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Most power steering pumps are driven by the serpentine belt and should be in plain view when the hood is open.The following shows how to remove and replace the power steering pump and might give you a clue if not in plain sight. My dad's 1998 Ford Taurus has it nearly on top, but they could have changed things in the mean time:
Power Steering PumpRemoval & InstallationPower Steering Pump (2V)To Remove:
Before servicing the vehicle refer to the precautions at the beginning of this section.
Disconnect the battery ground cable.
Remove the accessory drive belt.
Remove the alternator.
Drain and remove the radiator coolant recovery reservoir.
Position a drain pan under the power steering pump underneath the vehicle. Disconnect the hydraulic pressure and return lines and allow to drain.
Remove the idler pulley from the power steering pump support.
Remove the belt tensioner.
Remove the bracket mounting bolt located under the belt tensioner mounting.
Remove two retaining nuts from the bracket mounting studs. Remove both mounting studs, and pull off the power steering pump support with the pump attached.
Clamp the pump support bracket in a suitable vise.
Remove the power steering pump pulley from the pump shaft using Pump Pulley Remover T69L-10300-B, or equivalent. Remove the three bolts retaining the power steering pump to the power steering pump support and remove the power steering pump.
To Install: NOTE: The pulley must be installed within 0.010 in (0.25 mm) flush with the power steering pump shaft.
Power steering pump special tools
Install the power steering pump to the power steering pump support. Tighten the mounting bolts to 18 ft-lb. (25 Nm).
Install the power steering pump pulley using Steering Pump Pulley Replacer T65P-3A733-C, or equivalent; the pulley face must be flush within 0.010 inch (0.25mm) of the pump shaft.
Install the power steering pump/pump support and torque nuts/bolt to 24 ft. lbs. (33 Nm).
Install the bracket mounting bolt located under the belt tensioner mounting.
Install the belt tensioner.
Install the idler pulley to the power steering pump support.
Connect the hydraulic pressure and return lines.
Install the radiator coolant recovery reservoir.
Install the alternator.
Install the accessory drive belt.
Fill the power steering reservoir with power steering fluid.
Connect the battery ground cable.
Run the engine and check for leaks and proper operation. Bleed the power steering system if needed.
I think but please dont quote me on this, there is a easy fix for the resivoir leaking from between the pump and the resivoir. you can remove the powersteering by removing the serpentine belt and then turn the pully to line up the 3 bolt that secure the p/s pump. removed the resivoir by removing the clips, replace the seal ("O") ring for the resivoir and reassemble, reinstall and then retest, Hope this helps
To try to find the leak, purchase a spray can of engine cleaner and spray the entire area of the pump and hoses. Then wash off with a garden hose. Fill pump reservoir with fluid. Have someone turn the steering wheel while you look in that area of the pump and hoses with a flashlight for the leak. Be careful of rotating fan and belts!
Own one of these and had to replace both the hi pressure and return lines for the hydrulic rack and pinoin steering unit. The hoses are cramed directly under the motor towards the rear. It was a challenge!
The problem could be anything from a power steering hose has leaked out all the power steering fluid or the steering rack could be leaking fluid. Has the car made any strange noises when turning the steering wheel? A car that is loosing power steering fluid will at some point lose so much fluid as to make the power steering pump cavitate (starve for fluid) and the pump will make a high pitched noise when it has too little fluid in it. I can't remember if the 1996 ranger had only one belt on the engine or if the power steering has it own seperate belt. The belt being gone would prevent the power steering from working but if you only have one belt the car would also overheat.