is leaking.

I'm still trying to talk myself into also replacing the cooler while I'm at it? The cooler doesn't currently seem to be leaking, But it's pretty rusted.

Doug
 

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dwakk174 - Do you have some kind of a hooked pick tool you can put down the hole and catch & extract the old seal with?

Regarding the cooler, I went ahead and replaced mine with a Dorman replacement cooler because of age and all the rust. It comes with a lifetime warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Do you have some kind of a hooked pick tool you can put down the hole and catch & extract the old seal with?
Yeah I have several little picks/hooks that may work, I've also read that a long 3/8" bolt can be used to try to pull the seal out.

Regarding the cooler, I went ahead and replaced mine with a Dorman replacement cooler because of age and all the rust.
I eventually talked myself into getting the cooler for those same reasons!

I also figured with the pump off, It would be a good time to replace the VVT solenoid.

Placed my order with RockAuto today so I have a few days to get everything removed, Then the fun begins trying to get everything back together. :rolleyes:

Doug
 

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Sounds good. Have fun!:love:
 

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I used the 'alternate design' lines. I have the special tool for the seal cups that I got off Ebay in anticipation of the work. It made the seal removal/install SUPER easy. Note - the alternate design is only for the pressure side, the rack to cooler line only comes in the 'regular' design. NOTHING can make the removal/install of the line assembly easy - it's a pain in the @SS no matter how you do it. It's a stup!d design because GM can't afford good engineers.'

The only tip I can recommend above all the vids and stuff is to use a zip tie to hold the two lines together at the rack side. One line has the bracket built in, and the other fits into the bracket and gets held in by the screw.

It was a PIA trying to keep the lines together and trying to push the lines in at the same time until I used a zip tie to keep them together THEN get them lined up with the holes to push in using the bracket to push both lines in at the same time. Once in, i just cut the zip tie off.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I used the 'alternate design' lines.
I ended up going with the original style lines.

NOTHING can make the removal/install of the line assembly easy - it's a pain in the @SS no matter how you do it.
I used a close quarters hack saw & cut the old lines out in several pieces, So removal wasn't too bad!
I got the power steering cooler & installed it today, The rest of my parts should be here tomorrow.
IMG_7200.JPG
Seeing that I had to disassemble the front grill & bumper to get access to the power steering cooler, I also decided to order a trans cooler.

It's a stupid design because GM can't afford good engineers.'
Having worked in a prototype tube fabricating shop years ago I can kind of understand the reasons for designing the fuel / brake / trans / power steering lines the way the engineers do! Most of these lines are installed well before the motor/trans or electrical systems get installed.

Now attaching the front differential to the oil pan & running the front drive shaft through the oil pan, That's an engineering nightmare! o_O

The only tip I can recommend above all the vids and stuff is to use a zip tie to hold the two lines together at the rack side.
Luckily I managed to save that little plastic clip that holds the two lines together!

Doug
 

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I did the cooler some time before I had to do the lines because it rusted out and leaked. I replaced it with an aluminum one. I did not have to take anything off to do it though. I don't remember exactly how, but found that you could do it without all the headache through searching. I believe most of the info on how to do it without removing the bumper et al was on this site and GMTNation and a few other sites (though I don't recall any YoutTube on the method) - it was pretty straight forward though, and only required loosening something, but I don't remember what.

I also cut the lines out and took them out in pieces - MUCH easier and pointless to leave intact anyway. It's the getting back in that's stup!dly difficult.

At the time, I actually had a double whammy. I had just done the infamous transmission cooler lines (both). After wrestling and cursing with that, I started the car to test for leaks, and saw hydraulic fluid running down the other side. I though "WTF?" For a few seconds, I thought there was some kind of transmission line on the other side that I somehow damaged, only to realize it was PS Fluid...

I had no "clip" holding the tubes together at the fitting end. There were clips ALONG the tubes and hoses that held the lines body and frame though. I zip tied the lines together right at the bracket that holds the lines in the rack because as you try to push the lines into the rack, the 'loose' one tries to separate from the bracket and it takes a little pressure to push them in. I pushed them in enough to make sure it was going in properly, then used the force of the mounting bolt to push them in the rest of the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I had no "clip" holding the tubes together at the fitting end.
Here's what the little clip looks like.
IMG_7242.JPG
It clips on to the two lines facing away from the 8mm hold down bolt.

This has been a lot harder job than I thought it would be!
Good thing I have a back-up vehicle to use while I'm working on this project.
The inner fender liner had several missing retainers & it was somewhat loose so I ended up just taking it all the way out. Seeing that the bumper was already off to install the cooler, This gave me some much needed extra room to get the lines around the strut/tower.
IMG_7234.JPG IMG_7232.JPG IMG_7235.JPG

I got the new VVT solenoid & power steering pump installed.
IMG_7207.JPG IMG_7230.JPG
I still need to get the pulley off of the old pump it's rusted on pretty good! I sprayed it down good with PB blaster & let it set overnight. If it still wont budge, It's time to meet my little friend!
IMG_6921.JPG

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The hardest part for me is going to be getting the new cup seals & the line assembly connected to the steering rack!

Anyone got any tips on how to get the seals & line assembly installed?

Doug
 

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If I remember correctly, I fished the lines down individually to the steering rack from up above first by twisting and turning each line to get it in place, and then I "bent" and twisted them in order to get them to where the other ends were to go. Then I placed the seal cups on the ends and inserted them in to the steering rack. After getting the lines secured to the rack, I then fit the lines in to the various hold down clips as best as I could and then connected the other ends to where they went.

Patience is the key here.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
If I remember correctly, I fished the lines down individually to the steering rack from up above first by twisting and turning each line to get it in place, and then I "bent" and twisted them in order to get them to where the other ends were to go.
I got both the lines in-place where they need to go, But so far I haven't been able to figure out the correct angle/position I need to be laying at to get the lines lined up & the seals on.
At about 4 1/2 minutes Into this YouTube VIDEO it kind of shows the angle & position I need to be in.
The only problem is I'm not a slim teenager anymore!
At 62 years old & 250lbs.it's going to be a bit more challenging. :unsure:

Patience is the key here
Yeah I hear that, But in this case it's starting to wear thin!

Doug
 

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Hey, you sound like me - pretty much same age and weight. Also, I'm a little over 6' tall. I believe I choose to use the path of long extensions and a few universal joints to get where I could not reach easily.
 
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