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2007 saab 9_7x
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I know the PS leak issue has been discussed here quite a bit. My wifes' 2007 9-7x trailvoy has been leaking power steering fluid for some time and I had a local mechanic quote me more than I want to spend to replace the pressure line, the return line, and what he called a "tube" or "pipe" that goes from one port on the rack or the cooler - I forget which - to another port on the same thing.

Anyway, all this crap is pretty corroded, and to do the job right probably means replacing every line. The mechanic was even telling me I would need to do the transmission line soon, at which point I left. Pricing the parts myself, they are still pretty expensive - even what I'm finding online. I asked the guy at the local parts store about alternatives and he said for return line you can make something up, but for the pressure line you have to use the OEM lines because of the fittings.

I found a clip on youtube of a guy demonstrating how make up your own high pressure line with fittings - the product was called Earls power steering line - and it looked a lot like cutting a custom hydrolic line. I would rather make up my own lines with that kind of hose than install the same poorly protected GM metal lines that after a few years look like they sunk with the Titanic. Maybe save a few bucks in the process.

Anybody here tried this approach or familiar with the Earls lines? And if so, what fitting sizes should I get to make things to work with my rack / pump / cooler ?

Here the video I found on youtube if your interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LovY7kedyE
 

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2005 chevy trailblazer_ls
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39 Posts
Making your own lines always comes with the risk of failure. You have no warranty and if it does fail its not something that has gone through any R&D or testing. This, I would think, could be a liability if fails and insurance conducts a investigation. If price is a concern you might look on ebay if you have not already. There is always local junk yards. If you look and pull the parts yourself, you can find lines that are in the best condition that the yard has to offer. Plus since the trucks will have a lot of parts already removed, it would be a good learning tool in replacing the lines yourself so you can save your self more cash. Though I would search the tasks at hand and maybe talk to some more local mechanics and see what's involved. Not all pricey repairs are just inflated for financial gain, a lot are simply due to labor intensive tasks. Always get second opinions and estimates.
 

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2007 saab 9_7x
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
You make a good point about liability. But that kind of stuff drive me nuts. Just because it's made by GM it gets a pass, but a line that gets hand made and is rated for service in heavy duty hydrolic equipment applications will, as you correctly point out, require a legion of experts to convince a jury of wealth re-distributors and prejudiced wanna-be intellectuals that do-it-yourself is equal or better to mass produced, cost cutting motivated corporate tin crap.

As I'm finding out the failure rate for the OEM lines on the Trailvoy vehicles is extremely high, particularly between the 5-10 year mark. For a vehicle that was at one point marketed with a 10/100,000 power train, that seems to be well within the "product lifecycle" of these machines.

In contrast, when Subaru started to see it's steering lines showing up with leaks, they initiated a voluntary recall and had their dealerships apply a wax coating to all the affected lines. Subaru has a different business model, but anyway, like a huge number of other posters on this forum, I will never buy another GM product. In fact, the reason this particular Trailvoy is now fair game for me to tear apart and mess around with is that it was taken out of service by my wife and replaced with a Subaru. But now I'm getting off topic.

I see pics and how-to videos in abundance that are showing people how to splice a the PS lines with a dremel, a flaring tool, and some plumbing fittings from Home Depot. Or advice to clamp down the leak and kick the can down the road a while until the wheels fall off eventuall. To me, a custom cut homemade hydrolic line seems much more "reasonable" (to use a liability term) than any of that stuff...

So is there someone out there who has experience with the Earl's line / fittings or cutting their own PS line?
 
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