How to Install a Power-steering Pump on a 1997 Dodge Caravan

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You can purchase a rebuilt power-steering pump for your 1997 Dodge Caravan at most auto parts stores. The manufacturing company inspects and replaces bearings, bushings, valves and any other components that are damaged on the pump. The store will charge a core fee, which will be refunded to you when you bring in the old power-steering pump. The pump would come without the reservoir for this particular model and weighs 8.05 lbs.

Things You'll Need

  • Set of wrenches
  • Set of sockets
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Drain pan
  • Turkey baster or other siphoning device
  • Screwdriver
  • Set of line wrenches
  • Power-steering pulley remover tool
  • Torque wrench (inch-lbs.)
  • Torque wrench (foot-lbs.)
  • Disconnect the negative battery cable with a wrench. Set it aside, ensuring that it does not touch metal. Check the radiator support or the underside of the hood for a belt-routing diagram. If none is present, sketch the belt routing on a scrap piece of paper so that you can reinstall the accessory drive belt with no trouble.

  • Fit a socket on the bolt in the center of the tensioner pulley. If there is a hole on your engine instead of a bolt, stick the head of the ratchet in the hole. Rotate the pulley toward the center of the engine to loosen tension on the belt. Lift the belt off of the pulleys. Open the power-steering pump reservoir, and using the turkey baster or other siphoning device, remove the power-steering fluid from the reservoir. Discard the fluid in an appropriate manner.

  • Raise the vehicle with the floor jack and support it with jack stands. Unplug the wiring harness connector on the oxygen sensor; it is accessible through the oxygen sensor wiring harness grommet in the vehicle's floor pan.

  • Remove the catalytic converter from the exhaust manifold with the appropriate socket. Remove all the exhaust system hangers and isolators from the exhaust brackets, then move the exhaust system toward the left and rear as far as possible. Slide the drain pan under the power-steering pump.

  • Loosen the hose clamp on the power steering return line with the screwdriver. Allow the line to drain into the drain pan. Remove the accessory belt splash shield with the appropriate socket. Disconnect the reservoir supply hose from its fitting on the power-steering pump with the appropriate line wrench. Allow the fluid to drain into the drain pan. Remove the high-pressure line from the pump and allow the fluid to drain into the drain pan.

  • Remove the rear support bracket, which is mounted behind the power-steering pump, with the appropriate socket. Remove the two mounting bolts that secure the pump to the alternator and belt-tensioner bracket. Remove the pump and pulley assembly from the vehicle.

  • Remove the pulley with the pulley remover tool. Install the pulley on the new pump. If the new power-steering pump comes with an installer tool, use the installer tool.

  • Position the pump into the mounting bracket. Tighten the two pump-to-bracket bolts to 40 foot-lbs. of torque. Install the pump and bracket assembly on the engine. Tighten the two bolts to 40 foot-lbs. of torque. Install the nut on the mounting stud behind the pump and tighten it to 40 foot-lbs. of torque.

  • Install a new O-ring on the high-pressure line. Install the high-pressure line and tighten the pump fitting to 275 inch-lbs. of torque. Reattach the low-pressure hose to the pump and firmly tighten the clamp.

  • Reinstall the accessory drive belt, utilizing the belt-routing diagram. Start at the crankshaft pulley and leave the tensioner pulley until last. Rotate the tensioner toward the engine and slide the belt over the tensioner. Release the tensioner gently and allow it to put tension on the belt.

  • Reinstall the reservoir hose and tighten the clamps. Reconnect the catalytic converter to the manifold. Install the hangers and isolators on the brackets. Tighten the nuts and bolts to 250 inch-lbs. of torque. Reconnect the oxygen sensor wiring harness connector. Reinstall the accessory drive belt shield. Lower the vehicle off the jack stands with the floor jack.

  • Fill the power-steering pump reservoir with new fluid. Reconnect the negative battery cable. Start the vehicle and turn the steering wheel all the way to the left. Turn it all the way to the right. Repeat, then check the level of the power steering fluid and top off as needed. Repeat turning and refilling as needed until there are no more air bubbles in the reservoir.

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