Power Steering Pump Replacement Tips
for the 3.0L DOHC Duratec Engines
I opened the hood on my 2003 Sable to check the oil on a nice sunny winter day and found a trail of fluid on the underside of my hood. Well after taking a look around I could see that the power steering pump shaft seal was leaking and the pulley was slinging the fluid onto the underside of my hood.
To remove the pump first I needed to remove the serpentine belt. There isn't a lot of room between the side of the vehicle and the auto tensioner and it wasn't obvious how I was going to get a wrench on it.
I thought, I wonder if I can grab the belt on each side of the power steering pulley and lift the belt up and remove it by hand. The answer is yes. I lifted the belt moved it in front of the pulley and lowered it slowly till the tension was released. Now I know I can replace the belt without any tools
Next I needed a way to catch the fluid from the power steering reservoir and hose when I disconnected the hose from the pump.
With very little space to work and no obvious place to fit a container to capture the fluid. I tried a 1 gallon zip lock freezer bag and found it worked perfectly to catch the power steering fluid.
When you remove the pump intake hose you are going to empty the power steering pump reservoir.
The next step is to get the coolant reservoir out of the way. I removed the fasteners and used a bungee cord hooked to the underside of the hood and the rear mounting flange of the reservoir to keep it out of the way while leaving the hoses connected.
A metal flange is molded into the center of the pulley. The pulley remover has jaw halves that are placed around the pulley flange and a jaw sleeve is used to hold them in place.
With the pulley remover in place the jack screw is turned and the metal button at the end of the jack screw pushes against the power steering pump shaft forcing the pulley off the shaft. Removing the pulley was a quite a work out. It took a lot of force to move it.
Now that the pulley is removed you can see the fluid on the front of the pump.
I bought a GreatNeck 18mm flare nut wrench from a local auto parts store to remove the power steering pump high pressure line. The 18mm wrench had the best fit of any of my wrenches, but still did not fit tight enough.
When I tried to loosen the flare nut the wrench started to slip on the flare nut. I needed to create a tighter fit so I made a shim by cutting up one of my old feeler gauges. Through trial an error I found the gauge with the best fit. In the mean time I also sprayed WD40 on the flare nut threads.
Once I tapped the shim into place I was able to remove the high pressure line flare nut.
The coolant reservoir is being held up with a bungee cord shown on the left side of the image. The power steering reservoir is laying on it's side, shown on the bottom, and my 1 gallon zip lock bag is catching the power steering fluid from the high pressure line.
I bought a rebuilt pump from a local auto parts store. It included o rings for the inlet tube, a reservoir o ring not needed for this application, and a Teflon o ring seal for the high pressure line connection to the pump.
The inlet tube must be transferred to the new pump. It is fastened with two Torx head screws.