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Old 07-02-2011, 03:21 PM
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Is it time to replace my water pump? (pics)

Hi all,

1986 F150 300 - If I grab opposite cooling fan blades and tug on them, I can rock the central fan pulley (pic below) side-to-side a few millimeters in either direction. It always immediately returns to center when I stop tugging. I have read this is an indication that the water pump is going bad. Is a little play normal, or is it supposed to be rock-solid?

I have no engine temperature problems, and the top radiator hose is very firm when the engine is running, so it seems I have decent water pressure.

However, the pump may be a bit noisy, although it is hard for me to tell what is normal versus abnormal noise. Also, sometimes upon restarting the truck (engine hot) there is a loud SQUEAL!!! noise from the engine that lasts about 3 seconds. Only when restarting a hot engine, though. I suspect that noise is somehow pulley or pump related.



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Old 07-02-2011, 03:36 PM
EMS-guy EMS-guy is offline
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Its been my experience that a water pump leaks when it has gone out. I've never had one wiggle like that. Sounds like the bearings are going bad or something. Looks like it's not a huge project, probly better to trow a new one on before it leaves you stranded.
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Old 07-02-2011, 04:02 PM
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Are you sure the play is in the pump and not the fan itself? With the belts tight, you would not be able to move the pump. Loosen the belts then check for play at the pump, moving the pully not the fan.
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Old 07-02-2011, 04:56 PM
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If the pulley is rocking, it's time for a pump. If the play is in the fan clutch, it's time to replace that.

Any signs of coolant on the underside of the pump, around the "weep hole"?
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Old 07-02-2011, 07:42 PM
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I went looking for the "weep hole" but could not find it! I assume its on the underside of the pump, which seems to be blocked from vision by the crankshaft pulley. I can find no evidence of coolant leakage, the level in the reservoir stays constant.

The fan clutch seems to be attached properly and functioning as it should. I can turn it more freely when the engine is cold, when hot it has more viscous drag when turned. But it turns smoothly in any event, and "roars" when first starting the truck but slows down later. I only recently learned about the fan clutch reading here. I think its a pretty neat device. I did read it is good practice to replace the fan clutch when replacing the water pump.

Can anyone suggest a good quality brand of water pump (I'm assuming Motorcraft is unavailable). Fan clutch?

Also, are there any other components (seals, pulleys, etc.) that are good to check and/or replace in conjunction with a water pump removal/installation job? I like to try to maximize the repairs when they are more efficiently done together.

I have replaced a thermostat myself but never a water pump. Two things I learned from that relatively simple job: 1) No mechanic would do as good of a job as I can myself (they would likely not meticulously remove all gasket material like I did, or wrap bolts in teflon, etc.); and 2) the difference in quality between the Motorcraft mounting gasket and the No-Name brand one from China was truly laughable.

It looks pretty tight in there, my truck has a full radiator shroud that will probably need to come off.

Thanks!
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Old 07-02-2011, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galendor View Post
I went looking for the "weep hole" but could not find it! I assume its on the underside of the pump, which seems to be blocked from vision by the crankshaft pulley. I can find no evidence of coolant leakage, the level in the reservoir stays constant.

The fan clutch seems to be attached properly and functioning as it should. I can turn it more freely when the engine is cold, when hot it has more viscous drag when turned. But it turns smoothly in any event, and "roars" when first starting the truck but slows down later. I only recently learned about the fan clutch reading here. I think its a pretty neat device. I did read it is good practice to replace the fan clutch when replacing the water pump.

Can anyone suggest a good quality brand of water pump (I'm assuming Motorcraft is unavailable). Fan clutch?

Also, are there any other components (seals, pulleys, etc.) that are good to check and/or replace in conjunction with a water pump removal/installation job? I like to try to maximize the repairs when they are more efficiently done together.

I have replaced a thermostat myself but never a water pump. Two things I learned from that relatively simple job: 1) No mechanic would do as good of a job as I can myself (they would likely not meticulously remove all gasket material like I did, or wrap bolts in teflon, etc.); and 2) the difference in quality between the Motorcraft mounting gasket and the No-Name brand one from China was truly laughable.

It looks pretty tight in there, my truck has a full radiator shroud that will probably need to come off.

Thanks!
I'll bet you can still get one from FoMoCo, I was able to last summer for $75.00 or so. My old one had the play you talk about for a couple years before it gave up and started leaking; I doubt it's about to fail, but I'd replace it before a long trip. I'd also replace the clutch if you haven't done so in the past 100K. okie is right on about the play possibly being from the clutch; watch the pulleys and the clutch one at a time, while you're rocking it, to be sure.
You'll need to source a big wrench to remove the fan clutch; I've used a 15" adjustable wrench several times on mine by taking most of the fan bolts out and holding the pulley with a prybar while turning the big nut that hold the clutch on clockwise (lefthand thread, just like the shroud says) until it breaks loose. You could also just buy the right tool at the parts store.
Any chance you could post up the engineering number of the shroud when you get it off?

Good luck.

It's
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Old 07-02-2011, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Wyowanderer View Post
I'll bet you can still get one from FoMoCo, I was able to last summer for $75.00 or so. My old one had the play you talk about for a couple years before it gave up and started leaking; I doubt it's about to fail, but I'd replace it before a long trip. I'd also replace the clutch if you haven't done so in the past 100K. okie is right on about the play possibly being from the clutch; watch the pulleys and the clutch one at a time, while you're rocking it, to be sure.
You'll need to source a big wrench to remove the fan clutch; I've used a 15" adjustable wrench several times on mine by taking most of the fan bolts out and holding the pulley with a prybar while turning the big nut that hold the clutch on clockwise (lefthand thread, just like the shroud says) until it breaks loose. You could also just buy the right tool at the parts store.
Any chance you could post up the engineering number of the shroud when you get it off?

Good luck.

It's
Thanks. I think I saw that shroud number when I was under the truck looking for the weep hole. I'll look again and try to get it.

The pulley itself rocks, no way that can be attributed to the clutch bearings.

I agree that the pump may have a while to go before it dies, since I have no leakage and strong water pressure. Thanks for the insight into how long it might still last. My engine has 95,000 original miles on it, 94,000 put on by the PO. For all I know it is the original pump.

A general question for you all: if RockAuto lists a part as being specific for your make and model of truck, is it safe to assume they are correct? My reason for asking is they currently list as available a Motorcraft pump and fan clutch that their website says is correct for my year, make, and model. I would buy them now but seek general assurance or advice on how much one should trust a website (like RockAuto's) when they say their part is the correct one for your truck.
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Old 07-03-2011, 01:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galendor View Post
Thanks. I think I saw that shroud number when I was under the truck looking for the weep hole. I'll look again and try to get it.

The pulley itself rocks, no way that can be attributed to the clutch bearings.

I agree that the pump may have a while to go before it dies, since I have no leakage and strong water pressure. Thanks for the insight into how long it might still last. My engine has 95,000 original miles on it, 94,000 put on by the PO. For all I know it is the original pump.

A general question for you all: if RockAuto lists a part as being specific for your make and model of truck, is it safe to assume they are correct? My reason for asking is they currently list as available a Motorcraft pump and fan clutch that their website says is correct for my year, make, and model. I would buy them now but seek general assurance or advice on how much one should trust a website (like RockAuto's) when they say their part is the correct one for your truck.
I'll bet it'll work perfect. The only real issue with the box store pump is that some of the trucks (maybe cars, I've seen the 240 in a car) use a smaller hose that attaches to the pump, so most of the aftermarket/rebuilds have a rubber "shim" to make the heater hose outlet the right size. It'll work fine today, but next time you change or remove the hose-where do you get the shim?
If you can get the Motorcraft pump at RockAuto, I'd order it. Like every online store, you can find negative stories, but they seem to be doing something right. And they have a Motorcraft pump- it's a win.
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Old 07-03-2011, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galendor View Post
No mechanic would do as good of a job as I can myself (they would likely not meticulously remove all gasket material like I did, or wrap bolts in teflon, etc
Pretty brash statement coming from someone who is asking for help with a water pump. If a tech doesn't know what he's doing or has constant call-backs, they don't stay employed long. Most techs want to do a job only ONCE, so they do it right the first time. Good luck with your repair.
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by sparrky81 View Post
Pretty brash statement coming from someone who is asking for help with a water pump. If a tech doesn't know what he's doing or has constant call-backs, they don't stay employed long. Most techs want to do a job only ONCE, so they do it right the first time. Good luck with your repair.

I think you may be missing the point a bit. I do not believe Galendor's comments were meant in any way to be a slight against mechanics. But in reality a shop mechanic cannot and will not be as meticulous and most of us on this site are with repairs. Will they perform the job satisfactorily? Yes, but they have a rate to meet and a job to do and are graded on how many proper repairs they perform in a given time period. A shop mechanic is not going to carefully clean and in some cases repaint every part that is pulled for a job (nor would you want them to, $$$$$).

Galendor,
In your case I would replace both the pump and clutch. Your truck is a very nice survivor and extremely clean under the hood. A failure of the water pump might make a mess to clean and I believe coolant and paint do not mix well. Also, the repair is less complex than some the feedback carb work you have done so far. My $0.02 worth.
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Old 07-03-2011, 09:06 AM
sparrky81 sparrky81 is offline
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I think you may be missing the point a bit. I do not believe Galendor's comments were meant in any way to be a slight against mechanics. But in reality a shop mechanic cannot and will not be as meticulous and most of us on this site are with repairs. Will they perform the job satisfactorily? Yes, but they have a rate to meet and a job to do and are graded on how many proper repairs they perform in a given time period. A shop mechanic is not going to carefully clean and in some cases repaint every part that is pulled for a job (nor would you want them to, $$$$$).

Galendor,
In your case I would replace both the pump and clutch. Your truck is a very nice survivor and extremely clean under the hood. A failure of the water pump might make a mess to clean and I believe coolant and paint do not mix well. Also, the repair is less complex than some the feedback carb work you have done so far. My $0.02 worth.
If it was an admission of self-pride for a well done repair, then I apologize. Good job. I took it as a slide on general shoddy work by mechanics, and being a refrigeration mechanic, I personally get tired of hearing those digs... Seems like there is always someone out there that can do a better job than a grease monkey.......again, if I took it the wrong way, then I apologize.
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Old 07-03-2011, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by sparrky81 View Post
Pretty brash statement coming from someone who is asking for help with a water pump. If a tech doesn't know what he's doing or has constant call-backs, they don't stay employed long. Most techs want to do a job only ONCE, so they do it right the first time. Good luck with your repair.
You are right, my statement was an unfair and incorrect generalization. I didn't intend it that way. Professional mechanics of any kind know their trade far better than I. But they are typically under pressure to work quickly, and that unfortunately can reduce quality of work - true for any endeavor. To be clear, I respect professional mechanics and am just a amatuer asking for help with a water pump!
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Old 07-03-2011, 10:27 AM
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Hi Wayowanderer,

The shroud has imprinted on it: Ford Pt. No. E6TA-8146-DA

Here is a picture of it:

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Old 07-03-2011, 10:30 AM
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If ya want my honest opinion, in this situation (what I did with my '84), I would put a pump, thermostat (since you are putting in a new pump), and a flex fan on, and get rid of the fan/clutch all together. I never have liked the clutch set-up, and when I put the new motor in my '91, it's going by-by as well. You are correct, the job isn't very hard. It can be time consuming, but then again take your time, so there are no leaks. Like I said, this is only my opinion, and should be treated as one.
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparrky81 View Post
Pretty brash statement coming from someone who is asking for help with a water pump. If a tech doesn't know what he's doing or has constant call-backs, they don't stay employed long. Most techs want to do a job only ONCE, so they do it right the first time. Good luck with your repair.
I've had simular luck with mechanics when working on my truck. there are some unscrupulous mechanics out there that only care in how often you come back.

Trick is to find these bad mechanics and weed them out. There are just as many good mechanics as there are bad ones...
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:07 AM
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