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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Never done this before, but when replacing the water pump on ‘96 SS, should I or do I have to use new bolts (pump to engine block). I know some bolts on an engine should be replaced and not reused. Also, should I use anti-seize or Loctite? If Loctite, which color?

Anything I should also do or look for or check while I am there? Tips, tricks, suggestions? I normally go to a mechanic, but thought I could do this and save some money.

Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thread sealant is what you want. Search "water pump" and search by recent threads for more info. Now would be a great time to install a new cap and rotor on your optispark if you can afford it. And loctite the rotor screws.
Thank you Sherlock9c1, I will look into that. Any pitfalls to working on the OptI Spark? What is your preference to these parts and where to shop?
 

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I'd be tempted to let opti be if car is running well. One can always revisit this later if need be.
 
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The lower, DS, WP bolt is the only one that needs "thread sealer" (read NOT RTV)

There is a 50/50 chance the WP drive seal will leak after a WP swap IF you do not replace that seal as removing the spline, ESPECIALLY IF IT IS HARD COMING OFF, can disturb that seal causing it to leak. IMHO replace the WP drive seal BUT use some form of tool (buy the $20 ebay one) to install it. NEVER grease that seal (not sure if video shown says so but IIRC one did)

If the WP was weeping from rear there is a 100% chance there is some contamination inside OPTI. Just remove C&R and carefully clean it with Q tips. Use dialectic grease, skim coat, on the large O ring for Cap.

The mechanical WP's are a crap roll on being good relative to leaking quickly from weep hole. For cars that I have mechanical WP, I found NAPA new ones lasted longer. For me nothing has lasted 22 years like my Meziere EWP. YMMV
 

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There is a splined sleeve that connects between the H2Opump and the cam drive.
When you take the H2Opump off, it might stay on the engine.
If it stays on the pump - or you take it off the engine to put it on the H2Opump - don't flip it!
Even if you decide to replace the O-rings on it, maintain its original orientation.
 
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Do yourself a favor and dump the mechanical pump. None of them last long these days and my last failed one took the pump drive with it. Installed an electric pump and couldn't be happier. Car runs much cooler and outside of very hot days (lots of those in central Florida) the gauge never hits the mid mark.

 

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Do yourself a favor and dump the mechanical pump.
None of them last long these days and my last failed one took the pump drive with it.
Installed an electric pump and couldn't be happier.
Car runs much cooler and outside of very hot days (lots of those in central Florida) the gauge never hits the mid mark.
Replaced my mech H2Opump 3x in 2 years.
(schmuckanic flipped the gottdamnt spline sleeve the wrong way).
Made it very clear that there was something wrong INSIDE the front cover.
Cost to fix H2Opump drive mechanism inside front cover: $800 (back in the EARLY noughties).
Even if paid $1000 to use another mech H2Opump it'd not've lasted long enough to be worth it.
Cost to convert to a Meziere WP118HD, with electrical rewiring, installed:
about $250 (back in the early noughties).
(The mere WP118 is easier to acquire, but inferior to the WP118HD.)
Lasted over 10 years / 125,000 miles of me driving like a meth'd up cabbie.

If your H2Opump is all good'n'tight now, can't hurt to find another leakfree mech H2Opump to convert for the future.
 

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Electrics outlast mechanicals more so these days. They have advantages which are significant.
They don't leak ,quick/easy to swap out ,water pump drive seals last practically forever ,etc....
 
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Not speaking ill of them as I had one but am I the only person to have Meziere leak ?
**** happens but the fight about the warrenty is still in memory.
Meziere wanted to go by manufacturer date not purchase date. Great, mine must have been languishing out of reach on the Summit shelf for more than a year and a half !!

What exactly is the difference on the two ends of the coupler? I do remember a reference line.
 

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I did it my self in driveway too...it turned out GREAT ?


good Luck.
-ALF out....
 

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Replaced my mech H2Opump 3x in 2 years.
(schmuckanic flipped the gottdamnt spline sleeve the wrong way).
Made it very clear that there was something wrong INSIDE the front cover.
Cost to fix H2Opump drive mechanism inside front cover: $800 (back in the EARLY noughties).
Even if paid $1000 to use another mech H2Opump it'd not've lasted long enough to be worth it.
Cost to convert to a Meziere WP118HD, with electrical rewiring, installed:
about $250 (back in the early noughties).
(The mere WP118 is easier to acquire, but inferior to the WP118HD.)
Lasted over 10 years / 125,000 miles of me driving like a meth'd up cabbie.

If your H2Opump is all good'n'tight now, can't hurt to find another leakfree mech H2Opump to convert for the future.
Price difference between the two was minimal so I went with the HD. Both were readily available on Amazon but that was last summer. The car is my daily so I needed the cheapest and fastest route of repair. Doing the job myself would save on labor but tearing into the front of 220K engine would have lead to more time and money that will be better spent when I eventually rebuild it. Now I can ditch the gear at that time and go with a better timing chain so it's a win/win.
 

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My info. on coupler is the end with the line goes towards the motor. My only guess is so it continues to spin in the same dirrection so wear pattrens don't "argue" ,so to speak...
 
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Think ,wear wise , reversing it would not change the sides of tooth wear.
Coupler is driven by stub
Coupler drives pump.
Wear is on opposite sides.
If you flipped it the drive side would become driven and vice-versa but because its rotation would reverse the same tooth sides would wear.
I have a pump , coupler , drive gear on hand but they are buried due to a home reno.
I will put a good look on the things to do list when I see the old LT1 bin.
Wonder if there is a difference in position of O groove on pump vs drive gear.
Don't know, one would think the difference between the two ends would be pretty obvious if it was the cause of 3 pumps and a drive failure as Marky has indicated.
 

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GM wouldn't have spent the pennies to place the groove in one end if it didn't matter
 

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As others mentioned, there are other posts here about changing the WP.

But to answer some questions in this thread directly...

Bolts don't need replaced unless rusted or damaged. As mentioned, only one needs thread sealant (you'll know the one when you remove it, a bunch of coolant dumps out from the block, lol). But often I put sealant on them all just to help prevent dirt/rust/seizing.

Coupler groove/line faces the engine.

Line Font Parallel Engineering Auto part


Briefly mentioned before, but often overlooked is that the coupler needs an o-ring on the mating shafts (both).

100% of the time, this o-ring is missing or fallen apart in every job I've done. Replace it! Do not skip it. If missing, a "Harbor Freight" or Amazon o-ring assortment works fine. Ideally it should be an oil-resistant rubber.

Install the new o-rings, then add liberal bearing grease inside the coupler, then reinstall.

Water pumps last much longer when all of the proper steps are taken. Not saying it's foolproof because I've had a brand new Gates pump leak out of the box. But in theory, the o-rings keep the grease in, and helps dampen vibration. As soon as the grease is lost, the coupler starts to seize or "tightly couple" to the shaft and wobbles/wallows out the WP bearings in short order. I've taken some WPs off that had a seized coupler and the bearings on the WP were completely destroyed, nothing left except a race. Even the balls were missing. Guess what? The coupler was dry (no grease) and stuck on one end of the shaft.
 

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Good points Tom ^^^

I will add a contributor to failed mechanical pumps, aside from its MAJOR INHERANT issue of a poor WP housing seal/bearing, is the WP drive spline bearings can wear and the spline (one in motor) will have some play which in turn will cause the whole spline collar to wobble regardless of ne O rings, grease used to install coupler and will kill the WP

I believe that WP drive spline/bearing assembly is extinct or very hard to find let alone what is involved to replace it

But for me being a 22+ year EWP guy....I don't have those problems
 

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Side notes...

What we need is a "flexible" coupler. Something with like a U-joint or CV joint. Wonder if that would help? Wish I owned a machine shop...

I mean it's still not a great design either way but I also own several B-Bodies and I don't stress over it. I stick my finger under the WP to check for wetness every time I check oil, etc. I don't even care about minor wetness. Usually a Delco cooling system tablet or two will clear that up (10-108/12378255). If you happen to catch a bigger drip, then don't wait.

I also tried adding a 1/8" nipple and a hose to a particularly leaky reman. Guess what? The nipple and hose clogged up with green goo. So my next experiment was to add a piece of aluminum flashing to simply divert the drips. That worked great until I replaced the WP.

My primary mode of transportation is still a LT1 Caprice. Has been for 25 years. I think people like to berate the system but it's not as bad as people make it sound, especially if good quality WPs are used and proper replacement procedures are followed.

I know some people really like EWPs. I haven't graduated from that class yet, mainly because 20+ years ago, when I was racing, I noted several LT1 cars at the track would overheat with EWPs and the guys hated them. They seemed to do well at idle but couldn't keep up under stress. I knew a guy who tried 3 different brands. Two caused overheating at the track, one worked better but had poor heater performance in the winter (maybe because it was circulating too fast?). Guess they've gotten better since then???

Do all of the people here that run EWPs have any heater problems in the winter?
 

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te the system but it's not as bad as people make it sound, especially if good quality WPs are used and proper replacement procedures are followed.

I know some people really like EWPs. I haven't graduated from that class yet, mainly because 20+ years ago, when I was racing, I noted several LT1 cars at the track would overheat with EWPs and the guys hated them. They seemed to do well at idle but couldn't keep up under stress. I knew a guy who tried 3 different brands. Two caused overheating at the track, one worked better but had poor heater performance in the winter (maybe because it was circulating too fast?). Guess they've gotten better since then???

Do all of the people here that run EWPs have any heater problems in the winter?
My car is a daily that will never see a track. Over a year now without issue and the car runs cooler than any other B Body I have owned. Living in Central Florida means she lots of excessive heat but keeps her cool.

I'm in Florida, what is this Winter you speak of? Heater?

Just kidding, contrary to popular belief it still gets freaking cold here. The few times last Winter that I needed heat it was there. My issue is that damn inline restrictor to the heater core. I don't think anyone makes one that doesn't start leaking.
 
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