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Old 12-05-2013, 10:49 PM   #61
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B3N P4NCH0 is on a distinguished road
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Default Re: SL2 Water Pump Replacement w/PICS

Third time was the charm.. thanks to the original poster for the thorough step-by-step instructions.. if followed to the T, it should be no problem.

Recommendations for future amateur mechanics like myself who want to DIY:

1. If you don't have any impact tools, make sure you have the proper extensions and/or breaker bars. I managed to get away with using a 3/8" drive ratchet, a 17" breaker bar (both with 10mm sockets) and a 10mm wrench to break each bolt loose enough to where I could remove it with my hand.

2. If you change the water pump, also change the thermostat. Both require draining the coolant and doing both while draining it once is cheaper and less of a hassle than doing it separate and draining it twice.

3. Avoid doing the work in cold weather if you live in a cold-weather climate state, especially if your hands are really sensitive to the cold (go ahead, call me a wimp). Warmer weather = easier work.

4. FiremanCV's video on youtube is very thorough as well. I took his advice and used the Copper Spray-A-Gasket. I've never used RTV before but the SAG was very easy and simple to use.

5. If you have issues breaking the pulley bolts loose, get some kind of greaser spray (my cousin gave me something that he said was stronger than WD-40), spray the bolts, let it sit for 24 hours, then try again to break the bolts loose.

All in all, once everything was broken loose it was an easy fix. Took me about 2 hours, the parts cost me $35 (with a 20% discount) online, picked up in store. The local car shop that I used to take my Saturn to would be charging ballpark range of $420-$430 for just labor.

Good luck to all future DIY'ers on this job
2000 SL1: 208K miles (driven since 2005).
25ish MPG city, 33-35 Highway.
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:02 PM   #62
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2002 SL2
Default Re: SL2 Water Pump Replacement w/PICS

Just did this job today, a few notes:

-Your pump can be bad without leaking a drop. The bearing will go and you'll hear a rattling sound, it will sound like it's coming from the timing cover or front side of valve cover. If you're using a stethoscope and you have AC it will also travel surprisingly well to the AC compressor. The key giveaway is the pulley can be moved laterally ever so slightly, not even a 16th of an inch. There should be no lateral runout at all.

-Gear Wrench makes a "wobble" socket wrench extension, it's an extension with a narrow base under the ball-detent. It turns any socket into a wobble socket, but you don't get as much of an angle. It works well with an impact unlike U-joint extensions. This and an impact (cordless is fine) is the best way to get the pulley bolts off. It was the easiest part of the job with these two tools. If you don't have an impact try this method:

-Copper Gasket is your friend. Two thin coats and the gasket was going nowhere. You NEED some kind of gasket adhesive for this; it's near impossible to keep the gasket in place and mate the pump up perfectly with such little space.

-Scotch brite pads are the recommended mating surface cleaning product

-Torque spec for water pump to block bolts is 22 lb ft. But you're probably not going to get a torque wrench in there. I used a torque wrench on one of the easy to reach ones to get a feel for how tight, then did the rest by feel. The worst possible thing you could do on this job is to strip out the aluminum threads.

-Looking back I probably would've taken the top mount off and jacked the engine up a bit to get the pulley out. You can get it around to the right side of the block and back, but you have to push it against the front of the new pump to get it back. It didn't seem to hurt anything, but I wasn't really comfortable having to push laterally against my brand new pump, especially when the problem to begin with was lateral runout.
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Old 09-21-2014, 05:16 AM   #63
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Default Re: SL2 Water Pump Replacement w/PICS

For safety, before replacement of water pump, you should disconnect the negative pole of battery, open the radiator cap.
After replacement, connect the negatove pole of battery, fill up the radiator with the coolant.
Opening the radiator cap help you get no problemn with bubble in radiator.
Tks for share.
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Old 12-07-2014, 12:21 AM   #64
MetalMatty is on a distinguished road
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1998 SL2
Default Re: SL2 Water Pump Replacement w/PICS

Hey guys, just wanted to add my .02...

I may have just been stupid or not thinking but when I was trying to tighten the pulley back up I could not figure out what way to prop the screwdriver/pry bar to actually stay put...

This is the way I found worked best... Of course you will need a wrench. You prop the screwdriver between the two most left bolts and let it rest against the crank pulley while tightening the right side bolt.

1996 Honda Accord - Sold
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Old 05-24-2015, 04:07 PM   #65
Slow Joe Crow
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Default Re: SL2 Water Pump Replacement w/PICS

I did this job a few months ago, and this thread was a big help. I have a few tips from my experience.
1.Use a 6 point socket on the water pump & pulley bolts, and if you have one use a "flank drive" style with relieved corners. I started out out with a 12 point socket and had it pop off one of the bolts. Fortunately I was able to find a 6 point socket and force it onto the bolt head.
2. Hylomar is a great alternative to RTV for holding the water pump gasket in place. It's non-hardening and very sticky so you don't need to wait. Also Hylomar is oil soluble so it won't gum up oil passages or small water passages.
3. If you get in trouble you can remove the AC compressor to get at the water pump bolts. I had to do this to get the rounded bolt off. It adds time and work but access is much better.
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Old 02-22-2017, 07:10 PM   #66
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Southern Nevada
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1998 SW2
Default Re: SL2 Water Pump Replacement w/PICS

I just did this on a 98 SC2 and have a couple of observations that may help others.

The car: 299,500 miles, engine was supposedly rebuilt at 167,000. It had an original style sheet metal pump, and o-ring type gasket. It went out on my way home from work. Topped off the water, and drove the 60 miles of freeway home. I had my code reader plugged in live streaming the temp and it never got over 147F, mostly around 138F. Pulled over halfway home to check the level and added about a quart or so.

The biggest hassle was getting the pulley off, and I think it may have been put on with an impact because it was really tight. The pulley was slipping in the belt, but I was able to put a 10mm box end wrench upsidedown on a bolt above the one being removed which placed the other end on top of the crank pulley stopping the rotation. Popped two off that way then I remembered that I had an old Ingersoll Rand electric impact in the basement. Using the 3/8" extensions, and swivel I used earlier I hammered the last bolt for awhile and it eventually came off. Lesson--use an impact to remove all of them, you will be much better off and no slipping issues. My 18V impact was at work, or I would have used it from the start.

Now that the pulley was off there was not enough clearance between the frame and the pump to remove it. So I just moved it around as I popped the bolts out with a 3/8" drive ratchet,extensions to get it to the outside edge of the wheelwell, and a swivel. The top two were removed with a 1/4" ratchet and standard 6 point socket.

The pump I put on was from AutoZone $27 1 year warranty, $31 with the lifetime,but I don't expect to have this car for another year. It is manufactured by GMB. The only modification I did was make a notch in the gasket, so it did not cover a small hole in the block that the original also did not block.

Slipped the pulley onto the pump, and slid it into position. Easy peasy from then on.

Synopsis; use an impact to remove the pulley bolts, use a 1/4" ratchet and standard 6 point socket to get the top two bolts, check the gasket for a notch, and don't forget to put the pulley on before installing the pump.
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Old 06-21-2017, 10:14 AM   #67
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Default Re: SL2 Water Pump Replacement w/PICS

Thanks for the write up.
I am a retired general mechanic, (well had to take my disability, so believe it or not, this is My 2nd day on this SL2 water pump.)
May not Be here a lot, am doing this car for a friend of a friend,
to save her the dealership cost, few bucks in my pocket.
But I may hang out here a bit, and help any owners, DIY's if I can.
Thanks for the write up.

I actually did this one, by raising the motor. Did work from over the wheel too.
To help line up the new pump, 1st I marked the old pump, and the block,
Transferred mark to new pump.
I then cut 2 8mm bolts of the proper thread to a little longer than needed to extend through the pump.
Threaded those in the two top holes, to use a alignment pins. then of course threaded 2 or 3 bolts in the pump and removed the pins.

I do have a pretty good feel for tightening the pump bolts, Really only used a torque wrench ever for wheels, and head bolts.
I do have a smaller inch lbs torque wrench, never used.
I MAY Just use it on the water pump bolts. 22 (ft lbs) X 12 = 264 inch lbs.
Say like on transmission pan gaskets, I NEVER used one, cause I didn't have a inch lbs. one at work, But never had one leak either.
Always worried a few days, though, but as far as I know all was good.

Last edited by mrbreezeet1; 06-21-2017 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:59 PM   #68
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2001 SL2
Default Re: SL2 Water Pump Replacement w/PICS

Is GMB still the pump to get?

It is the cheapest on compared to Gates and AC Delco (professional)
01 SL2
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