SuperTruck: Water Pump

by Ben N on July 21, 2013

Last week, my buddy Steve stopped by, and we were able to get the diesel running. The bad news was that the water pump was seized-up, and the priming pump leaked. So, I ordered a new water pump, which arrived by mail the other day.

I’ve never done anything with a water pump before, but it looked pretty straight forward. The main thing was getting the mating surfaces clean and applying the new gaskets.

The first step was cleaning off the old gaskets. I used a flat razor blade to cut and scrape the old gaskets off, and then polished up the surfaces as best I could with a green scrubby pad. On the engine itself, I de-gunked some of the oily residue on the side and polished up where the gasket from the pump into the engine block would be.

The other trick was that the pump needed shorter bolts. When I originally took the engine out of the car it came from (a 1981 Mercedes 240D) I also pulled a large metal bracket off the engine (which held the power steering, among other things) The bolts for the water pump ran through this bracket, which extended those bolts by about an inch. I swung by the hardware store and got three shorter bolts, making sure I got the correct thread pitch.

With the new pump, the cleaned-up housing, the gaskets and some tacky goo, I was able to put it all together. The new shorter bolts mounted the housing to the engine block, and the pump mounted right into that.

Sure hope I did it right! I followed the directions that came with the pump.

With the pump in place, I should be able to add the pulley and radiator fan. Digging through my pile of parts, I found the pulley, spacer, and fan, but not the clutch thing-a-majigger that usually goes on the fan so that it only spins the blades after it’s hot. Hmmmm. Well, frankly, I was thinking about converting over to an electric fan anyways….


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