Just happened to notice this the other day by chance. Power steering was fine, no unusual noise. The flange was cracked in half. When I removed the pump the gear slid right off and to the foor. And there was no nut on the end of the pump. I found the nut stuck to the timing cover. It had worn a groove and stayed there while the pump came out. How the hell does this happen? Any ideas?
Yea, that was my post last week. Sorry about that. It does look like the nut worked it's way out and against the timing cover. The nut doesn't appear to be a lock nut. Would there be any reason not to use locktite. Looking at the nut it appears to have had a pair of vice grips on it. PO probably didn't have a 12 point and went for vice grips instead. Gotta love it!