hi, i changed the power steering pump on our 1988 mercury sable 3.8l. if yours is a 1987, then you have the 3.0l engine because we bought ours new in '88 & that was the first year for the 3.8l.
1) jack up the front of the car & place on jack stands. this is necessary because you have to bleed the air out of the system after changing the pump.
2) make sure the engine won't start (pull coil wire, e.g.)
3) remove the windshield washer/coolant reservoir from the fender & move out of the way. You will need to catch the coolant in the reservoir when you remove that small hose in order to move the reservoir.
4) remove the horns. now you have room to work.
5) remove the serpentine belt. this was the hardest part by far. i had to buy two different tools to try to get the belt off. finally, i removed the right front tire actually placed the tool UNDER the belt tensioner bolt & lowere the car to get the belt loose. there was no room between the tensioner & the fender well to release the tension. but you may have your own method. ( i actually removed the serpentine belt before placing the car on both jack stands).
6) get the steering pump pulley puller from auto zone or other parts store. they usually require a deposit, but then you get it all back when you return the tool. you need the tool that is for ford power steering pumps. screw the puller bolt into the pulley's center, then use 2 wrenches on the puller to remove the pulley. it comes off very nicely. DO NOT hammer it back on. you use the pulley puller for that also.
7) remove the power steering pump lines. use a open ended wrench made for hydraulic lines. seems the fittings were standard, not metric, but I'm not sure. you need two wrenches to remove the hose.
8) remove the pump from the casting holding it. i thought i needed to remove the whole casting, but it is not necessary.
9) replace the pump or have the seals replaced. i ordered the seal kit ahead of time, then took the pump to a local independent mechanic. he charged one hour of labor to put the seals in.the seal kit was $15.00. so, it was about half the price or less of a rebuilt pump.
10) install the pump, attach the lines,put the belt back on, fill with fluid. DO NOT put the coil wire back on yet.
11) using the starter, crank the engine over while turning the wheels(while on jacks) with the steering wheel from lock to lock 2-3 times. this is to initially bleed air out of the system. don't run the starter longer than 30 seconds at once. add fluid to the reservoir if needed.
12) connect the coil wire.repeat the lock to lock several more times slowly with the engine running to bleed residual air. top off the reservoir. put the cap back on (it gets a new O-ring, too~)
13) lower car. drive away with a big smile :)
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