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Replace Your Chevy or GM Power Steering Pump

Updated on November 19, 2015
Remanufactured Power Steering Pump
Remanufactured Power Steering Pump

Replace the PS Pump on a V8 Small-Block Chevy

If you have determined that your power steering pump is bad, here are step-by-step instructions for replacing it. These illustrations are for a 2000 Chevy Suburban with 4-wheel drive, but the same basic procedure applies to most front-mounted pumps on a V-8 engine.

First, make sure you have the correct parts. You will need:

  • a pump
  • seals
  • filter
  • hoses (possibly)
  • a new pulley (possibly)
  • a new serpentine belt (possibly)

Compare the new parts to the old before taking everything apart. In my case, the pump did not come with a new reservoir, so it didn't look like the old installed pump at first glance. Carefully check for hose ports and mounting holes in the same positions as the old unit. If they match, you should have the correct pump.

Line up your tools. To do this job you will need:

  • metric sockets
  • a ratchet
  • Loctite #242 threadlocker
  • a large adjustable wrench
  • (possibly) a serpentine belt removal tool and hammer
  • a body/trim retainer tool
  • a small flat-blade screwdriver
  • hose-clamp pliers
  • a flare nut wrench
  • and a large bottle (over 30 ounces) of the manufacturer's recommended PS fluid.

You've got the right parts and tools, so now it's time to get dirty.

Removing the Old Pump: Step by Step

1. Disconnect the negative (ground) connection at the battery. But if you have an anti-theft system for your radio or other electronics, make sure you know the reset codes or disable the system before disconnecting the battery. The GM Theftlock system disables the radio/CD/tape console when the battery is disconnected, and will ONLY reset with the passcode. Enter the wrong passcode a few times, and it locks down so that only the dealer can reset it.

GM body/panel fasteners
GM body/panel fasteners

2. Remove the upper radiator shroud. It's attached with two 10-mm bolts and four body/trim panel fasteners. The panel fasteners work like a drywall anchor. They consist of two pieces, a flange with a hollow shaft and a solid shaft with a button on top. To remove one, lift the button with a trim tool or screwdriver which extracts the inner shaft from the hollow shaft. This reduces the diameter of the larger hollow shaft and allows the two-piece assembly to pull out of the hole. Don't try to pry the large flange without first lifting the button or you will damage the fastener.

3. Loosen the hose clamp for the air intake tube, separate the tube from the intake manifold, and carefully move the tube and resonator aside.

Removing the fan
Removing the fan

4. Remove the fan. You may need to strike the wrench with a hammer to break loose the large nut. If the serpentine belt does not hold the fan pulley from turning, try pressing on the belt while striking the wrench with a hammer. If it requires so much force that you turn the crankshaft, you will need to remove the serpentine belt (see steps 6-7) and hold the pulley with a strap wrench. Holding the fan blades won't work. You may damage the blades or the viscous clutch between the fan and the nut.

5. Remove the lower radiator shroud. On the Suburban, it just lifts out, having been held in place by the upper shroud and a flange at the bottom that slides into the radiator support (no bottom fasteners).

6. Make sure you know the routing of the serpentine belt. There should be a diagram in the engine compartment, but if not, take a picture or draw a diagram. It's easy to forget the route by the time you're ready to reinstall it.

7. Remove the serpentine belt. Using a 15mm socket, "tighten" the bolt on the belt tensioner to swing it down. Remove the belt from at least one pulley and slowly release the spring tension on the belt tensioner. Move the belt away from the PS pump.

Power steering pulley removal tool
Power steering pulley removal tool
Front flange used by the removal tool.
Front flange used by the removal tool.

New and Old Pulleys

Make sure the distance from the front flange(bottom in this picture) to the inside edge of the belt grooves match.
Make sure the distance from the front flange(bottom in this picture) to the inside edge of the belt grooves match.
Old pulley with the broken pump shaft still attached.
Old pulley with the broken pump shaft still attached.

8. Using a power steering pulley removal tool, remove the PS pulley. I didn't need to do this for this job, because the pump shaft was broken, and I could just pull the pulley, with the broken shaft attached, out of the pump. Since I don't have pictures of using the tool, I'll attempt to explain the process (you can also see it in the first video below). The special puller consists of a split-ring flanged adapter, a ring, a puller bolt, and a puller nut with a flange. Slide the smooth end of the puller bolt into the hole in the pump shaft, and run the nut down to the pulley. Then place the two-piece adapter into the pulley groove and over the puller nut flange. Slip the ring over the two-piece adapter to keep it together. Use one wrench to hold the flanged nut, and another to turn the hex head of the puller bolt. As you tighten the bolt, the pulley will slide off the shaft. If you're lucky. A ten-year-old pump will have become very attached to its mating pulley and will only very reluctantly part with it. That's why a new pulley is mentioned in the parts list above. Don't use a regular two- or three-jaw puller, as it will distort the pulley and cause it to wobble on the new pump. If you can get the pulley off without damage, you can re-use it, as long as it slides tight on the new pump shaft. For $15 or so, I opted for a new pulley.

9. Jack the vehicle, using factory-recommended procedures, and support it with jack stands. Do not work under a vehicle supported only by a jack. In the case of the Suburban, raising the vehicle was not necessary to gain access to the power steering pump.

Get to the Pump

10. Working underneath the vehicle, remove the 5 bolts (15 mm) holding the plastic stone shield.

11. Remove the hose guard: Using a wrench (15mm), remove the single bolt holding the hose guard to the pump, remove the hose guard, and set it aside.

12. Place a drain pan beneath the pump to catch any fluid, and then disconnect the pressure line from the pump (see first photo below) using a flare nut wrench. If you're careful and the nut is not too tight, you can use a regular wrench, but make sure you don't damage the nut. If you are re-using the hose, cap the line to prevent dirt from entering.

13. Disconnect the EVO valve electrical connector. You may need to use a small screwdriver to lift the locking tab in order to separate the connector. You may find it easier to access this from above.

14. Using hose-clamp pliers, disconnect the return line from the pump. If you're not easily frustrated, you can use regular pliers, but hose-clamp pliers make this a lot easier.

Pressure line from EVO valve to gearbox. Empty bolt hole is for hose guard bracket bolt.
Pressure line from EVO valve to gearbox. Empty bolt hole is for hose guard bracket bolt.
Red and blue EVO valve electrical connector.
Red and blue EVO valve electrical connector.

Get the Alternator/PS Bracket Out of the Way

15. Working from above, remove the three bolts (15 mm) attaching the front of the pump to the alternator/PS bracket (marked with blue circles, see first photo below).

16. Remove the two bolts (10 mm) attaching the electrical splice box to the alternator/PS bracket (see second photo below).

17. Remove the four bolts (15 mm) attaching the alternator/PS bracket to the engine (marked with red circles in first photo below). Move the bracket out of the way, being careful not to stress the alternator wiring harness.

18. Remove the single 15 mm bolt attaching the PS pump bracket to the engine behind the pump. This bolt is located just above the EVO valve electrical connector.

19. Work the pump out over the wiring harness and down, to remove it from the engine compartment from below. Removing the splice block bracket screws should give you enough slack to move the wires out of the way.

Alternator / PS Pump bracket
Alternator / PS Pump bracket
Splice Box
Splice Box
Set the bracket out of the way. Don't stress the alternator cables.
Set the bracket out of the way. Don't stress the alternator cables.

Disassembling the Old Pump And Cleaning Parts for Re-Use

Take Apart the Old Pump

Take the pump to your workbench for disassembly. It will probably be a little messy because there will be some fluid in the reservoir and fittings. Have some rags or paper towels handy.

First remove the two bracket nuts and the bracket, then remove the two bracket studs. They are different on this pump. One has a slightly taller shoulder. Loosely assemble the studs, bracket and nuts to keep them in the correct holes (the bracket can only mount one way), or make a note of which bolt goes where.

Pump with rear mounting bracket attached
Pump with rear mounting bracket attached
Bracket studs. Notice one has a higher shoulder to compensate for the recess in the reservoir cover that allows the bracket to mount level. Don't switch the two bolts.
Bracket studs. Notice one has a higher shoulder to compensate for the recess in the reservoir cover that allows the bracket to mount level. Don't switch the two bolts.

Remove the EVO Valve

Carefully remove the pressure line fitting or EVO valve, if you have variable-assist steering. Behind the fitting/EVO valve is the pump's pressure valve, and behind that is a spring (see photos below). Don't let the pressure valve and spring fly out.

If you will be using an EVO valve, you must remove the existing pressure fitting from the new pump.
If you will be using an EVO valve, you must remove the existing pressure fitting from the new pump.
New pump without the pressure fitting.
New pump without the pressure fitting.
The pressure relief valve piston sits beneath the pressure fitting and is spring loaded. Don't let it pop out on the floor.
The pressure relief valve piston sits beneath the pressure fitting and is spring loaded. Don't let it pop out on the floor.
This is the top of the EVO valve showing the spring clip (electrical connector to the left). If the fluid was burnt or dirty, remove the clip and clean the valve inside, otherwise don't disassemble this valve.
This is the top of the EVO valve showing the spring clip (electrical connector to the left). If the fluid was burnt or dirty, remove the clip and clean the valve inside, otherwise don't disassemble this valve.
EVO valve, pressure relief piston, and spring, as they are inserted into the pump.
EVO valve, pressure relief piston, and spring, as they are inserted into the pump.

Remove and (if Necessary) Clean the Reservoir

Pull the pump body from the reservoir. Do not pry around the fitting or mounting bolt holes. Because the reservoir is made of thin metal, you will bend it, making it impossible to get a good seal to the new pump. You also cannot pry around the pump body because you will distort the sealing surfaces for the large o-ring around the new pump. The best way to get the pump and reservoir separated is to hold the pump shaft in a wood vice and pull on the reservoir. You can also hold the reservoir in the vice and use a thin brass punch in the bottom of the bolt holes to gently loosen the pump from the reservoir. You can also buy a pump/reservoir assembly or a separate reservoir if you need one.

Wipe the interior of the reservoir clean and examine it, inside and out, for rust. Scale rust on the outside is okay; just wire-brush it off and re-paint with a rust-preventative. Make sure you tape it off so you don't get paint overspray inside the fluid tank. If you have rust on the sealing surfaces around the bolt holes, fitting hole, or pump body seal, or on the inside surfaces of the reservoir, you need a new reservoir. If you have deep rust that will not wire brush off or has perforated or nearly perforated the metal, you need a new reservoir. You don't want to do this again next year, do you? In all likelihood, the new or remanufactured pump will last several years, so you want to make sure the reservoir will last as long.

Reservoir separated from the pump body.
Reservoir separated from the pump body.
The old reservoir, cleaned inside and out, with a fresh paint job.
The old reservoir, cleaned inside and out, with a fresh paint job.

Assemble the New Pump

Your new or remanufactured pump should have come with a set of gaskets. Mine came with two sets of pump-to-reservoir seals, plus pressure-fitting seals, and it had the large body o-ring factory installed (see pictures below).

The pump came with clear and detailed instructions.
The pump came with clear and detailed instructions.
Two sets of pump-to-reservoir seals for different applications. Use the ones that are slightly taller than the recess so they will press tight against the reservoir body when assembled.
Two sets of pump-to-reservoir seals for different applications. Use the ones that are slightly taller than the recess so they will press tight against the reservoir body when assembled.
The large pump body-to-reservoir cavity o-ring was factory installed.
The large pump body-to-reservoir cavity o-ring was factory installed.
You must use new o-rings for the pressure fitting / EVO valve.
You must use new o-rings for the pressure fitting / EVO valve.

If you had an EVO valve on your old pump, you'll need to install it on the new pump. My remanufactured pump came with a new pressure valve and a straight fitting. I had to remove the straight fitting and replace it with the EVO from my old pump.

EVO and pressure relief valve from old pump (top) and new pressure relief valve and straight fitting from new pump.
EVO and pressure relief valve from old pump (top) and new pressure relief valve and straight fitting from new pump.

Installing and Testing the New Power Steering Pump

Install the Pump

Place the pump in its approximate position. Make sure the wiring harness is below and behind the pump body.

Pump mounting bolts. Three alternator/PS bracket-to-pump bolts and one rear-bracket-to-engine-block bolt.
Pump mounting bolts. Three alternator/PS bracket-to-pump bolts and one rear-bracket-to-engine-block bolt.

Apply Loctite Threadlocker Blue #242 to the threads of all mounting bolts before assembly.

Position the alternator/PS bracket and run the four bolts into the engine block, finger snug.

Position the pump and run the three bolts through the bracket and into the pump body, finger snug. Note there are three identical bolts and one slightly shorter with a rounded tip. The shorter bolt is for the rear bracket.

Place the hose bracket around the PS hoses, slide the bracket into position on the pump body, and run the bolt through the bracket and into the pump body, finger snug. Make sure the bracket confines the hoses away from the steering shaft.

Run the rear pump mounting bolt through the bracket in into the engine block, finger snug.

Attach the pressure hose to the EVO valve fitting and tighten to specifications.

Tighten to specification the four alternator/PS bracket bolts, the three front pump mount bolts, the rear pump mount bolt, and the hose bracket bolt.

Re-attach the electrical splice box bracket to the alternator/PS bracket and tighten to specs.

This filter came with two SS screw clamps, but they were about 1mm too small. One end of the filter should be marked IN (or OUT), or the filter may have an arrow indicating flow direction.
This filter came with two SS screw clamps, but they were about 1mm too small. One end of the filter should be marked IN (or OUT), or the filter may have an arrow indicating flow direction.
The filter installed.
The filter installed.

Install a New Filter

A new filter is needed to preserve your warranty.

If you are installing a NEW in-line filter in a system that did not have one, find a convenient place for it along the route of the RETURN hose. Cut the hose where the filter will be installed. Depending upon the position and routing of the return hose, you may need to make two cuts to shorten the hose by about one inch less than the length of the filter. In other words, if the filter is four inches long, you may need to remove three inches from the hose.

Insert the filter in the line, paying attention to the fluid flow. The filter should be marked with an arrow, or with "IN" and "OUT," or maybe just 'IN'. The "OUT" end should be closest to the pump, since you are installing the filter in the RETURN line. Do not attempt to install the filter on a pressure line!

Attach the filter with hose clamps. The filter I bought came with stainless steel screw clamps, but they were about 1 mm too small. If I opened up the clamps as far as possible without disengaging the screw, they were too small to slip over the barb on the filter. It took longer to get these clamps on than to install the pump! Just a head's up in case you buy the same brand: you may want to spend an additional dollar and get a couple of larger clamps.

Attach the return line to the pump fitting and secure with a hose clamp.

Pulley installation tool. A 2-inch x 3/16 x 16 (NC) bolt and five washers.
Pulley installation tool. A 2-inch x 3/16 x 16 (NC) bolt and five washers.

Install the Pump Pulley

Install the pump pulley with a pulley installation tool. If you bought a puller, they usually come with an installation tool, but a bolt and washers with work just as well. The pulley I purchased came lubed with white grease, but if you are re-installing your old pulley or a new, unlubed pulley, make sure the bore hole is clean and lubed before attempting to press it on.

Final Reassembly and You're Nearly Finished

Carefully replace the lower radiator shroud into the radiator mounting crossmember. Make sure it is securely seated.

Replace the fan / fan clutch assembly and tighten to specifications.

Reinstall the serpentine belt. First inspect it for wear. Small cracks across the ribs are okay, but long sections of missing ribs, two or more adjacent missing rib sections over 1/2 inch long, or cracks (lengthwise down the belt) are not; these kinds of wear will allow the belt to jump off the pulleys. After installing the belt, check the wear indicator on the belt tensioner. There are two or three marks on the base and one indicator line on the movable arm. With the belt in place, the indicator should rest between the outer marks on the base. Replace if necessary.

Replace the upper radiator shroud and attach with four panel fasteners and two bolts.

Reseat the upper radiator hose into its hold-down clamps and clip shut.

Replace the air intake tube and tighten the clamp at the intake manifold.

Reattach the battery ground cable.

Five washers weren't enough. I added one, then two, then three open end wrenches as the pulley was pressed onto the pump shaft.
Five washers weren't enough. I added one, then two, then three open end wrenches as the pulley was pressed onto the pump shaft.

Installation is as simple as starting the bolt with a number of washers and tightening. Make sure the pulley is squarely aligned to the shaft. You can't press it on without damage if it starts crooked. Hold the pulley with one hand, to keep it from turning, while tightening it with the other. As you press the pulley into place, you will need to back off the bolt and add more washers every 1/2 inch or so. I used one, then two, then three open-end wrenches to gain the extra depth, instead of removing the bolt and adding washers.

At some point, the pulley may begin to offer so much resistance that you can't hold the pulley with one hand. At this point stop and install the serpentine belt, which will hold the pulley from turning, then continue pressing the pulley until the face of the bore hole is even with the end of the pump shaft. This should align the pump pulley with the belt track. Check this as you are pressing the pulley. You don't want to go too far in.

Add Fluid, Bleed, and Check for Leaks

Fill the reservoir with new clean fluid, of a type approved by the vehicle manufacturer, and replace the fill cap. With the engine disabled, crank the starter for a couple of seconds. Check the fluid level and add more if necessary. Repeat this at least three times or until you no longer need to add fluid.

If you have not already jacked up the front of the vehicle and supported it with stands, do so now. Don't forget to block the wheels.

Re-enable the engine and start it. Let it run for a few seconds, turn it off, and check the fluid level again. Add fluid if necessary and repeat until you no longer need to add any.

Start the engine and move the wheels full left and full right three times, but don't hold the steering wheel at either full-lock position. The squealing you hear when the steering wheel is turned full left or right is the pressure valve venting, and this puts strain on the pump. Stop the engine and check the fluid. Add as necessary. Repeat until you no longer need to add fluid. Don't overfill. You should be using the "cold" mark on the dipstick.

Start and let the engine run for a few minutes while checking for leaks. If any fitting or hose is leaking, turn off the engine and tighten the fitting or clamp. If the pump or reservoir is leaking, you will need to pull the pump and find the source of the leak. I wouldn't want to be you.

Assuming you have no leaks—and you shouldn't if you carefully assembled the pump and hoses—you are nearly finished, and congratulations are in order. Remove the jack stands, lower the vehicle to the ground, remove the wheel chocks, and carefully test-drive your once-again easy-to-steer vehicle.

Comments or Questions?

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    • rivermikerat profile image

      rivermikerat 4 years ago from From California, currently living in São Paulo, Brazil

      Hey Dan, couple of questions here. First off, well done on such a finely detailed description of the process.

      You make mention of a 10mm wrench and socket a few times. What about a 3/8"? Won't that work also?

      You also make a few mentions of a 15mm wrench/socket. Won't a 5/8" work just as well?

      Some people want to do these types of repairs for themselves so they can save as much money as possible, can't they save $20 by using the SAE tools?

      Also, you make mention of disconnecting the battery and the problems that doing so can cause. What can the reader so if they don't have the reset codes for the affected systems? Can't they keep the battery connected since you're not removing the alternator?

      Also, shouldn't they mark the direction of rotation of the belt if they'll be reusing the old belt so that no belt damage from cross rotation occurs?

      Again, great attention to detail and even better illustrative photos!

    • profile image

      Jr 4 years ago

      Um 10 mm is 10 mm 3/8" will not work

      15 mm is 15 mm 16mm is close to 5/8" but for the $8 cost of a cheap wrench set you will avoid many other trovles

    • dmvjane profile image

      Jane Katigbak 4 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks to this hub! Very elaborate and I could sure make use of the information available in the future.

    • danthehandyman profile image
      Author

      danthehandyman 3 years ago from Maryland

      Great comments. Regarding SAE vs. Metric tools, the size difference is slight, and works in many cases, but if the nut/bolt is tight you can ruin the fastener or tool. Disconnecting the battery is essential for safety. A tool grounding the alternator or battery connections will be a much greater problem than resetting codes. I should have mentioned marking the belt direction. Thanks for pointing that out. Thanks for the comments.

    • danthehandyman profile image
      Author

      danthehandyman 3 years ago from Maryland

      Right on.

    • danthehandyman profile image
      Author

      danthehandyman 3 years ago from Maryland

      Thanks for the comment.

    • profile image

      Chad 3 years ago

      Dan, great guide.

      I replaced my power steering pump with a new one. I took the entire EVO sensor off the old one and screwed it on the new one. However I am still getting zero assist from it. After starting the vehicle, I had to add more fluid to the pump, so I believe it is pumping the fluid through the lines.

      However, the steering wheel is still very hard to turn. I've jacked the front end up and turned from side to side many times, but still get nothing.

      Any thoughts? Replace the EVO? Problem with the steering box?

    • profile image

      art 3 years ago

      where auto parts o dealer you buy the high pressure piston

    • danthehandyman profile image
      Author

      danthehandyman 3 years ago from Maryland

      Dealer only, I believe.

    • danthehandyman profile image
      Author

      danthehandyman 3 years ago from Maryland

      You could have a stuck valve. The EVO can be removed for testing the system, if you want to narrow the possibilities. The replacement pump usually comes with a fitting in place of the EVO that can be used for this purpose.

    • profile image

      riosproudpapa 3 years ago

      I have a 1988 Gulf Stream Sun Stream with a 454. I noticed while driving it that when I hit high speeds it would start squealing. After driving it a while, it would start squealing at lower rates of speed. Also, when I was driving very slow, it would squeal when I turned the steering wheel. I was stymied until I looked under the motorhome and saw that one of the belts for the powersteering pump was very loose. As tight as everything is under a motorhome. Are there any detailed instructions on how to tighten the powerstearing belt? I can't see a tensioner bolt to loosen so I can pull the power steering pump out to tighten the belt. I can't see from up top a square hole to to put my breaker bar to pull the pump out. Any help? Thanx.

    • profile image

      Bill 3 years ago

      Mine acts like it is vapor locked, how did you get the air out of.

    • profile image

      dale g 3 years ago

      Thank you for your really good good job

    • profile image

      Mike Aguilar 3 years ago

      This should actually be titled Rebuilding, not Replacing.

    • profile image

      Chevy03Silverado 23 months ago

      I realize this post is over a year old but if someone recalls what size the flair nut wrench is for removing the pressure line from the pump I'd appreciate it. I have an 03 Silverado w/5.3L engine. Your instructions were very detail with the bolt sizes. Thanks in advance.

    • profile image

      Chevy03Silverado 23 months ago

      For future viewers, I found 5/8 worked (a tad tight) on the pressure line. I didn't have a 16mm but that probably would have been ideal. Good luck.

    • profile image

      hans 23 months ago

      Question, i got the old pump off and replacing it with a new pump. However i have to switch the evo and im having issues removing it. Can someone break it down barney style for me?

    • profile image

      Robert 19 months ago

      I have a question as i'm looking for information about the EVO and pressure relief valve from old pump. once you get the new pump and remove that inlet fitting, does it matter how these parts are put in, as in reference to the small hole location on the part that rides on the spring inside the pump. Does it matter how it goes in the hole or does it not matter? I'm waiting for information before I put the pump in, so I don't have to do it more than once. Hope to get an answer quickly. This is on a 1997 full sized Chevy pickup with the 350 CI motor.

    • profile image

      TH 12 months ago

      Nice job - used this today.

    • profile image

      Mike-Florida 10 months ago

      Bought a new power steering pump for my 1997 GMC Savanna. Pump is leaking around reservoir

    • profile image

      Edward Jimenez 2 months ago

      i need this imformation printed

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