Here we are going to be replacing a power steering pump on a 1989 Chevrolet Silverado. The pulley will need to be pulled and put on the new pump as well as the fittings that go with the pump.
When the power steering pump starts to fail on your vehicle, you will know it. It’s one of those parts that makes itself known when it is going bad.
- You’ll hear a squealing noise when you turn the steering wheel.
- You may experience bouts of no power assistance in the steering.
- There may be power steering fluid under the vehicle from the pump leaking.
- Sometimes a deep groan can be heard.
- You’ll notice a delay in steering response.
You have two options when replacing the pump: You can buy just the inside mechanism of the pump and reuse the reservoir that is already on the vehicle, or you can buy the inside mechanism mounted on a reservoir. Just make sure it is the same as the pump you are replacing. The Chevrolet 3500 has one pump style with two hoses out the back and another with one hose out the back. Of course I picked up the one without the other hose and had to go back and get the other one. So save yourself some travel time and make sure they match up!
I went with the mechanism with the reservoir merely because one of the metal attachments was breaking off. The process is the same which ever you decide on.
Remove the Old Pump
For my lady mechanics, and guys that enjoy wearing their hair long, we’re at the part where you need to pull long hair back and remove the acrylic nails. We’re about to dive into it!
- Disconnect the negative battery cable for safeties sake.
- Remove the Serpentine Belt by attaching a breaker bar with a socket on it (5/8 for the Chevy 3500) and place it on the bolt of the tension pulley and pry it up so the belt can be removed.
- Remove the hoses and plug the ends to prevent fluid from leaking out.
- At this point you can remove the pulley off of the pump if you like. There are two bolts behind the pulley that need to be removed that otherwise can’t be removed if the pulley is left on. I have small hands so I can get a socket on these small bolts and remove them with the pulley in place. It’s really up to you,
You’ll need a pulley removing kit to get the pulley off. Most auto parts stores will rent the tool to you and return your deposit when you return the tool.
Inside the box you will find various puller types and instructions on its use.
This is one of the two bolts behind the pulley that need to be removed, a red X indicates where the other bolt hole is located.
Remove the mounting bolts from the back of the pump and lift the pump out. If the pulley is still on then lowering it out might prove easier.
5. Remove the hardware that needs to be put onto the new pump and remove the pulley if you haven’t done so yet.
6. If you’re reusing your pump reservoir, now would be the time to switch the reservoir to the new assembly.
7. At this point you can skip this step if you want to put the pulley back on when the pump is installed in the vehicle (Remember the tough to reach nuts.) Or, you can use the pulley removal tool to put the pulley on the new pump now. It’s up to you. It can be more difficult to install the pump with the pulley attached and large fingers won’t be able to put those two bolts behind the pulley back on.
Now you’re ready to reinstall the pump.
Install the pump
- Wiggle the pump back into position and attach the mounting bolts on the back.
- Reattach the hoses.
- Attach the bolts on the front behind the pulley.
- Press the pulley on if you haven’t done so already.
- Fill the reservoir with Power Steering fluid.
- Put the Serpentine Belt back on. An assistant can be handy for realigning the belt.
- Reattach the negative battery cable.
Bleed the Pump
You are going to need to bleed the power steering pump now. It’s quick and easy!
- Raise the front of the vehicle until both front tires are off of the ground.
- Check the steering pump fluid level to make sure it is at its proper level.
- Start the engine and let it warm up.
- Slowly, turn the steering wheel all the way to the right until it stops.
- Then, slowly turn the steering wheel all the way to the left until it stops.
Check the fluid level again. Are there bubbles coming up? Did the fluid stay level? If you had to add fluid repeat steps 4 and 5.
If there were no bubbles and the fluid level stayed constant then the bleeding is done. You can lower the vehicle and YOUR DONE! Good job!