1963-1982 Corvette Water Pump Replacement

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Posted January 29, 2013 by Zip Corvette in Corvette Technical Articles
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You notice a green spot under the front of the engine every time you stop. You hope it cures itself, but instead of disappearing, the spot gets bigger.  You check all of the obvious things: hoses, clamps, heater core, radiator.  You even check the dipstick – no water in the oil – so it must be the water pump.  Leaks are just one of the symptoms of a defective water pump.  You may hear a rumble or even growl coming from the pump.  The fan may even start to wobble.  Both of these symptoms are a sign of water pump bearing failure.  With any of these problems you will want to replace the water pump as soon as possible to prevent any damage.  Replacing the Corvette water pump is a very simple matter.  All you need are a few hand tools, some antifreeze, a little time and the right Corvette pump.  Since we could supply everything but the water pump, we contacted Zip Corvette Parts, 8067 Fast Lane, Mechanicsville, VA 23111, (800) 962-9632 and they sent out a brand new water pump for our Project 1964 Corvette.  In less than 2 hours, our 1964 Corvette had a new water pump and was back on the road.  Now let’s get our hands dirty!

Click on the images for expanded views – it’s much easier on the eyes. 
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Step 1

01: This is the new Corvette water pump we received from Zip Corvette.  You will also need some regular hand tools, antifreeze and engine paint.  You may also want to consider purchasing new hoses, belts and clamps if your current ones are old or damaged.
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Step 2

02: Clean off the new water pump using lacquer thinner or alcohol and tape off the fan mounting hub, shaft and all openings.  Then spray a light cover coat Chevrolet Orange.  Let this tack and then spray 2 or 3 medium coats allowing approximately 10 minutes between each coat.  While the pump is drying, start your disassembly.  This way when you are ready to install the new pump, it will be totally dry.
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Step 3

03: Start by draining the cooling system.  If your radiator has a petcock, open it and drain the old antifreeze into an acceptable container.  Then take it to a gas station or auto parts store so it can be disposed of properly.  If your radiator does not have a petcock, or it is damaged, you can still drain the radiator by loosening the lower radiator hose clamp and letting the fluid drain out.
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Step 4

04: While the old pump is still mounted, remove all of the water pump plugs and fittings.  Now loosen and remove the fan, belts, brackets and hoses.  It is a good idea to put tags on each of the belts explaining where they go and in what order they were installed.
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Step 5

05: Now remove the old water pump.  Use a scraper to clean all of the old gasket material completely off the block.  When this is removed, you may want to touch up the paint on the front of the engine block.
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Step 6

06: You will have to remove the fan mounting studs from the fan hub.  This can be done by using a pair of vise grips, stud puller socket or double nuts.  To use double nuts, put two nuts onto the stud, tighten one against the other, then using a wrench on the nut closest to the hub, twist the stud out.  One nut will lock against the other and you will twist the stud right out.
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Step 7

07: Now put liquid teflon or teflon tape onto the threads of any plug or fitting and screw them into the new water pump. If your Corvette’s original water pump fittings are damaged, Zip has all the correct water pump, by-pass & heater hose fitting available for your specific application.
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Step 8

08: Spray gasket cement onto the water pump gaskets and put them into place on the pump.
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Step 9

09: Install the new Corvette water pump.  Make sure the gaskets stay in place and use a thread sealer on the bolts.  This will prevent water from seeping past the threads and causing a drip at the bolt head. Zip Corvette also has available new mount bolts & hardware.
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Step 10

10: With the new water pump in place, tighten all of the plugs and fittings.  Re-install the hoses and hose clamps.
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Step 11

11: Now install the belts, (Here you can see our tags on each belt showing their location) pulleys, brackets and fan.  Only snug the fan into place.  It is much easier to tighten when the belts have been adjusted.
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Step 12

12: Using a belt tension tool is the easiest way to adjust the belt tension.  These are readily available in most auto parts stores and discount tool catalogs and are very inexpensive.
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Step 13

13: With everything back into place and tightened to specs, fill your Corvette with the appropriate mixture of antifreeze and water for your area.  Start your Corvette and remember to open the heater up fully so that the system will totally circulate.  Let the car run until it reaches normal running temperature.  Check the fluid level and top it off as needed.  Remember, there is a cold and hot level on the radiator expansion tank so you will have to fill it to the appropriate level.  When you are done, install the cap.  After it has cooled down, you will want to check the fluid level again.  If the motor is cold, it should be at the cold level.
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Step 14

14: Here is our new water pump installed and our 1964 Corvette is ready for the road again. 
1963-1982 Corvette Water Pump Replacement: Corvette Water Pump Install

Source: Zip Corvette Parts
8067 Fast Lane | Mechanicsville, VA 23111 | (800) 962-9632


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