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Power Steering Pump - questions

Old February 16th, 2018, 8:17 AM
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Default Power Steering Pump - questions

2001 Cavalier 2.2 5-speed manual 227K

I have been leaking power steering fluid for 6 months and haven't had any power steering for about 4 months. I don't care about it but also didn't want the pump to burn up so I had just been adding 100ml or so every week just to keep it lubricated but not enough to provide any power or pressure. Well I was sicker than I've ever been in my life for the past 10 days so missed one week of adding that fluid - and wouldn't you know it - started the car a couple of days ago and heard the chirping/squealing noise. Went to add about 300ml - and it poured right out the bottom of the pump - literally like I just poured it straight on the ground. So for the past 48 hours, every time I stop and open the hood, the pump is literally smoking. It is burning up. So this has me with a bunch of questions. First - can I just totally remove the pump and not replace it or won't that work. I am assuming that the pump slides onto the deep / interior side of that big pulley - but I didn't know if the pulley will stay put without a pump or if it would just slide right off without one. Second, do you have to deal with the nightmare of loosening the belt to remove/replace the pump? I've herd conflicting info and that would definitely be the hardest part since I have had nothing but problem when trying to get my belt on and off in the past (the motor mounts prevent it from being easy from the top side). Finally - I called a couple of places expecting it to be really cheap and was shocked that they all wanted like $400 so that makes me wonder if this isn't the "easy and quick" job that I had heard it was.

Thanks for any and all info/help/suggestions.
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Old February 19th, 2018, 1:01 PM
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OK. Now things have gotten a lot worse from my original posting above. I spent about 3 hours a day for the last 4 days doing all the research I could online about replacing the power steering pump on this car. Watched a bunch of videos, read a bunch of discussion threads, looked at a bunch of step-by-step instructions that were all supposedly for my exact year make and model so felt pretty comfortable - with the majority of all these making it sound like it was a 15-minute 5 bolts and you're done thing. No problem, right? So yesterday, after getting a couple more mind-bogglingly high repair cost estimates which I could not understand given how easy this was supposed to be - (between $500 and $600 just for the pump, and the total for the pump and the rack which I think is the source of the original leak - close to $1700 so totally out of the question) - I went to Advance Auto and got three loaner tools - the Serpentine Belt tool, and a tool to take off and put on the power steering pulley for the pump, once it is out of the car. I want to take one more really close look under there at the pump, pulley and everything before I start - so I park and pop the hood - and can now see that the pulley is *barely* hanging onto just what must be the very last tip or millimeter of the pump shaft - so that you can see most of the clean silver shaft on the inside of the pulley and it is way out slanted and angled from where it is supposed to be (flush with the side of the pump and even with the other belt components). I then get out the S-belt tool and I thought that the small attatchment that goes on at an angle was going to allow me to use it to turn the tensioner - because I already knew that on my model - there is absolutely NO WAY to use a belt removal tool by itself. Why? Because the square 3/8 hole in the tensioner that has to turn clockwise cannot be reached from any of the 4 directions - most importantly, the top - because the motor mount prevents it. So you can imagine how unhappy I was when I found out that that small 10" or so long metal attachment rod didn't have another 3/8" thing on the end, but instead was an adapter that had a much larger one that does not fit in the tensioner. So I am right back to square one with how to get the belt off (using my right arm so I can use my left hand to take the belt off the pump) I found out from the alternator that this is totally impossible by myself and had to grab some guy to help me and even then it was practically impossible because of how the tire iron that I had to push down on kept slipping off the metal side of the tensioner - there has GOT to be a better way - but how? I then tried to use that tire iron to force the pulley back into its normal position which I was able to do, but the moment the car starts, it pops right back out to it's extremely frightening and risky edge of the shaft. So here I am unable to afford the catastrophic and shockingly expensive costs of the repairs - which would only get me back to where I was 5 days ago when I had a pump-killing leak anyway - or being stuck not able to figure out how you are supposed to get the pump out. But I've saved the best bit for last - and I sure am hoping someone on here knows what I am talking about from experience and has a solution. After I realized that the pullley was going to keep popping out to the point where it and the belt were going to break off and fall off in the middle of driving around - I also noticed that there is a giant painted black piece of steel that appears to be part of the engine - as in lifting and lowering it into the car - that would completely prevent the pump and pulley from ever being lifted out the top anyway. And there is no room in any other direction to take them out if they are attached. And taking the pulley off and putting it on while in the car is absolutely impossible without breaking both. So I am left afraid to drive my car, and stuck not knowing what to even try. I am hoping someone on here can help. Because I am out of things online that address any of this crap. They all make it sound like none of these obstacles exist.
Again: 2001 Cavalier 2.2 engine 5-speed manual 227K
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Old February 19th, 2018, 6:45 PM
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post some pics
i use a big pry bar on the tensioner pulley to remove the belt...i put the bar right against the belt and pulley.
i did read both posts but still don't know the source of the leak.
to replace the pump, remove the hoses from the pump....once the pumps out, use the tool to remove the pulley from the pump.
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Old February 23rd, 2018, 11:20 AM
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I just want to say that I have never been more disgusted or upset about any car-related situation - ever. Pump at parts store: $30, loaner tools in the trunk. No way to get belt off even with the tool in my hand. Result - spending the night outside repair shop because I was afraid of getting stranded when the pulley flew off the broken pump shaft. Paid them $500, waited 2 hours, got my car back covered with marks and scratches and chipped paint and gouges in the driver's door.

Best part. The leak is still there. The old reservoir cap doesn't fit right on the new reservoir (they don't come with the new pump or new reservoir and cost $16). Every time I stop and look under the car I am staring at the same damn puddle directly below the new pump as was directly under the old pump - with drops of fresh clean fluid from every low-point near the passenger front wheel. All this for something I don't even care about having - power steering. I was just fine without it for months. Isn't there some way to get a shorter belt and just eliminate that pulley totally so I don't have to keep dealing with this BS? The shop said to come back when more repairs are in my budget. Nice.

And this isn't a result of lack of time and research on my part. WEEKS of internet searches and forum searches. Nothing that was any help. I guess not enough people have this model anymore. It sucks. Now since the pump and reservoir are new and I still have the same leak as always - and it is just a matter of time before it kills this new pump just like it killed the old pump - there are only 3 things it can be, right? The rack, the return hose or the pressure line. I know for sure I can't do the rack myself nor can I afford to have it replaced. But what about the lines? All I can find are nightmare stories about how impossible it is to (A) find where a leak like mine is coming from and (B) to get the lines free and re-attached to the rack even if you can figure out that is what is needed.

Should I just blow my head off now or should I try robbing a bank for the money? Cause I don't know what else to do at this point.
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Old February 24th, 2018, 9:25 AM
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try jbody.org. its a cavalier forum
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