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2nd Gen Dakota 1997 - 2004 Dakota's

Leaking Power Steering Fluid - 97' Dakota 3.9L

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  #1  
Old 03-26-2014, 03:15 PM
tylan tylan is offline
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Question Leaking Power Steering Fluid - 97' Dakota 3.9L

Hello everyone,

I finally replaced my leaking power steering pump, with new hoses and fluid flush to boot. No more oil drippings on the driveway!

It took me about 6 hours of replace them, here are some photos and thoughts of the process:

1) Old steering pump. The serpentine belt and battery casing are already off to make operating space.

Click the image to open in full size.

2) Pulley puller mounted on the wheel, ready to go! I found out even with the puller, it required a lot of force to loose the pulley. So I had to use a steel pipe as an extension handle for the ratchet wrench.
Click the image to open in full size.


3) Here are the pulley puller and installer tool set. I borrowed the pulley puller tools from an auto chain store through their tool loaner program (Thanks, Advance Auto Parts!
Click the image to open in full size.


4) The pulley is off! Now that the 4 mounting bolts are exposed, they are quite easy to take off.
These 4 bolts aren't the same, mine has 3 long ones and 1 short one. So it's very important to mark down
their position.
Click the image to open in full size.


5) The rest are pretty straightforward: put the drip pan underneath; cut the two hoses and wait for the pump to empty its fluid content; loosen the 4 mounting bolts and take out the old pump. If you want to reuse the old hoses, you would need a 18mm stubby wrench to unlink the high pressure hose from the pump. I am glad I didn't have to do that because the space is just too tiny to apply adequate force with a stubby wrench.

6) Assemble new hoses to the new pump; install the new pump to the mounting bracket; put the pulley back in with the pulley installer tool

7) Now raise the front of the truck and sway the wheel to bleed the fluid in the rack and pinion. I took a picture to mark the hose position because I didn't want to mix up the hoses. The left one is the return line, the right one is the high pressure line. A 16mm stubby wrench or an adjustable stubby wrench is a MUST. The space is very tiny down there.
Click the image to open in full size.

8) Connect the new hoses to the rack and pinion; put new fluid into the new pump; put back serpentine belt/battery;
turn on the engine to idle, turn wheels to fill more fluid etc etc , and we are done.

Again thanks everyone who patiently commented on my original post and your advices have been very helpful!


Original Post:
================================================== =========================
Hi Friends,

My 97' Dakota is leaking power steering fluid. It seems to be coming out between the pump and pulley casing.

So I am wondering what might causes the problem. Is there some kind a seal/gasket between the pulley casing and the pump?

Thanks!

Top views:


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Close ups:
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Leakage at the bottom:

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Last edited by tylan; 04-11-2014 at 05:43 PM..
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Old 03-26-2014, 04:31 PM
magnethead magnethead is offline
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I don't see any runs. There is a seal on the shaft at the face, and the lines should have o-rings too. If there's more than 150,000 miles on the pump, you're on borrowed time.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:53 PM
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98DAKAZ 98DAKAZ is offline
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Your leak may be from the cap not sealing 100% try a new cap first clean it up them look for the leak.

I say the cap because the top of the pump body looks covered in oil.

If the power steering pump has never been replace you may want to replace it as its probably very close to that time anyway being a 97.
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:04 PM
tylan tylan is offline
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I got the truck 2nd hand so I will need to replace the pump. I wonder how hard the job is if I am to do it myself.

Those hoses are located at hard to reach places, do I need any special tools to loosen them?

Thanks!
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Old 03-27-2014, 02:09 PM
01SilverCC 01SilverCC is offline
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It's much easier to do if you remove the battery. It will give you a lot more room to work. You can rent the pulley remover-installer tool for free at most any good parts store. You have to transfer your pulley from the old pump to the new one. A set of stubby wrenches comes in handy too. On mine it was easier to get to the bolt on one of the hoses from underneath the truck with a 15mm stubby wrench. I bought a set of metric and stubby wrenches for $10.00 each at Harbor Freight and they have been very useful on other jobs too.

Be sure to bleed all air out of the ps system. You do that with the cap off the pump, key on but engine not running, with the front end on jack stands. Turn the wheel almost all the way left then almost all the way right. Dont hold the wheels locked all the way over in either direction. Turn the wheels about 20 times. On mine I had to bleed it that way several times but still had air in the lines so I bled it again with front end off the ground and engine idling. Look in the ps pump filler neck with engine idling and if you see little air bubbles in the ps fluid you have to keep bleeding until the bubbles are all gone.

Jimmy
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:14 PM
tylan tylan is offline
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I found a service manual, it seems for the 3.9L engine, I need to remove the serpentine drive belt, remove battery ground & bracket, remove pulley assembly, remove pulley order to gain access to the two pump bracket bolts that's holding the pump. It would be a fun project.

Unfortunately it doesn't say anything about tools and wrench sizes but I will make sure I get the 15mm stubby and hose clamp pliers.

Thanks!
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:35 PM
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The ps hoses use those one-time sealed at the factory type clamps. You don't need hose clamp pliers, just cut them off and replace with regular worm screw type clamps. If it were my truck I would replace both hoses and the pump all at the same time. No sense in doing only the pump to possibly have to get back into it again in the not too distant future to replace hoses. That was what happened to me. I went to leave the house and saw a puddle on the driveway. It was ps fluid. My pressure hose was leaking. So I replaced just the hose. It was maybe a month later I had another leak from the pump itself. So I replaced the pump and the return hose too.

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Old 03-27-2014, 06:40 PM
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Thinking back on it it may have been a 13mm bolt. I had the whole set so I an't remember which one it was exactly.

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Old 03-27-2014, 07:48 PM
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On my V6, we pulled the pump with the pulley still on as I recall- we removed the block side of the mount, not the pump side. Once you pull the battery (we left the tray in) and remove the belt, I would suggest what Jimmy said and just unhook the lines at the rack, the connections are easy to get to, and replace the lines with the pump.

We used a steering wheel puller and torch to get the pulley off. Then we put the pulley in the oven at 250 degrees and zip-tied ice packs to the shaft of the new pump. After an hour in the oven and about 6 ice packs, we mated the two together on the workbench, and put the pump on the motor. The big thing is getting the pulley in the right spot so the belt doesn't slide off.
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:44 PM
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Some pumps come with the pully attached worth the extra money as its a pain in the @ss to get off and put on.

I will never do that again not worth it.

You can damage the pump if you are not careful installing the pully
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Last edited by 98DAKAZ; 03-27-2014 at 09:46 PM..
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