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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing the Power Steering Filter

Mike Holloway

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$10 to $50

Talent:

**

Tools:

13mm socket, breaker bar, 17mm open end wrench, 19mm open end wrench, small vice grips, large flat face screw driver

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz 450SL (1975-80)

Parts Required:

Power steering fluid filter and fluid

Hot Tip:

Fluid receptacle beneath car

Performance Gain:

Improved steering

Complementary Modification:

Replace power steering pump seals

In order to replace the power steering fluid filter, the power steering pump should be removed and the lines drained. The pump also holds the fluid. The power steering pump is located on the upper driver side of the engine.

When removing the pump you will first need to remove the negative battery cable and keep the cable end from touching any metal surface. There is also a battery removal article to consult should you have any questions.

When replacing the filter you will need to remove the two steering lines connected to the pump, one is 17mm and the other is 19mm. Before you remove the lines make sure you get as much fluid out of the reservoir as possible. You can use a turkey baster or small hand pump to suck out as much fluid as you can. With the reservoir empty remove the two lines, some fluid will still drain out so be ready for it. With the fluid and lines removed remove the three 13mm nuts and bolts holding the pump to the bracket.

Before you do any work on your car it is important that you wear safety glasses, work gloves and dispose of all fluids in a safe manner. Coolant is poisonous and should be treated as such. Animals and small children have been known to die from ingesting coolant. If you have to jack up your car, make sure to use jack stands and chock your wheels as well as applying the parking brake. Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. Always wear eye and hand protection. Disconnect the battery before working on your car.

Loosen and remove the cover to the power steering fluid pump.
Figure 1

Loosen and remove the cover to the power steering fluid pump.

Remove the cover and check the level of fluid in the reservoir.
Figure 2

Remove the cover and check the level of fluid in the reservoir.

Using a hand pump or a turkey baster to remove as much of the power steering fluid as possible.
Figure 3

Using a hand pump or a turkey baster to remove as much of the power steering fluid as possible.

Using a 13mm socket on a breaker bar, loosen and remove the top bolt that holds the pump.
Figure 4

Using a 13mm socket on a breaker bar, loosen and remove the top bolt that holds the pump.

Using a 13mm socket on a breaker bar, loosen and remove the bottom bolt that is used to tighten the power steering belts.
Figure 5

Using a 13mm socket on a breaker bar, loosen and remove the bottom bolt that is used to tighten the power steering belts. .

Using a 13mm socket on a breaker bar, loosen and remove the bottom bolt that holds the pump.
Figure 6

Using a 13mm socket on a breaker bar, loosen and remove the bottom bolt that holds the pump.

With the pump loosened, the belts can slip off the wheels.
Figure 7

With the pump loosened, the belts can slip off the wheels.

Using a 19mm open-end wrench, loosen and remove the front line from the pump.
Figure 8

Using a 19mm open-end wrench, loosen and remove the front line from the pump.

Using a 17mm open-end wrench, loosen and remove the back line from the pump.
Figure 9

Using a 17mm open-end wrench, loosen and remove the back line from the pump.

The pump is now free and can be removed from the engine bay.
Figure 10

The pump is now free and can be removed from the engine bay.

With the pump free to work on, use a small pair of vice grips to clasp onto the retaining ring.
Figure 11

With the pump free to work on, use a small pair of vice grips to clasp onto the retaining ring.

With the retaining ring removed, gently tap the cover with a screwdriver handle.
Figure 12

With the retaining ring removed, gently tap the cover with a screwdriver handle.

The inside of the pump can now be examined.
Figure 13

The inside of the pump can now be examined.

On the other side of the pump is a spring-loaded component where the filter is located.
Figure 14

On the other side of the pump is a spring-loaded component where the filter is located. Use a 10mm open ended wrench to remove the nut while holding the set bolt with vice grips to keep the set bolt from spinning.

Using needle nose pliers, remove the cover that protects the filter.
Figure 15

Using needle nose pliers, remove the cover that protects the filter.

Again, utilize your trusty needle nose pliers to remove the power steering pump fluid filter.
Figure 16

Again, utilize your trusty needle nose pliers to remove the power steering pump fluid filter. Once the pump is clean and you've replaced the filter with a new one, reassemble the pump and reinstall it in its home at the front of the engine. The reassembly is the reverse of removal. Once you have reconnected the power steering line, filled the reservoir and reconnected the negative battery cable, DO NOT start the car. With the ignition unlocked turn the steering wheel curb to curb 30 times. This will help purge the air from the system, failure to do this will cause air to be trapped in the system and result in a noisy and improperly working rack. Make sure you fill the reservoir to the correct level, as the system is very level sensitive. You may prefer to turn lock to lock while the front of the car is jacked up. If so, consult our article on safely jacking up your auto and putting jack stands underneath it.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Gayla Comments: What is the correct level to fill power steering resevoir on 1978 450 sl mercedes? Thank you
November 14, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: With the reservoir top off, check the reservoir stud for a line marking the fluid level. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ybruno Comments: What is the best way to reinstall the rear spring-loaded pump cover with the snap ring?
November 13, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Press and hold the cover in place, then install the snap ring using snap ring pliers. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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