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Old 12-05-2013, 05:17 PM   #60
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HoneyDave is on a distinguished road
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 5
Default Re: SL2 Water Pump Replacement w/PICS

Many thanks to Sevillian273 for his excellent writeup and great pictures! Also thanks to RichPin & campus189 for their great YouTube videos!

Just did this yesterday and looks like no leaks so I'm one happy owner. New pump (got the more expensive lifetime warranty one), belt & RTV tube for $70 incl/tax. I confess to having never really looked at the water pump, so I only noticed this problem as the wife noticed a drop on the garage floor last week. By Wednesday morning, there was a lot of fluid on the floor - good thing I changed it then. My old pump looked similar to Sevillian273's when I took it out.

Anyway, just thought I'd add a couple things here. I've got a 2000 SL2 w/165K so maybe not all these will apply to everyone, but...

1. I used the screwdriver method to get the pulley bolts on and off. It worked fairly well once I got the screwdriver in the correct positions (which is why I'm writing this to help other newbies like me). The key is lining up the screwdriver to where the handle can rest against that frame piece that kind of slants up towards the front of the car. To get them off, put the handle down (about 6 o'clock) w/the screwdriver perpendicular to the ground. To get them back on hard, I had to tuck the screwdriver with the handle towards the front of the car (and about parallel to the ground) where I couldn't really even see it very well but just held it on by feel. Also, I just had a regular old socket wrench (maybe 6" handle), and I definitely need the breaker bar over it to get the pulley bolts unstuck.

2. If you're going to the parts store and you don't have one of those angle-extensions (don't know the correct term, but the connector on the socket wrench that's got the joint in the middle so you can use your socket wrench at non-90 degree angles), I'd highly recommend getting one. I did the whole job without it, but several of the 6 pump bolts are stuck in there and would be fairly easy to get from the bottom with an angle. BTW, a breaker bar over a short socket wrench (like mine) helps a ton for getting a couple of the bolts started from the top of the car, for the access as well as the additional leverage.

3. The RTV/gasket thing seemed a bit unclear to me from all the discussions. One of the YouTube videos guys said just to spray on some liquid gasket tacky spray and that you don't need RTV. The Haynes manual actually said to put a small bead of RTV inside the gasket on the flange. Sevillian273 and a couple others (and the directions w/the pump & gasket) said to put a thin layer of RTV in the slot on the pump and stick the gasket in there then to coat the other side with RTV. I went with that approach and hopefully did it OK, but it did make me worry I'd have leaks. None so far and I'll feel 100% confident if I get another day or two with none.

4. This shows just what a total novice/newbie I am at this, but I'll say it anyway to help others. This is the first time I changed a serp belt (why did I ever pay anyone to do it for me before?!) Anyway, getting it off is a snap, pull it down a little and slip it off. But putting it back on, I was having a tough time. I was pulling it down and then because (so I thought) the new belt was a bit stiff I was trying to jam it over the torsion wheel and not getting it. Then I re-positioned the box wrench one more click to the right and pulled the torsion wheel down about twice as far as my initial pull and it just slid on very easily. D'Oh!

5. Didn't have any problems getting the pulley out - it slipped out easily through the front of the car under the A/C compressor.

Thanks to everyone here for your willingness to help. A belated big thank you to fdryer for telling me to replace the cooling temp sensor a year ago when I was having odd starting problems. That did it!


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