Waterpump replacement - TCCoA Forums
 
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-21-2003, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Question Waterpump replacement

Hi all.

It looks as if the waterpump in my '90 3.8 Cougar has finally given up the ghost. It has seeped from the weep hole for sometime, 3+ years , and now coolant is puddling under the car in the driveway.

It looks like a fairly straightforeward R&R, but since I haven't needed to work much on this car in the 6 years that I've owned it, I thought I would ask you folks if there are any tips or traps I need to be aware of. Any special tools? This car has ~125K on the odo, so I thought I would change the belt also. It looks like I need to loosen the idler pulley to remove the belt and access the waterpump - how do I go about retightening the belt to the correct spec? Anything else I should check &/or fix while I am doing this little project?

I have searched the Tech Articles and the 3.8 archives for waterpump R&R tips, but other than BeirutsFinest sticky article on bleeding the coolant system, I have not found a whole lot of other info. But like I said, it looks pretty straighforeward, so maybe that explains the lack of a tech article.

Well, it's off to the garage. I'll check back in a little later. Oh yeah, Advanced Auto quoted me a new, lifetime warranty waterpump for $33.

Thanks everyone.

Scott

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-21-2003, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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OK, the shroud, fan and belt are removed. Coolant is draining.

Looks like the belt adjustment is some sort of tension self adjuster that is located below the A/C compressor - right?

Looking at the waterpump, there are two nuts that hold both the pump & powersteering bracket into place. This looks to be a possible problem spot. I hope I don't have to loosen or remove the PS pump. Any thoughts here?

Well, back outside...
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-21-2003, 01:06 PM
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where are all the 3.8 guys when you need them. I wish I could
help but I can only do the 5.0 water pump with my eyes closed

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-21-2003, 01:35 PM
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I've never replaced the water pump on a 3.8L Thunderbird, so the best I can do is to post the water pump replacement procedure, as listed in the 1993 Service manual. This information is very similar to the replacement procedure listed on the website mention in GreenBird's 'sticky' thread under General Tech (click here ).



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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-21-2003, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot IronChopz. I am having a heck of a time with the PS pump bracket. Thought I might have to remove the entire PS/alt/bracket assembly as one piece, but that is turning into a real headache - can't seem to get access to the 3rd top bolt.

From both your FSM instructions & the e-toolbox instructions, I need to remove the pulley from the PS pump and then the bracket comes right off. I wondered if that was the case. Now how in the heck do I R&R the pulley? If I use a puller, then how do I get it pressed back on? A big hammer?

"5. Remove the power steering pump pulley and remove the water pump-to-power steering pump brace. "

Grumbles to self while heading back to the garage.

Thanks again.

Scott
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-21-2003, 02:01 PM
 
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I bought a R&R tool from Snap-On. Took it of really easy and it went on easier.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-21-2003, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks 93. Looks like a big allen wrench may do the trick. Of course I don't have a wrench that big. So instead of being pressed on & off, it is possibly threaded. Think I'll go to Advanced Auto, pick up the waterpump and then look at a PS pump to verify that the pulley is indeed threaded on. And then probably off to Sears for an allen wrench.

No wonder I stopped working on cars a few years back.

Thanks again everyone.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-21-2003, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs down

Latest update. Well the hex headed screw into the power steering pulley is a 3/8, fwiw - which is absolutely nothing.

I did another TCCoA search, only keying on "Power steering" this time and see that I need a power steering pulley in order to remove the pulley - figures. So once the wife quits yackin' on the phone, I'll call the local parts stores and see if I can rent one. What a royal PITA. Gotta say that locating the bracket in front of the pump was not one of FoMoCo's better ideas. In fact it down right sucks.

And the wife wonders why I like the older cars. Shoot it took me over an hour to put a headlight bulb in her 88 Eagle last week. Stupid design engineers and auto manufacturers.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-21-2003, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Good News. Bad News.

Good news first. A guy I know is the manager of a locally owned parts store. I called him and asked if they rented tools - nope. Explained my situation and Richard said that he has been meaning to buy another powersteering pulley puller ever since his disappered. So he bought a puller off the rack and loaned it to me, rent free. What a guy. Gonna have the wife bake him up some Christmas goodies.

So I get the pulley and waterpump removed. And now the bad news - the bottom of the waterpump, weep hole and shaft are dry. There is a little indication that the weep hole has been leaking, but nothing that would make the puddle that just started appearing under my car. Stupid me. I went on the assumption that the waterpump had gone bad. So what to do? What to do?

All the hose clamps were/are tight. Where else could it be leaking? The leak is definitely coming from the front of the engine. According to the diagram that IronChopz posted in this thread, there is a "front cover and oil pump assembly" behind the waterpump. (Is this what I would call a timing chain cover?) If so, is there a gasket between this assembly and the block? Does this gasket go out very often? Difficult to replace? Anyone want to buy a Cougar? j/k, for now anyway.

Ideas anyone?

Edit***

Jeez, I just read the instructions for replacing the front cover gasket. There is a ton of work involved. Might just put the new waterpump on, button the car up and then go degrease the engine in order to see exactly where the leak is coming from. If in fact the new waterpump does not fix the leak, but that is wishful thinking I'm afraid.

Last edited by Scott's Coug; 12-21-2003 at 06:41 PM.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-21-2003, 10:00 PM
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<---replaced a WP on a 3.8 bird before. if anything has leaked out of that weephole, the pump is bad.

Quote:
Originally posted by Scott's Coug
All the hose clamps were/are tight. Where else could it be leaking? The leak is definitely coming from the front of the engine.
the spring loaded hose clamps dont seal well, better to go with the kind you tighten with a screwdriver. try to determine where the leak is coming from by getting under the car and looking up. did you clean the WP-to-block surfaces of all gasket material thoroughly? is the new WP gasket seated properly with sealant? just some things to check.

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-21-2003, 10:13 PM
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Another common place for antifreeze to leak from on the 3.8L is the thermostat housing (located just above the water pump).

I would suggest that you don't reinstall the steel bracket between the water pump and PS pump. Quite a few of us here have left that bracket off, and I haven't heard of anyone having a problem due to leaving it off. That bracket is basically just there to be a pain in the a#$.


Good luck.

-Rod

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-21-2003, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips big mike & racecougar.

Mike, I haven't installed the new pump yet. I have a feeling that the old pump is original equipment and the gasket is hard as a rock. Trying to scrape it off with a razor blade is a bear, so tomorrow I'll pick up & try some of that gasket remover stuff that I've seen at parts stores. Or maybe I'll take a propane torch to it. My insurance is paid up. I'll take a closer look at the hoses & clamps.

Rod, I'll take a close look @ the thermostadt housing also. A friend stopped by while I was trying to figure out how to get that bracket off. I was in the house and when I went outside, the first thing he said was "WTF. What a stupid place to put a bracket." You can bet I'll leave it off, thanks to your tip.

Scott
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-22-2003, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Scott's Coug
Thanks for the tips big mike & racecougar.

Mike, I haven't installed the new pump yet. I have a feeling that the old pump is original equipment and the gasket is hard as a rock. Trying to scrape it off with a razor blade is a bear, so tomorrow I'll pick up & try some of that gasket remover stuff that I've seen at parts stores. Or maybe I'll take a propane torch to it. My insurance is paid up. I'll take a closer look at the hoses & clamps.

Rod, I'll take a close look @ the thermostadt housing also. A friend stopped by while I was trying to figure out how to get that bracket off. I was in the house and when I went outside, the first thing he said was "WTF. What a stupid place to put a bracket." You can bet I'll leave it off, thanks to your tip.

Scott
try squirting the gasket with water, may soften it up a bit. soak it if you have to. maybe a hammer and thin blade chisel (sp?) will work. i wouldnt try a propane torch. just my opinion.

good point on the tstat housing, rod. my housing leaked coolant after i replaced the tstat, turns out the gasket had shifted as i installed the housing. i suggest using a gasket with an adhesive backing (mated to a clean, gasket-free tstat housing) so it wont move around when you install the housing. make sure that gasket doesnt shift around or coolant will leak out.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-23-2003, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Another good news/bad news update.

I got the waterpump installed and everything buttoned back up. Started the car and no leaks - initially. Yep, the t-stadt started leaking.

I tried real hard to install it properly, by obviously not hard enough. So I went over to the e-tools site and see that the thermostadt is actually designed to be turned and locked into the thermostadt housing prior to installing the gasket and remounting the housing. Man, I hate rework, but at least this should be an easy fix.

On top of that little snafu, while I was working on the car, I noticed a couple of kludged together "fittings" on both of the transmission coolant lines that are damp. They are both loose and I turned them by hand to see if I could tighten them up a bit. [Steve Martin] BUT NOOOoooo .... [/Steve Martin]. They drip now. I have already had the trans rebuilt, so this car isn't going anywhere until I fix the lines. Since the fittings have been crimped onto the lines, I can't help but wonder who did this type of cluster fix.

Anyway, big mike, I used a gasket remover to loosen up the gasket. Although I can't help but wonder if a torch may have been quicker. Thanks again for your help.

Also, this car is going to sit until after Christmas because it sure isn't helping to get me into the Christmas spirit.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Scott
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-23-2003, 03:00 PM
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A little secret of mine for installing the thermostat:

Thread a piece of string through the thermostat, then run both ends of the string through the t-stat housing. You can use the string to hold the tstat in place while you bolt up the housing. After it's bolted on, just pull the string out and you're done.

I guess it's not a secret anymore.
-Rod

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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-24-2003, 01:12 AM
 
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I changed my water pump today. It was fairly easy but damn that bracket. That was a major setback having to remove the power steering pump pulley. Luckily autozone let me rent a puller. So far no leaks.
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-24-2003, 02:55 PM
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Scott,

Be DAMN careful with that T-Stat housing. I'm an office worker (Computer Geek), but when I replaced my T-Stat on the SC I had, I bent the damn housing trying to get it tight.

I almost think Saran Wrap is stonger than the t-Stat housing. On this part, GM had the better idea on their 3800s.

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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-28-2003, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Just thought I would let you guys know that my "little" project is complete and the car is back on the road. I just want to say "Thank you for your help". I really appreciate the help offered up by everyone.

BTW, Rod, your little trick of running the string through the housing worked great.

So lets see - new waterpump and thermostat, oil change, air & crankcase filters, replaced the leaky rubber trans lines, new coolant - yep, I'm good to go for a while.

Later, Scott
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-29-2003, 12:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Scott's Coug
BTW, Rod, your little trick of running the string through the housing worked great.


Glad to hear that it worked out for you. Maybe we could work that little tip into a tech article. I think it would save a lot of headaches.

-Rod

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