Our Community is 705,000 Strong. Join Us.

2001 power steering pump removal diy?

06-01-2011, 09:01 PM
I have a definate PS pump failing on my 2001 Deathstar. It sounds like a bunch of small rocks in a tumbler when I do the ghetto stethoscope (long screwdriver trick) It has been moaning very loudy infrequently but nonetheless I think it is time to replace.

AutoZoo has one for $50 after core charge refund, and I am thinking of doing this myself. I own the Hayes manual which is almost always worthless for 99-later models, and it is indeed bad on how to replace the pump on my 2001. So a few questions.

Is there a good write up anyone has found. I am mainly worried about getting to the bolts holding the pump on, and the removal of the high pressure hose. Do I need special tools to get on or off. Also is it worth joing the AutoZone DIY group and getting the detailed write up on how to do specific job like this. Anyone have experience with that?

I have spent a few hours reading all posts on this forum for info, but didn't find much. It looks like I can do it without removing the cowl, although I have done that before and it is no big deal. I have moderate experience as a mechanic, so I think I would be able to do this unless there are some specialty tools or tricks. I have pulled off and pressed a bearing before on a lower control arm and know I can rent a puller from AutoZoo.

Do I want to do this or pay someone to put it on for me???

Thanks for reading and let me know if there is a DIY writeup on this

06-01-2011, 10:36 PM
Maybe autozone has some info about the replacement procedures, you could try either the webpage or ask one of the clerks, website will be free store I don't know.

AFAIK you need to remove the pulley first and then you'll have access to the mounting bolts. There should be no need for special tools.

Is there any way you could post the noise you're talking about?

You might want to clean the steering fluid reservoir and flush the system first. The reservoir has a screen at the bottom which gets clogged and can cause some noises.


06-02-2011, 06:10 AM
I am sure it needs to go, 155,000 miles, original.... I have changed water pumps, and alts, that make the same ginding noise. Bearings worn out and sounds like a bunch of rocks rolling around in there...

The noise from the steering , I only heard once and it was a hydraulic, groaning sound about 3 times louder than the normal pump sound on these vans....

I did do the turkey baster resevoir removal and refill last night, but I know that isn't the same as a flush.

I am ok with replacing the pump since it is showing the tell tale signs of wearing out and the mileage is right...

06-02-2011, 08:15 AM
I replaced the power steering pump on my '00 Windstar last year.

I didn't have problems with the mounting bolts or high pressure hose. IIRC, I used a flare nut wrench to remove the high pressure hose without damaging the fitting - but it didn't end up being difficult. Yes, you'll want to remove the cowl for better access.

HOWEVER: I had many problems with the pulley. It's a press-fit pulley. That's right: Nothing but raw friction holds the pulley in place on the pump shaft. My new pump came without a pulley; I needed to move the original pulley to the new pump. I was able to remove the pulley from the original pump without much difficulty. I had great difficulty getting it installed on the new pump: It simply required more force than the pulley installation tool could provide (yes, I know this for sure: I kept trying until the tool broke). After lots of measuring, research - and even a new pulley - I finally hit upon this method: I used emery paper to gently abrade the inside of the new pulley (the pulley is made of softer metal than the pump shaft), doing it carefully in stages until I removed just enough material to allow the tool to press the pulley on the shaft tightly - but without breaking the tool. The pump has been fine since then.

You'll need the proper tools to remove and install the pulley on the new pump. Many mass-market auto parts retailers will rent/lend the tools - or you can get a kit like this:


I'm not entirely happy with my solution; none of the documentation I could find at the time seemed to cover my situation. My theory is that the pump OEM uses a hydraulic press setup that presses the pulley on the shaft - and they end up with a press fit that requires more force than readily-available hand tools can replicate.

06-05-2011, 07:29 AM
Big trouble....

Removed Cowl, and many other pieces, to get to four bolts on pump... got everthing off the car, but had trouble with the pulley. I got the loaner pulley puller from Autozone, but had no luck. It took all my strength to move to about halfway off.

Took it up to Goodyear, and they broke the old pulley getting it off. Then they couldn't get the new pulley, I went and bought ,on the new shaft. So I took everything back to Autozone where they tried to press it on whith no luck. The pulley was a Dorman, and the pump was Duralast remanufacture.

Autozone is giving me a new pump today from another store...I guess the shaft was imperfect, or tapered wrong? Mabe the pulley machining was bad?

Any ideas...?

06-05-2011, 08:35 AM
spugeddy -

It sounds like you had some of the same problems I did.

I was able to get the pulley off of the pump - but I used an impact wrench to spin the removal tool. If you look at the pulley tool kit, you'll see that the "get it off" tools are heavier-duty than the "put it on" tools. This is in part due to the fact that the pump shaft internal threads are the only way to press on the pulley: You're fundamentally limited to the amount of force that can be exerted on those threads. Yes, this is where the tool broke on me (actually, I broke two of them - but that's too much detail for today).

I believe my pump was a Duralast and the pulley was a Dorman (typical brands carried by Autozone in my area).

You might have been able to get the pulley off without breaking it by getting some help from the "blue wrench": A propane torch can be used to heat the pulley (stay away from the shaft itself), causing it to expand - and giving the removal tool an extra edge.

I suspect you're going to end up with the same solution I did:

- Start with the stock pulley and shaft. Begin the installation process - and carefully judge the torque you're putting on the tool. Don't use an impact wrench to install the pulley - do this by hand! You'll get to the point where you simply can't keep the shaft from turning without damaging it. Beware of using tools on the pulley (to keep it from turning) that might damage it. Back off before reaching this point - things will start breaking!
- Remove the partially-installed pulley with the tool kit.
- I got a wooden dowel and wrapped it with emery paper (or other fine, durable sandpaper that works well on metal), and used a hand drill to spin it inside the pulley hole, carefully and evenly removing some of the pulley material (i.e., I'm making the hole just a *tiny* bit larger). Go slowly! IIRC, I used a micrometer to judge my progress - but the real test is the installation tool. I tried installing the pulley several times during this process - and could begin to see how it changed. I got closer and closer to fully installing the pulley each time. BUT I didn't get so carried away that I couldn't then remove the pulley with the tool kit to continue working on the hole with emery paper. Yes, it takes awhile to get a "feel" for what's happening - but I figured it out; you can do it, too.
- Yes, this process took awhile. Put a light coat of oil on the shaft and the internals of the pulley hole to help it along.
- Finally, I got to the point where I knew that the the next time I removed some more pulley material, I would be able to get the pulley all the way on. Yes, it worked for me; the pump is still in my van.

I hope this works out for you. Yes, I was very frustrated with this project - and I'd like to know how repair shops handle this problem.

INSERT TYPICAL DISCLAIMER HERE: This worked for me - don't blame me if it doesn't work for you. Use common sense and don't get hurt or create an unsafe situation in your vehicle.

06-07-2011, 08:21 PM
decided to go salvage...

We only will have the van 1 to 2 years tops, so I decided to buy a salvage pump with the original pulley still attached.

$35 shipped, and if it goes out I could afford to replace it two more times on what the reman pump and pulley would have cost me.

once it comes in I will ateempt to put everything back on... I took a few photos, so maybe I can post them here when I am done.

06-08-2011, 05:31 AM
Sorry to hear that this project has been such a hassle for you. Yes, at $35, you can afford to take a chance on a pump. As you've seen, the actual removal and installation process is very reasonable.

06-08-2011, 08:37 AM
Phil-l, my experience has been much like yours ... found the pulley with much too much "fit" to the shaft. Also removed a bit of metal from ID of pulley before replacing. Makes no sense that these parts are assembled so tightly.

This whole business of having to replace the pulley on replacement pumps is a hold-over from earlier days. Prior year models (perhaps up to '98) the pulley had to come off before the pump could be removed ... but model year '99, this was no longer the case ... the pump could be removed and reinstalled with pulley in-place. Even so, we still have to remove/install the pulley.

Avoid using a hammer to help the pulley onto the new pump shaft ... the pump internals do not need this destructive force AT ALL!

06-08-2011, 09:13 AM
12Ounce -

I believe another issue behind power steering pump pulleys is OEM sharing across different models: The manufacturer can often use the same pump in widely different vehicles - if the pulley size is different (to account for variations in steering system design, boost level, typical engine RPM, etc.). The net effect is they don't want to supply a vehicle-specific pulley on the pump...

06-08-2011, 03:42 PM
Yeah, you are probably correct.

I remember using a small non-tapered flat file, I cut three V-shaped grooves along the axis of the pulley ... in the bore .... approx 120 degs apart. Then the ID was cleaned up with abrasive paper. Something I saw a machinist do once.

I visited that Columbia, MD on a vacation trip once ... neat town!

06-08-2011, 08:09 PM
I have the nylon insert that came off the old pressure hose fitting, i can't remember if it was inside the pump or inside the hose.... I guess I will figure it out when the replacement pump comes..

How much ATF fluid do you think I will need to refill resevoir/pump... I bought two quarts to be safe....

06-09-2011, 08:49 AM
I don't recall the details of the nylon insert - but I figured out where it went when I put things back together - and have had no leaks.

My replacement pump came with several gasket-like pieces of hardware for the high-pressure side. Apparently, different vehicle applications have the potential for slightly different high-pressure connection details.

I believe the system holds about two quarts of fluid - but I'd have a spare quart or two handy, just in case.

06-09-2011, 09:10 PM
alright, the salvage pump is on and appears to be good. It had some bad looking oil in it that I tried to drain, but judging from the resevoir, I have some more work to do.. I will turkey baster method drain resevoir a few times, because frankly I am not going back into the engine compartment unless I find a leak. So far so good. I am going to test drive it this weekend to be sure. not real hard to put on and back together....

Wish me luck... I need it bad.

06-10-2011, 12:11 PM
spugeddy -

Good luck! It sounds like you've done the right things.

I'd get into the habit of doing the turkey baster thing periodically; Windstar power steering systems seem to be happiest with fresh fluid.

06-11-2011, 08:31 PM
Thanks all... it is working great and I am only out about $40 total for everything....

05-31-2012, 09:54 AM
Hey folks, I'm getting ready to address a pile of issues on my 2002 Windstar. I too, believe my PS pump is dying, it whines and grinds really hard when I turn, especially at slower speeds. The tranny shop that's looking at my transmission issues also said they think it's going out.

In reading this thread about the struggles you guys had with the pulley, I'm wondering if I'm up for an easier solution by buying this:


It has the pulley installed already. I see they also list on their site, a version without the pulley, which is out of stock and has a note that they were to sell that until it was gone. I'm wondering if they just are selling them with pulleys installed these days to help avoid those issues.

I'm NOT a mechanic, but I've learned more from this windstar than I ever wanted to know. And I've got a lot more to learn still :)


05-31-2012, 11:08 AM
Yes, I would get the pump with the pulley. The vast majority of my time on this project was spent dealing with the pulley. With that pump/pulley combo, this isn't a very difficult job.

I will note that Windstars are happiest with clean, fresh power steering fluid. I replace my periodically; it's always quieter and smoother after the change. Check your owner's manual to verify the correct fluid.

05-31-2012, 07:00 PM
1000% pump with pulley already on it....

The only problem with AutoZoo is the made in china crap. the dorman products are a crapshoot... and i don't know about you, but I can't have any days of downtime with the van... got to be on the road.

the only thing i have read is that is you get the wrong pulley combination with your car... it wont work for very long (seconds) before the belt comes apart, or gets out of line, or the pump itself may burn up as a result..

i am not an expert... but I dealt with this issue and know a little...

good luck

05-31-2012, 08:42 PM
This is the one I am looking at. The specs are right (year, engine, etc...)


05-31-2012, 10:09 PM
I installed that same pump (duralast with pulley) just a few months ago. Works great. In fact, they didn't even have the one without the pulley available at my store.

The only other thing to check is that the screen at the bottom of the reservoir isn't clogged. Mine was pretty gummed up with carbon. If it is like mine, take it off (a few annoying-to-reach bolts but not a big deal) and spray some carb cleaner inside to break up that gunk and then rinse it out. That gunk clogging the flow could have been what wore out the pump in the first place.

Add your comment to this topic!