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Old 08-05-2015, 07:26 PM   #1
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Water pump fun!

I helped a buddy R/R his water pump yesterday in an 03S that he bought from me last June. He called me last week and said the car made a horrible noise at start up so he turned it off. I told him to look for a leak and I guess he drove the car a bit around his neighborhood and then discovered the leak.

He ordered the usual stuff (WP, Thermostat, gaskets and serpentine belt) and we set off to do the install at our base auto hobby shop. He nursed the car to the base ( I had suggested towing it) and by the time he got to the shop, his battery light was on, along with loss of power steering. He had obviously tore up the belt.

When we disassembled, the belt was completely shredded and strands were wrapped around the idler and alternator pullies. The WP pully was so loose it felt you could just pull it off!

When we pulled the WP, the impeller was in pieces. I know we didn't find it all.
I suggested towing to local indy for evaluation. I really wasn't sure the best course for trying to flush impeller pieces out. Buddy didn't want to tow so we flushed and filled the car three times with distilled water.

The car seems to run fine now but I'm still concerned that imeller crud is going to lodge in the water jacket and damage a head.

Thoughts on anything we could do premeptively, short of taking the motor apart?

I suggested we flush again in a few days or a week but I'm not confident it'll really help.

Note to self: Don't try to drive car if WP takes a crap. Not worth it!

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Old 08-05-2015, 07:31 PM   #2
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Sounds like your buddy is going to pay the price for poor judgement and not heeding good advice. Not exactly the brightest bulb on the porch, is he?
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Old 08-05-2015, 07:44 PM   #3
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I am about to replace my WP preventatively (I hope), and from everything I have read, it is almost impossible to get all of the impeller bits out of the system. If he is lucky any pieces will settle in the bottom of the radiators, and stay there. You can try to backflush the system with a hose, and/or air, but the chances of getting everything out of the system are slim.
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:04 PM   #4
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From a practical point of view, all you can do is back flush until you think that all of the pieces have come out. After that, its up to luck.
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:09 PM   #5
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Don't know what you guys are using to back flush with, but maybe take to a radiator shop? Most use a water flush assisted with compressed air so can really get the flow volume up. Might get a few more pieces.
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:15 PM   #6
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I would be careful of using to much pressure to flush the system. I think the absolute maximum would be 20psi, and I have read not to exceed 10psi. But I am not sure how reliable that information is. Perhaps someone more knowledge can chime in.
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_T View Post
Sounds like your buddy is going to pay the price for poor judgement and not heeding good advice. Not exactly the brightest bulb on the porch, is he?
He's all right, just not really a car guy but loves THIS car. He's actually taken good care of it the last year. I just don't think I did a good job of stressing not driving the car after hearing the noise. I think he was just thinking that as long as he didn't let it get too warm he'd be ok.

I did the WP on my 2000S last year at 120K miles after noticing a very small leak. My impeller was intact and my WP was actually very sound. Once I got to it, it seemed as though the leak was potentially coming from a bolt that wasn't tight enough. It didn't matter though as I changed it anyway.
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick3000 View Post
I would be careful of using to much pressure to flush the system. I think the absolute maximum would be 20psi, and I have read not to exceed 10psi. But I am not sure how reliable that information is. Perhaps someone more knowledge can chime in.
Well they do dial the air pressure down to 13 psi or so.....They just have a high volume low pressure flow.
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Old 08-06-2015, 09:54 AM   #9
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So the loose WP pulley was enough to destroy the serpentine belt?
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Old 08-07-2015, 07:34 PM   #10
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I should have snapped a pic..loose doesn't really describe how wobbley the pully was. My guess is the belt started to come off the pully and got jammed around it and the other pulleys. The belt was literaly shredded.

Update: talked to the owner today and so far so good.....

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