Adventures in water pump replacement -- long - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 10-17-2004, 12:36 PM   #1
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Default Adventures in water pump replacement -- long

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.
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Old 10-17-2004, 03:18 PM   #2
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LOL, That'* about how my projects go. Bet you'll never forget those little things you learn while doing it...
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Old 10-17-2004, 04:42 PM   #3
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that is a whole lot better than how my projects go. At least you got it all fixed, and won't have to worry about a thing for a long time. Consider yourself golden upon that account. And a FSM is a necessity when working on your car. Factory service manuals has a lot.. google it, I can't remember the url.


-justin
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Old 10-17-2004, 09:45 PM   #4
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Think of how much wiser you are and the experience you gained. Call a dealer and get and estimate on what you did. You'll be amazed.

The problem with the "school of hard knocks" is that the test comes before the lesson.
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Old 10-18-2004, 04:04 AM   #5
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id did the water pump on my 93 SSEi with my chiltons took about 10 hours..the WP was only 70 bucks two gator backs..two jugs of premix..were good to go..and now you have the satisfaction knowing you did it your self and saved alot of money!
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Old 10-18-2004, 07:04 PM   #6
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I told the wife and kids on Sunday, let'* go for a ride in the Bonnie. I pulled 'er out of the garage and I looked driveway in front of me and their was a wet path.

I opened the hood and AF was coming out of the bypass hose as it met the tensioner pulley assy. I don't know why it didn't leak when I test drove it. Probably had to do with temperature.

Went to the Pontiac dealer today to get a new hose. The new hose is hard Delrin-like plastic where the old one was soft rubber -- like a radiator hose.

I figure the o-ring and hose just got old on the old hose.

Moral of the story: if you are replacing that tensioner assy, go ahead and get the by-pass hose. It is a 45 degree elbow with an equal 2.5" leg on each side about 5/8" diam.
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Old 10-19-2004, 02:46 PM   #7
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Default bypass hose

Yes and the same goes for if you replace your lower intake gaskets.
Change the bypass hose and o-rings while its apart. There is no easy way to change it otherwise.
For future reference? Where are the two PS pump bolts to remove it and get at the water pump left bolt?
Are these the ones you get at through the pully holes?
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Old 10-19-2004, 11:47 PM   #8
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Finished her up tonight. Since I knew what I was doing it just took about 45 minutes.

Yes, the PS pump is access thru the holes in the PS pulley. They are at 12 and 6 o'clock.

It turns out that the old by-pass hose had been broken before and the previous owner put things back together by sealing the by-pass hose with silicon .

The by-pass hose wasn't soft like I said earlier. It was hard, it was just such a light color that it looked like a regular heater hose. My old by-pass L hose was so screwed up that it was broken where the o-ring groves are located. It was amazing that it held up.

I took everything apart and dug out the plastic by-pass ring (the little piece after the o-ring, took out the old o-ring. Cleaned things up and put it all back together.

Before I started, I drained the rad of new AF and saved it so AF wouldn't pour out of the block when I took off the tensioner assy.

Moral of story: always look for old pieces and o-rings before assy back together.
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Old 10-20-2004, 01:52 PM   #9
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Default by pass hose

Good job. Glad to hear everything worked out.
I was glad to pay the dealer $8 for my hose when I did my lower intakes this summer
as a preventative measure.
I guess your previous owner thought it must have been too much labor to replace it
so he Mickey Moused it.
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Old 10-23-2004, 09:12 PM   #10
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I got a 195 stat from NAPA and put it in today. She is now constant one or two needle-widths under 200.

Very excited to have this worked out.

Now, I just need to get back to that bumper kit on the door. I'm tired of running around with no door panel on the passenger front door.
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