Squealing Water Pump - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Squealing Water Pump

My water pump is letting out an ear piercing squeal at start up and whenever I give it any throttle until the car is at normal operating temp of 180 degrees. This after the coolant had been drained for about a month While I was cleaning and painting the engine with the Alternator, PS pump and AC compressor pulled off

I have three belts - Alt, PS and AC. The Alt and PS belts go around the pump pulley but the AC does not. I ran it yesterday trying to eliminate if and what belt was causing this. Ran with the Alt belt off - Squeals. Took off the AC belt - Squeals. took off the PS belt and put the Alt belt on - Squeals. Had all three belts off - no squeal. So, only when the pump is being turned does it squeal. Fan has no obstructions. Zero leakage from the water pump which is a cast iron one.

I ordered some Bar's water pump lube and anti-rust additive. No one seems to carry it in stores. So, I will add it on Thursday when I get it and see what happens.

Has anyone used this product? If so, was it preventative or trying to solve a squeal problem? If done to try and get rid of squealing did it work?

I am going to order a new pump and if it continues, will bite the bullet and tear things apart again and replace. If the current pump stops squealing, I will have a spare pump. But, I might just go ahead and install it this coming winter "just because."

Any observations or advice is welcome!

Thanks

Dave
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 09:01 PM
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first check the condition of the belts, often times they are the issue when you get a squealing sound.

if the belts are in god condition, then check the water pump bearing. do this by removing the belts and the pulley, and spin the water pump shaft by hand. it should turn smoothly with a moderate amount of effort. that indicates the bearings and the seals are good. if you feel any roughness in the shaft when you turn it, then replace the pump as it is about to die. and in you have any leaks from the weep hole in the pump, replace it because the seals are dead and the pump will also die.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbohm View Post
first check the condition of the belts, often times they are the issue when you get a squealing sound.

if the belts are in god condition, then check the water pump bearing. do this by removing the belts and the pulley, and spin the water pump shaft by hand. it should turn smoothly with a moderate amount of effort. that indicates the bearings and the seals are good. if you feel any roughness in the shaft when you turn it, then replace the pump as it is about to die. and in you have any leaks from the weep hole in the pump, replace it because the seals are dead and the pump will also die.
Well, in checking the belts one at a time, I should have eliminated a squeaky belt problem. Also, no coolant loss even from the weep hole. I did spin the impeller and it seemed pretty tight.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 11:38 PM
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Usually if the water pump is having a clearancing issue you will be able to feel it when you turn the impeller by hand. It'll feel like it's grinding. Don't think this would be your issue because it doesn't sound like you did anything with the pump, so there is no reason for it to have clearance issues now.

Similarly, if the water pump bearing is going, usually there will be a rough spot when you turn the impeller. If the bearing is seized or in the process of seizing, it will be very difficult to turn. You can also grab the impeller and if you can shake it side to side with any kind of play, that is indicative of a failing bearing.

Another thing to check is the condition of your pulleys. If you put just your AC belt on and it doesn't squeal, then that rules out the crank pulley. But water pump pulleys are prone to cracking and when you put a belt on them they'll flex just enough to squeal. Not sure if it's the belts that are squealing or if it's the nose of the water pump being pulled off-center, causing the impeller to come into contact with the timing cover inside the pump. Either way, it has happened to me before - pulled out of my garage one day, it squealed real loud, then squealed softly while I drove around town that morning. When I got back home I saw that the water pump pulley had cracked. I pulled it off and the middle of the pulley fell out! Pretty silly.


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-02-2018, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Wow, How does that happen? I had stripped the WP Pulley to paint it along with the crank pulley. Did not see any imperfections such as cracks.

The prior owner had put on a Contour electric fan and a three row radiator. He gave me the original five blade fan, spacer and shroud. I got rid of the Contour fan and and installed the stock fan and shroud. I did buy a new, shorter Scott Drake spacer (2.20 inches) to accommodate the three row radiator which I kept. So those were the changes I made when putting it back together. The fan has about a half inch of clearance all around the shroud. Don't see how the new spacer could be causing the problem.

I guess my real question is, does having the coolant out of it for a month really dry it out that much that would cause the bearing and/or seal to go bad?

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-02-2018, 09:05 AM
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Is the pulley groove polished looking? If so take sandpaper to it to rough it up. Maybe the belt isn’t getting traction. Also how shiny is the belt? If it’s glazed looking you could try roughing up the surface.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-02-2018, 09:51 AM
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Cheap Chinese pulleys from CJPP, that's how!

Did you pull the pump at all during this project? Some gaskets are thinner than others - I had a pump with really tight clearances once and with one gasket the impeller would rub, but with doubled gaskets or a thicker gasket it was fine.

Having coolant out of it for a month should not at all affect it. I suppose anything is possible, but it shouldn't be the cause of the issue.


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-02-2018, 10:56 AM
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bolts for spacer too long because installled with shorter spacer?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-02-2018, 02:04 PM
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Sound like a common bearing issue inside the bearings that surround the pump shaft... Only way to remedy it is by replacing the water pump... Sorry, Wish I had better news..

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-02-2018, 09:20 PM
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Yes, it IS possible that while you had the coolant out that the seal dried up just enough that when you put coolant back in some entered the bearing area enough to ruin it, and then the seal swelled back up.

Another cause could be if you painted the sheave area of the pulley allowing the belt to slip, especially as the surface warms up and the solvents continue to escape from the paint. The sheave area should be free from paint, grease, etc. If possible, I'd mask off the painted surface of the pulley and bead blast the rest.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-03-2018, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodchuck View Post
Yes, it IS possible that while you had the coolant out that the seal dried up just enough that when you put coolant back in some entered the bearing area enough to ruin it, and then the seal swelled back up.

Another cause could be if you painted the sheave area of the pulley allowing the belt to slip, especially as the surface warms up and the solvents continue to escape from the paint. The sheave area should be free from paint, grease, etc. If possible, I'd mask off the painted surface of the pulley and bead blast the rest.
Thanks as you may be onto something regarding the paint. I did paint the WP, PS and crank pulleys including the sheaves. I have done this multiple times before on other cars and never had an issue. But, there is always a first time.

As the paint is new, I think I will use one of those foam paint brushes with the pointy leading edge and lacquer thinner and a bunch of paper towels to clean the sheaves that I painted. Then, I will also clean off the belts and we will see what happens. This will have to wait until tomorrow. Hope this is the problem!

Dave
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-05-2018, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodchuck View Post
Yes, it IS possible that while you had the coolant out that the seal dried up just enough that when you put coolant back in some entered the bearing area enough to ruin it, and then the seal swelled back up.

Another cause could be if you painted the sheave area of the pulley allowing the belt to slip, especially as the surface warms up and the solvents continue to escape from the paint. The sheave area should be free from paint, grease, etc. If possible, I'd mask off the painted surface of the pulley and bead blast the rest.
THANK YOU SO MUCH, WOODCHUCK!

I wound up taking the WP and Crank Pulleys off and removed the paint with paint remover. Then I quickly scrubbed the sheaves with a wire brush wheel and then a final cleaning with simple green. Masked off the sheaves and repainted. I left the P/S pump on and used sandpaper to get the paint off the sheave. The Alternator is a Tuff Stuff and that pulley is chrome so I did nothing. I also did nothing to the A/C idler or Sanden compressor as they are black from the factory and were not the source of the squealing. I sprang for three new belts at NAPA in case there had been any contamination of those from the paint. Just started it up and now quiet as a church mouse.

My new water pump arrived yesterday. So now I have a spare and three spare belts.

Again, thanks so much!
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-05-2018, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodchuck View Post
Yes, it IS possible that while you had the coolant out that the seal dried up just enough that when you put coolant back in some entered the bearing area enough to ruin it, and then the seal swelled back up.

Another cause could be if you painted the sheave area of the pulley allowing the belt to slip, especially as the surface warms up and the solvents continue to escape from the paint. The sheave area should be free from paint, grease, etc. If possible, I'd mask off the painted surface of the pulley and bead blast the rest.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1968Cally View Post
THANK YOU SO MUCH, WOODCHUCK!

I wound up taking the WP and Crank Pulleys off and removed the paint with paint remover. Then I quickly scrubbed the sheaves with a wire brush wheel and then a final cleaning with simple green. Masked off the sheaves and repainted. I left the P/S pump on and used sandpaper to get the paint off the sheave. The Alternator is a Tuff Stuff and that pulley is chrome so I did nothing. I also did nothing to the A/C idler or Sanden compressor as they are black from the factory and were not the source of the squealing. I sprang for three new belts at NAPA in case there had been any contamination of those from the paint. Just started it up and now quiet as a church mouse.

My new water pump arrived yesterday. So now I have a spare and three spare belts.

Again, thanks so much!
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-05-2018, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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I can't imagine how hard it must have been to restore/maintain/modify classic cars before the Internet.

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