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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys
Changing out the water pump on my 01 Sport. First question: do I use the gasket dry? It's just a paper filter, no silicon.

While I'm at it, and have the radiator out too, couple of things:
My steering box is loose, I've been thinking of changing that out too. It looks easier to get at the shaft collar, but how do you access the lines to the pump? They look pretty tucked up in there.

Finally, in the cold of winter I had some pulley squealing on first start up. Seems like the tensioner bearing is a little noisy, now that I've spun it by hand. Any trick to swapping that out? Looks like a Torx bolt holds the assembly on, but it's spring loaded and I don't want to mess anything up.

Thanks for any advice!

Tom
 

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There is NO need for anything beyond the usual gasket that comes with the water pump or thermostat housing. The only time additional sealants, RTV, etc. is needed is if the gasket surfaces have not been adequately cleaned/prepped, or if one of the surfaces is damaged. In 50 years of replacing coolant system devices, I have never needed to use any additional sealants.

Two hints... #1, avoid installing a cheap aftermarket water pump like AutoZone pushes on the unsuspecting. You'll pay for that decision later if you do by it failing prematurely. And their "lifetime warranty" is no indication of quality, it only assures you'll have a lifetime of problems after installing one... and who wants to install a series of replacment water pumps even if they are free.

Hint #2, spend the time necessary with a good strong light and small wire brush to insure the block's gasket seating surface is frigging 100% clean. Surgically clean. Not a single smidgen of the old gasket left behind. Not one iota. Not spending the time to get it clean is nearly a guarantee of seating problems that will cause a leak.

And to let you know just how well a cardboard gasket works... I was on the trail last year when I had to remove the thermostat because it failed in the closed position causing my engine to start overheating. The old thermostat housing gasket came apart/shredded so it couldn't be reused. I ended up cutting a gasket out of a piece of the cardboard box that some military rations (MREs) came in. It was leak free until I could get around to installing a replacement thermostat with a new gasket.

And that the factory uses nothing but paper gaskets (no RTV anywhere) on the cooling system either and they certainly don't leak should be a big clue on if RTV is needed or is even a good idea. I wouldn't even think about using RTV there.

Hope that helps. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the advice. I've always used RTV, "just because." I will spend the time getting it super-clean while it's all apart.

Any thoughts on the automatic belt tensioner?

Thanks--
Tom
 

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Perhaps the various automotive manufacturers have had it wrong all these years by using gaskets and not RTV when assembling their cooling system components. ;)
 

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I've always used the Permatex too, more to hold the gasket in place while hanging the water pump. Not really needed for sealing, just makes the assembly easier for me.
 

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X2 on what Jerry has offered. Spend the time it takes to get the surface totally clean. Then check it again to make sure and perhaps give it a touch or two with some emery cloth. If the housing is in good shape (I replaced my housing with a new OEM housing --didn't want to do this job again anytime soon) and the surface is totally free of old gasket material, torque to specs and you won't be seeing any weeping or leaking from the t-stat anytime soon.
 

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From an unsuspecting newbie who thought he was doing the right thing and bought a water pump from Autozone, how do you know when your water pump is failing?
 

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From an unsuspecting newbie who thought he was doing the right thing and bought a water pump from Autozone, how do you know when your water pump is failing?

Oh, don't worry you will know . . . .

Seriously though, it will start leaking from the weep hole when the interior seal goes. A little at first, a lot soon after. First you'll notice small drops of anitfreeze dripping off your tie rod and also harmonic balancer pulley. Eventually it will be puddle on your driveway when the engine is running.
 

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From an unsuspecting newbie who thought he was doing the right thing and bought a water pump from Autozone, how do you know when your water pump is failing?
Based on this forum as soon as you put the belt around the pulley and start it. Loads of posts on early failure with Autozone pumps. OEM is highly recommended.
 

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I've always used the Permatex too, more to hold the gasket in place while hanging the water pump. Not really needed for sealing, just makes the assembly easier for me.
x2. Exactly what I do on anything with gaskets. Just a very thin layer for 'piece of mind' and keeping it in place. No issues.
 

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Perhaps the various automotive manufacturers have had it wrong all these years by using gaskets and not RTV when assembling their cooling system components. ;)
My 2000 stock pump had to be scraped. Pretty sure it was RTV. :) if not that cardboard bonded like a mofo owned since new came like that from the factory.
 

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From an unsuspecting newbie who thought he was doing the right thing and bought a water pump from Autozone, how do you know when your water pump is failing?
My autozone one was quality looking and still rocking strong. Heard nothing but good things about their pumps here. From people that own them. Other stuff not so much. Water pumps seem to have a good track record.
 

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Funny how different people perceive quality. As Blaine Johnson of Black Magic Brakes and Savvy will attest to, I bought an Autozone water pump years ago. After opening the box for the first time, I knew right away it was crap quality. I returned it for a refund without installing it and bought a Mopar whose quality was night and day better. You're about the first I've ever read who thought their Autozone water pump quality was anything but questionable. Very few experienced Jeep wrenchers ever recommend one of AutoZone's Chinese water pumps.
 

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I'm very experienced. Don't quote me. Think digger has one. Sorry yours sucked mine is installed and working well. :)

On another note. You opened the box and decided it was junk. Mine looked great. You screamed Chinese! And returned it. I looked for shoes today. All the new balance were made in China. I decided I'm not paying this for foreign shoes. I plan to go to bass pros clearance shop in Springfield for shoes. Brands don't impress me. I'll pay more for American or quality. A stealership pump is a rip off from experience. Glad you like yours as much as I do mine. It's rebuilt too btw.
 

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Something that has served me well in conditions that might turn dangerous or questionable... making it a point to buy only first-quality items that are critical to getting through those potentially dangerous situations or back from remote areas where you may be 50-100 miles from services. I'll buy questionable quality seat covers, floor mats, underwear, socks, t-shirts if they have something cool on them, etc. but that's it.

But as a pilot and offroader, I won't buy anything but first-quality mission-critical parts... like 2-way radios, ignition parts, winches, water pumps, starter motors, alternators, tires, engine sensors, etc.. I don't want one of those items failing if I'm flying at 7500' at night or 75 miles from the nearest services/help while out in the desert wheeling.

If you never wheel or drive beyond comfortable walking distances, then by all means go with Autozone parts. I sure won't though. It's all about philosophy and having been somewhere already where something important failed that ruined the entire day.
 

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I could tell you about the Duralast u-joints I installed a few months ago because it was Sunday and I needed them...:)
I almost refuse to work on my Jeep on Sundays for that reason. :D

Edit: For those who don't know, Duralast is one of AutoZone's house brands. Just another AutoZone part to avoid installing.
 
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