I was heading off to the airport at the last minute on a business trip a couple of weeks ago and had a pee stream of coolant coming from the Bonnie.
I tore into it yesterday. Put it up on ramps and determined the leak was coming from the water pump. Went to Napa and bought a WP and decided I might as well change the noisy tensioner pulley, belt (who knows how old it was), and hoses (ditto). Oh, get some coolant and distilled water for a flush too.
I've got the Chiltons and with help on this site, got the WP off OK. Found a post on here that the last bolt on the left is covered by the PS pump pulley. Took the two bolts off of the PS pump, and off she came. The old WP was very coarse to turn. Scraped off the old gasket, polished the surface with some scotchbrite. Put some gasket sealer on both sides of the gasket, used some blue locktite on the bolts and torqued 'er down to what was indicated in the Chiltons.
Hey, I'm almost done. My FIL told my wife that it would take me all day and it had already only been a couple of hours. I'm home free (I thought).
I went to take off the tensioner pulley and like a dodo (I'm kind of new to this auto repair stuff), tried to take it off in the traditional leftsy loosey method. Won't budge. Just get a bigger breaker bar
, no problem.
Well, I did use the bigger bar and of course stripped the threads on the tensioner arm :o
. Oh, excrement! "Napa, how much for a new tensioner assy?" "Eighty bucks and we have it in stock."
I took back the tensioner pulley and bought the whole tensioner assy. The difference was 60 bucks since the pulley was $20 -- I tried to rationalize to myself.
Well, the tensioner assy is also some heater hose housing to pass the heater hoses back to the firewall. So, to get to that I have to take off the alternator. Another hour of my life I won't get back.
OK, now for the belt. "There has to be an easy way to take this belt off, right?" The only way I could figure out how to get that belt off was to support the engine with a jack and remove the engine mount that rests on the right frame. Then I had to remove all three of the engine mount bracket nuts for the brace and slide it to the right of the vehicle enough to slip the belt on and off. Another two hours down the toilet.
Both radiator hoses were pretty easy. It sure would have been even easier with the special tool for those spring hose clamps though.
Working blind it took another 20 minutes to get the PS bolts back on.
Then I fired her up and no more leaks and no tensioner squeal. Yes!
Spent the next 90 minutes running 6 gallons of distilled water though the system with the heat on full blast until she was clear. Then I drained a couple of gallons and used fresh antifreeze to make it about 50:50. Filled the AF res with AF.
Put away all the tools, clean the garage and 10 hours later and she is perfect.
I think having the GM factory manual would have saved me the $60 and time to replace the tensioner pulley because they probably would have told me to do it the correct way.
I'll look for one on ebay.
The whole thing was $190 -- belt, hoses, tensioner, water pump, 2 gallons of AF, distilled water. I keep telling myself it would have been at least double that at the shop. Would have been $130 w/o the whole tensioner.