Tuesday, August 14, 2007

How to replace a power steering pump

  • If you notice the inside of your engine compartment is black with slime and you add power steering fluid every time you use the vehicle, maybe it is time to replace the pump.
  • Pumps come without the reservoir and without the pulley.
  • If someone gives you a pulley puller that is generic and not made specifically for a GM car, you will pull the ears clean off the pulley and be left without a pulley.
  • If someone suggests that you have to remove a set screw before you pull the pulley off, then you will have to buy a huge ass allen wrench set.
  • If you buy a huge ass metric allen wrench set, you will find that the allen screw on the end is actually the one and only SAE fitting on the pump and you will have to buy a huge ass SAE allen wrench set.
  • If you buy a huge ass SAE allen wrench set, you will quickly realize that allen screw has absolutely nothing to do with anything and is probably used in the assembly of the pump itself and should be ignored. You just need a GM pulley puller.
  • If you remove the reservoir from the pump with a big enough hammer, you will bend it up so much that it is not worth putting back on.
  • If you want to buy a pulley and/or a reservoir from a junkyard you will realize they dont sell them. They only sell pumps with the reservoir and pulley on them.
  • If you buy a junker pump with a reservoir and pulley on it and a dude that looks like santa claus tells you all GM reserviors are exactly the same, you will find out that they are not. Some of them are missing a bolt hole and some of them have the low pressure return line pointing the wrong direction.
  • If you buy 2 feet of 3/8 inch power steering return line from a parts store, you will realize that it takes 2.5 feet of hose once the return line is pointing the wrong direction.
  • If you go back to the parts store to get 2.5 feet of return line, you will realize they are out of 3/8 inch hose.
  • If you go to another parts store, you will find that they actually sold you 3 feet of 5/16 inch hose and you will have to go back and get 3/8 inch hose.
  • It will take you 45 minutes in the hot sun at 105 degrees Fahrenheit to fit the last bolt into the engine block without dropping it.

Bottom line: if you take it to a mechanic, he is likely to charge you for 1.5 to 2 hours of labor. If you do it yourself, be prepared for a 4 day turnaround. Have a spare car ready.