Several weeks ago we began noticing small amounts of coolant on the garage floor under my wife’s truck. After looking under the hood I didn’t notice anything too obvious other than some splatter on the bottom of the upper radiator hose. Assuming the hose was the problem I replaced it. A week later we saw more fluid on the floor and on the engine.
I put the truck on the lift and with an extension mirror and flashlight I was able to make out rust and distinct wetness just under the water pump. The following picture shows what I am talking about.
This job was not going to be easy on my knuckles, but we bought a new water pump and lower radiator hose (why not?) anyway. We also bought all new fluid figuring that since I needed to drain the coolant anyway, why not go ahead and do a complete flush.
Draining the old fluid was a breeze. You simply remove the drain plug from the radiator, let it drain completely then open the radiator cap to suck any additional fluid out of the reservoir tank.
The new hose on the truck. Note that I went ahead and switched to a traditional hose clamp for the engine connection. It was just too difficult to get that spring loaded one on in such a tight space. Also note that the lower hose has a large spring inside it to keep the hose from compressing and blocking flow during WOT moments. I was sure to remove it from the old hose and insert it into this one.
Getting the water pump off wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I used a 1/2 inch ratchet to remove tension from the belt tensioner spring then pulled the belt lose. Once that was done, it was easier to access the front of the engine. I removed the belt from under the truck, but removed the water pump from above. After two bolts were removed, it took a small strike with a hammer and pry bar to pop it lose.
This is the new one along with a new o-ring. I bought some rubber gasket conditioner that was excellent for helping hold the o-ring in place while attaching the pump to the engine. Speaking of which, what a total B*TCH. This, by far, was the most difficult part of the job and a big reason why I don’t have any pics of the new pump on the engine; I was just too happy to be done and didn’t even think to take a shot.
Once the new pump was on, I put the belt back into place and filled the radiator with distilled water. I then started the truck and ran it for what seemed like forever before it hit 190 degrees and the thermostat opened. After letting it run for a few more minutes to thoroughly flush the system, we shut it down and let it cool a bit before draining it again.
Justin and I waited for another 40 minutes or so then filled the system up with 1 gallon of 100% antifreeze (assuming that there may still be some distilled water in the system) and 4 gallons of 50/50 solution.
Anyway, it was a fun project and I got a good feeling of accomplishment afterwards. Plus it has been 3 weeks since the new water pump change and no leaks yet!