I was WAY off on the original estimate - $270 to remove & replace the steering gear and almost $200 for a remanufactured rack & pinion rack assembly. Took the van to another national company (which I trust) this morning. Without the mechanic being there (he doesn't work Saturdays), they said the high pressure pwr steering hose was leaking badly out of the pwr steering pump. They did notice some fluid around the rack & pinion rack, but without getting into it deeper, that fluid could have dripped or flowed from the pump/hose. So their initial guesstimate would be $300 to replace the pump and hose. New mechanics are all greek to me now. I had a '72 Duster and when the power steering went out, I didn't notice much of a difference, LOL! Hopefully the place I trust is right and will find out Monday. And today's place said he would work with me on the price if the other company was indeed correct. But hopefully it's just the hose.
Thanks for the reply, even if I did give you the wrong information.