Latest Reader Comment (Nov. 28, 2017)

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Here is the latest Reader Comment, along with my Comments!

Robert writes: My daughter has 2011 Ford Edge, 3.5 liter DOHC V6. In the course of maintaining the vehicle, I thought to change the water pump about 85-90k miles. Figured to do it before it leaked and the girl overheated the car, wiping out the head gaskets, etc.  So I’m looking at the picture of the water pump  and the pulley part has teeth for a chain drive, a cam chain drive. The pump lives inside the the timing chain  case, driven by the cam chain and can leak into the engine oil. Ford quotes 12.0 hours to replace the pump, at $105/hr. Remove right side tire and inner fender well skirt. Remove belts, tensioner, idle pulley, front engine pulley. On top – remove upper intake plenum, remove front and rear valve covers, lock camshafts with special tools at TDC. Back below – remove 27 bolts holding front engine cover on, bolts thru oil pan also. Behold the water pump. Remove chain tensioner and slipper guide on the opposite side. Remove cam timing phasers assemblies from the camshaft. Now that you have slack in the chain, remove the 6 water pump bolts.  Local shop says the coolant weep hole on the pump has a channel that takes the weep coolant to the valley. Internet search has coolant leaking into the engine oil.  Similar to the GM Quad Four engine. I can’t wait for the red neck community to find out the zippy V6 in their F150 needs about $1,100 in labour plus water pump plus can I recommend new timing chain, slipper guide, chain tensioner, both valve cover gaskets, upper plenum gasket, new belts, new serpentine belt tensioner. Did i miss anything? Yes, I did: Front cover oil seal!

Like your stories, rode a 72 Norton Interstate, with Combat engine (extra compression) 32 Amal high performance carbs until it developed  bottom end noise around 27k. Have since found out they all did that. We had some big stinkers, H1 Kaws in the neighborhood but the Norton riders were usually more talented. Cheers , Robert.

PS: I  would kick start it bare foot on a five dollar bet. I saw the first H2 in the United States,  July of 1971. A medium blue color. A sailor was riding it from San Diego naval station to Mayport in Jacksonville Fl. He brought it back from Japan as personal luggage, he was stationed on an aircraft carrier that did a tour in Japan. He said there were 200 bikes, all sizes and kinds coming back that trip.  I met him filling up at a gas station west of Tallahassee, rode the rest of the way together to Jacksonville. His rear tire was smooth in Tallahassee and riding on strings by Jacksonville. But thats another story!

My Comment: It is a good thing water pumps generally last longer than they used to, eh?

This job – which used to be almost as simple a job as replacing a dead battery – has become an extremely complicated and expensive job, in part because of modern engine design and also because of modern engine positioning. It is much more of a chore to deal with a transversely mounted (sideways, as in a front-wheel-drive-based vehicle) engine than the same engine mounted longitudinally (front to back, as in a rear-drive/based vehicle).

Changing the water pump in a RWD old school American car like my Trans-Am is a simply matter of removing the fan/fan clutch then a couple of belts and pulleys and – voila – there’s the pump. About eight bolts, all easy to reach. Pop the old one off, install the new one. The pumps costs maybe $50 and you need a gasket (usually included) and some RTV (about $5) Total time with basic hand tools – maybe an hour or so. Two if you have a beer in between.

I miss the old days, too.

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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