Mechanics

WATER PUMP

1998 Dodge Caravan

Engine Cooling problem
1998 Dodge Caravan 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 122000 miles

Need to take a water pump out. What do I need to do? Where is the water pump located at? If it is where I think it is do I just loosen the alternator and the power steering belts? Will I have to drop the engine or will I have to remove any other parts other than the alternator, power steering belts and then the water pump itself? Will I need the adjust anything other than the alternator and power steering belts.
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Nebarez
July 22, 2009.



Which engine do you have? 3.3L engine takes 15 minutes to replace the water pump. 3.0L engine takes 4 hours. If you drain the coolant at the radiator petcock, there's a good chance you will break the plastic housing and have a leak that will require replacement of the radiator. Better to just pull a hose loose to drain the coolant.

Caradiodoc

Caradiodoc
Jul 22, 2009.
Thanks for the heads-up. Is the engine set-up the same way on both of them? Is the water pump on the passenger side at the bottom of the engine, bolted to the crank shaft housing?

Tiny
Nebarez
Jul 22, 2009.
3.3L is American-made. 3.0L is made by Mitsubishi. Both have the oil pump driven by the crankshaft, not the water pump. You still haven't told us which engine you have.

Caradiodoc

Caradiodoc
Jul 22, 2009.
The top of the engine say DOHC 2.4L 16 Valve

Tiny
Nebarez
Jul 23, 2009.
And hence the confusion. The 2.4L engine is a four-cylinder engine, not a V-6. The water pump is driven by the timing belt. I never replaced one of these, but a similar design on my very high mileage 3.0L V-6 took me four hours to replace. The vehicle was on a hoist, and a large jack stand was needed to hold the engine up so one of the mounts could be removed. You can do the same thing by bolting the engine to a chain attached to a pipe placed across the strut towers.

This type of water pump has a very low failure rate. It is more likely the water pump inlet tube or its O-ring are leaking. If it really is the pump that is leaking, the pulley will also be loose, but you will have to do some disassembly to check for that.

Caradiodoc

Caradiodoc
Jul 23, 2009.
How do I check the inlet tube or the o-ring.

Tiny
Nebarez
Jul 23, 2009.
Easiest is to pressurize the system with a pressure tester, then look for the leak. That's not always easy because it can be buried. On my 3.0L, when the tube or O-ring leak, coolant will run out on top of the transmission bell housing on the driver's side of the engine if it's parked with the right tire a little higher than the left tire.

There is also likely to be a small diameter bypass hose above the water pump that is a common source of leakage and very inexpensive. Head gaskets are another issue. You might see white stains running down the block where coolant had been leaking.

How fast, or how much does the coolant leak? When my water pump went out years ago, after filling the radiator, I had a hard time going two miles before it was all drained out and the engine started to run hot. Made a lot of noise too.

For very small leaks, you can purchase a small bottle of dye to add to the coolant. After driving it for a while, you look for bright yellow stains when shining a black light on the area.

Caradiodoc

Caradiodoc
Jul 25, 2009.
It does not leak that fast but when I stop for a few minutes you can see a small puddle. Right now it about every three or four days we have to fill it. The leak is coming for the passenger of the engine towards the bottom.

Tiny
Nebarez
Jul 27, 2009.
Right now the leak is right where the main pulley housing is. Best way to say this is the pulleys that run the power steer belt and the alternator belt, they are attached to what looks like to me some sort of housing for the water pump and the timing belt located at the bottom of the engine on the passenger side. The leak looks like it is coming from some where around the bottom or the side of that housing. I had a friend tell me it was probably just the o-ring but my question is how can I tell if it is the o-ring without having to take half the engine apart. Just so you know I don't know a whole lot about engines beside the basics.

Tiny
Nebarez
Jul 29, 2009.