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Thread: 6.5 hours to change a damned water pump????

  1. #1
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    Exclamation 6.5 hours to change a damned water pump????

    OK, instead of doing something worth while, like putting a laser show together, or even pre-packing my gear in preparation for SELEM, I decided to change the water pump on my Jeep this weekend. (It's been leaking for a while, and I wanted it done before SELEM.)

    6.5 hours later I'm finally finished! Sheesh! Went to three different auto-parts stores and rented three different sets of fan-clutch wrech kits. NONE OF THEM FIT. Bastards. Ended up doing things the old-fashioned way: big damned set of channel-locks, plus a hefty crescent wrench and a huge cheater bar.

    I can't believe getting that damned clutch fan off was such a pain in the ass! Starting to understand why the dealership wanted $450 to change a $40 water pump though.

    And in fairness, the 6.5 hours was at least half-spent driving around town with my son. But still, it was a day wasted. Sigh.

    At least the new pump is installed now (finally) and running with no leaks. So I feel good about towing the U-Haul trailer all the way to SELEM. I just wish I had my Saturday back!

    Time to take a muscle-relaxer and grab something to eat before I go to bed... Sheesh! (Getting way to old for this crap!)

    Adam

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    OK, instead of doing something worth while, like putting a laser show together, or even pre-packing my gear in preparation for SELEM, I decided to change the water pump on my Jeep this weekend. (It's been leaking for a while, and I wanted it done before SELEM.)

    6.5 hours later I'm finally finished! Sheesh! Went to three different auto-parts stores and rented three different sets of fan-clutch wrech kits. NONE OF THEM FIT. Bastards. Ended up doing things the old-fashioned way: big damned set of channel-locks, plus a hefty crescent wrench and a huge cheater bar.

    I can't believe getting that damned clutch fan off was such a pain in the ass! Starting to understand why the dealership wanted $450 to change a $40 water pump though.

    And in fairness, the 6.5 hours was at least half-spent driving around town with my son. But still, it was a day wasted. Sigh.

    At least the new pump is installed now (finally) and running with no leaks. So I feel good about towing the U-Haul trailer all the way to SELEM. I just wish I had my Saturday back!

    Time to take a muscle-relaxer and grab something to eat before I go to bed... Sheesh! (Getting way to old for this crap!)

    Adam
    LOL. That sucks. Your Cherokee or whatever you have must be a bit more complicated than my Wrangler. I had to change the water pump a few weeks back but it was pretty simple. Fan and clutch come off with 4 nuts. Took around 2hrs. Most annoying part was getting the power steering pump out of the way. I am surprised mine wasn't leaking. It started making noise and I could grab the fan and move it side to side due to the slop in the worn pump bushing. The noise was from the impeller rubbing against the inside of the pump.

    I know what you mean about the muscle-relaxer, though. Even after just a couple hours of work my thigh was sore the next day from bending over on my tip toes for that long.

  3. #3
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    Ford Ranger is no picnic either. The AC compressor needs to be moved out of the way as well as the clutch fan. The clutch fan was a major pain in the ass. I just had to do this recently so, I feel your plight.
    Those who fail to grasp art are the ones who criticize it.

  4. #4
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    Ouch,

    I remember changing a water pump in my old Firebird. Waterpumps can be a total pain.

    I feel for you. But it's better than getting stranded half way to Newton

    See ya in a few days.

  5. #5
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    According to the Haynes manual, I had to move the power steering pump out of the way and remove the fan shroud around the radiator. There was no way I was doing that though, as I had already taken the shroud off once before (radiator swap) and it's a bitch! As for the power steering pump, it was sort of in the way of one of the hoses on the pump, but the bolts were super stiff and very hard to get to, so I decided to work around the power steering pump. That really wasn't a problem.

    Having the shroud in the way was a bit of a pain, but again, we worked around it. The real issue was getting the damned clutch fan off! (Once we got it off we just let it sit in the lower section of the shroud, since it wouldn't come out unless we pulled the shroud.)

    On my Jeep (2000 Grand Cherokee with the 4.0 L straight-6), the clutch fan has a large (1 3/8 inch) nut that screws directly onto the water pump shaft. The pulley that drives the water pump also attaches to the pump shaft, but it is held separate from the clutch fan by 4 bolts. You can actually pull those bolts and get the drive pulley loose, but you can't do anything with it because it won't slide past the clutch fan. (yeah, we tried this first)

    We even thought about taking the clutch fan apart by pulling the 4 bolts that hold it to the shaft with the large nut on it, but I was afraid I might screw it up totally, so we abandoned the idea.

    Ideally you get a special tool that grabs hold of the 4 bolts that hold the serpentine belt pulley on to the water pump. That stops the pulley (and thus the pump) from turning. Then you stick a huge wrench on the nut that holds the clutch fan in place and just loosen it.

    I didn't have a 1 3/8 inch wrench, and none of the kits we rented had one either. (One was close, but it had been rounded off and no longer fit snug.) So we used a crescent wrench and a 2 ft long pipe for extra leverage. As for the bolts on the pulley, we tried everything, but in the end a combination of the last custom tool we rented plus a big pair of channel locks managed to grab hold of the pulley long enough for us to get the clutch fan off.

    After that, the entire job was straight-forward. Just 5 bolts hold the water pump on, so it was a cinch. Spent more time cleaning up the gasket surface on the engine and waiting for the permatex to dry than anything else at that point.

    I did run into a bit of a snag when I tried to re-attach the troublesome hose under the power steering pump, because I couldn't get a good bite on the flex-clamp to slide it back onto the end of the hose on the suction nipple. But that wasn't nearly as troublesome as the bullshit we went through to get the clutch fan off!

    Adam

    PS: Yeah, see you soon Neil!
    Last edited by buffo; 08-10-2014 at 09:59. Reason: typo

  6. #6
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    Those clutch fans are a bitch, totally. At least the pump was on the serpentine and not on the timing belt. I have gone through that before too. I had to change the pump on my Rodeo about 10 years ago. While putting the new timing belt on after changing the pump, I bumped one of the cams. It was one tooth off. It ran like shit when I started it up. Luckily, the timing wasn't off by too much and I didn't bend any valve stems. I did have to tear into it to get the cam set right. Thankfully I only had to readjust once.

    Sometimes, I find it easier to have someone else do it. Brake pads, no problem. Valve cover gasket, no problem. Alternator, no problem. When it starts coming down to the stuff that will take me forever and also the loss of my hair from yanking it out, I start to reconsider the cost of a mobile mechanic. Dropping a trans to change the clutch, yeah, someone else can do that for me. I have done it once and will not do it again. I think I may do that for my next water pump replacement, should that ever occur.

    Glad you got it all sorted out though!
    Those who fail to grasp art are the ones who criticize it.

  7. #7
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    Bradfo69 is offline Pending BST Forum Purchases: $47,127,283.53
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    I've done my fair share over the years including a few complete motor re-builds. You think I have laser stuff!?!? You should have seen me when it was automotive tools! They've all been in storage about a half hours drive away so, reluctantly at times, I've ended up paying for stuff to be done.

    I swapped out a starter in Matthews jeep recently which was fairly easy (except for the shower of sparks in my face when I realized the battery cable was still touching the positive terminal) but, I know all too well about those horror stories. Usually though, it's been for friends rather than me. The last water pump was actually for a woman I worked with and done at night outside in December. 30 degrees with flashlights and took a few hours. Her husband was useless. Nissan Altima if I recall correctly. I don't envy you and... you know better than to do that back risky stuff a few days before SELEM!

  8. #8
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    Unhappy Battle scars...

    Back-risky stuff... Yeah, I should have known better. My back was really sore last night when I went to bed. Still a little stiff, but I don't think I damaged anything - at least not in my back...

    I did notice that my left arm hurt a lot last night. This morning it's still sore. So with the lights still out I walked quietly to the kitchen to get some coffee and start the day. Bumped the inside of my forearm on the counter, and YOW!, that hurt! What the hell?

    Turns out it might have been a good idea to remove that plastic fan shroud after all. This is what my left arm looks like this morning:



    Fucking hurts like hell, and I'm sure those are bruises forming. Damn....

    Adam

  9. #9
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    Hmm, looks suspiciously like laser burns....

    I feel your pain -
    As I get older, I seem to be amassing quite the collection of scars thanks to home-improvement and automotive DIY mishaps!

    Funny how we don't bounce as well as we used to...
    Last edited by Stuka; 08-10-2014 at 03:59.
    RR

    Metrologic HeNe 3.3mw Modulated laser, 2 Radio Shack motors, and a broken mirror.
    1979.
    Sweet.....

  10. #10
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    Worst job for me was on my old 79 wagon. One of the exhaust manifolds was leaking a bit so I decided to remove it and put on a new gasket. Well, the bolts were so rusted that one of them snapped off in the head and another also wouldn't come out no matter how much penetrant and heat I put on it. So, to fix the bolts I had to remove the head and take it to a machine shop... which required removing pretty much everything in the engine compartment. Turned out to be a ton of crusty sludge under in the intake manifold which led me to cleaning all of that out and replacing the lifters and pushrods. In total, due to waiting on the machine shop, parts, etc, it took a couple of months and all I wanted to do was replace an exhaust manifold gasket. It was a total pain but a pretty fun project, otherwise. Don't want to do it again, though!

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