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.
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.
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).
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.
- 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.).
Technical repair procedures and art courtesy of ALLDATA.