: Water Pump Housing

03-14-05, 01:21 PM
I took my STS to have the water pump changed,actaully it had a drip that the repair shop said was probably the water pump. I told them okay to go ahead and change it but mentioned that I've read a special tool is needed and the water pump has to be turned clockwise for removal. Now they call me and they've damaged the water pump housing, broke off a tab and gouged a piece of aluminum out near where the o-ring seals on the water pump. The old pump has several tabs broken off and looks like it was run over by a tank.

Does this seem normal and would you expect that I shold have to pay the approx. $700 for them to replace the housing along with the original $300 to replace the water pump?

03-14-05, 01:24 PM
Forgot to mention they said it was corroded and that is why they damaged the housing. I tol dthem I would have expected a call if you were having a hard time so as to notify myself that damage may occur to the housing if we proceed. They said soemtimes you have to break things to get the job done!

03-14-05, 02:06 PM
Damn, that sucks! What year is the car? I've only heard of breaking the tabs when you don't take care in removing the pump. I'd look for a used waterpump crossover housing. I've seen some on eBay, and I have one off a '95 if you're interested.

03-14-05, 02:08 PM
Sometimes when you want a job done right, you'd better do it yourself. http://cadillacforums.com/forums/images/smilies/icon_rolleyes.gif

I'd bet $20 they brute-forced it the wrong way. Anyone else want in? ;)

I think the housing you're referring to is the "water log", correct? You can get those used for <$50, there might even be one on ebay. I don't have much experience with these engines being in the car they came with... But I think there should be ample clearance for an easy removal. $300 is unreasonable, even if the water pump was $200 (which it's not- I think the acdelco part is around $70). $700 also sounds high, but I don't know how much the "log" runs new. I'd guess maybe $3-400, plus a few hours labor would be around $500 or so. But there's no point in buying a new one, it's not a "wear" item.

You might want to consider having it towed to a new shop. Wait for some other opinions first though,

03-14-05, 02:11 PM
Depending on how the tabs on the pump are bent, it really sounds like they were trying to turn the thing counter-clockwise to remove it when it really has to be turned clockwise. That would definitely cause the damage you're describing, and in that case, it's their fault and they would have to fix it themselves because they didn't look at the freekin' thing before they started pounding on it with a hammer. I can't imagine what kind of corrosion would have to be on there to make it so difficult to remove that they would break off tabs. It sounds like they got some overzealous kid fresh out of tech school working on it and he screwed up. They should fix that in my opinion.

03-14-05, 02:27 PM
Thanks for the replies, I feel exactly like you've all described, that it would take brute force to to damage the parts the way they are damaged. I know for sure there are 2 tabs broken off the pump, look like they've been sheared off with another couple all bent out of shape. 1 tab in the housing broken out of the housing. As far as the corrosion, there are no pits or missing aluminum on either the housing or the pump so I'm having a hard time buying the corrosion theory.

Awaiting other comments and appreciate the time taken to reply to my earlier post. The car is a 1994 with 62K miles, very low mileage and very well maintaned.

03-14-05, 02:46 PM
To clarify and get my facts in order I forgot to mention that they were also going to change the water pump belt and add new anti-freeze along with changing the water pump for $300, $298 if I remember correctly. As far as replacing the water pump housing they told me 8 hours labor and $172 for the part, once again if I remember correctly they said they would reduce the labor charge to like $200 plus the $172 for the part, so that's $372 plus the original $300 for changing the water pump. I just knew I should have bought the tool and did it myself. I asked them if it was tight because of corrosion, why didn't you soak it down with something like WD-40 over night and then if there was still a problem, call me and tell me there is a good chance that we may break something if we proceed. I feel strongly that they should have called and said there was a problem getting it apart and explained the problem so that I was the one making the decision to proceed and possibly break another connecting part.

I may have been inclined to have them put the cover back on and either take it to another garage or check into it myself, their reply was that sometimes you just have to break things to get them apart!

03-14-05, 02:52 PM
I kinda think they are at fault! I'd want to look at the waterpump and housing and see how much corrosion is there.

03-14-05, 03:12 PM
The only corrosion I saw was very minimal on the face of the cover, nothing on the pump accept once again on the face of the pump where the o-ring is and that also is only minimal, really nothing more than a little discoloration, no build-up at all. I know the o-ring is either orange or red because it was still in the groove when I looked at it. My thought would be, how could a rubber or sillicone o-ring escape damage when the steal pump tangs or tabs and aluminum tab in the housing were severely damaged.

03-14-05, 03:22 PM
As far as replacing the water pump housing they told me 8 hours labor and $172 for the part, once again if I remember correctly they said they would reduce the labor charge to like $200 plus the $172 for the part, so that's $372 plus the original $300 for changing the water pump.

Do you have the old water pump? Or do they?

Personally, I would get ahold of it, and see how it's bent. If you can prove they were rotating it the wrong way, you can make them pay for the part and labor.

But isn't it nice of them to cut the labor cost in half for a part they have to replace because THEY broke? http://cadillacforums.com/forums/images/smilies/icon_rolleyes.gif

03-14-05, 03:48 PM
They have the part because I told them to hold onto all the parts. They're really doing me a favor by reducing the cost which also leads me to believe that they know they screwed up, they were to willing to cut the cost even though it's still a lot of money. I would say this, it appears that primitive Pete got a hold of that water pump and those tabs are made out of some pretty sturdy steal. How ole Pete could have sheared a couple off completely and bent up the rest with only that removal tool is beyond me.

Your right, they broke it, without a doubt and I can't believe they are giving me this much grief over it. I have no second car so I've been stuck since last Friday. I took it to them because I thought they were the best around other than going to the nearest Cadillac dealer which is about 40-45 miles away.

03-14-05, 07:23 PM
Does anyone know if a water pump housing from a 1996 will fit a 1994 Northstar. The dealer said they have a different part number! I ask because there is a 1996 available within a few miles from my home.

03-14-05, 09:04 PM
I once had a Chevy dealer do a fuel pump in an S10 Blazer. The fuel lines were corroded and they new they would destroy the line and consequently the sending unit. They called me and got an OK to continue.

As previously mentioned, I would look closely at the remaining bent tabs. They will tell the story as to which direction torque was applied. If you can show them that it was their fault I would flat refuse to pay and threaten them with legal action as well as reports to BBB, local chamber of commerce, etc. If you have a good case and proof (keep the old pump once it is in your hands), they'll probably come around.

03-14-05, 09:43 PM
Ranger and all who replied, thank you for your comments. Obviously, I agree with all who state that the old pump will tell the story and it does. I'll find out in the morning what they are going to do and if I end up having it towed to another repair facility I'll certainly keep the old parts. As Ranger mentioned I will report them to the BBB and loacl chamber of commerce, not what I want to do and never have but it is only to obvious that they didn't use very good judgement in removing the old pump. To anyone that may be interested, I'll keep you posted on what has turned out to be a very disgusting experience, being without a car since last Friday and a repair bill that would be right at $800 to replace a water pump, assuming the housing can be replaced without further damage to any other parts ( that's what really scares me, what would they break next ).

03-14-05, 11:18 PM
You don't have to report them to the BBB, et. al. just yet. Give them a chance to do the right thing. They should replace the housing at no cost to you and charge you only for the water pump replacement. I don't think you can ask for a free job altogether, but I don't think they should charge you for anything above and beyond the initial costs of parts, supplies, and labor for the water pump job. The housing, additional supplies, and additional labor are on their dime for their mistake. You can threaten them with the BBB for negotiation purposes, but don't actually report them until you've given them a chance to do right. Just my opinion. I've had to use the BBB on three occasions and I got what was fair from the companies involved after they helped me. The local chamber of commerce might be able to help you resolve it as well.

03-15-05, 12:25 AM
Mcowden, I may have been somewhat misleading in my last post because what you just mentioned is what I'm going to do in the morning. The owner of the garage will be back and he will make the ultimate decision for his business. I feel like he'll understand once he see's how the parts were so abused and therefore he'll do the right thing. I have no problem paying the agreed rate to replace the water pump, just having a hard time trying to justify the expense to replace the housing which they damaged.

Somehow, somewhere, they'll be working on my car ny noon tomorrow. No vehicle since Friday is getting to be a bit long. I do have a second car although I haven't licensed it for years, a 1981 Edorado 4-6-8. The last time I had it at the cadillac shop the service manager said that was the last one and I said last what. He said the last 4-6-8 in the city of Houston that was still running as a 4-6-8 and shook his head. Of course, right now I wish I did I have it licensed and insured.

Thanks again and have a good evening.

03-15-05, 01:55 AM
Does anyone know if a water pump housing from a 1996 will fit a 1994 Northstar. The dealer said they have a different part number! I ask because there is a 1996 available within a few miles from my home.

It should. I'm pretty sure they're the same from 93-99, changed in 2000 with all the other changes they did to the engine. I know it will bolt up because the blocks are the same..... but I'm trying to remember how the EGR hooked up on the 94... Well, if nobody else knows, "only one way to find out" http://cadillacforums.com/forums/images/smilies/evilsmile.gif

03-15-05, 02:24 AM
I've got a used housing I'll sell you for cheap...gimme an offer and I'll ship it out to you...its off of my 94 STS that I spun a bearing in and repalced the whole engine.

03-15-05, 02:38 AM
In another message board there was discussion of a guy, that seemed to know what he was doing, having a terrible time removing a water pump. But he did say there was corrosion all over the tangs, blocking it from turning. He soaked with solvent overnight or more, then went to a grinder to basically destory the old water pump. And then also used hammer and chisel. It finally came out with a long cheater pipe on a breaker bar on the special tool.

But, as I said, he did indicate a lot of corrosion buildup. And it was a 94 or so engine also.

03-15-05, 10:37 AM
Spyder, thanks for the offer but I've got to get my car going today if possible, no later than tomorrow. I guess it could be shipped overnight so if everything breaks down on this end and I have to have my car towed to another garage I'll let you know. Could you have it ready to ship in somewhat short order? As far as price I'll pay you fair market whatever that is, you call it.

03-15-05, 08:29 PM
yea, I could get it out overnight if you wanted to pay the shipping...whatever a new one is worth, figure a little less than half? I dunno what they go for...mine still has the old pump in the housing and all...would be quick and easy to bolt it onto your motor if it comes down to that.

spyder 12 12 12 (at) hotmail . com

without the spaces, If you end up needing it...

03-15-05, 10:47 PM
My car was repaired today and I'm now back on the road, no car since Friday noon so it felt pretty good to get behind the wheel again. The owner of the shop returned and said he was willing to give me some relief but stood by the mechanic who had broken the tabs off the old pump, ( which really didn't matter ) broke 1 or 2 tabs on the crossover and a gouge ( major problem ) in the face where the o-ring seats. I told him I would then have the car towed and he said he woul dhave it ready along with the bill. I asked him what he meant about a bill and he said he had to charge me for taking it apart. I said you your going to charge me for taking it apart and breaking it!

At that point I told him to work up 3 rates and call me back, I tow it away and what are you going to charge me for breaking it, putting it back together the way it is with a new pump with fingers crossed that it wouldn't leak and of course to repair it properly with the new crossover, pump, belt etc. A that point he said I want to work with you but I also want you to be satisfied and I told him that is what I expect and that I am a man of my word. If I agree on a price for the repairs even though I still think it's to much, I'm not going to go around and bad mouth your business, he said that is what he wanted to hear.

He finally came down to $500 total, bear in mind originally they were going to change the water pump only but damaged the housing getting the old pump out. I told him I thought that was still to much and that everyone I spoke with said the shop should be responsible for parts they damage unless of course they notify the owner first that there is a problem and that another part could be damaged with the owner giving the go ahead. I had called another shop and located a crossover so it would have cost me just over $500 with the tow and more time being wasted so I told him to complete the job. I also told him I didn't think it was fair but that is what it would cost me at this point to take it to another shop so I'll agree to the rate and reamin a man of my word and not tarnish his reputation, which I won't.

First time I've backed off in a long time, I almost always do my own repairs within reason and now once again, I'm reminded of one of the reasons why!!

Never the less, I'm powering down the road once again, 1994 STS with 71K that still gets after it pretty good.

Thanks for the advice fells's, will stay in touch!