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Water pump is leaking profusely?

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  • Water pump is leaking profusely?

    Pulled into my parking spot today to see tons of coolant run everywhere.

    Checked the temp gauge and the thermostat read fine so it must have happened as I was pulling in. Also evidenced by the drips that started just where I pulled my car in to back up.

    Popped the hood and noticed there is fresh coolant seeping around the edges of the plastic cover plate that houses the water pump.

    I was told the water pump and the timing belt and extras were performed at the same time so I should be good to go on the timing belt and tensioner pulleys.

    Anyone have a crank tool laying around near Conyers I could borrow for some beer? Any other tools that would make this job easier? Can it all be done from up top?

    Looking for any and all advice from people who have done this before.
    1996 White Used and abused

  • #2
    Before you do that, verify the leak. Loan-a-tool at AutoZone, snag the coolant pressure tester and radiator cap adapter. Pump it up, any weeping leak becomes a piss stream.


    • #3
      Originally posted by iscariot View Post
      Before you do that, verify the leak. Loan-a-tool at AutoZone, snag the coolant pressure tester and radiator cap adapter. Pump it up, any weeping leak becomes a piss stream.
      Not to argue, but there's no coolant anywhere else except where the water pump sits. And it's all leaked down behind that cover plate to the bottom bay cover to the ground. Unless you're suggesting head gasket?:cry: All the hoses are barely 10k miles in as well. G̶i̶m̶m̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶m̶i̶n̶u̶t̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶I̶ ̶c̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶t̶a̶k̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶p̶i̶c̶t̶u̶r̶e̶ ̶a̶s̶ ̶w̶e̶l̶l̶.̶ Or not, it's too bright out lol.
      Second Gear
      Last edited by Otaroko; 07-18-2017, 03:42 PM.
      1996 White Used and abused


      • #4
        There's been plenty of times I thought I had something ****ered that turned out to be "oh, stupid hose". Tracing any leak in the engine is difficult because of all the vortices from the fans.

        It's (basically) free and is super duper easy. If you pull off the timing covers you should be able to see exactly where on the water pump it's leaking from.


        • #5

          Wtf wtf wtf is this shiiiiiiiiit
          1996 White Used and abused


          • #6
            That's not a huge deal - it's only to set the tension when you install the belt and crank it around a few times. As long as the idler is tightened down.


            • #7
              Yeah but its worn the timing belt down to the cord on the teeth on the engine side of the belt...I think, you can barely make it out in the pictures unless Im mistaken:cry:and the belt is chunked on the radiator side.

              Is this not an issue?

              Opening up the covers to find this mess is disheartening knowing this work was performed by a Mazda dealer down near Savannah.

              Can I just remove the spring and that rubber thing? That piece of spring in my hand was sitting under the crank gear when I opened the cover and I freaked a little on the inside.

              That and the crank bolt was barely torqued on. Got it off with a little tug with a 1/2" ratchet. Woodruff appears okay as well as the bolt itself.

              Any tips for reinstalling the crank bolt on these since the pulley has to be installed before torquing the bolt, preventing me from making some cool doodad to hold it in place that accounts for the depth of the pulley?
              1996 White Used and abused


              • #8
                Well, yeah, that's an issue. You can pick up a new spring from mazda, most water pump kits don't come with a new one if I recall. I wouldn't put too much blame on the mazda dealership, I've had one of those springs fall apart before.

                Crank bolt - I use a cheater bar over the ratchet (usually I take the lever off of my jack - have to use a ratchet to clear the sway bar, can't use my regular breaker bar), put the car in 5th and crank down on the parking brake. If the parking brake is squiffy, have someone stand on the brakes.

                Oh - and you really don't need the crank holder. When you put the new belt on, line up the crank at 1/2-1 tooth left of TDC. I cut the old timing belt at 19 teeth to lay across the top for a quick verification that the timing is right. The Exhaust side will sit at 12o'clock naturally, the intake side will need to be pulled to the left. Once you've got 19 teeth between marks, take the slack up in the crank bringing it to TDC - I just pop the woodruff key in with the pulley without the bolt and twist it over. All the belt slack should be between the crank and the intake cam, and that's when you use that spring to take the tension up. With the idler loose, turn the crank over 2-3 revolutions, then tighten the idler down.
                Probably Should Be Working
                Last edited by iscariot; 07-18-2017, 10:14 PM.


                • #9
                  What's the end results?


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ninesixtbird View Post
                    What's the end results?
                    Sorry to leave everyone hanging.

                    I changed out the water pump, replaced the tension spring and the timing belt. After futzing about with the timing belt for a couple of hours trying to figure out how I was going to line everything up, I finally understood what Iscariot was talking about in getting the crank turned a little bit before so that it all just sort of falls into place as you rotate it. I think whats missing from all the write-ups, is that the two crescent wrenches used to hold the cams in place fail to mention that you're going to have to rotate the cams a little. Not enough to turn over or anything but that there is considerable pressure when lining the marks up. Because they dont settle statically at the required markings.

                    After the timing belt was back on it all went back together super fast.

                    I also avoided putting RTV on the engine block side of the water pump gasket so that there was no uneven surface interface. There was a thin film applied on the water pump side so that the gasket would stay in place and I wouldn't tear it with the pump mount bolts.

                    I tore the PCV hose at the valve cover nipple as it had hardened to a brick-like state due to the oil and heat of the engine despite replacing it about 15K miles ago. I could have taken it off at the intake duct but I was a dummy. There was enough left before the bend to fit it back on though. :lol:

                    It cranked right up and I just had to re-tension the A/C and Alternator belts to the correct tension and I was good. Engine feels a bit smoother now but that's probably placebo.:D
                    1996 White Used and abused


                    • #11
                      Cool, how long did it take you? Last time I did mine I had to do it for 2 weekends. Majority of my time was dedicated to aligning the cranks and came, almost all my first time though.