Well, I pulled it off. Not a licensed mechanic but have been working on cars all my life, including rebuilding a VW engine in the living room (significant other at the time was definitely not happy about that one.) I only say this because of all the repairs I've done, this was the absolute WORST.
My time was 5.2 hours, I don't know if my tool set qualifies as "proper tools." The pressure hose starts
at the power steering pump at the front of the engine, travels to the left, turns toward the rear, under the distributor, turns again to the right, behind the engine, turns yet again to the front, where some form of sensor is mounted (assuming this is the speed sensor which dials out some of the power assist at high speeds.) At a point approximately 12 inches from it's origin at the front, it turns to the left again, toward the engine, then to the rear, under a heating duct, over the front suspension, then finally dives downward and back toward the front, finally connecting to the steering rack.
In short, the power steering pressure hose completely circles the engine and doubles back to reach a point approximately 36 inches behind/below the power steering pump.
Everything is 10mm, with the exception of the fitting on the steering rack: 14mm.
You begin with the easy stuff, remove the blower ducting, single clamp mounted to the thermostat housing, and the two bolts fitting the hose to the pump. There are two clamps behind the engine which are tricky but not too difficult to reach.
On the left side of the engine compartment is an electrical link and a "clamp tree" holding several hoses and the link in place. Trust me on this one, this M.F. Is a sharp and vicious beast. Remove all the cables and hoses, the link, and remove this clamp and save your medical supplies for the bunged knuckles you will receive shortly, you will need them. It's only one bolt.
You will have about 4 inches of clearance on the left side of the engine for the next part. This 4 inches is crisscrossed with cables and hoses, so it's next to impossible to get a good solid grip on anything. Down by the engine block, fastened to the suspension/cross-member, is another f****in' clamp, if you have small arms it may be very easy to snake your right arm down the back corner and forward to get a 10mm box end wrench on the bolt. You'll get approximately 1/4 turn out of each attempt. You'll spend approximately 20 minutes extracting this bolt if you cuss as much as I do. A universal and extension won't reach it.
Next, calm down your victory at releasing the hidden clamp (you can't see it.) You now discover the last backward journey of the pressure line goes next to the engine block and UNDER a plastic heating duct. This duct originates behind the engine and comes around the left toward the front, where you will find another 10mm bolt fastening it to the suspension. Remove this bolt (- another 20 mins.) And discover there is a second bolt securing the duct the back of the engine. At this point it's wise to extract the portion of the hose that you've already freed; from the left side of the compartment, slide the free end out from the front, under the distributor, and out of the way. Remove the hidden duct bolt. You will discover the duct won't lift out of the compartment, but you'll have room to now lift it high enough to slide the hose out from under it.
Last is remove the hose coupling from the rack. There are four fittings, you can be sure you have the right one because it's the only one that's loose. Have a pan and a method of plugging the hole once it's removed. Don't worry about it much, it will leak no matter what you do. :-)
So with the hose completely disconnected, you have to play at this like one of those insane Chinese nail puzzle games. By experimenting with different scenarios, I figured out if you a) push the hose as far back as it will go, you can b) crawl under the vehicle and push the hose up over the sway bar, and c) from above, juggle-turn the hose at 90 degrees so it moves behind the engine, up and out.
You might ask why I just didn't cut the f****in' thing and take it out in pieces. Well, because of the importance of the next step:
Installation is the reverse of removal. (Always wanted to say that....)
Without knowing how to get it out, you'd never know how to get it back in.
Once you've jockeyed the steering rack end of the pressure hose down into position, you'll spend at least 20 minutes locating the two holes for the clamp and plastic ducting down on the suspension/cross member; you can't see them and it's all by feel. You'll also discover it's really easy to miss the fact that the pressure line has to go UNDER the plastic heating duct, you have to apply a little force to get it to slide toward you and under the ducting. Whatever you do, don't bend the pressure line. Take a break and kick something. I spent an hour getting these two items installed.
Compared to the difficulty of removing the pressure hose, you'll be thankful for any small challenges you encounter locating the holes for and replacing the rest of the fasteners.
Inspect for leaks, bleed the system, test drive.
Monday, May 19th, 2008 AT 5:59 PM