New water pump gone bad in two weeks?

JP

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2001 Buick Lesabre, 160K miles.

Noticed clacking under the hood, like a bearing was going. Sounded like the alternator, so I replaced the alternator. What the heck, it was going to go bad sometime in the not-to-distant future anyway. Clacking still present. Checked water pump, evidence of very mild weep from the bearing weep hole, and play in the bearing. Belt if fine.

Replaced water pump, problem solved.

Two weeks later, clacking sound returned, sounds like water pump again. WTH? ???

I took off the belt and ran the engine for 20 seconds or so, no clacking, so whatever is the problem is belt-driven. I don't think it's the belt tensioner. Could I have gotten a bad (new) pump?

Should I replace the belt tensioner wheel first before messing around with the water pump? I'm 90% sure the clacking is coming from the new water pump.
 

kev2

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new does not always mean good- was this a reman ?

some thoughts...
Bolts if different length were replaced into correct hole?
Probally would have noticed right away - got to ask
Belt off -you should be able spin - Alt, Ps pump, WP, AC clutch....
Rough spots - tight spots?
Same for the idler ...

Any recient work - new belt something that would have had you in this area?
 

JP

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There seems to be a tiny bit of play in the water pump (belt off) that wasn't there when I installed it, but seems OK when spinning it. Might be my imagination.

No other work, bolts installed in correct holes, tensioner=no play, spins fine as does the a/c, alternator and p/s pump.

Gut feeling is that the water pump went bad. I was in such a hurry at the auto parts store, I didn't ask if it was new or reman.

Have you had bad luck with remans?
 

kev2

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simple ans YES.

THe terms rebuilt or remanufactured have no governing standards- it is the component repair shop that decides what to call the part after their work- ALTHOUGH there is a degree of throughness expected by the consumer no minimun exists.... blame it on capitolist $.02
 

Gus

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Something fishy here......the noise went away for two weeks, after w/p replacement.......the "Exact" same noise came back?

I don't know.....I'd like to isolate this noise.....is it constant or comes and goes? I would put a mechanic's stethescope on everything rotating.....noise change when defroster or A/C is turned on?
 

JP

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Not exactly the same, but a similar but louder clacking. I have a stethescope and it sounds like it's the water pump. Does not change with a/c compressor on and off and sound not coming from a/c comp area.
 

NickD

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When I see, say a rebuilt water pump that comes with a cast iron impeller where the original was stamped stainless steel, so no thanks.

Quite a price range on these pumps, 19 bucks for a rebuilt to 88 bucks for a genuine new Delco at rockauto.



Some of these FWD vehicles are really a pain in the butt to change the water pump, so will pay extra so I will not have to do it again.

Yep, entire belt drive train consists of very limited lubricated bearings, made it miserable in the CS series of alternators. AC compressor bearings are peened in, another pain in the butt. When GM was mounting compressors on the top, used a retaining ring, could replace that bearing while wearing a dress suit. Sure you only have one belt to replace, but if just one of those bearings seize, you are stranded.
 

kev2

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Parts Summed up :
When I see the price of OEM I think aftermarket.
When I see the quality of aftermarket I think OEM.
 

JP

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Fortunately on the Lesabre, the water pump is easy to get to; there must have some mechanics advised when they designed it. ;D The only thing I've had trouble getting at is the back spark plugs, and that wasn't all that bad. Same engine in the Lumina, less underhood room, quite a struggle.

I double checked; it's s new pump not a reman. I'm going to replace the tensioner pully just to make sure that's not it, otherwise it's a messy job draining the coolant, etc. to re-replace the water pump. It's kinda sucky that going to most auto parts stores when you really need a part right now, they don't offer OEM, just their "store brand".
 

JP

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Well, I replaced the water pump....and that wasn't the problem. :-\

If it was something inside the engine, what could it be? I stethescoped all the belt driven stuff (only the A/C and p/s pump are not brand new) and it still sounds like it's coming from the water pump area. NOT coming through the valve covers.

???

The clacking/clattering sound is intermittant, but is present everytime I drive the car, doesn't seem to be present when the engine is ice cold, but the clacking does seem to start (if the noise does start when I'm listening) before the engine is fully warmed up.

One last thing I'm going to try is to make sure it IS making the noise, then pull the belt and run the engine for a very short time to verify if it is something belt driven. I did this before, but probably should double check to make sure.
 

kev2

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I am confused - you state in post #1 you operated with belt off - no noise with belt off SO clear this up.
Removing the belt the noise was not present OR?

I show this as a 3.8L is that correct?
 

The old man

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If the harmonic balancer is any thing like a buick rivera with the center of the balancer being all rubber, then it definetly would make noise. I replace one on a 1996 riviera that clunked on startup and clunked on shut off. The center of the balancer was really deteriated . Thought they would have improved on that design by now.
 

dabunk

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3800 also had the problem of the cam moving back and forth making a lot of knocking noise. Very seldom seen the vib damper go bad on a 3800 but it is possible. I saw that more on the Fords.
 
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