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87 Deville, 4 door
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Discussion Starter #1
I own a 87 Cadillac Deville Sedan FWD. Almost 200K miles on her. Great car, usual upkeep for its age.My problem is since I bought this car in 2001 I've had to replace the water pump twice (2002 & 2004) both times different prices. Now it's making a rattling noise again and was told by a new mechanic that it's going again. He's going to also check to see if I got a rebuilt one instead of new last time (scary thought).Sheesh. This will be # 3. Is this normal for a car not used for daily commute? What is the usual price for a water pump change out? Also, would you advise that I replace the timing belt/chain as well? She's about to hit the 200K mark and I have no idea if it was ever changed since new nor if it needs to be.

Thanks,
Empty Wallet
 

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04 Deville, 11 DTS Premium, 00 Deville (sold), 02 Deville (sold)
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I'm not that familiar with the 87 Deville what motor is in it?

The only thing that I can think of that may be causing the pump to fail prematurely is if the belt tension is too tight causing a preload on the bearings. Does your belt have a tensioner on the belt or is it adjusted manually?

Your car should have a chain on it not a belt. The chains usually outlast the car so I wouldn't worry about changing it.
 

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04 Deville, 11 DTS Premium, 00 Deville (sold), 02 Deville (sold)
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Maybe you should try buying the part yourself. Go with one with a lifetime warranty thru your local parts store. That way if your car eats another pump you can swap it out and only have to pay the labor. A pump and gasket should run about $50. Just curious what did you pay the last couple times parts and labor?

Water pumps are one item that GM dealers will give you a lifetime warranty on parts and labor if they replace it. Might want to call one and get a price over the phone for comparison against what your mechanic is charging you. The only problem you may run into is some GM dealers won't work on anything as old as yours... but with the economy the way it is they may.
 

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1985 Sedan DeVille
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1,883 Posts
I replaced the water pump on mine 4 times in 3 years I think. It's a really shitty design and it's very hard to install properly because of the weird hardware. BTW all of the 4.x Cadillac engines use the same part.
 

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2010 DTS
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87,547 Posts
I replaced the water pump on mine 4 times in 3 years I think. It's a really shitty design and it's very hard to install properly because of the weird hardware. BTW all of the 4.x Cadillac engines use the same part.
That's absolutely nuts. That would start to piss me off.
 

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1926 Model T street rod, 2000 Jaguar XJ8, 1999 Corvette.
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6,738 Posts
I think these pumps are being bought related to price rather than quality. This is a sheet metal pump so using the correct tools and torque values is very important to longevity. The weakness, I think, is the serpentine belt pulley attachment bolts on the pump which can work loose, they then loosen the impeller then the wobbling impeller damages the support bearing. So, buy DELCO new. Use the proper bolts on the pulley and carefully inspect the bolt holes on the pulley for fractures or elongated holes, use only shouldered attachment bolts and star washers and locktite them. If you hire it out check the price difference from an independant shop using a DELCO pump and the dealer using the same part. When I managed a Cad service dept in that era, 70% of the pump noises were related to fractured pulleys and/or impellers loose. The other 30% were bearing failures. On that old of a car I would also caution to closely inspect the belt tensioner and idler pulley. Ck the tensioner for being weak, the idler for being properly in line with all other pulleys.
 

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1998 Seville STS / 2013 Chevrolet Impala
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1,889 Posts
I know these 4.x engines blow through water pumps like there's no tomorrow. I've found that if you rarely go over 4k RPM, you rarely have to replace one.
 

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1990 350 Brougham (The cruiser), 1988 Mark VII LSC (The DD)
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5,545 Posts
I owned my '88 Fleetwood for 2 years and had to replace the water pump twice. It happens. Make sure you are adding the GM supplement tabs to the new coolant as they contain a lubricant that will help minimize pump failure. The late 80's 4.x engines loved to chew through these. Unfortunately, mine also like to chew through transmissions, which is why it had to go.
 

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2010 DTS
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I've had two 4.1's and one 4.9. The oldest was the 4.9 at 125K and never replaced a water pump on any of them.
 

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1991 Cadillac Brougham D'Elegance 5.7 Litre, 1994 DeVille
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6,796 Posts
I had to change it on my 1994 DeVille when I got it. It was a pretty easy job to do. Get the water pump from the dealer. There used to be a bunch of posts around about people having problems and the people who had non stop problems said it all stopped after they got the GM one.
 

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2011 Crown Vic LX, 2009 Chevy Malibu 2LT
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After owning 4 4.x powered cars, I can say that I have replaced a fair share of pumps. But I learned a few things along the way.

Most of the water pump issues I've had were not necessarily related to the pump itself. Most came from the hardware, as someone mentioned above. The Water pump mates to the engine using threaded studs on the timing cover and threaded bolt holes on the water inlet, behind the timing cover After 20 years, these really fine threads corrode. Some find during replacement that a few of the fasteners won't even hold torque because the threads have stripped (and that doesn't take much). So now on my last two cars, I didn't monkey around. When the water pumps started leaking, I purchased new timing covers and inlets along with the pump. A combination of this and running the old bolts and nuts through a tap allowed for perfect torquing of the hardware and therefore no future failures. Do it once, do it right.

This is kind of the similar to what I've read is the N* headgasket issue, bolts not holding torque because of damaged threads.

Whether or not my method is necessary, I'm not sure. But I feel it works. I replaced the water pump on my '95 40k miles ago and still no problems...
 

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2005 Cadillac DeVille DTS
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150 Posts
Pefectly normal... if not a genuine GM part... been there, done that, time and time again.

Replace with an original GM part and you should be good to go for a long time.

Joe
 

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70 Deville 77 Fleet 78 Seville 92 Deville 03 Deville
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3,310 Posts
Does GM still sell these water pumps? They usually discontinue parts once they get off warranty. I get dirty looks when I try to order anything approaching 10 years old.
 

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87 Deville, 4 door
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thanks all of you for your input. Here's the result. Had mechanic get new Delco pump and kit ($173.79). New coolant of course ($19.43). Serpentine belt, idler & tensioner were all good. Only one threaded stud was bad, but in a bad spot to retool so mechanic left it alone, said fit was OK with others around it. Neither he nor I could find anyone who knew about or where to get this supplement tab. Even tried internet search, no luck. I'll go to Delco's site and order the liquid form of some kind and add it myself. I pray this one lasts me a long time. Labor ($438.75). Total with tax $649.36! My wallet hurts. LOL. Thanks again all. P.S. Last one installed in 2004 was not a Delco.
 

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1926 Model T street rod, 2000 Jaguar XJ8, 1999 Corvette.
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6,738 Posts
The supplement tab part number is on the decal under hood. Any gm dealer stocks it, not just cadillac. Many people do not realize that delco parts can be purchased at any delco retailer not just from an auto dealership. Have had no problem getting waterpumps, alternators, tensioners etc from any delco retailer with cars going back to 1987.
 
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