Got a growling, leaking, grinding, squeaking water pump? Well, don't put it off! It will only get worse overtime. The last thing you need is to be stranded due to a seized water pump and having a badly overheated engine.
Mine was leaking along the sealing surfaces. I could have just replaced the O-ring, but I might as well replace the pump while it's out anyway.
Here is a step-by-step process on how to replace the water pump in your 3.3L V6 engine equipped LH car. It's quite easy due to the placement of the engine. It took me about one hour and a few minutes from start to finish. Including draining of the old coolant, and adding the new coolant.
First, the supplies:
A water pump. The good thing is that they are cheap. I got a brand new unit from Advance Auto Parts for around 25 bucks with a lifetime warranty.
Coolant/Anti-freeze. My 1995 Dodge Intrepid has a 10 Quart cooling system. Be sure to use the correct coolant that complies with your climate.
serpentine belt. If yours looks pretty old or worn out, now is the time to replace it as it's got to come off anyways. Mine was only two weeks old, so I reused it.
A good socket set, if you don't have a socket set, you will need the following:
2-13MM sockets, or 1/2 SAE
1-5/8" Open end wrench, or socket.
1-2" socket wrench extension
1-Inch-Lbs torque wrench (not really required, but recommended)
1-Gasket scraper or a utility knife blade.
Owners Manual (for coolant capacity)
A drain pan for the old anti-freeze
some rags and towels
Lets get started!
Drain all the coolant. It can be done by removing the radiator cap and loosing the radiator petcock, but before you do that put a drain pan under the small hole in the radiator support. That’s where the coolant will come out of. Pretty nifty.
If your coolant looks good in color, or is fairly new, save it. If not, and you are going to replace it, please recycle your old coolant at an appropriate hazardous disposal center.
Once the coolant is all out, tighten the petcock. Don't forget about it or you'll have a river of prestone going down your driveway (been there once).
Remove the serpentine belt. The serpentine belt has an adjusting screw on the alternator mounting bracket to maintain the proper belt tension. Release the tension by loosening the alternator mounting bolt and adjusting bolt locknut, then loosen the adjusting bolt. I've circled the mounting bolt and adjusting lock nut. Loosen them, no need to remove them. The double circled one is the adjusting bolt.
Looking down at the pump with the pulley attached:
Remove the Remove water pump pulley. It's a bit tricky. The water pump will try to move on you when you are removing the bolts. This is where the two socket wrenches with the 13MM or 1/2 SAE sockets come in handy. Put one on one of the bolts and set it to loosen. Be sure the position is to the right, or towards the battery. The other socket goes on the adjacent bolt next to the one that the first socket is on. Set that one to tighten. This picture describes it better:
Push or pull both socket wrenches the same way. You are only going to be removing one bolt. Continue doing it until two of the bolts are out. You obviously can't remove the last bolt that way. So you need to hold the pulley or attach a vise grip to the bottom of it to prevent it from moving around.
Once removed, set it aside and put the bolts in the pulley so they don't get lost:
Unbolt the pump. This part is fairly easy. Just remove all five of the bolts using a 10MM socket.
I broke them loose with the wrench, and then had removed them with the socket and extension. There isn't much room between the pump and the radiator fans. Although you could remove the fans, it just takes too much time and isn't necessary. If your O-ring or gasket was shot like mine, the pump should just fall out along with a little bit of coolant:
And this is why it was leaking:
The O-ring is TOAST!
Compare your old pump with the new one. Be sure the bolt patterns are correct, the impeller blades are going the same way, and is overall similar or the same as the one you are replacing. Sometimes the auto parts stores aren’t always right, it took them two tries to get rear brake pads for my 1989 Chrysler Le Baron
If all looks good, then move on to step 6!
Prepare the surface for the water pump. Scrape off any old gasket sealer or residue with a gasket scraper or utility knife blade. Be sure to block the hole with a rag so none of that junk gets in your cooling system:
Prepare the water pump for installation. I put a very light bead of RTV Gasket maker on the inside groove of the pump. This helps hold the O-ring in place when installing. Seat the o-ring in the groove. Make sure its in there all the way.
Install the water pump. Make sure the bolt pattern matches the ones on the housing. Gently place it on there, making sure the O-ring hasn't moved or fallen off. Hand tighten at least two of the bolts while you are holding it. Once those bolts are tight and holding the pump, install the rest and tighten them to the following:
105 inch lbs. (12 Nm).
Turn the pump and check for freedom of movement. If it's not turning or is making unusual noises, STOP and remove it to check if the O-ring has became unseated or the pump is defective.
Install the pulley. Using the three bolts that were on the old pump. Tighten them to 250 inch lbs. (30 Nm).
Install the serpentine belt. Reverse steps of removal. Follow the guide on your hood support beam. If you don't have one, here's mine:
Refill with coolant. Be sure that that the radiator drain is closed. Open the thermostat bleed valve with the 3/8" wrench:
Place a rag under it and begin to add coolant. Keep adding until a steady flow of coolant is coming out of the valve. Close the valve and top off the coolant. Install the radiator cap.
Start up the car and let it reach operating temperature. Look for any leaks around the pump. If you see a leak, make sure it's not some left over coolant that came out when you removed the old pump. If the new pump is indeed leaking, remove it and exchange it for a new one or replace the o-ring.
Clean up, put the tools away, and hit the showers.
Now that wasn't so bad now was it? Very easy to do.