Replace the pulleys on your vehicle's accessories for better performance. Factory pulleys and old drive belts weigh on the performance of the amenities they drive. By replacing old pulleys and drive belts with new, light-weight pulleys and belts, you could boost the performance of your engine by as much as 25 horsepower. Start with the most power sucking pulley on the engine, the power steering pump. All you need is a couple of tools to remove the pulley from a power steering pump. Replace it with a light-weight performance pulley that gives back more than it takes when it's working together with all of the other performance engine components.
Things You'll Need
- Pulley (lightweight)
- Vice grips
- Crescent wrench
- Ratchet drive (1/4-inch, 3/8-inch)
- Sockets (standard, metric)
Raise the hood of a vehicle that was parked on a level surface in a well lit area. Remove the red, positive cable from the battery and store the loose end of the battery cable away from the battery posts while you work.
Locate the power steering pump and the mounting bracket that secures it in position. Use a socket and ratchet to loosen the adjuster bolt of the power steering pump and pulley. When this adjustment bolt is loosened, the pump will pivot on an axis, making it possible to loosen its drive belt.
Pull the drive belt off of the power steering pump pulley. With the drive belt removed from the pulley, the pump easily pivots in place. Adjust the position of the pump for easy access and tighten the adjustment nut to hold the pump in place while you exchange the pulleys.
With a rag to protect the pulley, grasp the pulley with a pair of vice grips. You will use the vice grips to counter the turning motion you will make on the pulley's securing nut. Because the pulley rotates freely, it is impossible to loosen this nut unless you have a grip on the pulley while you turn the securing nut counter-clockwise. Stop the pulley from spinning while you remove the nut, and the nut will become loose and the pulley can be freed from the power steering pump shaft.
Replace the old power steering pulley with the new performance pulley. Grasp the new pulley with a rag and vice grips to hold the pulley in place while you tighten the securing nut on the pump shaft until tight. Loosen the adjustment nut and wrap the pulley with the drive belt. Pull the pump away from the drive belt to stretch the belt tight and tighten the adjustment on the pump mount to hold it in place.
Replace the positive cable to the battery with a crescent wrench. Start the vehicle and check the fluid level of the power steering pump. Fill the pump with power steering fluid until full and then close the fluid reservoir with the cap. Inspect the new power steering pulley in action. Confirm that it is running true, then close the hood. You can now drive away knowing that you improved the performance of your engine by eliminating extra weight that inhibits performance and reliability.
Tips & Warnings
- A pulley removal tool can be rented if the power steering pump you have requires a removal tool to pull it free. Replace the drive belt for each new pulley you install. A screwdriver thrust through the center of a pulley can be used to stop a pulley from turning instead of vice grips when the equipment allows.
- Old, worn belts can make a pulley run out of balance, eventually making a new pulley run bad. Do not put brake fluid in a power steering pump by mistake. Check all fluids before pouring into an engine or its components to prevent damage from mistakes.
- Photo Credit Nitrofitz Parts
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