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How Hard Is It To Change A Water Pump On A98 Northstar? And About How Much Should A New Pump Cost?
 

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94 Eldorado, and a 99 ETC
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I've heard that it's not hard at all, if you have the right tools. There is a special ratchet socket that you might need to buy in order to do the job though. I'm not sure on the prices because I have never had to do the job.
 

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1993 ETC, 2000 DHS
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Also, don't forget that the water pump is reverse-thread. Turn to the right (clockwise) to loosen.
Jim
 

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rwess said:
How Hard Is It To Change A Water Pump On A98 Northstar? And About How Much Should A New Pump Cost?
You can see the prices yourself at www.rockauto.com or www.gmpartsdirect.com. They're about $40-$60 if I remember right. You can borrow the tool for a $15 or $20 deposit from AutoZone or Pep Boys. Other places have them for borrowing as well. You might want to get a new water pump cover gasket and thermostat while you're doing that. Also don't forget the 2 tubes of Bar's Leaks Golden Seal powder or 6 Bar's Leaks large tablets for sealant. If your car is a 96 or newer, you need the DexCool (orange) stuff and distilled water to refill it. Put the powder or tablets in the hose, not in the surge tank or it could clog up the vapor vent line. The job is pretty simple start to finish. Just make sure you get that water pump cover gasket and sealing surface nice and clean and prepped for a good seal. Those things seem to leak if they're not cared for. I have compared the AC-Delco parts and aftermarket parts side-by-side, and the AC-Delco parts are far superior in construction to anything else. I don't mind paying the extra few dollars to get what was tested with and proven on the car.

Let us know what you do and how it turns out. We'll do our best to answer your questions. I'm sure you'll be just fine. Good luck...
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Be carfull here. Jimbad is correct in that it loosens clockwise and tightens counter clockwise but it is not threaded. It is a cam lock. It only takes about 1/8 - 1/4 turn to loosen or tighten it.

A cheap stamped steel socket will cost $15 -$20 (Lysle). A good machined socket will cost $75+ (Snapon, Kentmoore). Here is what the socket looks like. http://www.geocities.com/grandolfo/

You can also rent one here. http://www.caddyinfo.com/toolrental.htm
 

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I have been fighting a cooling problem fro the past 4 months. It started with a leak at the pump. I read all the info here and bought one and the tool from NAPA. Also bought a thermostat and new belt. Got the cover off and removed the pump (right hand turn and a 18" breaker bar - very stuck). The cover bolts feel like 10mm but they are really Throx so the corners were broken some but it when back together ok. Didn't replace the cover gasket looked ok. Didn't replace the thermostat because they gave me the wrong one. Did replace the belt. Back on the road with new coolant and had a leak from the cover. Could only find the gasket from the dealer. Removed the cover and cleaned and honed (with 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper on a sanding block) and put back together (got new real 10mm bolts). More coolant and back on the road no leaks.

About 2 months later driving down the road chimes and all bad messages: engine hot, coolant hot, stop etc - limp mode home. Made it. Thought it was the thermostat at first until I noticed that the belt tensioner pulley had collapsed. The cheap plastic support ring for the pulley had melted. Dealer only sells assembly even though the pulley is removable ($100). Easy to replace. Back on the road. Then loosing coolant again. This time cap is not sealing and coolant venting to atmosphere. Replace cap back on the road. Drove about 1200miles and got check coolant level message. Sure enough coolant low about 2 quarts but system was under pressure so cap works. Now I think there must be a leak at one of the hoses or the reservoir. I am carrying extra coolant with me now.

So my advise to someone going for the water pump is do everything: pump and ring, cover gasket, thermostat, belt, belt tensioner and new 10mm cover bolts, and have plenty of coolant and tablets.
 
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