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1st Gen Durango 1998 - 2003 Durango's

power steering line replacement DIY(2001-2003 Durango)

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Old 08-02-2011, 03:34 PM
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Default power steering line replacement DIY(2001-2003 Durango)

I am not responsible for any mishaps while you are wrenching, knuckle busting, throwing tools, kicking vehicles, stomping, whining, drinking, or possession of you or your rig by any entity....... Always consult a manual before attempting any wrenching and I advise you to stay within your skill set. If you’re expanding your skills, work on the easy stuff 1st to gain skills and the necessary scars on the hands to fall into the "working man/woman" category.


I suggest that you read ALL of this post before making any purchases or decisions on this repair, it will make sure you do it correctly

problem, power steering lines are leaking, you noticed this by either an 'oil spot' on the driveway, or a loss of power steering completely. If you noticed a lack of power steering while you were driving and decided to go straight home and investigate you will most likely not need to replace the pump, however if you drove it for a long while without any fluid in it the pump may or may not be bad, use your own best judgment on that, my pump was still fine so i just replaced the hoses.


on to the process

this process took me about 3 hours including removal of old hoses, installation of new hoses, clean up, finding tools, throwing tools, recovering tools, drinking beer, and diagnosis of issue, and it cost me $90 total for everything

step 1) gather your tools

1)18mm open end wrench (i didn't have one so i had to use an adjustable, i do NOT recommend this but if you must then be careful not to ruin the nuts.

2) 10mm box wrench

3) 8mm socket

4) (optional) case of your favorite beer

5) (only for the last couple steps)(optional) extra body, small child/gf/wife will work fine

6) new pressure and return lines for your powersteering system (see your local auto store if you are unsure of which ones you need)

7) 1 quart of ATF +4 transmission fluid(i recommend getting 2 just in case you spill some, but i only used 3/4 of a quart through the entire process)

ok on to the actual problem

step 2) is to check that these lines are your issue and its not in fact something else.

Click the image to open in full size.
this is what the hard lines looked like at the steering gear on my truck

it was also damp with ATF while the rest of the lines were dry so i knew this was were it was leaking from.

Click the image to open in full size. and the sway bar and lower A arm were also damp with fluid below where these lines connected.

step 3) lift front of vehicle and remove drivers side tire (if i need to explain this one to you just stop here and take your truck to a mechanic)

step 4) open hood and remove battery (this is another thing you should just know how to do, negative cable off first, then positive, unbolt the retaining bar and remove, if you cant figure that out take the truck to a mechanic)

step 5) siphon as much of the power steering fluid out of the reservoir as possible (i used an old turkey baster my dad and i stole from the kitchen a while back, this will never make its way back to the kitchen)

i used an old coffee can to put the fluid in as i took it out, use w/e you have handy, just remember this fluid cannot be re-used.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

step 6) remove the hose clamp from the return line at either the cooler of the reservoir intake (i have the cooler in mine so that is where i removed it from)
Click the image to open in full size.
(you can see it in this picture, although this picture is with the new hose in place)

step 7) remove the upper of the two lines from the steering gear, this is the return line(this one must come off first so you have room to swing a wrench (kind of) for the pressure line)

Click the image to open in full size.
step 7 complete

step 8) remove the lower (only remaining at this point) line from the steering gear, this is the pressure line.
Click the image to open in full size.
step 8 complete

step 9) unplug the pressure switch (this switch is only on the 4.7 according to the 2002 factory service manual, but check for it anyway and unplug it if it is there)
Click the image to open in full size.
just push on the tab and pull the wire away from the switch.(make sure that you pull on the connector, and not on the wires)

step 10) i removed the oil filter access door for this, and pulled the far drivers side anchor out for the splash shield so i could fit my arm through there, do as much of as little of that as you need to to reach the power steering pump where the line attaches.
Then remove the power steering line from the pump (this is the pressure line and for me this was the tightest connection on the system)

step 11) remove pressure switch from pressure line and install in the new replacement hose.
( i did the two parts of this step separately since i had to order and wait for the new hoses to come in)
Click the image to open in full size.

step 12) The new hoses should come with o rings that need to be installed, lubricate them (i used the old atf i pulled out of the system for this) and just push the o-rings onto both ends of the pressure hose and the gear end of the return hose.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

step 13) now you are ready to install the new hoses, you install the pressure hose first since it is below the return line on the gear, i found it easiest to install the pump end of the line first, and then install the gear end, whichever order should work fine do whichever you prefer.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

once both ends are attached and torqued properly to 25 ft. lbs (34NM) at both ends

step 14) plug the pressure switch back in
Click the image to open in full size.

step 15) take the return hose and push the hose and onto the cooler (or the reservoir if you don't have a cooler) and make sure you get the hose clamp on there good, if you don't like the hose clamp they used at the factory you can buy a 3/4 in stainless clamp (the threaded ones) and use that instead, for me it was easier to reuse the factory one.
Click the image to open in full size.

step 16) install the gear end of the return hose and tighten to 23 ft. lbs (31 NM)
Click the image to open in full size.

now that the hard part is done, its time for the tedious part(but very necessary because air in the system will cause a lack of power assist), if you have one this is the time to get a partner/assistant.

step 17) make sure both front wheels are off the ground (the drivers side should be up already, so just make sure the passenger side is too)

step 18) fill the power steering reservoir with ATF +4 (i filled it to the full (hot) line, DO NOT OVERFILL PAST THIS POINT)

step 19) turn the steering wheel all the way to the left while the engine is off. (you need to have the key on to do this, and both front wheels off the ground)

step 20) check the power steering fluid level and top off if necessary

step 21) turn the steering wheel lock to lock (all the way to the right, and back to the left) slowly 40 times (20 if you do not have a cooler installed) and check the fluid after each time

so start with the wheel to the left, go all the way right, all the way left check fluid, repeat 39 more times, this is where the helper is nice, have them turn the wheel while you watch the fluid level and add as needed. don't keep the reservoir too full or the air bubbles that work their way out will cause fluid to splash out of the reservoir and ATF is NOT fun or easy to clean up.

step 22) install battery

step 23) start engine and let idle for 2 minutes to settle fluid level in reservoir and fill to full (cold) line on reservoir bottle

step 24) turn wheel lock to lock a couple of times with engine on (i did 5 times)

step 25) shut off engine and top off fluid to full (cold) line

step 26) put tires back on and lower vehicle back onto the ground

step 27) start engine and confirm power assist is present (if you can turn the wheel lock to lock with the tires on the ground the power steering is working)

step 28) Clean up all tools/old parts/rags, make sure to dispose of any old fluid correctly.

step 29) take truck for a drive (maybe leave this step out if you have drank alot of beer during the install)

step 30) relax and drink the rest of your beer!!!!

total cost for this project including hoses, fluid, beer ect was $90 i do NOT know what a shop would charge, but i'm certain that you saved yourself a bunch of money and time by doing it yourself.


if you have any questions or concerns please let me know and i will do my best to address them

-Bill
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Last edited by shrpshtr325; 02-10-2012 at 11:41 AM.. Reason: long missing proofread
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:10 PM
topdogcustoms topdogcustoms is offline
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Nice write up!!!!!!!
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:08 PM
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Nice write up!!!!!!!
+1 not bad for a young whipper snapper! lol
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:50 PM
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thanks guys, hopefully it will help someone out
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:05 PM
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Very nice write up!
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:09 AM
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Nice job. I am cross posting this now because I think it will indeed help someone. There is a guy with issues on his PS system right now at the DOC. Thanks and congrats on a good job.

2 questions:

1) so there is no "Bleeding", etc necessary to get the air out of the empty lines? I guess I never really thought about it being a circular system
2) WTH? That hose line looked terrible. You let it get that bad? Shame

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Old 02-10-2012, 11:28 AM
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cycling the wheel serves to 'bleed' or purge the lines of air, that is why you do it and why you need to keep an eye on the fluid level while doing so.
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:20 PM
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Definitely a good how to writeup! Just something I noticed (as I haven't needed to look too closely at the front axle yet) it seems like the axle isn't solid anymore, I'm pretty sure the 2000 I had was a solid axle.
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:35 PM
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nope, they were all independent front suspension, never had a solid axle on these trucks
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:39 PM
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Odd, must not have known what I was looking at under there...
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Old 02-11-2012, 12:38 PM
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Wish I had a solid front axel but they dont........
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:01 AM
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Default Power Steering problem

I recently purchased a 2000 Dodge Durango sport 5.2L V8 2wd, there is no power steering. I put some fluid in and it seem to hold well but not not have any affect on the steering. Could this be a pump problem? I have been told that if the fluid ran bone dry that I could try "priming" it by turn the wheel far left and then to the right trying to draw the fluid in there? any suggestions would be helpful.
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:38 AM
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polyboy, That is the correct process to prime... sorta.

IIRC, you need to crank the wheel lock to lock a dozen times with the vehicle OFF while someone is watching the levels to top of and let you know when to stop prior to overflow or sucking air again. It is quite the time consuming and arm tiring exercise. If there are bubbles and the 10th, 11th, 12th, then top of fluid, start the D for a moment, shut off and repeat the lock to lock turning with the vehicle off once again for another dozen takes. Sux but necessary. Mine took 3 cycles to get it right.

You may do all of that just to find a fluid leak or that your pump is shot. Worthy of the excercise first before spending the time and money on a replacement that may not be needed after all.

HTH,

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Old 02-17-2012, 10:51 AM
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the fsm calls for 20 cycles (40 if you have a ps fluid cooler) lock to lock (start all the way left, go all the way right, all the way left = 1 cycle) with the engine off in order to push fluid through the system, when i did this write up i got it working fine first time through.

do you know how long the pump has been dry?
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:30 AM
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SS,

+1. I have a cooler and felt like it took me 3x12 for 36 cycles to get it to feel right and pump fluid only. That certainly matches up to your FSM 40 cycles closely.

It is a laborious task.

indyD
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:28 PM
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Bah, I hate that keep the engine off part to bleed it, but I don't wanna screw up the gearbox or pump. I suppose if I just replace and fire it up and bleed with the engine going I'm going to risk burning up something, eh?

Yeah, ok I'll skip that. That's one lesson I've learned about working on cars: patience and do it right the first time, unless you enjoy doing the same repair over, lol!

That however, makes it more difficult for a lazy guy such as myself, since I can't just use the ramps! But great write-up, weather depending, I'll be replacing this line myself in a couple weeks.

I would now, but being broke until payday, I don't want to risk me damaging something else and not having $$$ to fix it if I do!

That's a lesson hard learned and really it should be DIY auto repair lesson #1, make sure you can afford more parts (and/or tools) before working on anything!

hehe
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Old 11-23-2013, 03:23 PM
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Hello. excellent write up. is the process the same for the 98-99 model years? I have a 99 slt.
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Old 11-23-2013, 04:27 PM
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Hello. excellent write up. is the process the same for the 98-99 model years? I have a 99 slt.

Its similar, but more basic. 99's didn't have rack and pinion steering or a pressure sensor on the line.
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Old 10-25-2014, 08:35 AM
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Default line question

When you replaced the line did it come with that stupid plastic spacer that goes inside the back of the pump and sits between the line and the pump? My wife's completely disintegrated on me when I replaced the pump and ow I have a small leak and can of find a other.
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Old 11-01-2014, 09:58 PM
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there was a rubber spacer between the lines at the steering rack. i left it off when i put the new lines on because it was holding moisture on the lines causing them to rust, its just there to slience them from vibrating together and is not really necessary, and does not hurt to have it missing.

if you are referring to something else im not following it.
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Old 11-01-2014, 09:58 PM
 
 
 
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