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98 Town and Country Power Steering Pump install

Discussion in 'Minivans · Pacifica' started by blackstratus, Jul 1, 2016.

  1. blackstratus

    blackstratus Well-Known Member

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    Well after 305,000 miles this morning I woke up to alot of power steering fluid under the van and a dry reservoir. Thought it was the air conditioner condensate but unfortunelty no. Looking underneath it appears the pump is leaking. I notice the service manual says the exhaust system needs to be taken off at the converter to remove the pump. Is this really necessary? If so I'll do it but with the high miles...anything less that I have to take apart is always a good thing. I'm trying to plan the job...any other ideas or helpful hints on this job? I appreciate any and all help as usual. Happy 4th of July all.
     
  2. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    There should be 4 nuts holding the converter to the rear manifold. Pull it rearwards off the studs and then push it out of the way over to the driver's side. The square exhaust gasket should be re-useable.
    You have a safe and happy holiday weekend as well.
     
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  3. wambus

    wambus Active Member

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    I just did this and I could not make it work while lying on the ground under the van. I went down from the top. That route requires taking the intake and the wiper bucket off, as well as the alternator and the tensioner & bracket. At one point my son was sitting on the engine trying to manipulate the pump to get it out. Oh, you also need to take the lines off of the strut tower so you can get an extra inch or so. And when you touch the drains from the bucket, you MUST replace the passenger side one or it will break (if it s not already) and pour water over your alternator and steering pump shafts causing premature failure. Guess how I know... Use a dishwasher drain hose from Lowe's or HD to replace, with a hose clamp to secure. the driver's side one does not seem to have critical elements directly underneath.

    Make sure your hoses are not the issue before you try to do this. My pump was screaming like it had no fluid yet the res. was full. Is yours noisy?
     
  4. blackstratus

    blackstratus Well-Known Member

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    Yikes this sounds like fun..... mine is quiet but empties the reservoir in about 24 hrs. I'll be honest after reading stories just like yours the last few days I have an appt to have it replaced tomorrow.Usually I'm pretty good with things but this one scared me for some reason along with the high mileage and wisconsin rust. . I usually have access to a lift but it is out of service for 3 wks and thus would have been in my garage with me laying on the floor. Thanks for replying though and helping me with decision.
     
  5. floridaman2013

    floridaman2013 Active Member

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    Yes, this isn't one of the easiest jobs Chrysler ever made! I would also take in to a shop to have done where all the tools are available.
     
  6. ImperialCrown

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    The pulley makes it cumbersome to get past the axle and crossmember. The pulley is plastic with a steel hub and is fragile. If it gets cracked during the procedure without you knowing this, it can shatter when you go to start the vehicle.
    If the pulley can be removed with the pump still in the vehicle, both pump and pulley can be removed separately with plenty of room for either one.
    Using the correct pulley puller is a must. Make sure that it has a good bite on the hub before pulling. If it slips off the hub, it can round the gripping ledge and make it tough to keep the puller on after that.
    The first time doing this is always the hardest. It is an awkward, but not impossible job.
     
  7. blackstratus

    blackstratus Well-Known Member

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    Good to know ImperialCrown, thanks! I hope this is the last pump in this design of van that has to get done under my watch :) My next one will probably be at least 10 years newer but I sure appreciate the comfort of the 1996-2000 vans and may always look for a low mileage version one day ? But I do have one question... the pump is all done and everything seems to be working well. No leaks thankfully. I took it to my Chrysler dealer I have been dealing with for years and they completed the job. Checked it all over tonight and noticed they filled the pump with ATF+ 4 not the clear Power Steering Fluid that used to be in there from the factory. Is ATF+4 compatible with the original power steering fluid and also all the seals in this system? Thanks again.
     
  8. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    The correct fluid question is addressed in TSB# 19-005-03:
    http://srt-6.com/pdf/tsb/SB_19_005_03_PowerSteeringFluid.pdf
    According to the model table on p. 3, the NS still takes the old amber (MS-5931) fluid.
    Unless they can show an updated bulletin or possibly the reman pumps have updated seals, then I would think that the amber fluid is still recommended.
    The newer RS minivans didn't switch to ATF+4 (MS-9602) as p/s fluid until mid-2001. Possibly there was some confusion over this?
     
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  9. wambus

    wambus Active Member

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    just a followup to this thread. I just watched a video on YouTube where a guy replaced the steering pump from the wheel well. He removed the pump from the bracket and pulled out the bracket first. Then pulled out he pump. you also need to pull the main pulley to do this. seriously wished I had seen this when did mine.

    By the way, my system is leaking. I see drips on the steel end of the pressure line, so I am thinking it is bad. What is the best way to replace this? I cannot see where it is going or how to remove it.

    Both of my old cars are leaking from the pressure line. My 98 Passat is doing this but that is the least of my problems with that car. Stupid coolant flange is cracked again. Why is that pert even made of plastic? Older Focuses have a thermostat housing made of plastic....

    Anyway, I can keep adding fluid but would love some advice on getting the line out.
     
  10. wambus

    wambus Active Member

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    ALSO - is Prestone power steering fluid ok for a remaned pump for my 99 Caravan? I have some MOPAR fluid left over from my 89 voyager, should I use that?
     
  11. ImperialCrown

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    See post # 8 for the correct power steering fluid.
    The amber fluid that meets MS-5931 should be used. Does it say this on the fluid container?
    Don't use ATF.
     
  12. wambus

    wambus Active Member

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    The Prestone bottles say the fluid is ok for Chrysler....
    I will not use ATF.
    I have determined that my pressure line has a super bad leak - somewhere up under the thermal wrap. Fluid squirts right out when the wheel is turned. Pretty cool.... NOT. Got my crow's foot line wrench set from Harbor Freight and will get on this tomorrow. Of course it will be in the mid thirties (maybe).
    Found one good video on You Tube that showed me what to do. If I do not get hypothermia I will be fine.
     
  13. voiceofstl

    voiceofstl Well-Known Member

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    This why I stopped wrenching on my newer cars!
     
  14. blackstratus

    blackstratus Well-Known Member

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    When that pump was changed at the local chrysler dealer..they used atf+4.. I questioned it but they said they flush all the old fluid out and replace with atf+4. Unfortunately the van died 4000 miles after this repair and 2 months later so I never knew if what they did was good or not.
     
  15. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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