Unfortunately, preventative vehicle maintenance is something that is often overlooked. Bolts can get loose, bushings wear out, and even fluid lines can start leaking to list a few things. For the hydro-boost-equipped 2001 to 2010 GM diesel pickup trucks, they are notorious for leaks on the power steering hoses. In fact, so many trucks have this leak, Strictly Diesel has created a solution instead of a temporary fix with this new Driven Diesel Power Steering Lines kit.
“We’ve changed many of these hoses in our shop and discovered that the available replacements for these hoses have not been improved. Many of them begin leaking again shortly after installation,” said Gary Maschner, General Manager of Strictly Diesel. “From a repair shop’s perspective, this makes offering parts and labor warranty even when using OEM parts nearly impossible.
“Since such a huge portion of our business is the service and repair of light duty pickup trucks, we needed a solution we could count on and we could offer a warranty with.” Maschner continued, “Drawing on our contacts and experience with custom manufactured tubing and hose assemblies, we have produced a completely new set of replacement power steering hoses that address the problem with the OEM parts.”
Maschner went on by explaining that they tested all sorts of different types of hoses and found that stainless steel braid over Teflon hose generated an unacceptable amount of in-cab noise. The final product uses tubing sections that were permanently crimped as part of the hose assembly yet the hose can still be disconnected.
Features of the Driven Diesel GM Power Steering Hose Kit
• 100% brand-new CNC-bent tubing sections
• Patterned after OEM bends for a factory fit
• Manufactured with standard 37° AN fittings
• Tubing sections are stainless steel
• All bending, flaring and assembly performed in the USA
• Top quality hydraulic hose
• Will NOT make power steering pump louder!
• Rated for 4,000psi working pressure
• Flame resistant outer jacket
• Hose is made in the USA
• Kit does NOT include low pressure return hose
• No reused factory parts
• No cores to return
• No core charges
• Detailed full color instructions
These power steering hose kits are not only manufactured from superior materials but they are also built to be easier to install and serviceable, unlike the factory design. The hydraulic hose is no longer attached to the tubing sections, which is one of the major downfalls of the stock lines. Instead, the Driven Diesel tubing sections have been equipped with AN fittings to make the hydraulic hose portion removable and replaceable in the event of a leak.
This aids installation by allowing the tubing section to be installed by themselves without the hose and allows you to replace the hydraulic hose without purchasing the expensive tubing sections again. If you’re looking for a much cleaner and better way to repair your trucks’ power steering hoses, look no further.
Driven Diesel Power Steering Lines Fitment List
- 2001 Chevrolet/GMC 2500/3500 LB7 6.6L
- 2002 Chevrolet/GMC 2500/3500 LB7 6.6L
- 2003 Chevrolet/GMC 2500/3500 LB7 6.6L
- 2004 Chevrolet/GMC 2500/3500 LB7 6.6L
- 2006 Chevrolet/GMC 2500/3500 LBZ 6.6L
- 2007 Chevrolet/GMC 2500/3500 LBZ 6.6L
- 2004.5 Chevrolet/GMC 2500/3500 LLY 6.6L
- 2005 Chevrolet/GMC 2500/3500 LLY 6.6L
- 2007.5 Chevrolet/GMC 2500/3500 LMM 6.6L
- 2008 Chevrolet/GMC 2500/3500 LMM 6.6L
- 2009 Chevrolet/GMC 2500/3500 LMM 6.6L
- 2010 Chevrolet/GMC 2500/3500 LMM 6.6L
For starters, you’re going to need a few basic hand tools.
- 5/16-inch Nut Driver
- 11mm Deep Socket
- 13mm and 15mm Shallow Socket
- 16mm, 18mm, and 19mm Open Ended Wrench
- Trim Panel Removal Tool
- 1 Quart Of Power Steering Fluid
- Cleaning Supplies (Rags, Brake Clean, Or Similar)
Completing this job is going to require working both inside the driver side front inner fender and on top of the engine through the hood. You are going to start by setting the parking brake and jacking the front of the truck up, followed by removing both front tires. Using appropriately sized jack stands, lower the truck to a level that will safely allow you to work but the truck is level front to back. For safety reasons, Strictly does NOT recommend leaving the truck supported by just a floor jack.
Place a drain pan under the steering gearbox and power steering pump. Both will leak when you start disconnecting the old lines. With these items draining, you can move on to the removal of the front inner fender using your trim panel removal tool. This will give you access to that area.
Once all of the retainer clips have been removed, pull the inner fender down slightly to expose the top surface. You will find one or two wiring harnesses that are attached to the top of the inner fender. Use the trim panel removal tool or similar to release them. Finish removing the inner fender to expose the areas where you will be working to change out the power steering lines.
Using the 5/16-inch nut driver (or similar), loosen the hose clamp at the base of the intake resonator and remove the resonator from the engine. If this truck is equipped with an aftermarket tuner that plugs into the ECM connectors (ie. Edge, Banks, etc), you will need to disconnect the aftermarket harness and pull it out of the way to make removing the intercooler tube easier.
Locate the upper intercooler tube coupler and its clamps. Using an 11mm socket, loosen one of the clamps. The coupler generally comes off the intake easier than the tube, so it is best to loosen the clamp on the engine side. Locate the lower intercooler tube coupler and its clamp. Using an 11-mm socket, loosen the clamps and remove the tube from the coupler. You may need to run an angled pick or similar type tool around between the coupler and the tube as they are frequently stuck to each other.
Lift the intercooler tube out of the truck from the top. Using a 15mm socket, remove the bolt and captured nut from the center of the steering shaft assembly. Once removed, push the upper shaft up to free the lower shaft to fall out of the way. Then, locate the retainer clamp on the stock steering gear to the hydro-boost power steering line.
Now you’re ready to remove the stock high pressure power steering hoses. You will start at the lower connections, giving them time to drain before removing them completely. It’s less messy this way.
Working through the inner fender, locate the two lines at the top of the power steering gearbox. Loosen the outer line first, we are not replacing this hose but it needs to be out of the way to work on the other one. Lift the outer line off the gearbox and set aside. Next, loosen the inner line and lift it off the gearbox. Both of these lines will be leaking fluid, make sure the drain pan is positioned to catch the fluid.
Locate the lower rear fitting on the power steering pump. Note the routing of the wiring harness through the tubes at the back of the pump. Loosen the lower rear fitting and remove the factory tube from the power steering pump. This will also leak, so verify that your drain pan is positioned to catch the fluid. Wait a few minutes until the disconnected hoses stop leaking fluid before proceeding.
Locate the engine and fender side power steering pressure hoses at the hydro-boost unit. Loosen and disconnect both hoses. Remove both factory power steering hose assemblies from the truck. Closely look at the ends of both assemblies and verify that the O-rings came out with the hoses. If any O-rings are missing, locate and remove them from the hydro-boost, steering gear, or power steering pump before continuing to the next step.
Some trucks will have an exhaust manifold gasket with a squared-off top / front corner (see circled area in figure above). This corner of the gasket gets in the way of easily starting the new power steering tube. Gently push it back toward the engine to make it easier. Transfer the retainer clamp from the factory steering gear tube to the new Driven Diesel steering gear tube (longest tube of the set).
Next, you’re going to install the new steering gear tube. The nut end attaches to the inner port on the steering gear, turn the nut in “finger tight” for now. You can now reinstall the outer hose connection on the steering gear and turn the nut in “finger tight.” Install the 13mm bolt in the retainer clamp and tighten, the tube should be above the bolt on the frame. Then, locate and install the outer, or fender side, tube onto the hydro-boost. Turn the nut in “finger tight” for now.
You can now connect (loosely) the Driven Diesel hydraulic hoses to the two tube assemblies installed in the previous steps. Hydraulic hoses have a “natural bend,” try to take advantage of this when routing the hose. Locate and loosely install the power steering pump tube assembly and make sure it’s routed properly safe from obstructions.
Locate the remaining tube and hose assemblies and loosely attach one end of the hose to the tube. Loosely attach the other end of the hose to the power steering pump tube and then install the remaining tube onto the engine side of the hydro-boost. With these connections finger tight, you should have all the tubing assemblies installed and connected.
Now, you can go over each tubing nut and tighten them. Since you didn’t replace the outer hose on the steering gear but did loosen it, don’t forget to tighten it as well. These connections are O-ring fit, so do not over-tighten them. To prevent damage, you will need to use another wrench to hold the tube still when doing the final tightening.
Before testing and making sure everything is leak-free, clean the work areas up with Brakekleen and rags or wherever power steering fluid leaks. Once you’ve checked the steering orientation is in the right direction, you can then reinstall the upper and lower steering shafts and ECM connectors.
“The following procedure was developed in our shop specifically to address issues with properly purging the Duramax Power Steering system of air. This procedure can be used after installing our Driven Diesel line kit, replacing the hydro-boost unit, replacing the steering gear or replacing the power steering pump. Please keep in mind that the higher the mileage on the power steering pump, the more it is likely to be sensitive to air in the power steering system,” said Maschner.
“We do not recommend attempting to bleed the power steering system using a vacuum, or by simply turning the wheels back and forth with the engine off, etc. It is important that you follow our procedure for bleeding the system exactly.” The procedure below assumes that the front of the truck is still jacked up and on jack stands, and is sitting as close to LEVEL as possible.
- Fill the power steering reservoir, it should be at the FULL line on the dipstick.
- With the engine OFF, slowly turn the steering wheel to the RIGHT until it stops. This puts the steering gear at the end of its travel and makes it easier to bleed air from the system.
- Check the fluid level in the reservoir as turning the wheel to the right can either cause fluid to spit out the top, or be drawn down into the system. Top off if needed, before proceeding.
- While holding the steering wheel just slightly off the far-right lock position, start the engine and let it run for 2-3 seconds. Do NOT move the steering wheel while the engine is running.
- Check and top off the fluid level if needed. Repeat the previous step five to seven more times.
- At this point, you should see small, “foam-like” bubbles in your power steering reservoir. Stop the bleeding procedure and walk away from the truck for 10 minutes. This step allows these small air bubbles time to rise and dissipate, an important step in the process.
- Start the engine, slowly turn the steering wheel to the LEFT while PUMPING THE BRAKE PEDAL SEVERAL TIMES, then turn the engine off.
- Check the fluid reservoir, if “foam-like” bubbles are present again, walk away from the truck for 10 minutes.
- Check and top off the fluid level if needed.
- Start the engine, slowly turn the steering wheel to the right until it stops. Then, slowly turn it back to the left until it stops. Turn the engine off.
- Check and top off the fluid level if needed.
- Repeat these last few steps several times until the fluid level stops dropping.
- Inspect all of the power steering line connections for leaks at this time. If any leaks are found, correct the problem, clean the area and repeat these steps again.
- If the fluid is still “foam-like” or the pump is still making noise at this point, return to the first procedure and repeat the bleeding process again. Power steering pump noise is generally an indication of either air the system or a failing pump. The introduction of air into the system can finish off an already tired pump, which is why this bleeding procedure was developed. If, after completing the above bleeding procedure, your power steering pump continues to remain noisy, it is very likely that a replacement pump will be the only cure. The Driven Diesel power steering line kit, when properly installed and bled of air, should not “cause” any noise unless the hoses are tightened in a position where they are vibrating against another underhood component.
Now that you’ve bled the system, we can do our leak check. With the truck running, inspect all of the tube and hose connections one more time for signs of leakage. If they are leaking, shut the truck off and find out why. If everything is good to go, you’re ready to begin putting the truck back together. Reinstall the intercooler tube, intake resonator, inner fender and reattach the removed wiring harnesses to the topside of the inner fender. Then, reinstall the front tires and tighten lug nuts properly. Remove the jack stands and set the truck back on the ground. Road test to check for proper functionality and check one last time for leaks.
For more easy fixes and quality parts for your rig, be sure and check out the Strictly Diesel website here. Stay tuned to Diesel Army for more on the newest industry parts, truck features, and event coverage. Do you have a leaking power steering hose on your GM pickup? Let us know in the comments below.