Water Pump Removal/Installation

Written by: Mike Ervin

The following steps are needed for removal and installation of the water pump.

Note:  I am using my 85 C10 as an example, yours may differ slightly.


  • Remove the positive battery cable at the battery.
  • Drain the radiator.  Don't forget to tighten the petcock when done.
  • Remove the top radiator hose.  Now remove the fan first and then the fan shroud.
  • Loosen the A.I.R. pump so you can remove the drive belt.
  • You will need to remove the alternator and alternator bracket from the engine.  The bracket has the negative battery cable, the A.I.R. pipe, AC hose bracket and deceleration valve mounted to it also.
  • Loosen the AC compressor and remove the drive belt.
  • You will need to remove the power steering pump from the engine as well, as it mounts to the pump.
  • Lay the water pump pulley aside.  Remove the lower radiator hose.  Now finally you can remove the pump.

That wasn't too hard now was it?  I have found the worst part about this job is all of the junk mounted on the front of the engine.  Make sure you draw a diagram on where everything goes or you will have all your hair pulled out trying to figure it out.  The power steering pump is the worst.  Clean all the left over gasket from the engine where the pumps mounts.


  • On all the pumps I have swapped, I had to remove the studs for the fan and install them in the new pump.  This isn't hard, just use two nuts and back them out.  Install them the same way.  I prefer to use Locktite on the threads where they go into the pump.
  • Depending on where your heater hoses mount, you may have to install a 1/2" pipe plug in the pump instead of a hose nipple.  Whatever goes there, use some teflon tape to seal the threads.
  • Use some gasket cement to glue the gaskets to the pump only.  You won't need it on the block.
  • Before installing the pump bolts, put some silicone RTV on the bolt threads.  You won't need it on all of them, as only one goes into water.  I use it on all of them anyway.
  • Install the pump and torque the pump bolts to 30 ft lb on all V-6 and V-8's.
  • Put the lower radiator hose back on.
  • Install the pulley on the pump so you can install all the belts.  It is a lot easier to do now before the fan and shroud are installed.  You can use some washers on the studs so it will tighten.
  • Install the power steering pump, you did make a drawing didn't you?  Put the belt on and adjust it.
  • Put the AC belt on and adjust.
  • Install the alternator and adjust the belt.  Don't forget to hook up the wires.  Fasten the negative battery cable, the A.I.R. pipe, AC hose bracket and the deceleration valve to the alternator bracket.
  • Put the A.I.R. belt back on and adjust.
  • Remove the nuts holding the pulley on.  Install the fan shroud and then the fan.  Make sure the fan nuts or bolts are tight.
  • Now would be a good time to change the thermostat if needed.  It would be a good safety measure anyway.  Put the top radiator hose back on.
  • Fill the radiator and hook the positive battery cable up.

Have water on hand to finish filling the radiator as it needs it.  Start the engine and immediately check for any leaks.  Add water or antifreeze when needed.  Check the temp gauge to make sure it doesn't overheat.  If no leaks and everything else seems ok, you're done.  Keep a check on things for a few days, as in leaks developing.