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97 Grand Caravan Power Steering pump replacement

01-05-2009, 05:06 PM
I just changed out my power steering pump on a 1997 Grand Caravan 3.3 engine with rear air. It was leaking pretty good from the shaft seal...I think some of the PS fluid was finding it's way onto the serpentine belt and causing a lot of squealing. I attempted to follow the instructions in both my Haynes manual, and Chilton's too, which said I should unbolt the catalytic converter & move the exhaust out of the way and slide the old PS pump out through the exhaust channel. Well I tried and no way in God's green earth could I get that pump through the channel. The converter and exhaust pipes were not in the way at all, but the pump would not fit through the channel past the exhaust manifold etc. I had the front of the van up on jack stands
maybe that allows the engine to flex down more?

I ended up detaching the pump from the PS bracket and then detaching the entire bracket from the engine and working the pump through the wheel well past the crankshaft took a little manuvering but it did fit past with no damage to the pulley etc. Bet I wasted 2 hours fussing with the exhaust for nothing

Am I missing something...somebody told me that I might have needed to jack up the engine a little to move the exhaust manifold up higher and create more room? If that's the case I sure wish Haynes & Chilton's would say so.

Has anybody else had this problem? How did you handle it? I did find an internet posting suggesting that pulling the crankshaft pulley is the fastest way to get the old pump out.

Anyway I hope I'm done with any more replacement PS pumps for another 10 years..maybe this can help someone with a similar situation.


ed austin
01-12-2009, 09:23 AM
I just replaced the power steering pump on my '01 Chrysler Town & Country this past weekend. Getting the pump out was no problem (that's because the pulley disintegrated while my wife was driving it!!!...thus, it was a much smaller piece to get out). However, getting the new one back in was a bit of a trick. I put it in through a hole on the top of the driver's side of the block. We had to work it around a few hoses/wires but I had a neighbor helping, so we were able to do it with 4 hands.

My Haynes Manual said to move the exhaust too. I did not touch the exhaust and was still able to get it in OK.

I too hope that I'm done with the P/S pump for the next 10 years because getting it back onto the mounting bolts was a bear..

01-13-2009, 04:59 PM
I'm going to have to take another look at mine. It seems that I have a small leak somewhere. I'm not sure where the leak is coming from yet, I haven't had a chance to look at it but I installed a rebuilt pump from AutoZone and had to remove a mounting stud from the old pump and move it to the new pump. I had to pry out a hard plastic cap that had been pressed into the threads (where the mounting stud goes. After I got it all done I noticed that there was an instruction sheet and 2 O-rings (one for each stud) that are intended to go on the stud and seal it to the case? I only had to remove/install one stud the other stud on the rebuilt was already in the right place. I wonder if that's my problem? Guess I'll find out. I'm pretty sure all the hoses were properly installed and tightened...but you never know...I'll let you know what I find.


ed austin
01-13-2009, 05:56 PM
I bought my pump at Autozone as well, but it was new (not re-built). Mine came with two o-rings--one smaller than the other. The big one goes on the supply feed from the power steering reservoir. The small one goes on the the pressure feed out of the pump to the steering rack down below. If you didn't replace those o-rings as part of the job, then that is a good place to start to fix the leak (the old ones would have been deformed and probably didn't seal as well as they should have when re-installed).

Hope you find your leak.


01-14-2009, 03:29 PM
My supply line from the remote tank, is a smooth hose that fits over a nipple and has a screw down band clamp attaching it to the pump. No O-ring there.
I did change the o-ring on flare fitting on the high pressure line.

My pump came with 3 o-rings one for the flare fitting and the illustration showed them going on to the studs...The instruction sheet was for 2 different applications..of the rebuilt pump. I guess you can get the pump without the metal case (which they refer to a reservoir... not the remote one mounted to the wheel well but the actual metal case/housing is also called a reservoir. So anyway per the instruction sheet I had to move one of the studs from the old pump and move it to the new one... There were red hard plastic caps that were pressed down into the threads where the studs would go...I removed one of I could screw the stud in. I did not remove the 2nd one since my old pump/application didn't have a stud there, so I left it alone. Now I wonder if I should have put a o-ring on the side I installed the stud on and maybe I should have removed the other cap and put in a bolt with an o-ring in place of the other plastic cap. Guess I'll find out this weekend when I get underneath the van.


02-11-2009, 10:02 AM
I couldn't agree more with Spit. I just spent / wasted many hrs trying to get my Pwr Steering pump out the Exhaust tunnel. I too decided to go after the PS bracket. Had to remove the Tension Pulley, and alternator to get the bracket out of the way. Dropped the pump down to the Passenger wheel well and things were just too tight. I jacked up the passenger side, just behind the front wheel and a couple more 'Puzzle moves', found that if you take the back of the pump out first then the pulley ... PRESTO ! The worst (hopefully) of the swap is over. Hope this helps the next guy out. Sure glad I did a Google search on 'Grand Caravan Power Steering pump removal'. God Bless.


02-12-2009, 04:08 PM

That's why we take the time to post our experiences..I think of it as karma or "paying it forward"... you never know when you're going to need some help/info, and a post from anybody with an experience having done what you need to do is golden. Glad this helped you...

You know I did see a post or 2 where someone suggested pulling the main crankshaft pulley in order to get the room to get the PS pump out. You would need a big 3 jaw puller and I've never done it..but it supposedly won some type of an award for being a time saver...


02-15-2009, 08:01 AM
Thank you everyone for this great info. Hopefully I won't need to do this on my 98 but these posting will make it alot easier.

07-29-2010, 06:44 AM
Just an additional FYI for this job.... Autozone "rents" a Chrysler harmonic balancer puller. It is specific for Dodge/Chrysler and works with these motors. Makes it much easier to get the crank pulley/balancer out of the way.

Buy the way - I'm wondering if you guys pulled the pump and bracket together, or somehow removed the 3 bolts behind the pump pulley and removed just the pump??

Steve H.

07-29-2010, 03:24 PM
As I recall I pulled them seperately...but I did have to pull the bracket..seems like I had to pull the pulley off of the pump to get it out. I didn't mess with the balancer..


07-30-2010, 08:00 AM
I had a 98 Grand Caravan 3.3. When the pump went bad the guys at the dealership said to pull the axel and then it gives you plenty of room to work. It took me a few hours but it wasn't to bad a job.

08-01-2010, 04:14 PM
I did finish this the other day.

To remove: First I removed the crankshaft pulley. Then I unbolted the P.S. pump/alt bracket from the block. Removed the hoses from the pump. Pivoted the bracket/pump so that I could get access to the pump bolts (behind the pulley). Then removed the 3 pump bolts, and was then able to remove the pump (with the pulley) through the area where the crank pulley is.

On this job, the pump shaft was sheared inside of the pump.

Stevve H.

08-03-2010, 10:41 AM
those can be a real pain in the arse and yeah theres no way in hell its gonna come out the exaust tunnel ive always had to remove the alternator and bracket and still had to wrestle for awhile to get the pump up out of the hole its just a tough job no matter how you go at it

09-20-2010, 01:19 PM
I just did this procedure on a 1996 GV SE with a 3.3L. It was a job! One thing that puzzles me though, is that there was a plastic bag included in the box that was sealed and contained a stud nut and washer, but there was no o-ring in it. There was a loose o-ring in the box. I did not think it could be used anywhere so I did not use it. The high pressure side was a compression fitting and it does not make sense that there would be an o-ring for that. An inspection after a significant test drive showed no leaks. So I don't get it. Oh, by the way, I took the pulley off after getting the pump loose and then had to take the bracket out and the pump itself came out past the engine drive pulley. It's really funny how I started out trying to not get to dirty with oil, and then after about 2 hours into it I had grease up to both of my shoulders and power steering fluid all over my face and in my hair. A wonderful experience. I would come out from under there and grab a towel and start wiping grease off and I see some neighbor looking at me with a ghastly look.

09-26-2010, 07:24 PM
I just did mine today and here's what worked for me:

I jacked up the passenger side and removed the tire.
I disconnected the high and low pressure lines. (At this point I could not access the reservoir hose so I disconnected it from the reservoir end in order to have the slack to pull the pump down.)
I unbolted the pump and rotated it so I can access the reservoir hose clamp and disconnected it. Then I pushed the pump back out of the way so I could remove the bracket.
I removed the tensioner and unbolted the alternator but did not remove it.
I unbolted and removed the bracket. **Tip: There is one bolt just underneath the alternator pulley that needs to come out. It attaches a small support rod to the bracket**
With the bracket out of the way I was able to maneuver the pump out between the harmonic balancer and the body. I did not remove the harmonic balancer but I was prepared to do so if needed. **Tip: Get a loaner puller just in case you need to remove the harmonic balancer.** I pushed the brake line out of the way for additional clearance.

The nut, bolt and washer that rkvons found were to install the pulley since the new pump doesn't come with one. I recommend you get free loaner remover and installer kits from the auto parts store. I know Advanced Auto loans them and it makes the job a lot easier.

Also, there was a bag with three O-rings. My set-up only needed one, and that was for the high pressure line.

My new pump did not come with the stud and plug bolt so I had to take them from the old pump. **Tip: Be sure to remember which hole is for the stud and which is for the plug.**

The whole job took me about 5 hours, but I wasn't rushing myself. I'm sure it can be done quicker.

If your tensioner is older this would be a good time to get a new one. Mine was less than 1 year old so I reused it.

I appreciate all prior postings. They helped me prepare for I was getting into and I hope this will help someone in the future.

10-18-2010, 08:48 PM
I did mine in less than an hour... My pump was leaking a little, but I broke the plastic pulley when I changed the transmission by letting the engine hanging down too far...

I unbolted the 4 bolts and it came right out after removing the hoses... I DID press on the pulley and try to put it back in the same way and it would NOT fit...

Then I removed the pulley, and I put the pump as far into place as possible, but with the shaft pointing down, so I could press the pulley on, in the upwards direction and I just turned it 90 degrees and it went into place and I tightened the 3 bolts...

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