Water Pump - 1993 Buick Park Avenue - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 03-25-2015, 12:40 AM   #1
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Default Water Pump - 1993 Buick Park Avenue

I have this nasty habit of running things until they drop dead, and this was no exception.

For the longest time, I have heard a noise that I haven't been able to identify, it sounded of unhappy bearings. I could never get a lock on it, because it varied with circumstances. I had thought it was simply a degraded torque axis mount, and opted to ignore it. I also had the heater core replaced recently, but have since still been smelling coolant, and then the coolant level started taking a dive, but no detectable leak, that it, until Monday of last week. I came out of work to find a nice puddle under the cold car, and a leak that dripped pretty good on cold start. I got home, and the leak had stopped, with pressure in the cooling system. The car was parked for the remainder of the week, and then driven again yesterday, with no coolant leak detected, however, when driven again today, the tables started to turn. The noise was a bit louder on the way to work, and I came out to another coolant puddle. More and more, while driving about, the noises were less happy, until on the final stretch home, I started hearing squeaking, and then driveability issues, like a surging. I am thinking it was either inducing false knock or drag (False knock is my guess, because of the lack of other drama). I get home, pop the hood, find coolant everywhere courtesy of the drivebelt, but still with pressure in the system. I also see some movement in the pulley too. Job done, car is grounded until a new waterpump gets on.

Now the paranoia sets in. It was making metal on metal noises, so I am curious, how much room is there between the impeller and the timing cover usually? I can't say the noise did not sound like impeller hitting timing cover, but then again, I have never heard that noise either.

I won't be addressing this in the next week at all, but I do plan on another parts run, so if I have to pull it off, it'* probably getting replaced. Belt, tensioner, torque axis mount, etc, are all on the list to get swapped, so shopping list to come as I start planning the moves.

Any insight, and feedback welcome.
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Old 03-25-2015, 07:01 AM   #2
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Ya that is one thing about water pumps they can go quietly or with a rude noise awakening!
When I first got my PA I grabbed a hold of the WP pulley to see if it had any movement after noticing a very slight wobble.
Lets put it this way when I pulled up on it, movement was felt, and decided a new Delco pump was in order.
Glad I did not wait, cause by the time the pump came in, the bearing was making grinding noises.
Let put it this way get the new pump and once the ole one is off, I think you should be fine & good to go.
I also did tensioner & new belt as well.
Good luck there Randall, take your time..all will be well there soon.
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:34 PM   #3
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'93? Above the water pump, there is either a plastic elbow going into the tensioner assembly, or more likely for this year, a threaded plastic nipple with a rubber bypass hose attached to it.......

Have seen this nipple or elbow, whichever it is, break and leak......it dribbles down to the waterpump, making it look like the water pump is leaking......it will dribble down and hit the belt and get flung everywhere....

It does sound like your W/P is bad, but check what I have mentioned also...
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Old 03-26-2015, 12:08 AM   #4
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That has been addressed already when it broke 5 years ago. Gotta love it, lol.
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Old 04-22-2015, 09:06 PM   #5
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I finally found some motivation to at least get the parts ordered. I keep seeing this job as a giant mountain, when in reality I just need to take it one step at a time. The first step was the hardest step hopefully. Here is the list:

1993 BUICK PARK AVENUE 3.8L V6
FOUR SEASONS 45969 Tensioner Pulley $ 11.06 $ 0.00 1 $ 11.06
GATES K061025 Belt $ 23.79 $ 0.00 1 $ 23.79
GATES 42095 Water Pump $ 18.83 $ 0.00 1 $ 18.83
WESTAR EM2801 (EM2801)
Motor Mount $ 29.79 $ 0.00 1 $ 29.79
Discount $ 4.17
Shipping Ground $ 10.56
Order Total $ 89.86

I could probably do without the engine mount, but local parts stores wanted $100 for the same list, excluding the engine mount, which is another $75. 2 stores claim to have all necessary parts in stock however, so if something goes wrong on the install, I can rebound pretty quickly.

I honestly don't count on reaching the end of service life on a replacement water pump with this car, but then again, I also said the same thing with a new heater core from RockAuto, only to have it fail 6 months later.

I can likely make changes to the order tonight if there is anything offensive, but the important bits appear to be fairly solid name brands, so I am cool with it. I do need to brush up on how to replace the tensioner pulley however, but I think it may be as simple as a reverse threaded bolt (confirmation welcome on this)

It makes me sick this car has been setting for a whole month because of my own lack of motivation.
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Old 05-16-2015, 09:25 PM   #6
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All done.

A few pointers for those that my come by this thread in the future:

The tensioner pulley is not the correct one for this application. I suspect this may actually be an idler pulley for the supercharged belt path.

I also couldn't really tell a difference in the old impeller and the new one.

Finally, there was no visible timing cover damage. There was a bit of pitting here and there, but nothing of concern. There seems to be quite a bit of room between the impeller blades and other surfaces, and there is also a back plate on the impeller which is likely the first thing to get chewed on in the course of failure.

I am also glad for the generous engine bay in this body. Minimal drama. As compared to me wanting to set fire to the Regal when I was attempting to adjust airgap on the A/C compressor.

Also, if you are thinking you may be able to squeak the water pump out without pulling the torque axis mount, don't even bother trying. I couldn't even get tools on the 2 bolts on the engine bracket, and I doubt it would even clear enough room for the pump to clear the pilot holes.

And another thing, pull off (Or loosen the passenger side) the STB, because the power steering pump/reservoir will hit it before you get enough room to clear the Torque Axis mount.

I am still working air out of the system, but it should be good to go now. It was idling happy for 45 minutes in the driveway.
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Old 05-17-2015, 12:53 AM   #7
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Good work Randall!
What brand of water pump did you use?
I decided to spend more for a new GM 19209288 water pump.
So far 3 years in, no problems at all.
I take it no more bearing or squeaking noises now.
Took me a few days to keep any eye on the reservoir.
Every morning added Prestone Long life ,to the cold line a bit.
Did use the bleed air screw twice. Air was gone after that.
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:49 AM   #8
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It was the Gates unit listed earlier in the thread. And no noise. In fact, it'* even quieter with the new belt I put on too. That belt was on the car when I got it 7 years ago, and even then probably should have been replaced.

Now the belt no longer slips (sounded of flatulence) when the A/C compressor engages too. I plan to replace the tensioner pulley also. I got one, but it didn't fit, so the ole one went on for the time being.
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:52 AM   #9
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And I haven't added since the first fill. I forgot to grab more coolant in my last trip out, and that was one of the reasons I left too.

I filled with the radiator cap off, and engine running, and waited until the thermostat opened.

If there is air left, it'* not a horrid amount anyway.
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