About 3 weeks ago I painted the engine compartment of my 93' YJ. Just after that my power steering started acting wacky...it would jerk around corners, getting worse by the day until eventually it didn't work at all...yet it made no noise either). I checked fluid levels and checked for leaks, but everything was fine. I figured I must have gotten paint on/in something that was causing the belt to slip or stick.
Before doing anything about it, I was flushing my coolant. When doing so, I got water from the garden hose all over the belt/PS pump while it was running and, suddenly, my steering came alive! For about 24 hours, it worked perfectly...then stopped. I retested with water, which 'fixed' it again, confirming that the water was changing something.
Today, I decided the belt must be bad (it was a bit dry) so I replaced it. I also upped the tension a bit since it seemed a little slack. No luck, PS still was intermittent. So, with the NEW belt, I dumped some water on it and, presto, it started working again. I figured it must be the pump at this point, so today I ordered a rebuilt one which arrives Friday.
Here's my questions:
1. Do you agree that the pump is probably at fault?
2. Is there any thing else I should have checked before ordering a pump? (even though its too late now)
3. Anyone have a good link for step by step pump replacement? (it sounds dumb, but my biggest concerns are things like how to clamp the hoses during the repair (what tool to use) etc, since this is the biggest repair I've ever attempted).
Any input or advice would be appreciated. Thanks!