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Discussion Starter #1
Alright - how hard is it, and how long will it take, to replace the power steering pump on a Saab 9-5?

The one thing which gives me pause is getting the belt off to remove the old one, and then (presumably) put it back on after the pump is bolted in. How hard is that to do? I read the instructions and it looks doable, but I have never done it and everything is much harder once you get into it. I have home-level tools and facilities - nothing special.

Thank you for whatever input you have.
 

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Here's the official Saab WIS procedure:


Removing the belt isn't hard. You just need to support the engine from underneath, unbolt the large yolk on the side of the engine (four bolts into the engine and a large nut on top of the engine mount), and then pull the tensioner forward with a 1/2" breaker bar or long socket extension so you can slip the belt off. There are a pair of holes on the tensioner that line up when it's untensioned so that you can put a pin in it to lock it. I use an approximately 3mm Allen wrench.

The WIS procedure involves a lot of mucking around with the fluid. When I replaced the pump on my NG900, which uses a slightly different pump attached to more or less the same engine, I didn't drain the system first. I was just quick and careful with the hose swaps so I could minimize the fluid loss. Once the new pump is on, you can start the car and turn the steering wheel lock to lock a couple of times with the power steering reservoir cap off to get the air out of the system.
 

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Getting the belt off is easy. All you need is a 1/2” breaker bar or similar. The 1/2” drive fits into a cutout in the top of the belt tensioner: pull it forward to release tension and slip off the belt.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ah, thank you. I read those instructions, but it wasn't clear that the engine needed to be supported. I have not yet looked closely at the geometry - does the yoke need to be removed to get access to the belt tensioner.
 

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Yes. The yoke blocks access to everything related to the belt. It's really very easy to remove. The official Saab method to support the engine when removing it is to use a wedge in between the oil pan and the subframe. I just use a small jack and a piece of wood under the oil pan.
 

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Just be sure when reassembling the yoke that the engine is high enough so you can snug the four bolts to the engine before tightening the big nut on the engine mount. Don’t use the bolts to “pull up” the engine to meet the yoke - you risk stripping out the threads.
 

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Steve12955 got the most critical thing about installing the yoke: start those four bolts that hold it to the engine by hand to avoid cross-threading and do not use them to pull the engine up. And remember when you raise the engine with your jack, go slowly with a nice wide wood block to spread the weight - this will avoid damaging your oil pan.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Alrihgt. I just bought the part so I guess I'm committed to trying it. Should be fun. Or something. Anyway , there's a shop downhill from me if things go south.
 

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It's pretty easy, don't sweat it. I had to remove the pump when I was replacing the high pressure line and I was surprised how easy and not time consuming it was to remove the pump

If you find that the line on the bottom of the pump is difficult to remove because of the lack of space for a wrench, removing the passenger headlight makes it much easier and is worth the effort. However as a side note I had the passenger headlight AND the front bumper removed at the time and I can't recall if the bumper being removed was what made it easy. If it was, then I wouldn't hesitate to remove the bumper again. Takes less than 10 minutes

Btw if it wasn't obvious you should replace the belt while you're in there (unless it has been replaced recently), might as well and it's like a $20 part
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ah, thank you. Part just arrived today - its supposed to be cold tomorrow but I'll try it when it warms up a bit. This pandemic has left me with lots of time at home.

I am not absolutely sure that the problem is in the power steering pump. There is certainly a problem in the power steering system - the fluid gets all frothy and diminishes with time, and I've thrown a few cans of leak stop in with no result. I don't see any obvious leaks. Maybe I'll see something obvious when I get into it, but if you have any suggestions, I would certainly appreciate it.
 

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When you are looking things over, look CLOSELY at the rubber portion of the high pressure PS hose, near the firewall. If it is shiny, you may have a leak

The hose on one of the two 2006's I maintain was leaking at a crimp, and the leak was slow enough that it just made the outside of the hose look wet - until it started dripping ! I have seen others post that this is not uncommon at 130K to 140K miles - but the 1999 we had never did that, even at 236K miles
 

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The fluid gets frothy when there is air in the system, but turning the wheel back and forth with the reservoir off should probably get rid of that

What exactly were all the symptoms/problems you noticed that led you to believe you should replace the pump?
 
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