del Sol Power Steering Question

My girlfriend's '94 del Sol needs new seals on its power steering unit. It doesn't look like that big of a sweat to do it myself. (The local garages
and dealers all want ~$500.)
Question: Does taking the pump apart and replacing the gaskets and seals involve special tools? Or is this a fairly straightforward thing to do, including refilling the system with fluid?
I'll check for responses at these two newsgroups, or you can write to me at the address below.
Much thanks for any guidance on this.
Bob (armistead_rap(AT)bigfoot.com)
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I was considering this a few years ago for the PS pump on my 91 Civic, when I thought it was leaking. Turned out it was fine, but I learned a few things, anyway.
I was prepared to do the job myself and got as far as ordering a gasket kit from Autozone, which now I do not recommend. I think it's a DIY job, but I can't say for sure. If you do try to do it yourself, I would buy an OEM PS pump gasket kit from a place like www.slhonda.com . Aftermarket seals seem to have a much shorter life than genuine Honda (= OEM) ones.
The other interesting thing I observed was that I could have a PS pump from a junkyard for under $100. If the mileage on the junk car is under say 100k miles, then I think it's a pretty safe bet that the pump will have seen only Honda fluid inside it.
From reports here and my own experience with my 91 Civic, if one uses the correct PS fluid (Honda only), the seals should last a very long time.
What happened? Did she put non-Honda power steering fluid into the system?

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Elle wrote:

Thanks for the comprehensive response. Good suggestion, getting a used pump.
No non-Honda fluid was used by her, but who knows what others who've tended her car might have used . . .
thanks,
Bob

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Front Office wrote:

there's a reason for that...

no, it's a huge pita. much better to use reconditioned units. avoid avoid avoid anything but honda-specific power steering fluid - non-honda fluid ruins the seals.

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Roger that, Jim. Thanks.
Bob
jim beam wrote:

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Front Office wrote:

The front seal by the pulley can be replaced without too much difficulty. Use both genuine Honda parts and power steering fluid. Non-Honda fluid causes the seals in the steering rack to leak.
Eric
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Eric wrote:

OK, the above statement was for older power steering pumps. It seems that Honda had redesigned it and made it more difficult to replace the front seal. Compare the older pump from an Accord http://tinyurl.com/mvl8r with the '94 Del Sol http://tinyurl.com/nmbky . Oh well...
Eric
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Eric wrote:

I will check out those sites. Much thanks.
Bob
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