An owner of a Ford vehicle is at your shop to have an oil and filter change. During the service, you notice a little coolant is leaking from the vehicle’s water pump.
So, do you replace the pump or is a little coolant dripping normal?
Well, the answer depends on how much coolant the pump is leaking. The first symptom of a water pump that’s on the verge of failing is coolant leaking from the pump weep hole. More than a few drops of coolant coming out of the weep hole usually means trouble.
First, you’ll need to inform the customer what you saw and what it means to them – instead of a $20, 30-minute oil change, it’s now looking more like a three-hour wait and $300 or more service bill.
But, in the long run, it will be worth the wait and cost compared to if the pump fails down the road, resulting in a greater inconvenience for the customer.
So let’s get back to the original problem at hand. If you think the seal is leaking, have the cooling system pressure tested. A leak-free system should hold pressure, but one that’s leaking won’t. Although you may need to reschedule the water pump replacement due to your customer’s request, explain to them that they shouldn’t put off replacing a worn water pump too long because the steady loss of coolant may allow their engine to overheat, which may cause engine damage. And if the pump’s shaft bearings fail on an engine that has a pump-driven fan, the fan may hit the radiator and ruin it too.
Also, you can tell the customer that they can forget adding a cooling system sealer to cure a water pump leak. A sealer won’t help here. Sealers are designed to plug small holes in radiators, heater cores, castings and gaskets. They can’t stop a leak between the pump seal and rotating shaft.
When you change the pump, drain and flush your cooling system to remove all of the old antifreeze and sediment. Just draining the radiator can leave up to half of the old coolant in the block. Refill the cooling system with new antifreeze and water.
Also, belts and hoses should be carefully inspected, and replaced if any are found to be in less than perfect condition. Hoses that are brittle, aged, cracked, bulging or chaffed must be replaced. New clamps are also recommended. Belts that are frayed, cracked or glazed should be replaced. Age is also a factor – most experts recommend replacing belts and hoses that are more than four or five years old.
If the engine has a fan clutch, the lifespans of the clutch and water pump are about the same. It would be a good idea to replace the fan clutch too.
Here are a few water pump replacement procedures for some common Ford vehicles. As you will see, service times due to the complexity of removing other related components can average anywhere between just under two hours on a Thunderbird to as much as four hours on a Windstar.
1998 Ford Escort L4-122 2.0L SOHC VIN P
Service time: 2.4 hours
- Drain the cooling system.
- Remove the timing belt.
- Remove the bolt (A) and the timing belt tensioner (B). (See Figure 1.)
- Remove the lower radiator hose from the water pump. (See Figure 2.)
- Lower the vehicle.
- Disconnect the heater hose from the water pump.
- Remove the three bolts (A), the one stud (B) and the water pump (C). (See Figure 3.)
- Clean all gasket material from the mating surfaces on the cylinder block and the water pump. Caution: Do not use abrasive grinding discs to remove gasket material; use only plastic manual scrapers.
Install a new gasket and install the water pump. (Note the torque recommendations – Figure 4.)
Connect the heater hose to the water pump.
Raise and support the vehicle.
Install the lower radiator hose on the water pump.
Install the timing belt tensioner. (Note the torque recommendations – Figure 5.)
Install the timing belt.
Lower the vehicle.
Fill the cooling system with only Ford Premium Engine Coolant E2FZ-19549-AA (in Oregon F5FZ-19549-CC, in Canada, Motorcraft CXC-8-B) or equivalent meeting Ford specification ESE-M97B44-A in a 50/50 mixture with water.
Start the engine and check all hoses and connections for leaks. Allow the engine to warm up so that the water thermostat opens.
Stop the engine. Top off coolant recovery reservoir as required to maintain minimum cold fill level.
1992 Ford Thunderbird V6-232 3.8L
Service time: 1.8 hours
- Drain the cooling system.
- On EFI engines, remove the fan shroud retaining screws. Remove the fan/clutch assembly retaining bolts.
- Remove the fan/clutch assembly and shroud.
- Rotate the main accessory drive belt tensioner. Remove the main drive belt and the water pump pulley.
- Remove the power steering pump pulley and the water pump to power steering pump brace. Note: On supercharged engines, it may be necessary to remove the intercooler to gain access to the power steering pump pulley. Refer to Intercooler/Charge Air Cooler (CAC) Service and Repair.
On EFI engines, disconnect the coolant bypass hoses at the water pump. On supercharged engines, disconnect the oil cooler tube and bypass hose.
Disconnect the heater hose at the water pump (EFI engines) and disconnect the lower radiator hose.
Remove the upper crankshaft sensor cover (supercharged engines).
Remove the water pump retaining bolts and pump. Discard the old gasket. Caution: If you are using a prying device to assist in the water pump removal, be careful not to damage the mating surfaces.
Note: Lightly oil all bolt and stud threads before installation except those specifying special sealant. (See Figure 6.)
- Clean the gasket surfaces on the water pump and front cover.
- Position a new gasket on the water pump sealing surface. Note: Gasket and Trim Adhesive D7AZ-1 9B508-AA (ES R-M 11 P17-A and ESE-M2G52-A) or equivalent is recommended to hold the gasket in position.
Position the water pump on the front cover. Install the retaining bolts. Note: The threads of the No. 1 water pump retaining bolt must be coated with Pipe Sealant with Teflon D8AZ-19554-A (ESG-M4G194-A) or equivalent before installing. Tighten the retaining bolts to 20-30 Nm (15-22 lb.-ft.).
Install the upper crankshaft sensor cover (supercharged engines).
Connect the cooling bypass hose, heater hose, oil cooler hose and radiator lower hose to the water pump. Tighten the clamps securely.
Install the water pump to the power steering pump brace and install the pump pulley. Note: If removed, install the intercooler assembly. Refer to Intercooler/ Charge Air Cooler (CAC) Service and Repair.
Position the main accessory drive belt over the pulleys.
Install the water pump pulley, fan/clutch assembly and fan shroud. Cross-tighten the fan/clutch assembly retaining bolts to 16-24 Nm (12-18 lb.-ft.).
Rotate the tensioner and install the drive belt.
Fill the cooling system with the specified coolant. Caution: This engine has aluminum cylinder heads and requires a special corrosion-inhibiting coolant formula to avoid cooling system damage.
Start the engine and check for coolant leaks.
1997 Ford Truck Windstar V6-232 3.8L VIN 4 SFI
Service time: 4.0 hours
- Drain the engine cooling system.
- Loosen the drive belt tensioner and remove the drive belt.
- Raise the vehicle on a hoist.
- Disconnect the lower radiator hose from the radiator lower hose tube and radiator.
- Disconnect the radiator lower hose tube from the water pump.
- Remove the lower nut on both front engine support insulators.
- Lower the vehicle.
- Disconnect the battery ground cable.
- Remove the generator from the power steering pump support.
- Position the drain pan and disconnect the power steering pressure line from the power steering pump using Fuel Line Disconnect Tool Set T9OT-9550-S.
Remove the power steering reservoir filler cap.
Disconnect the water bypass hose and oil cooler hose from the heater water outlet tube. Caution: If you are using a prying device to assist in the water pump removal, be careful not to damage the mating surfaces.
Remove the retaining bolts and disconnect heater water outlet tube from water pump.
Remove the A/C bracket brace.
Attach the engine lifting eye to the left-hand (front) exhaust manifold.
Attach the lifting equipment to the engine lifting eye and raise the front of engine approximately 51 mm (2") to provide the necessary clearance for the water pump removal.
Remove the water pump pulley retaining bolts and water pump pulley.
Remove the drive belt tensioner pulley retaining bolt and drive belt tensioner pulley from the power steering pump support.
Remove the power steering pump support retaining bolts and nut. Place the power steering pump and support assembly aside in a position to prevent fluid leakage.
Remove the water pump retaining bolts and nuts and water pump. Discard the used water pump housing gasket.
- Clean the gasket surfaces on the water pump and engine front cover. Note: Lightly oil all bolt and stud bolt threads before installation except those specifying special sealant.
Position a new water pump housing gasket on the water pump housing sealing surface. Note: The threads of the No. 1 engine front cover retaining stud must be coated with Pipe Sealant with Teflon D8AZ-19554-A or equivalent meeting Ford specification WSK-M2G350-A2 before installing. Gasket and Trim Adhesive D7AZ-19B508-B or equivalent meeting Ford specification ESE-M2G52-A is recommended to hold the water pump housing gasket in position.
Position the water pump on the engine front cover. Install the retaining bolts as in Figure 7.
Position the power steering pump support and install the retaining nuts and bolts. Tighten the bolts and nuts to 40-55 Nm (30-40 ft.-lbs.).
Install the drive belt tensioner pulley and retaining bolt. Tighten the bolt to 70-95 Nm (52-70 ft.-lbs.).
Install the A/C bracket brace.
Position the water pump pulley on water pump hub and install the retaining bolts. Tighten the bolts to 8.0-11.5 Nm (71-101 in.-lbs.).
Lower the engine and disconnect the lifting equipment from the lifting eye.
Remove the lifting eye from the exhaust manifold.
Connect the heater water outlet tube to the water pump and install the retaining bolts. Tighten the bolts to 8-11.5 Nm (71-101 in.-lbs.).
Connect the water bypass hose and oil cooler hose to the heater water outlet tube. Tighten the clamps securely.
Connect the power steering pressure line to the power steering pump fitting.
Install the power steering reservoir filler cap.
Install the generator to power steering pump support.
Connect the battery ground cable.
Raise the vehicle on a hoist.
Install the lower nut on the front engine support insulators and tighten the retaining nut to 88-119 Nm (65-87 ft.-lbs.). Install the lower nut of the rear engine support insulator and tighten it to 77-104 Nm (56-76 ft.-lbs.).
Connect the radiator lower hose tube to the water pump. Install the retaining bolt and tighten it securely.
Connect the lower radiator hose to the radiator lower hose tube and radiator. Position the hose clamps securely.
Lower the vehicle.
Position the drive belt over the drive belt tensioner and release the drive belt tensioner.
Fill and bleed the cooling system with specified coolant. Caution: This engine has aluminum cylinder heads and requires a special corrosion-inhibiting coolant to avoid cooling system damage.
Fill the power steering pump reservoir with the specified fluid.
Start the engine and check for coolant and power steering fluid leaks. Service as necessary.
Technical repair procedures and art courtesy of ALLDATA.