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Old 12-27-2006, 07:25 PM   #1
Chad
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2004 VUE 2.2L
Default Water Pump Replacement made Easy

To start with I wish to thank everyone's advice previously posted in here, but after fighting with the 3 pulley bolts apparently installed by Satan I ended up sitting there staring at the thing and the idea hit me. I did the procedure mentioned below and had everything off in 20 minutes.

Tools you will need.
Air Ratchet (3/8 drive worked best for me)
4 inch drive extension (Same size as the ratchet drive you are using)
10mm Six point socket
Blow Torch
Drill & bit suitable for metal work
10mm box end wrench
Jack
Jack Stands or other items to support the car
wrench for the tensioner pulley (I used a box end and it worked fine)

Start by jacking up the car, removing the passenger front wheel and splash shield. (Place the car on the jack stand)

Remove the serpentine belt. (Yes I said remove it at this point)

Look at the water pump pulley and rotate it until one of the pulley bolts is at the lowest point in the arc. (This is the key)

Drill a hole in the sheet metal just below the frame and not through one of the welds approximately in line with the pulley bolt. (It doesn't have to be perfectly aligned but the closer you are the better).

Work the bit around in the hole until it is big enough to allow the extension to pass through. You will actually end up notching the sheet metal.

Put the extension on the 10mm socket and air wrench and slide over the pulley bolt.

Use the blow torch to heat the pulley up. Try to heat around the bolt, but not directly on the bolt itself. (it took me about 2 minutes of heating near each bolt)

With the air ratchet set to reverse (Counter clockwise) hit it with air. If you did not make a huge hole then the sheetmetal will actually act like a guide for the extension and keep the thing from twisting around. If it does not remove easily apply more heat.

Repeat on all 3 bolts and the pulley will practically fall off.

From there the box end wrenches or small ratchet on the remaining water pump bolts are a breeze.

I got this idea from working on other engines (Not of an automotive nature) that have access holes for adjustments.

Additional tips.
You don't really need to move the A/C unit, in my case it would have just been extra work that didn't need to be done.

Installation is the reverse of above. (The air ratchet and access hole make it really easy.

Don't bother with the PB Blaster or other chemicals. Save yourself the money and buy a propane torch like the plumbers use. ($12 at the place I picked mine up)

If you don't have an air ratchet, ask a neighbor or someone you work with, someone probably has one with a portable compressor.

Good luck, and save your knuckles with this tip.

If anyone needs pictures, I can probably get some that show the basics of what I did as far as the notch.

Chad

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Old 12-27-2006, 07:49 PM   #2
SaturnTech
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Default Re: Water Pump Replacement made Easy

I always access the water pump pulley bolts from underneath...and a universal joint eliminates the need to notch the sheet metal or drill any holes anywhere, effectively creating one more place for your Saturn to rust. I use a 3/8" impact gun, not an air ratchet...that way you don't have to fight to keep the socket on the bolt head when the torque of the air ratchet hits it. I actually use a 10mm swivel socket rather than a u-joint with a 10mm socket on it. A 10mm and 13mm swivel socket are your best friends when working on your Saturn.



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Old 12-27-2006, 08:33 PM   #3
94sc2boy
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1994 SC2
Default Re: Water Pump Replacement made Easy

Ha!
You had me until BLOWTORCH.

Glad you got it done, I remember mine being a pain, but I guess I was lucky I didn't have to change yours.

Last edited by 94sc2boy; 12-27-2006 at 08:39 PM..

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Old 12-27-2006, 10:04 PM   #4
Chad
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2004 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Water Pump Replacement made Easy

I had tried the u-joint type with a socket and the angle of attack just didn't work out. All of the sockets I have with the swivel built in are 12 point. (their for those non automotive type engines.)

As far as an impact wrench vs. a air ratchet I figured the directional torque application was about the same, in the fact that both rely on a rotating drive rather than an extended torque arm as in a traditional ratcheting wrench.

Guess the part I forgot to mention was an old trick my dad used to use to prevent rust. I applied some fingernail polish over the bare steel. Don't laugh, it works.

Considering the point I was at with the car, drilling a hole wasn't a bad choice for the car. One idea involved explosions to eliminate the water pump (and the rest of the car.)

Give me a turbine engine any day of the week to work on. More maintenance, but less headache. And their designed to be worked on often.

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Old 12-28-2006, 12:24 AM   #5
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1996 SW2
Default Re: Water Pump Replacement made Easy

I presumed that the whole point of drilling the hole is to "locate" the extension in space, so that when you hit it with the air wrench (or lean on a breaker bar, or whatever), it would keep the hole as the axis of rotation, rather than the energy going into turning the pulley on its own axis. I would think that, using this trick, a sufficiently long lever arm (pipe slipped over a breaker bar, e.g.) would git 'er done as well.

Oh, and the poor man's answer to the swivel socket -- wobble adapter set from Harbor Freight (I've found mine more useful than I ever expected).

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Old 12-28-2006, 10:49 AM   #6
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2000 SC2
Default Re: Water Pump Replacement made Easy

Thats a lot of work just to remove the water pump.

Heres how I do it:
  1. Lift car
  2. Support car on jack stands
  3. Remove passenger side wheel
  4. Remove splash shield if still installed on the car (removed mine years ago)
  5. Support engine with jack
  6. Remove upper and lower engine mounts
  7. Drain coolant
  8. Remove serpentine belt
  9. Lower engine until it rests on the engine cradle
  10. Using an air gun, remove the three 10mm pulley bolts.
  11. Remove the lower bolts attaching the pump to the block
  12. Lift the engine as high as it can go with the jack
  13. Remove the upper bolts attaching the pump to the block.
  14. Remove the pump

Removal usually takes 10 to 15 minutes, another 10 to 15 to get the new pump installed. Also removing the mounts to lift and lower the engine eliminate the need for wobble joints or hard to reach bolts. Lowering the engine gets you access to almost all the lower mounting bolts with a ratchet and extension. Lifting it allows easy access to the remaining upper bolts with just the ratchet and socket. Because the engine is lifted and at an angle, the ratchet and socket fit with enough room to get the bolt out and not get wedged between the frame and block.

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