Fixing A Truck

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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Have you ever worked on an automobile? It can be a difficult or frustrating experience. If you have the right tools and a little patience; you can fix most any problem. Many components on a vehicle need to be fixed from time to time. Therefore, changing the power steering pump on my father's truck was an interesting, learning experience. First I had to take all of the parts out, then install the new pump, and finally put everything back together again.

I decided to fix my father's truck for him over the weekend. The first thing that I had to do was take all of the parts out that needed to be removed. I took the radiator cover off first. That only took about a minute; this led me to believe that maybe this project would be altogether easy. However, I was wrong. I took the serpentine belt off after the cover was out of the way.

Then, I took out the top radiator hose out, and moved the air filter hose out of the way. The next step in the process was removing the power steering pump itself. I had to go buy a power steering pump pulley puller. Yes, there is something called that. The puller cost about forty dollars. The process of using this specialized tool wasn't very easy. After about thirty minutes of finger smashing labor I got the pulley off. After that, all I had to do was take out the three bolts holding the pump in place.

The next major step in this process was installing the new pump. Buying the pump was probably the most important step here. It cost about 65 dollars. When I purchased the pump at AutoZone, they required a core charge. This is a charge that they use to coerce the buyer to bring the part back for the refund. Once I got the pump I had to put the pulley back on. This would have been easy, except that the brace for the pump required that I put the pulley on after I put it back in the truck. Then, I attached the pump to the mounting bracket and started putting the pulley back on. I couldn't figure out how to putt it back on because it was a tight fit. So I decided to use a two-pound mallet. Well, let's just say that did the trick. After all of this struggle the new pump was installed.

Finally the last step was to put all of the parts back into the truck. This step is just the reverse of the first step, except a little trickier. First I took the new serpentine belt that I bought and stated installing it. The belt needs to weave in and out of a bunch of different pulleys, and tension wheels. It took a couple of minutes, but I got it done. Then I moved the air filter hose back over, and put the radiator hose back on with the new clamps that I bought. Lastly, I put the radiator cover back on, and I was done reinstalling everything. There was one more step; refilling the power steering pump reservoir. Then I just started the truck and tested it to make sure it works.

This project all in all took about half a day to complete, including running around getting the right parts, and the correct tools. I did this project as a favor to my father, however I think that I just like to work on cars. If you ever want to learn something, and probably help someone out, just start working on a car. The next step is to start work on another project.