How to Replace a Power Steering Pump on a Ford Explorerby Thomas West
The Ford Explorer is a sport utility vehicle that replaced the Bronco in the early 1990s. Although many Explorers boast creature comforts found in luxury sedans, like the Bronco they are built on a truck-based chassis and are available with four-wheel-drive. Explorers come standard with power steering, which is run off of an engine-driven pump via the serpentine belt. Over time the seals may fail in the pump, causing leaks, and sometimes heat from the engine can deform the plastic pump body. In both cases the pump will need to be removed and replaced.
Open the hood. Let the engine cool down if your Explorer has been driven recently. Remove the retaining nut from the power-steering pulley in a counterclockwise direction with a socket and ratchet. Place the nut aside.
Release the tension in the serpentine belt by inserting the drive end of a 1/2-inch ratchet wrench into the square hole in the belt tensioner, which is mounted near the top of the engine. Turn the ratchet counterclockwise until the belt loosens. Continue to hold the ratchet while sliding the serpentine belt off of the nearest pulley to you. (Usually the idler pulley at the top of the engine should be closest to the tensioner.) Release the ratchet handle slowly and remove it from the engine bay.
Slide the belt off the pulley on the power-steering pump on the lower driver’s-side of the engine. Place the jaws of a power-steering pulley puller around the small metal sleeve at the center of the pulley. Tighten the center bolt of the puller with an adjustable wrench in a clockwise direction until the pulley loosens from the pump. Remove the puller and pulley from the engine bay.
Remove the two power-steering lines from the pump by loosening the hose fittings at the pump with a tubing wrench turned in a counterclockwise direction. Push the lines aside.
Loosen and remove the three pump-retainer bolts that attach the pump to the mounting bracket with a socket and ratchet turned in a counterclockwise direction. Lower the pump from the underside of the bracket and remove it from the engine bay.
Install a new pump in the reverse order of steps 1 through 5. Remove the filler cap on the new pump. Fill the pump with power-steering fluid until it has reached the full mark on the cap’s dipstick. Start the truck and turn the steering wheel back and forth to expel any air from the system. Shut the motor off and check the power-steering level again. Top off the fluid if necessary and replace the cap. Close the hood.
- The puller necessary to remove the pulley from the power-steering pump is available for rental at auto-parts stores.
Items you will need
- 1/2-inch-drive ratchet wrench
- Power-steering pulley puller
- Adjustable wrench
- Tubing wrench
- Socket set
- Replacement power-steering pump
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