Water pump replacement on a beast of an engine.

Changing out a water pump on a 7.3 diesel looks intimidating to say the least,, Its just a massive beast of an engine shoved and stuffed under the hood. And with any diesel engine, everything is super extra heavy duty,, no whimpy parts there. So I tackle the job with a positive attitude.

With my poor eye sight, I apply common sense approach, a bolt,nut or screw has to hold everything in place, the trick is locating them. I first find the drain on the lower part of the radiator and get my big ole catch bucket underneath and I let the antifreeze drain out, As its draining, I loosen and remove the upper radiator hose, and boy oh boy,, does it drain a whole lot faster now,,lol.. Now I have never done a 7.3 water pump and had to cheat and look on the web what was involved on getting the clutch fan off. well,, let me tell ya,, it takes *specialty wrenches,,, no,, not little 1/4 inch or 9/16 wrenches but 48 millimeter wrench and a pully holder wrench, (deer in the headlight look ). Ok, so I go to 3 different autoparts stores to see if they have the loan a tool program,, and the tools I need are rented out. But they did have the 48 mm *spanner wrench that you attach a 3/4 inch breaker bar to, Now, all I need is the pulley holding tool,. Autozone happened to find one in their stock,, I get home and attempt to unscrew the clutch bolt, Snap... pulley tool breaks,, seriously?  alrighty then,, back to autozone,, and they just got the tool kit returned and I rent it and head back home. I get the wrenches set up and getting ready to really apply some serious torque and a tab with the hammer and it breaks loose,, Im thinking really? On you tube,, they show the guy wailing that hammer like he was driving in railroad spikes to get his loose.. Mine took a love tap,, tink,, its loose,,lol

I leave it be so I can focus on getting the radiator out,,, The radiator seems draind and I close the drain valve and crawl up underneath and start removing a cluster fudge of hoses going here and there and back around to over there just to return back over here and attach in some puzzle maze. I break loose the clamp that must have been installed around the turn of the century,, squeak,squeak squeak, 1/16th of an inch at a time till its loose,, along with rust dust and whatever else was collected on it falling off,,  wiggle wiggle wiggle,twist twist twist and one more twist for good measure it comes off the fitting,, and yes, I had drain tub to catch some more antifreeze. Then the bypass heater hoses, same effect,,  turn of the century clamps,, but one was those PITA squeaze clamps, Then the intercooler hose,, gotta love squeaze clamps,  Then finally the trans lines, Back up tiop, I find the 2 bolts holding the fan shroud,, get them out and tilt the shroud over the fan blades and find the 4 bolts holding the radiator, after screwing them out halfway till they seize and stop which requires to screw them back in and soaking with w/d 40 a couple times, I get 3 out,, and the 4th, the fender clip that the screws thread into breaks,, If you have ever had one of these break, they are a pain to grab hold of and hold so you can finish getting the bolt out,, This required taking off the front frill,, yup,, rusted screws that are tight till the very last thread, I get the grill out of the way and I can now see the broken clip, BUT, its kind of half behind the trans cooler, hmmmm, Hafta remove the trans cooler now,, more fun,, after test fitting a handfull of sockets I find the correct socket and undo the 4 bolts holding it in place, and do the rubber hoses have enough slack and bend a bility to move it to the side?, NOPE... 2 more turn of the century clamps,, squeak squeak squeak till the last thread to get them loose and removed,, dribble dribble dribble as trans fluid runs out. Finally,, access.. Vice grip time,, ya grab hold of it and then reach over top of front end with a socket and ratchet and turn it 1/ 100th of an inch at a time, because ther is no room to get a good turn, Fun times. After about 20 minutes,, maybe 22 minutes,, it finally comes off, Guess where that broken part went?..lol Yup,, in the tool box,, (what was you thinking? in the trash?.. no way,, I might need that again some day,, said no one ever).. Alrighty,, time to lift the radiator out,

I grasp both top corners and heave ho, upwards,, well that didnt work as planned,, I accomplished lifting it about 4 inches and blowing a fart.

Dayummm  thats a wee bit heavier than I thought... ok,, I just need to get a better grip,, yea thats it.So I get out 2 step stools to get a bit higher to get a better lift,, attempt number 2,, lifted about 4 to 6 inches and then set it back down,, No fart this time,, but didnt want to risk a shart,, About this time Im thinking I might have to rent a forklift,, That sum gun is heavy and its empty. Ding Ding Ding,, light bulb above head goes off,, Improvise,

I have rope, a pulley and a hood still attached and upright,, What would McGuiver do? I take a rope and tie it to the top of the hood and tie the other end to the tailgate of the truck,, Visualize hillbillery redneckery logic.

I then take my pulley and hook it to the hood latch on the hood and drop the rope down to the radiator,, There is to rings on each end of the radiator I tie a rope across and pull tight, (maybe at the factory they use a 300 ton shop crane to lift and lower radiators into their trucks is why they are there,) I attch the rope coming down and pull it tight, and then I take other end and start pulling . The radiator is lifting out,, and I use other hand to guide it up as to not hit the fan blades . I get to the end of the rope and the radiator is about 3/4s out,, but Im out of rope,, ut oh,, thats a bit of a pickle,, Now the question is,, What would Jean claude an Damm do? McGuiver already set the play in motion, Well, I Van Dammed it,, I grabbed each side and grunted and groaned and lifted it the rest of the way up and set it down on the cross over, Now visualize trying to untie a good knot one handed,, I have to balance this heavy ass readiator AND untie the rope,, Its not as easy as one might think,, But can be done, I get the rope untied and I grab the radiator again and lift it up and then down to the ground,, I think I have relocated my spleen and quite possibly a kidney,, Im not sure,, But the good news is,, the radiator is out and I didnt shart myself in the process. Anyone over the age of 50 should know, that after lifting heavy, you dont fart,shart or sh** yourself, your ahead of the game. seriously,, I waddle the radiator over to the hose so I can flush it later,, think lifting cement blocks and moving them 6 inches at a time to the desired location,,, I take a break,, drink a couple pots of coffee and then return to get the fan clutch off and water pump, I spin that big ole clutch and bolt around and around and around and around,, (singing the song, the wheels on the bus go round and round,round and round round and round,) till it lets loose and I realize Dayummmm this sum buck is one heavy sucker,, I pert near topple in over the front support as I man handle and hold onto this 100 lb assembly. (OK,, about 40 lbs,,, but still wasnt ready for it,, I get it out and set it aside, I can now tackle the 9 bolts on the water pump and the 3 plug in sensors, I get the bolts out and from recent experience I figured I would need to rap on it a few times with a hammer to break it loose,, Ummmm nope,, a little wiggle and jiggle and it pops right off,  I read later on, they do not use sealant on the gasket,, who knew? I get my degreaser out and spray it everywhere,, Im gonna make this look purdy and be cleaner for reassembly. wow,, there sure is a lot of crud caked on there,,, ok,, wire brush and putty knife time,, scrub scrub scrub, scrape scrape,, and I get it clean, Then had to wait 4 more days for the water pump to get here by pony express,,lol. I was impressed that the pump came with the needed gaskets, and NEW shiney chromium plated bolts, The fun part of putting a water pump back on is testing each bolt because they are different lengths,, ya thread in,, nope,, to long,, or to short,, then just right.. its a conspiracy I tell ya,, I get the new pump on,, But I did use a light film of sealant to make sure the grooved gasket stayed in place, and started to reconnect everything. I always pretest new thermostats in boiling water,,,Specs call for full open at 190 degrees,, 2 brand new ones failed to open,, I tested the old one and right at 190 it opened fully,, I turn boiling water off and watched it close slowly as it should as the water cooled,, So yes I reused and old part, Reinstalling the radiator was in reverse using the pully system technique,, I did flush the radiator out several times and it was actually really clean,, no boogwrs came out, I get everything all connected and bolted down and even put a new bolt on the radiator support where the old one broke, Now, this radiator does not have a radiator cap,, its called a closed system,,so how do you fill it, besides filling the overflow bottle 300 times? Lift the upper radiator hose off the block and pour the 3 gallons in thru the hose listening to it gurgle its way into the radiator,, then reconnect the hose to the block and tighten the clamps,, then fill overflow bottle full and start the truck and turn the heater on to purge the air and fill the system.. 40 minutes later, I add another gallon and a half and heater blowing roasty hot on a hot summers day and temp guage goes up to 1st notch  and I check the overflow bottle and its right at the fluid lvel mark and I cehck every where and dont see any leaks,, at least I hope not,, the cardboard I had under the truck was still dry,, cuz I still cant see squat clearly.. kinda fuzzy looking thru frosted glass.. I shut the truck off and check to see if I get gurgles thru the overflow and nope,, no burpies,,, 

BTW,, when I lifted the radiator up on the cross over to attch the rope to,, I repositioned my kidney back where its supposed to be and who knows where the spleen went,, and I tied a knot one handed,, McGuiver,, eat your heart out,, youve been Van Dammed,,(lol),, Like a Dorito,)

Note* Thanks Michel Branich for the info.

Remember,, You can accomplish anything if ya set your mind to it, and just think,, its also a good time to practice on new and improved cuss words,  Happy trails everyone,

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Comment by David W. Davis on January 3, 2019 at 12:54am

Great writing, know the feeling. 

Comment by postman on August 12, 2018 at 12:51am

Lakota Wolf, WOW! Somewhere there's a Hall of Fame waiting!

Comment by Rich Thomas on August 11, 2018 at 10:12pm

Great read Lakota, glad your back up and running

Comment by Russell E Johnson on August 11, 2018 at 5:56pm

All I can say is WOW. Good job. Faye says that's insane. 



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