R50-R53 Mini Cooper
Power Steering Pump / Fan / Duct
Replacement and Installation
The power steering pump and fan are known issues with our Mini Coopers. My pump died a short while after I purchased my pre-owned Mini with 110k miles on the clock. The fan still worked but felt rough when turned by hand off the car at certain points, I figured since the pump was being replaced the fan was cheap insurance. I also purchased the OE duct for the fan to offer some protection from road debris.
Standard Disclaimer: ANY USE OF THIS INFORMATION BY YOU IS AT YOUR OWN RISK.
To start, I disconnected the battery by removing the ground cable using a 10mm socket/ratchet. You may want to place a shop rag or newspaper over the latch so the hatch will not lock, if it does you will have to use the manual release under the rear seat:
I used my Topsider to vacuum the power steering reservoir dry. I was also able to get it down the suction hose from inside the front of the reservoir to drain all the fluid out of that tube. No such luck with the rear hose since the baffle in the reservoir was blocking access.
The car was jacked up using the common piece of wood under the chassis rail with jack technique (technique in more detail on NAM), this allowed jack stands to be placed at the factory jack points. Be sure to get the car high enough so that you have room to work. Also, the parking brake should be on and the rear wheels chocked prior.
The fan is removed using a 13mm socket wrench, two bolts hold the fan to the pump bracket. The wiring harness plug is released by pressing on the tab and pulling.
On to the power steering pump- The first thing removed were the two top bolts holding the Power Steering Pump (PSP) in. The first pic below shows a view of the back of the front subframe where the cat resides, going closer and at a higher angle you will see two bolts that need to be removed (the orange sticker is a good reference point when looking at the pics). I used a 13mm socket and a 3/8” ratchet with two small extensions to remove these, once you know where they are at you can remove/install these by feel:
If you look above the motor mount at the passenger side of the PSP, you will see the wiring harness retainers pushed into two holes on the PSP bracket, these can be pushed up and out of the bracket:
The suction hose clamp can be removed by inserting a flat bladed screwdriver in the clamp recess and twisting- you may have to twist both ways a few times to get it loose and then pry the clip apart:
The lower center bolt holding the PSP bracket to the car can be removed using a 13mm wrench:
The small wiring harness plug at the top of the PSP can be removed by pressing down the clip and pulling off:
The pressure hose is held to the PSP by a bolt that will need to be removed, using a 13mm wrench. After the bolt is removed, it will take a bit of pulling to get the hose fitting out of the PSP, it is a precision fit and there is an O-ring (see arrow in pic) on the hose fitting. Don’t lose the O-ring unless you have a new one to replace it (which might not be a bad idea, P/N 32416762724, 8mm x 2mm, #15 illustrated HERE). Have an oil pan and some shop towels ready as this hose was the one not accessible to drain and there will be a bit of fluid. The suction hose (the one with the clamp I had to pry apart) can be pushed up and off of the pump, not much fluid in that one other than a few drops thanks to the Topsider:
Take a break while the fluid is draining, after it is down to a drip you can remove the PSP with bracket. Some forum guys have used a Dremel tool to slot the lower bolt hole to make this easy to slide out. I found that by tucking all wiring to the side and pushing the hard line out of the way, the pump could be tilted toward the front of the car and pushed up and over the subframe bolt hole- it IS tight but there is enough room to clear the bolt hole without any modification (unless you want to). Once the PSP and bracket have been wedged clear of the subframe, the main power connection plug can be removed by pulling out. It looks like this plug has retainers but they give with pulling force, no prying needed:
The pump bracket is removed using a 10mm wrench, 4 nuts total:
With the above bracket removed I was able to access the other bracket that will need to be removed using a T40 Torx socket, 2 bolts total:
Brackets are attached to new pump (after cleaning them up a little first):
You will need to source a 1” hose clamp to replace the non-usable OE clamp that was removed from the suction hose. I went ahead and pre-tightened this clamp a bit and placed it up the suction hose and on the hose heat shield so it would stay in place while the new pump was installed. I also cleaned up the pressure hard line connection making sure no dirt was on the O-ring and surrounding area:
Before attempting to reinstall the new pump, the pressure port plug is removed- you will not be getting this out with the pump in place. The suction port cap is left in place since it is easily removed once the pump is in place and will only help to keep dirt out when reinstalling. The pump is installed the same way it was removed: the main power harness is plugged in; pump is installed by rotating it into position and the lower bolt into the hole. Once in position, the top rear bolts are installed first- I used a shop light to visually line up the bracket holes and then used the socket wrench extension/13mm socket to get the bolts hand started, then tightened using a ratchet. Next the lower bolt is tightened using a 13mm wrench. The pressure/hard line is pushed in (it is a good idea to lube the o-ring with some new power steering fluid prior to assembly so it will slide into place) and that retaining bolt inserted/started by hand/tightened using a 13mm wrench- you may have to rotate the hard line around to get the hole to line up with the bolt hole. The suction hose is pulled down and over the male hose fitting on the PSP after removing the protective cap, and the hose clamp put in place and tightened- not gorilla tight since the hose fitting on the PSP is plastic. The smaller wiring harness connector is plugged into the PSP, not to be confused with the fan wiring harness plug. Do not forget to also push the two wiring harness plastic retainers back into the bracket holes on the passenger side.
I bought a new fan that has to be installed on the fan bracket. Since this fan is a standard SPAL P/N and not the Mini specific part, new screws and bolts will have to be sourced (the standard fan screw holes are too large for the Mini screws) and the Mini fan connector cut off the old fan and spliced into the new fan wiring harness.
I was able to find three of the same slightly larger sheet metal screws to hold the new fan to the mount until I get to the hardware store
to purchase 4 new bolts/nuts/washers for a permanent fix. The connector on the old fan was cut far enough back to leave plenty of wire to splice into the new fan wiring harness. I removed the spade clips from the new fan connector and cut them off to maximize wire length there as well. I used crimps and a crimping tool to splice the connector and wiring harness but you may want to solder or both- my personal experience has shown crimps only to work well in automotive use- YMMV.
is removed from the fan by carefully flexing it out and off, this is no longer
needed and would interfere with the duct I am installing.
You will also notice that where the duct screws would go, there are two square voids where the OE “screw” retainers (P/N 07146981767 x 2, #8 illustrated HERE) would clip into place . Since I did not get those pieces, I found some sheet metal screw clips that would work but may order the OE pieces. The OE “screw” retainers were removed from the duct so that standard screws could be used. If you have an older fan bracket that does not have the duct provision, you may have to drill holes and change out the screws like I did. Note the water drain hole in the duct. The fan is plugged in and reinstalled using a 13mm wrench for both nuts.
[UPDATE: I did order and install the OE “screw” retainers for the fan mount- pictures below updated to reflect this]
The duct requires a new piece to be installed in front. The old piece is removed by loosening (but not much and not removing) bolts at the leading edge, by releasing the “screws” on either side, and then pulling back and out:
The new panel is pushed into place and the bolts/screw retainers tightened. The duct is placed above the new panel vent and the screw retainers tightened, then the screws are tightened at the fan bracket:
Don’t forget to reconnect the battery. Last but not least, Pentosin CHF 11S fluid is added to the power steering fluid reservoir. I started at a little over half a can (add until it reads on the stick between the first and second line) and added more as the bleeding process took place. Bleeding is accomplished by having a helper start the car while it is still on jack stands and turning the wheel from full lock left to full lock right a few times. You don’t want to do this with the wheels on the ground and loaded as it might stress the pump until you get the fluid in and the air out. Check fluid periodically on the stick, add if fluid is not between marks, and repeat until satisfied. This is also a good time to check for leaks. After I was happy with the bleeding process, had lowered the car off jack stands, gone for a drive, and then returned home to check the fluid I probably used ¾ of one can. The fluid level is good when it is between the first and second lines on the dipstick when warm:
After cleaning everything up you can enjoy your Mini with power steering again J
For more information on products used in this DIY guide and where they were sourced, check out my Mini website at www.billswebspace.com/mcs.htm
For more information on cleaning your PSP motor, check out this Mini2 thread HERE