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by Perry Smolen
Perry's car is a 1995 SOHC Neon with 94,000 miles - he reports, "I drive my Neon very hard, if it will break, I will break it."
Removal and installation is about twice as difficult as an oil change (totally and completely do-able!) Try not to drive the car without power steering it is bad for the rack and pinion (my mechanic's advice)
Congratulations to all of the Neon owners who read this, because though your power steering pump may be broken, it is not hard to replace. First things first, your belt has probably popped off your power steering pump and AC unit, and you take the car to the local mechanic, where he is delighted to tell you that your power steering pump is broken and needs to be replaced. Here are some prices you can expect:
Now the part everyone with a limited budget like myself enjoys, getting a price straight from the Chrysler dealership.
So depending on your budget, and time you have to get the part, is the option you should choose. I was able to get the pump from a local store for mechanic's cost, $90 with core exchange. Make sure if you get a rebuilt or even used one, that the pulley, the mounting bracket, and the piece where the power steering fluid supply hose attachment is on the pump is installed on the unit you are going to install on the car. The local part store I purchased the pump from installed the pulley, bracket and hose attachment for ten dollars. Be sure to replace the O-ring on the fluid supply hose fitting. Warning, there will be fluid inside the pump, don't spill it all over yourself like me. c'est la vie
Now that you have a working pump to install, or found one to buy, you are ready to remove the old power steering pump. (Make sure the engine is cold, or else you will burn yourself)
Before I continue I would first like to promote the Chilton's repair manual for the 1995-1999 Chrysler Neon models for their fine job in explaining the removal and installation of the power steering pump (as well as many other repairs), because I followed the instructions on how to do it. If you own 1995-1999 Neon buy this repair manual for like $15 it has saved me hundreds. So here are the instructions.
(My apologies, because I can't remember the size of the bolts, but trial and error, you will find the right size socket.)
At this point your back should be aching and your entire body covered in grease and power steering fluid. Great fun.
Before continuing, make sure all the bolts on the pump itself are tight, 40 ft-lbs should be sufficient.
May God bless all who attempt this procedure, Keep those Neons running — Perry Smolen
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