After doing my waterpump last week (noticed a small puddle about the size of a quarter walking back to the car in a grocery parking lot 5 mins from home, popped the hood and it was steaming from the weep hole), I just put the old one aside and forgot about it.
Well, today I was cleaning up the garage, and before boxing it up to keep as a potential core later on (I have the room, so meh.. why not), I thought I'd take a closer look. I found this.. Missing cover, bearings and all.. Certainly explains some of the high pitch grinding sounds I was hearing a couple of weeks before but that had suddenly stopped. I pulled the front cover off, and the shaft is now so loose the impeller was hitting the sidewalls.
Yeah, it's a miracle it didn't grenade on me - I certainly didn't have much time left on it and I lucked out on this one. The Cadillac Gods are smiling on me, considering I have an hour long commute to work each way.