Saturn Sky Forum banner

21 - 40 of 42 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
247 Posts
Discussion Starter #21
Day 1 update: Hood, air intake cover, thermostat, thermostat housing, temp sensor, and more all removed. Waiting on parts, so we're holding off on actual water pump removal ( time spent: almost 3 hours).

Thoughts: just remove the catalytic converter. DDM doesn't recommend it, and GM does in the service manual. Save yourself a LOT of time and listen to GM (probably lost almost an hour to the thermostat housing). You'll need to remove part of the turbo charge tube as well. Don't pretend you don't have to. The cheap ACDELCO thermostat is trash. It's made by a contracted manufacturer, and is the thermostat used by cheap shops. Buy the $40 ACDelco #131-158. The thermostat housing o-ring is #90537471. It is circular and changes to the oblong rectangle once inserted (so they say. Will update with confirmation). Lots of 7mm, 10mm, and 13mm bolts. You have to get the water pump gear holding tool (circle or half circle). The DDM walkthrough is near perfection.

Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure. It was hard to keep taking them as we charged forward.

113471


113472


113473


113474
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
247 Posts
Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
Update: Received the $21 "ACDELCO" thermostat. It's made by a contract company, not ACDELCO.

Here is a comparison shot of the actual $40 ACDELCO thermo and the contracted one.

113482


113483


113484
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
214 Posts
I did this to my redline a year ago after buying it with 57k miles on it. Two things to watch out for are 1) use all bolts on the pulley holding tool, and torque to spec given for pump installation. If it slips, you'll ratchet out the chain tensioner and then need to pull the cover to reset it. If this happens, you'll get a whine from the chain when the motor is running. (I didn't have the problem.). 2) Use vacuum filling to put coolant in. If you can't do that, raise the overflow tank 14" above it's normal height and fill from there. The level sending wire is too short for this so you'll need to unplug it.

At some point in the future, install the one-way coolant purge valves.

My lifelong summary on water pump failures is that it's something in the coolant that causes the seals to go bad. GM recommends coolant changes ate 150k miles or 5-years. The 5-year part tells me they know the coolant chemistry changes so that it attacks the seals, regardless of mileage. All I can say is that my ex has 180k miles on her Sky and it still has the original water pump. What was different with her car is the coolant was changed every 1-2 years. All put together, I look at coolant as the culprit. Hence, for the past 25 years I've used 100% distilled water with a bottle of additive (Redline Water Wetter in my case) for the corrosion package. I have never had a pump fail on any of my cars since doing that. Note: this gives no freeze protection but I live in central Texas and my cars are all garaged. Otherwise I would go with 5-10% antifreeze.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
@squilliam so did you finish the job yet? Since I’m concerned this may be in my future eventually too, it would be nice to hear of yet another successful WP R/R for motivation. Out of curiosity did you flush the coolant after you bought it, but prior to the WP failure? @ZPM ‘s post above got me thinking about previous threads about the debate of what makes these fail and I recall reading other people’s WP failed shortly after a flush too. I was just wondering if there was something to it or just a coincidence.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
247 Posts
Discussion Starter #26
@squilliam so did you finish the job yet? Since I’m concerned this may be in my future eventually too, it would be nice to hear of yet another successful WP R/R for motivation. Out of curiosity did you flush the coolant after you bought it, but prior to the WP failure? @ZPM ‘s post above got me thinking about previous threads about the debate of what makes these fail and I recall reading other people’s WP failed shortly after a flush too. I was just wondering if there was something to it or just a coincidence.
Heyo! I have not finished yet. I'm waiting on the hoses from DDM. They're the last supplier to get something to me. So far so good. I didn't flush it before I got it, but planned to. The coolant was incredibly pristine when I bought it though... Shoulda been a red flag.

I did take into the mountains near my house on a 116 degree day a few days before the failure... That may have pushed it over the edge.

I should be done this weekend.

In the meantime I built a workbench:
113530
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
214 Posts
Looks like you lifted your car and have someone to help. Just for reference on effort level, I did it by myself with the car on the ground. Took two days, working 9-hours straight each day. Went very smoothly but I attribute that mainly to moving very slowly and methodically. My best friend was my 1/4" drive ratchet and socket set. I recommend getting every 1/4" add-on tool you can find. Wobble extensions, etc. and be prepared to somehow make sockets stay on extension tips. Mine would pull off and stay on bolts when reattaching the thermostat housing, for example. I duct taped them onto the extension.

Heyo! I have not finished yet. I'm waiting on the hoses from DDM. They're the last supplier to get something to me. So far so good. I didn't flush it before I got it, but planned to. The coolant was incredibly pristine when I bought it though... Shoulda been a red flag.

I did take into the mountains near my house on a 116 degree day a few days before the failure... That may have pushed it over the edge.

I should be done this weekend.

In the meantime I built a workbench:
View attachment 113530
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
247 Posts
Discussion Starter #28
DDM took so long to ship the hoses and UPS is having an "unforseen" delay, leading to me not getting my hoses until some time next week. Thanks DDM and UPS!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
247 Posts
Discussion Starter #29
Pump is out. Word to the wise in addition to the DDM guide, when taking the back 2 13 mm bolts out of the pump, access them from under the car. It's a million times easier. You absolutely must separate the pump in half with taking off the 4 10mm bolts in order to get it out. The pump will take a bunch of angles to figure out how to wiggle it out.

113542


113543
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
247 Posts
Discussion Starter #30
I realize I'm mostly sending this stuff out into the void, but while comparing the two water pumps, the old gasket is incredibly flat. Do these things seriously die just because of cheap gaskets?

113544
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
247 Posts
Discussion Starter #31
New pump from ZZP comes with gaskets and has the alignment pins built in which was pretty nice. You will have to take it apart to fit the pump in if you haven't taken the turbo out.

113545
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,156 Posts
It's not the gaskets that fail (usually) it's the bearing seals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Nice!
So weird thing, everything I've seen so far says it will be about a 2 hour job, but my car friend says it will be around 6-7 hours.
I imagine he's definitely right for me, because I'm new at this, I will probably go incredibly slow.
He is right!!! I have a mechanic friend that wouldnt touch it as it's a 6 to 8 hour job just trying to get to the water pump. I am skilled mechanically working on my two classic cars but not inclined to mess up and then have it towed to someone and pay them for anything I damage. I bit the bullet and paid the dealership.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
247 Posts
Discussion Starter #34
He is right!!! I have a mechanic friend that wouldnt touch it as it's a 6 to 8 hour job just trying to get to the water pump. I am skilled mechanically working on my two classic cars but not inclined to mess up and then have it towed to someone and pay them for anything I damage. I bit the bullet and paid the dealership.
I'm 5 hours in... I bet it'll be a total of 8-10.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
247 Posts
Discussion Starter #35
It's done. 5~ more hours (10ish total) and the noob has finished. Getting it back together was easier than expected (I bagged and tagged all bolts). Total cost of around $300. Switching to a higher quality thermostat ($40) made sense to me, and it took almost 2 full bottles of dexcool coolant to refill the system and burp.

Extraneous thoughts/ recommendations: Insert the new water pump in the 2 pieces, and assemble them in the little pocket next to the engine before attaching it to the engine. The ZZP pump has 2 small but nice improvements over the OEM one (guide pins built in and back plate bolts all uniform).

For the water pump gear bolts, use a socket with paper tucked inside. I went to 5 different auto parts and hardware stores. No one sells magnetic sockets. Take your time, use 2 hands, use the paper thing, and you should be fine. Didn't drop a gear bolt once.

113560


I found having a picture of the backplate handy.

When burping the system (removing air), I found the video from Tim Ronak incredibly helpful. I filled coolant into the radiator hose a couple of times. You will do many many engine on, engine off cycles as you burp it. Having a friend hold the coolant reservoir as high as possible will help. Squeezing the radiator hose while attached will help. Yelling into the great abyss will help. Squeezing the coolant hose under the radiator hose will help. Taking the engine return line off, pinching the hose, and surrounding the metal port with paper towel will help. The eventual desired results is just coolant coming out in a steady stream out of the metal port.

113561


I made sure to shut off my engine after the temp reached 210. Didn't want it to overheat while I got the air out.

If anyone has questions... I'll try to answer them. Again... I'm a NEW mechanic. I had my mechanically inclined friend helping me out most of the way. Take your time. Consult the information online. Ask people who know more than you.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
247 Posts
Discussion Starter #36 (Edited)
I ordered a water pump gasket kit not knowing what I would need. Turns out I didn't need much, as the ZZP came with almost everything I needed. I have a Water Pump gear tool, and almost all water pump gaskets I will ship to anyone for free.

I'm going to wait 2 weeks to make sure everything holds up, and then I will ship it to whoever needs it.

113562
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
@squilliam Well done!👏 I'm sure this provides hope to many. Also kudos on the paying it forward with the gasket seals. If only you had made a step by step video of the process and put it on youtube.
 
21 - 40 of 42 Posts
Top