Which engine do you have? The water pump on the 3.3L Chrysler engine is in front of the right front tire. Replacement is a 15 minute job. On the 3.0L Mitsubishi engine, it's about a 4 hour job for a professional. It involves removing the timing belt and side covers.
The oil pan gaskets are pretty straight forward. Not sure you should be tackling these yourself if you have to ask. There are a number of things professionals do to prevent future problems that we don't even stop to think about until we hear about an uninformed do-it-yourselfer messing it up. They don't use gaskets; they use silicone RTV sealers, (room temperature vulcanizing). To prevent leaks, all the old sealer must be cleaned off both surfaces, and there must be no residue from dripping oil when the sealer is applied. The job is a little easier if the starter and front engine mount are removed. Leaking camshaft seals are more common on the 3.0L engine. The oil runs down in places where you can't see it and settles around the lip of the oil pan making for an incorrect diagnosis.
Also, how did you determine it needs a water pump? It's really buried on the 3.0L so it's hard to tell if it's the cause of a leak. They usually get noisy long before they leak. The pumps on the 3.3L don't leak often, but they are known for making a loud buzzing noise, at least on the early 1990s cars. The only trick you should know on the 3.3L is to loosen the pulley bolts before you remove the belt. That way, the belt will help hold the pulley as you loosen the bolts. The seal is a rubber o-ring. It can be reused if you clean it off and put a little rtv sealer in the groove first. You don't have to completely remove the belt unless you're replacing it. Just use a pair of wrenches to relieve belt tension from the spring-loaded tensioner pulley, and let the belt hang loosely by the water pump. Use water to wash off any coolant that gets on the belt.
Saturday, November 28th, 2009 AT 5:03 PM