Automotive Heating – Replacing the Water Pump

The water pump is an important part of the engine cooling system that requires service if it develops a leak or if the bearing fails. Depending on the engine design, replacing the water pump can be a process that can be completed in just a couple of hours or a process that could take six or more hours.

Water pumps that are driven by the accessory belt typically require less labor time than water pumps that are driven by the engine timing belt or timing chain. The process of replacing a water pump that is driven by the accessory belt is listed below.
1. Drain the coolant into a suitable catch pan.
2. Remove the fan shroud.
3. Remove the fan clutch using the correct special wrench.

The fan shroud needs to be removed to gain access to the drive belt, fan clutch, and water pump on this Chevrolet

The fan clutch assembly is removed by using the correct wrench and hitting it with a metal bar to assist in breaking the unit loose. This should be done prior to removing the drive

The fan clutch assembly is lifted from the mounting location and should be stored in a location that is out of the

4. Remove the engine drive belt.
5. Remove the necessary radiator and heater hoses.

The upper and lower radiator hose along with the heater hoses must be removed prior to removing the bolts for the water pump. The engine drive belt must be removed using the appropriate belt removal tool or an extended-length

6. Remove the necessary idlers and pulleys to allow access to the water pump fasteners.

The idler pulley is removed and placed in a location that is out of the

7. Remove the water pump fasteners and then pry the water pump away from the front of the engine.

After removing the bolts for the water pump, it can be lifted from the mounting

8. Clean the gasket and sealing area to prepare for installing the new water pump.

The mounting surfaces for the water pump must be scraped and cleaned after the water pump has been removed. A scraper and a wire brush work well to clean these

9. Install the new water pump along with a new gasket by installing the fasteners.

The thermostat and housing must be transferred to the new water pump housing. This model requires a new O-ring to provide the proper seal for this housing. Many thermostat housings use a gasket instead of an

The new gaskets must be sprayed with gasket adhesive and then installed onto the mounting surfaces of the water

10. Tighten the water pump fasteners to the correct torque.
11. Install the idler and fan clutch and tighten to the correct torque.
12. Install the drive belt, making sure that it is routed correctly and all of the belt grooves line up.
13. Refill the cooling system and install the cooling system cap.

Thread sealer with Teflon is recommended to use on the bolts of the water pump to prevent the coolant from wicking up the threads and causing a pesky coolant

Once all of the components have been installed, a close inspection should be performed to make sure that everything is in place. The cooling system should be refilled with the correct amount of coolant and then the engine should be warmed up. It is recommended to take the vehicle on a test drive and then recheck for leaks. After the engine cools back down, the coolant level should be rechecked and topped off to ensure that the system is

Gasket adhesive is a great product to use when assembling various parts of the engine that have felt gaskets that need to be held in place during installation of the

A coat of thread sealer should be applied to the water pump bolts prior to installing the water pump back onto the

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