Berlina project 4: the dreaded waterpump replacement

Usually my bad karma manifests itself as a star chip in a windshield or a slipping clutch but lately it’s been all about the waterpump.  When I had the engine out of the Berlina I noticed a lot of play in the waterpump pulley but I thought that since the engine had worked so good for so long in the Sprint, I’d just roll with it. These things can take decades to tear themselves apart I thought.

Last week when I went to the local Mexican market a few blocks from my shop for some Tecate, chips and salsa and pineapple Fanta to restock the shop ‘fridge, I came out of the store and there was a puddle of pretty green antifreeze under my car. So much for a slow decline for the water pump.

part-1Is it just me or is coolant more viscous than it used to be? All this was apart a few weeks ago so since it’s fresh in my mind I suspect I can get through it pretty quick. I popped the hood at 5:30pm after picking up a set of sparkplugs, some carb cleaner and some ultra gray from my neighborhood chain auto parts store.  I had a date to keep at 7:30pm so I had to hurry.

part-2-part-25:50, radiator comes out easily once the drain plug in the bottom of the radiator is pulled and all the coolant is captured for reuse.   To get at the plug you go in from the bottom through the capsule shaped hole seen here in the crook of the upper radiator hose.  Plug is 14mm and requires an extension.  Radiator has to come out to remove the fan, pump and loosen the main pulley.  Not pulling the radiator to do this job would be like trying to change brake pads without removing the wheel.

part-36:00 pm, fan and belt is gone here and the alternator is flopped out of the way.

part-46:20, front pulley has to be pulled out about an inch to get the waterpump off.  Good thing I’m not running the Spica or I’d have to pull that belt/mess apart.

part-56:30, wow, strangely clean in the waterpump area. Note the upside down triangle in a circle, that’s how you tell it’s a 1750. I have to fess up that I reused the gasket since it stayed in one piece.  I don’t show it but I used some carb cleaner on paper towels to clean the front cover.

part-6Degreasing and cleaning the tach drive and some random nuts and bolts.  New waterpump doesn’t come with the tach drive so you have to move it from the old pump to the new.  Timing pointer is built in into the drive and acts as the washers under the mounting screws.

part-76:45, in case you’re wondering how I got at the pulley nut with the pneumatic wrench, I pulled a grill off.  New waterpump looks good, nice and clean.  Should last that way for a week at least.  Bending over the washer on the main pulley was one of the hardest parts of this job because there is very little direct access to get at it and tap it out of the way.

part-86:50, tach cable hooked up, fan bolted into place, belt on and tensioned, ready for the radiator to go back in.

part-97:02, all back together and new plugs installed to boot. Yes, I pulled one of the plug leads apart and had to appropriate one from another car.

It’s been four days and about 300 miles and everything is working good. The old waterpump is impressive in how dead it is and yet it still worked well other than slowly leaking. What’s next for the Berlina? Hopefully nothing, or maybe some new plug wires.


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