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Water Pump question

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Old 08-11-2017, 05:02 PM
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Water Pump question

I thought my thermostat was going south as the beast started to heat up the other day. It normally runs around 170-180 but climbed to 200+ then would drop back down. Ten minutes later back up for a few minutes then drpped some but stayed about 190. I got home and it took about 1-1/2 gallon of water. Replaced the thermostat and did a test drive stayed about 180. Got home and it took about a gallon of water. Thinking it may have not been full due to air in block. I took it for a second test. Came home and it took 3/4 gallon of water.
I used water instead of anti-freeze just to check for leaks, I plan to redrain and fill with AF. No leaks, no drips, no errors in replacing the Thermostat. I do not see any steam coming from any where or out the exhaust. Could it have been a second air pocket and I just didnt get it filled all the way?
The question is there any way other than looking in the raditor to see if water is moving via the pump?
Thanks for any suggestions you may have. I will appreciate all comments, help and will even enjoy smart a$$ comments if you want to give me any.
Thaanks, Dave S
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:14 PM
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take out the thermostat and run it for a bit with radiator cap off. maybe she will burp. run the heater too, what the heck???


Did you drain or replace fluid recently? check your oil, hopefully no creamy white stuff??


Good luck
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:00 PM
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Hi Kevin - I replaced the water. No water in the oil and oil pressure is good. I'll try no thermostat and see what that does.
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:11 PM
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Before that, try parking it with the front uphill as high as you can get it, and yes, turn the heater on full blast, and with the radiator cap off (obviously, not with a really hot engine).
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:17 PM
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Good idea Ross. Thank you. You don't think having to put that much water in it is unusual?
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:24 PM
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I have to assume it was low to begin with, or got hot enough to blow it out the relief tube. If I didn't believe that, I'd have to assume something terrible was wrong with the engine...

Yes, that's a lot of water. 10 qts has to be almost half a complete fill?
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:09 PM
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I didn't see or smell any steam/antifreeze. I think I'll give it another try tomorrow and see if it runs low on fluid again. If it does as long as there is no water in the oil or steam coming out of the overflow/relief tube. I'll assume it's the pump. The worst part is a rebuilt one is $375.00 plus shipping. Bummer.
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:04 AM
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:28 AM
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Thanks Ford348. I'll give them a try after the test today.
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:55 AM
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Did the same 8 mile test and waiting for it to cool to see if it burned off as much water as before. Temp guage was good the whole time - no H2O in the oil or any visable leaks.

I'll call Cowboy Johns but wonder if any one has used KANTER or Stephen Allen's to buy a water pump? They are much better priced than the place I usually get the "beast" parts. Only difference is I have to send them back my old core- no big deal to me. Thanks again for the help. Dave S
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:25 AM
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If it were the pump it would almost certainly behave the same way (overheating or leakage at pump shaft) every time. I bet you're good to go. Does the Stude use sealed bearings on the WP or oiled bushings? Does it have an oil cup on it?
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:53 AM
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Ross just checked it after this mornings run and it was down just short of a gallon again. The pump has a grease cap (as does the distributor) that I check and give a half turn about every two months. The fan seems solid and does not wiggle. I think the pump is bad. I was thinking of removing the top hose at the radiator ( directing it to bucket with longer hose ) starting the engine and see if there is flow. What do you think ?
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:08 AM
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Remove the radiator cap while the engine temperature is cool, not hot anyway. Fill radiator to within an inch or so of the top. Apply brakes and start engine. Allow engine to warm to operating temperature. While engine is warming up, observe inside radiator neck for coolant circulation. When you detect coolant circulation, replace the radiator cap. If the coolant is being expelled from the coolant system, it should soon be apparent. BTW, make sure your exhaust pipe is not expelling water.
I've never heard of a configuration this old and high radiator fill that required "burping".
Good luck, Dave. I doubt if it is the pump unless it has thrown the impeller.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:16 AM
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Thanks Ray - I have not seen any water/steam out of either the overflow or the exhaust but will test it this way. It maybe the steam is coming out the exhaust and I just can't see it with these old eyes of mine.
If not the pump what do you think it could be? Blown head gasket between water and ??? as there is no water in the oil? I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:43 AM
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Check the carpet under the heater... although I would think you'd see steam

On these old vehicles with huge cooling systems the fill may be even more than an inch below the top, do you have a manual?
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