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Old 09-13-2012, 08:28 PM   #1
pierrot
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2000 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default leaking water pump; stop leak a help?

I've just had a mechanic confirm that the water pump is leaking. The leak isn't serious, but it is annoying-I hate leaks! It's a manageable problem for the time being. I'll replace the water pump myself but don't have the time for it now. I hope to be able to put it off until early November if all goes well. The mechanic recommended using a stop leak. So I have a question for the Forum: is there any brand of stop leak that seems to work best in these aluminum engines? If so, are there any brands I should avoid?

Thank you in advance for your comments!!

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Old 09-13-2012, 08:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: leaking water pump; stop leak a help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pierrot View Post
I've just had a mechanic confirm that the water pump is leaking. The leak isn't serious, but it is annoying-I hate leaks! It's a manageable problem for the time being. I'll replace the water pump myself but don't have the time for it now. I hope to be able to put it off until early November if all goes well. The mechanic recommended using a stop leak. So I have a question for the Forum: is there any brand of stop leak that seems to work best in these aluminum engines? If so, are there any brands I should avoid?

Thank you in advance for your comments!!
I'm sorry to say that no stop leak will work here.

...
2007 Ion 2 Quad Coupe 5-speed manual 150K miles

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Old 09-13-2012, 09:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: leaking water pump; stop leak a help?

Well, if you like playing Russian roulette, chances are that any stop leak used won't work on moving parts like a worn out bearing. Unless you know for sure, the difference between a moving part and a stationary part is that a stationary part may seal as long as its not disturbed. A moving part like a worn out bearing won't seal at all.

Replace the water pump. If you like, see if you can rock the water pump pulley with your hands. If it moves, sealer won't work.

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Old 09-14-2012, 01:02 AM   #4
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Default Re: leaking water pump; stop leak a help?

Based on what the mechanic told me I don't think there is a bad bearing in this instance, but I'll ask him about it tomorrow. He'd pressure tested the system with the engine running and with it off earlier in the day and found no leak. Later in the afternoon some fluid was seen on the ground underneath the car on the passenger side near the tire. They put the car on the hoist and saw the leak from the water pump.

I certainly agree that no sealer can help a leak caused by worn bearings, nor can it stop leakage from a worn internal water pump seal. I saw a lot of that type of water pump leak at my father's service station when I worked there through high school and college. I think that the mechanic saw that a sealer might work, or slow the leak, and that's why it was suggested. Again, I'll check with him tomorrow.

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Old 09-14-2012, 04:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: leaking water pump; stop leak a help?

Well, honestly with 180k miles don't you think its time?

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Old 09-14-2012, 09:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: leaking water pump; stop leak a help?

I'm merely trying to buy myself some time to put off the replacement of the water pump until my work schedule is more free. I do not view the use of stop leak as a permanent solution-it's a stop gap measure. My work hours are irregular since I have day work and secondary contracts that keep me working in evenings and on the weekend. The job is rated at 3 hours of labor for the pro. Since I expect to do the repair myself I figure it will take me double that amount of time, or more. The plan is to set aside a full day for the work to be done and start in the morning.

The truth is that this car has been inexpensive to maintain! My old '84 Dodge 600, 2.6L, had a crankshaft main bearing go bad at about 125K miles and I rebuilt it with my father and business contacts. The replacement of the rack and pinion, front control arm bushings, alternator, starter, fuel pump, both drive axles, and carburetor rebuild all took place with less mileage than what my LS 1 has. I've touched none of those items mentioned above, save for one drive axle on my Saturn (of course, the carburetor doesn't apply here). The rear knuckle bushings were replaced last Summer including the rear brakes-that was a tough job for me.

I have no complaints with the power train of this car. The engine runs just as well today as it did when I bought it 11 years ago. The steering, brake, and cooling systems are very reliable! But just how long will this car last? Who knows? It may die tomorrow, but I suspect I've got more years to get out of it.

...
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Last edited by pierrot; 09-14-2012 at 10:00 AM..

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Old 09-14-2012, 11:25 AM   #7
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Default Re: leaking water pump; stop leak a help?

There's no harm trying stop leak as any product will work but don't expect anything as you're accepting a band aid for now. Whether its works is anyone's guess; anyone can say it works and it fails or someone says it won't work and it does..................your choice as you have to live with your decision.

As an aside, I broke down twice going home a few weeks ago. From learning here, I knew it was a crank position sensor failure and limped it to a second location where I could replace it. Not home but coasting into a parking spot in a neighborhood I felt safe to leave where I came back later with the replacement. Knowing the engine would die at random allowed me to drive a little to find a better spot. The first place wasn't a good location so I took the chance of the engine running a little more before it died and coasted into a perfect parking spot to work on later. I had a choice. Do you? And if you delay this will the engine leave you stranded somewhere you don't want to be without any way to repair it on the road or have towed close to where you want it? Taking chances is all yours as I took mine and planned for it. Be sure you're willing to accept the down side if things go wrong.

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Old 09-14-2012, 12:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: leaking water pump; stop leak a help?

I've just placed the order through Amazon for the parts I know that I will need:
Bosch water pump #97220, OTC water pump sprocket tool #6616, Fel-Pro water pump installation kit #ES71282.
It looks like there may be another gasket or seal I will need to get from the dealer located at the inlet assembly (the thermostat rests inside this). The Haynes manual shows a seal, the GM Parts Center on-line shows a triangular shaped gasket.

I'm going with free shipping from Amazon-projected arrival is 9/20-and, yes, expecting the car to be able to hold out until after I get the items. That's the chance I'm taking knowing the present leak condition. I'll be carrying some antifreeze and water in the trunk. I'll let you know how things work out!

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Old 09-14-2012, 12:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: leaking water pump; stop leak a help?

If I were in your shoes I'd refill with plain water for topping off. Why waste perfectly good anti-freeze when you can save it for after repairs? Presuming you don't need anti-freeze for winter yet and ambient temperatures hasn't stayed over 95F, I think its safe to run plain make up water until repairs are made.

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Old 09-14-2012, 09:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: leaking water pump; stop leak a help?

Thank you for passing along the idea regarding the water. I feel like a bit of a dummy as I could've answered, in a simple way, the concern regarding bad bearings in the water pump in a previous reply. At present the water pump makes no noise.............oi vey............why didn't I say that earlier?!

I picked up a seal from the local Chevrolet dealer for the inlet assembly which they had in stock. Interestingly, it's ribbed! I don't know if there is a seal like this one in the Fel-Pro set so I'll contact the company Monday and inquire.

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Old 09-15-2012, 09:41 AM   #11
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Default Re: leaking water pump; stop leak a help?

FYI, water pumps run in sealed ball bearings and anti-freeze helps some by being a corrosion preventative - it feels oily to the touch. When a pump fails, its usually either one of its bearings that's slowly flooded with coolant or the bearing housing becomes enlarged from wear and tear - leaking. With coolant providing lubrication, pumps hardly make noise and long before noisiness occurs, a large puddle forms under the car and/or the engine over heats (provided the driver actually scans the instrument panel).

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Old 09-19-2012, 11:47 AM   #12
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Default Re: leaking water pump; stop leak a help?

Keep in mind that coolant has a lower freezing temperature and a higher boiling point. If you will it with straight water, you run the risk of it boiling. If you have to top it off with so much that cost of the coolant is an issue, then it's time for a new pump.

Our L200 just got a new water pump. $700 at a Chevy (non-SASP) dealer. Included pump, labor, and coolant flush and change. It was leaking a lot.

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Old 09-20-2012, 10:39 AM   #13
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Default Re: leaking water pump; stop leak a help?

The water pump was installed by me last night. My time estimate for my own work was about right. Actual work time was about six hours with another hour for set up, clean up, and getting the car back on the ground. I have to elevate the car just to get the drain pans underneath the car.

Two things to make note of: 1) after seeing the leak at the repair shop-both the mechanics and me-and having the reservoir overfilled in anticipation of a loss of antifreeze, the water pump never leaked again-strange. Thus, I never used any stop leak. 2) When installing the new pump the Haynes manual said to "install a guide pin (threaded stud) into the water pump pulley to align the water pump sprocket with the water pump." I had no such item and this was going to be a problem. I looked around at the bolts and studs removed and found that the lower mounting stud for the exhaust manifold shield was able to fill that need and worked perfectly.

...
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:55 PM   #14
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Default Re: leaking water pump; stop leak a help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pierrot View Post
When installing the new pump the Haynes manual said to "install a guide pin (threaded stud) into the water pump pulley to align the water pump sprocket with the water pump." I had no such item and this was going to be a problem. I looked around at the bolts and studs removed and found that the lower mounting stud for the exhaust manifold shield was able to fill that need and worked perfectly.
An ERROR in the quote: I didn't use an exhaust manifold stud , I used a lower mounting stud from the water inlet/thermostat housing assembly. The water pump pulley bolt is 6MM X 1.0, 12 MM in length.

*Some more news about the water pump replacement*
While the installation went smoothly there was one thing that was an annoyance. A distinctly higher pitched noise element was present when the engine ran and it came from the water pump. I'd hoped that this noise might reduce itself over some time, but it didn't. I contacted Bosch and talked to a representative who told me to replace the water pump since it was noisy....Oh great!?!?!....The "joy" of a re-do.

I ordered an A1 Cardone water pump this time, p/n 55-13138, which had a plastic impeller like the OE pump. On the down side, it came from China. Was I any faster at it now that it was a second attempt? Yes, somewhat, but I added a chemical flush prior, and replaced the hoses except for the tiny one at the end of the pipe crossing the valve cover. The work time was longer than the original job because of those things.The hose replacement would've waited for the Summer of '13, but since three of them have to be disconnected partially or fully-again-I chose to change them.

Result: the engine is less noisy than before, but still some "singing." Perhaps this is not so abnormal with a new pump as I've recently heard some other "L's" with the 2.2L engine go by having the same sound. I've also noticed that the chain noises at start-up on my car were even further reduced following the pump replacement. It leads me to believe-rightly or wrongly-that some of the noises attributed to the timing chain may actually be coming from the balance shaft chain instead; that perhaps a weakened impeller shaft bearing leads to some looseness in that chain.......but, I could be wrong.......

***When replacing the heater hoses one need not use the OE style with the molded couplers. I chose to use OE heater hoses when I last replaced them several years ago and I regret it. I wasted much time trying to remove the hoses from the heater core pipes. Use aftermarket heater hoses and avoid the hassle.

...
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The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't. grows bigger, no end in sight-the founders roll over in their graves.

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