Vehicle: 2007 Ram 1500 4x2 Big Horn aka The Silver Bullet
Location: Norman, Okla-mobile-homa
DIY - Power Steering Pump Rebuild
Some of us love to work on mechanicals and don't care that a part can be swapped out for a rebuilt unit quickly. Also, it may be "cheaper" to run to the store and get it, but that also costs time and money, the same time and money you'd swap out by doing it yourself. This is one such example.
The return line of my power steering pump developed a pinhole leak after 176K miles of service. I figured that at this point in time I would R&R the entire system (P/S pump, return line, and pressure line) so I could get at least another 150K miles of service.
Skill level: 1 (out of 5 being the highest) Time: Approximately 1.5 hours, less if you have a helper and more if you wish to repaint the parts Tools needed:
Roll of shop towels or plenty of clean rags
14mm end wrench
15mm end wrench
18mm end wrench
5/8" flare nut wrench
Small jar of Vaseline
Large pressure clamp (C-Clamp or the like)
1" end wrench OR 1" socket
Medium Ball peen hammer
Dental Pick Set (Not required, but very helpful. Harbor Freight sells them for $3)
Torque-Wrench measured in ft/lbs
Oil collection container
A clean container for small parts
Friction Pulley Remover/Installer (can be rented from your local parts store)
Medium flat tip screwdriver
Hose cutters or other cutting instrument
A solvent tank
1 gallon can Berryman Carb cleaner (Not required, but I keep it in my garage anyway to clean parts, so the added expense is negligible)
1 quart bottle Power Steering Fluid (NOT TRANSMISSION FLUID)
Gates #365260 Power Steering Pressure Hose
Gates #350390 Power Steering Pump Rebuild Kit
24" length of 3/8" diameter Power Steering/Transmission Hose
Cardone inline Power Steering Filter (Optional)
This is a one beer job, maybe two.
Fill the container with some Power Steering Fluid and drop all of the O-Rings and seals into the container, coating them with fluid. Do not remove them until assembly time.
Note the emergency fix I had to perform using electrical tape. Anyway, this is the guy to remove. The 15mm end wrench is used to move the tensioner so that the belt can be removed. There are four 14mm bolts which hold the pump bracket to the block. The one behind the water pump line is a nut mounted on a stud. I have a battery negative lead here as well as a chassis ground wire. Remove the nut, then the lead, and looses the stud. It cannot be removed until the remaining bolts are loosened/removed.
Loosen the pressure line where it connects to the pump with the 5/8" flare nut wrench. A couple of turns works well. Loosen and remove the four nuts that hold the pump bracket to the block. Two are real long, one is short, and then there's the stud. It's easier to remove the bolts at the bottom, behind the fan first, then get the one to the upper right. This is the pivot bolt for the pump -- remember this for later.
Finally while holding the pump with one hand (while your lower back is straining) remove the stud and work the pump out. It's tricky with the water pump line there, but it can be done. Feel free to drop the "F-Bomb" a few times.
With the pump bracket bolts removed, gingerly lay the pump down. This is why the high pressure line was loosened before. Unscrew it completely and then lay it in the engine bay so as not to siphon fluid all over. Using the pliers, pinch the hose clamp and slide it toward the steering box. Assuming the hose has been on the hard line for a long time, just cut it with the cutters or a knife. No amount of pulling will free it.
Drain the pump into an oil collection container, remove the cap and set it aside. If there is any of the rubber hose connected to the hard line, remove it. Clamp the pump in a vice via the bracket and remove the pulley.
Removal of the pulley exposes four 15mm bolts.
Three of the bolts are the same length, while the fourth is shorter. Mark where the fourth belongs, and set the bolts aside.
At this point, I put the bracket in my solvent tank to soak. Put the pump in the vice and clamp down on the *shaft housing*, not the shaft. Notice there are two 18mm nuts and a 1" nut that's actually part of the pressure union.
Remove the two stud/nuts. You may notice remnants of blue Locktite on the threads. *VERY IMPORTANT* The part of the threaded shank that holds the reservoir to the pump is tapered. This is important at reassembly! Remove the pressure union.
Using the rubber mallet, gently tap the reservoir back and forth to loosen it. From the underside, tap upward and she'll break. Using a back-and-forth motion while pulling up, remove the reservoir. Now is a good time to put it in the solvent tank as well.
Under the pressure union is a spring and flow control valve, which sits atop a spring. Remove both (which may have to be done by removing the pump body from the vice and flipping it over). I put these two in the can of Berryman cleaner. There is also a small, round magnet attached to the pump body. I put that in the can of cleaner as well.
Using the dental picks, start removing the square cut O-rings. Insert the medium size flat tip screwdriver into the groove that holds the snap ring and taps the screwdriver with the ball peen hammer to drive the ring around the groove. The goal is to get the end of the ring approximately 1" from the small hole at the bottom of the pump body.
Using the flat punch, push the ring inward and slip the flat tip screwdriver between the ring and the pump body. Cover the ring/body with your other hand and gingerly work the screw driver around to remove the ring. Failure to cover the ring with a hand could result in the ring shooting off across the garage (and the utterance of MOTHER F&$#ER!!!). Didn't happen to me, but I know it has happened to someone at one time or another
Remove the cap and notice the pressure spring atop the pressure place. Remove the spring and the pressure plate and feel free to put the spring, pressure plate, and the cap in the can of Berryman cleaner.
Under the pressure plate is a cam ring, the pump rotor, and a bottom plate. The cam ring is held in place with two dowel pins. Note that on top of the cam ring is a set of arrows pointing to the dowel FURTHEST from the pressure port. This is critical for reassembly. It is easier to remove the pump body from the vice, turn the pump over, and push the pump shaft through so everything falls into an awaiting hand. Be careful with the rotor, because the rotor holds the pump vanes. If the vanes happen to fall out (very small, flat pieces of metal) clean and reinstall them. The vanes are to be reinserted with the shiny side OUT. That's the side which has been in contact with the cam ring during operation. The opposing side will be a dull grey.
Using the screwdriver again, pry the shaft seal out of the bore.
Removal of the shaft seal exposes the bore bushing. *DO NOT REPLACE THE BORE BUSHING UNLESS YOU HAVE ACCESS TO A HYDRAULIC PRESS* If you decide to replace the bushing (like I did), remove the old bushing by pressing it out. I put the new bushing in a plastic bag and tossed it into the freezer for about 30 minutes to get it to somewhat shrink. That made the installation operation go smooth.
Install the new shaft seal by seating it square atop the bore and drive it into place using the ball peen hammer and a socket large enough to match the size of the seal.
Remove the two large O-Rings from the inside of the pump body as well as the one that seals the pump body and the reservoir. This is where the dental picks come in handy. At this point, I completely washed the pump body in my solvent tank, dried it, and then installed the inner O-rings. Don't panic if it seems they are too large. Work them around the groove and they'll slip into place.
Insert the spring and the flow control valve into the pressure bore.
Install the dowel pins, the bottom plate/rotor assy, and finally the cam ring. Note the position of the arrows. The cam ring will only fit on the smaller holes even though there are larger holes there. The pump rebuild instructions say the larger hole is installed on the dowel pin furthest from the pressure port, but that's not how it is with these pumps. Now is a good time to install the square cut O-rings where the reservoir bolts to the body.
Put the spring and the cover plate in place and with the aid of a large, shallow socket (ie 32mm) and the clamp, compress the top plate/spring so that the snap ring can be reinstalled.
There are two grooves on the pressure union. The O-Ring for it is installed in the groove closest to the head.
Install the outer O-ring. Note that the pump body has been cleaned and the magnet put back in location. The rebuild kit instructions call for the mating area of the reservoir to the pump body be coated with Vaseline.
Return to the truck and remove the return hose. Chances are it is held in place with a regular hose clamp. Use it as a pattern for the new hose, but remember to account for the fact that the old hose may have been cut from the pump and is now shorter. The inline filter instructions state that the "claw" on the end goes toward the pump. Just remember that the open end of the filter is to point toward the steering box. Install the hose on the steering box.
Clamp the pump bracket into the vice and bolt the pump body to the bracket.
Since I didn't have the friction pulley installer tool, I improvised using a bolt from a steering wheel removal tool, a large socket, and my impact. Ensure that the pulley is about where it was at the start of the job and that it does not come in contact with the bolts that hold the pump to the bracket.
Install the reservoir to the pump body with a careful twisting/pushing motion and watch how the reservoir sits against the pump body seals (square cut O-rings) insuring they do not get twisted. Thread the studs in one at a time to obtain the alignment. Thread the pressure union into place, and once everything is deemed square up, hand tighten all three. Then, using a torque wrench, tighten them to ~35-ft/lbs.
Return to the vehicle, and using the 18mm end wrench, remove the high pressure line from the steering box. The new pressure line comes with two O-Rings. Coat them with power steering fluid and install them over the flaired end of the hardline. Using care so as not the damage the O-Ring, install the one end on the steering box and finger tighten. Lay the line aside in the engine bay.
Bring the Power Steering pump to the vehicle and, while holding it against the block, use one of the longest two bolts in the upper right hole and thread the bolt into the block. This is the pivot bolt mentioned earlier. Once it is in place, but NOT TIGHT, thread the bolts in place that are behind the fan. Once they are in place, install the battery ground cable to the stud and wiggle the stud into place and thread it into the block, but do not tighten. Once the stud is in place, tighten all of the bolts to 40-ft/lbs. Tighten the stud, install the body-to-engine ground lead, and tighten the nut on the end.
Slide the old hose clamp onto the return line and install the return line onto the hard line of the pump reservoir. Move the clamp into place. Connect the pressure line to the power steering pump pressure union taking care not to damage the O-ring having routed the hose as necessary. Once satisfied, tighten the fittings at both the steering box and at the pump.
Reinstall the serpentine belt**, insuring the path is properly followed. Fill the pump reservoir with power steering fluid but not to far into the neck of the reservoir. Fill it to just below the neck. Start the vehicle, hold the engine RPM at ~1,500RPM, and carefully cycle the wheel from lock-to-lock, stopping for 2-3 seconds at each lock before proceeding to perform the next cycle. It should take little time for the system to purge itself of air. Cycle the steering wheel approximately six full cycles. When satisfied, turn the vehicle off, top off the reservoir as needed, clean and reinstall the cap.
Time for some beer.
*I earlier noted not to use transmission fluid. Older transmission fluids are much, much thicker than ATF 4+; however, proper power steering fluid is almost translucent and much thicker, like 90W motor oil. I used ATF 4+ in a pinch and learned that I had zero pressure at idle, the pump howled/groaned, and I only had pressure when the vehicle was moving.
** In accordance with the Dodge Field Service Manual (FSM), if the belt path is crooked after the pulley install, using the pulley press tool to adjust as necessary. See the FSM for details.
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