Video: Concept One Talks Power Steering Reservoirs

This Shoptalk video put together by Concept One Pulleys details some of their available power steering reservoirs. After seeing the video, and getting some idea of what these reservoirs are all about, we had to talk to the team over at Concept One to find out more about them and how they can improve the performance of your car or truck.

In the business of automotive part fabrication since 1996, Concept One has been designing and manufacturing their own high-performance pulley systems since 2001. The co-owners and founders of the company, Kevin and Randy Redd have always worked in the automotive industry.

Here are some images of the Concept One manufacturing plant in Cumming, Georgia.

Today, Concept One Pulleys operates out of their Cumming, Georgia, plant about 40 miles north of Atlanta. “We build pulley systems for street rods, hot rods, and musclecars,” Kevin told us. They design and build all of the mounting hardware so you don’t have to worry about anything. “If you have a 1967 Camaro you want to put an LS engine into, we make a pulley system that easily mounts onto that engine and takes the stress out of trying to figure it out yourself.”

Concept One does all of their design and manufacturing work in house. Although they do build all of the mounting brackets and pulley systems, they do buy the alternators, pumps, compressors, and tensioners. Part of what they do is pair their kits with the right products to make everything work as efficiently and as effectively as possible.

The reservoirs featured in this shoptalk video provide an interesting piece of support to a power steering system in your car. Starting with the standard mini-reservoir, it is designed to mount directly to the pump and create a clean look and it is made of high-quality billet aluminum. The standard remote reservoir has 50-percent more capacity than the mini-reservoir, and works well on performance builds. It also mounts further from the engine and helps with overheating issues.

Two of the standard remote reservoirs offered by Concept One: Polished (left) and black anodized (right).

The hydroboost remote reservoir was the last one they talk about in the video, and the one that we were most interested. It has two returns, one that comes from the steering gear box, and one that comes from the hydroboost brake pump.

If you aren’t familiar with what a hydroboost brake system is, it is basically a hydraulic-powered brake booster. They are designed to run off the power steering pump, and are a good alternative for cars that do not produce a lot of vacuum from the engine. “An engine with what I would call a hot rod camshaft doesn’t create a lot of vacuum,” explained Kevin, “so a hydroboost is a great way to solve that issue. Kevin told us, “If you have a standard power steering pump, you just have a send line and a return line. With the hydroboost system there is an additional pressure line needed.” The way most people get around this, is by adding a T-fitting in the return line, but as Kevin explained: “This can create back pressure, and has the potential to hinder the performance of the system.”

Two of Concept One's hydroboost reservoirs. Notice these reservoirs have two return fittings.

To fix this problem, Concept One added another return line to the system. “We found that it adds a lot of extra turbulence to the system,” Kevin said. What that did was introduce air bubbles to the power steering system, which creates a loud whining sound as it runs.

Concept one worked on this issue with CJR Racing, and designed a system that would eliminate the turbulence, and stop the introduction of air into the system. It is a similar system to what is used on racecar power steering systems.

The remote reservoirs offered by Concept One are capable of handling the needs of high performance vehicles, and the abuse they are put through. “If you have a street rod and want to do a slalom course, you will be working that steering really hard going back and forth.”  Kevin said. The remote reservoirs will help maintain the pressure and temperature required for performance, while the hydroboost reservoir will prevent the introduction of air bubbles into the system through turbulence, even under a heavy load.

About the author

Kyler Lacey

A 2015 Graduate from Whitworth University, Kyler has always loved cars. He grew up with his dad's '67 Camaro in the garage and started turning wrenches at a young age. At seventeen, he bought his first classic, a '57 Chevy Bel Air four-door, and has since added a '66 Plymouth Valiant and '97 Cadillac Deville to his collection. When he isn't writing for Power Automedia, he's out shooting pictures at car shows, hiking in the forests of the beautiful Pacific Northwest, or working on something in the garage.
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