I recently tore down my 2000 Intrepid with 89,000 miles and put in some new internal bits, namely crank and bearings (scored and rod knock) new oil pump and water pump. Well, I got the engine back in the car and filled it up with all the fluids cranked it up, and water just flowed like a river from the back of the engine where the flywheel is. Well, I followed the little coolant path back up to the top of the engine, where I found the coolant was coming out of a weep hole like directly behind where the water pump is. Also checked the weep hole beside the thermostat housing, and it was also leaking. I tore the engine back apart and put in another water pump, as I assumed the seal was leaking. Curious to see what was gonna happen before I put it all back together, I blocked off the lower radiator hose and filled the block with some water. No leaks around the gasket, but still coming out of the weep hole in between the heads behind the water pump.
What I'd like to know is what in the heck did I do wrong? There is a backing plate and a gasket. I installed the backing plate first in the block, then the gasket, and then the water pump, with a thin layer of RTV silicone between each of the layers for added insurance. The only difference between the old and the new water pump is the type of gasket; the old one had a rubber o-ring style and the new one uses a paper gasket, no groove on the new water pump for an o-ring gasket. I also tried it without the backing plate, but the impeller was hitting the rear of the block and wouldn't turn properly. I haven't run into this problem since I've been messing with cars, so hopefully someone with a little more experience on this engine has a solution. I'd sure appreciate it!
Last edited by mahatma171; 12-18-2007 at 06:02 PM..
Reason: spelling error
I believe I found the solution, and wanted to post it just in case anyone else runs into this. I took the water pump back out yesterday and inspected the weep hole passages real good, and then the backing plate. As I mentioned earlier, there are two weep holes on it, one on the bottom (that will come out on the side of the engine by the thermostat housing) and one on the top, that has an outlet in the rear of the water pump, between the heads. It will leak down into the valley underneath the intake and come out of the rear of the engine, where the flywheel and transaxle-to-oilpan brace is.
The problem I had was because of the different style gasket. I used a new water pump made by an aftermarket company. On the backing plate or spacer plate, the holes drilled for the weep passages are not fully enclosed... They have a small niche on the inner side to allow for the OEM o-ring style gasket to seat in there. The gasket I had was a flat paper one that did not close up those holes in the plate. Well, making sure I wasn't gonna block the weep passages, I put some extra RTV silicone on those little niches that weren't being filled by the new gasket, and reinstalled it as I did before. VOILA! Problem solved. I'm gonna fire it up this morning and see how she runs. If I were to do this in the future, I would probably go for an OEM new water pump and probably would never even have to think about an issue like this.
This is a great site by the way. I've been reading quite a bit and I see there are quite a few people on here like me with gears for brains. I love it.
I ran the car the past two days, and it is running great! I'm glad to say so since I was a little nervous about rebuilding a 2.7, but with the water pump problem fixed, everything else just fell into place. I finally had a chance to start breaking it in. I've ran it about 100 miles all total, and it is 100 percent in all areas. Hope that I'll get some more ideas about what to do with it from reading the forums.