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Old 03-21-2016, 08:36 AM   #1
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Water pump composite blade distintigration

This past weekend I removed my 2001 Boxster water pump to replace it. Read as much as I could from here and around the web. Like others, found that much of the existing blade had worn away. Checked the openings i could reach (where the old pump came off) and checked inside the removed thermostat to see if I could retrieve any blade particles. Found nothing.

What I did not read, was what to do if presented with this situation. I drained all my coolant fluids and there may be particles at the bottom of the pan but too small to notice.
My question for anyone who has done this procedure....were you able to find any blade particles? Did you just proceed to bolt the new fan/thermostat on and move forward? Is there a step I should do before buttoning everything back up?

thanking the community for your feedback....it takes a village (and some big bucks!)

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Old 03-21-2016, 08:50 AM   #2
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It may have slowly ground down and there are no big pieces? Can you see where big pieces would have broken off?
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:58 AM   #3
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Hard to say, although the edges of the blades are not uniform like you might see if they were all rubbing against something and sanded down evenly. I would tend to think that there might be small particles of blades floating around someplace.
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Old 03-21-2016, 09:15 AM   #4
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From what I have read, the parts can end up anywhere. Mine was missing most of all the blades and had a ragged edge on what was left. I found one large piece about 1/2" long in the bucket after I flushed it with a hose. After the hose, I poured distilled water through. It ran good for a while, but is running a little hot again about 150 miles later. Next, I'm going to pull the water pump again and inspect. Debris may have come loose and damaged the new one. It's bad news. I'm starting to think that a cheap water pump and more frequent changes might be the best way to go - at least if you have already had one get to failure.
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Old 03-21-2016, 09:27 AM   #5
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One place to look for impeller parts is the heat exchanger/oil cooler on top of the engine. Just remove it and poke around.You may see smaller parts inside the heat exchanger.
That is where I found some when I rebuilt my M96. But how do you know there are not other parts elsewhere ? Answer - you save every little broken piece and try to match them to the corpse of the old w/p. If you can't accumulate enough bits to 'reform' the worn/broken blades - keep hunting.
The whole debate on plastic vs. metal seems to overlook the option of routine, preemptive replacement of a metal impeller w/p. Yes, I know it will destroy the crankcase half if it fails but broken plastic impeller parts that plug the cooling system may do worse. Pick your poison ?
Whatever you choose, it seems wise to replace the w/p frequently. Question is -how frequently? 40-50K miles?
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:54 AM   #6
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Drained the coolant and found nothing significant in terms of pieces of the old impeller. Next stop is going to be the oil:water heat exchanger. I guess i should have been a paleontologist like my parents wanted! trying to recreate the impeller seems nearly impossible when looking into a bucket that appears to contain only impeller dust.
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Old 03-23-2016, 01:07 PM   #7
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but compared to rebuilding an M96 that overheats because coolant passages were plugged by plastic debris ........
If it really is just dust - there should be broad scraping marks(not gouges) in the part of the w/p housing that is cast into the crankcase half. Easy to see.
If every blade is intact - just ground down -maybe the missing material is dust.
If so ,some flushing may be helpful ?
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:42 PM   #8
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I replaced a WP for a buddy who bought his Boxster from me. His WP was absolutely toast and the impeller was in many parts, big and small. We flushed the motor with distilled water a couple of times before buttoning things up. It's been about 6 months and so far, so good.
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Old 03-24-2016, 04:26 AM   #9
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I just replaced my WP, Thermostat, oil cooler 'O' rings this week after 86k miles
Blades were perfect, no noise, no shaft play. The only thing I could feel different between new and old, the spin on the new was a bit better than the old.

The hose clamps were replaced with Worm gear type but the WP gasket was the original, still connected (2) piece, so this must be original WP.

There seems to be such a large disparity to the longevity of parts from car to car

I'm old school so this new path I've embarked on, preventative replacement, is tough, especially when I pull off what appears to be perfectly good functioning parts that were giving no signs of degradation

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