Water Pump went out. Did I screw up my engine? Please Help!! - Chevelle Tech
Chevelle Tech join team chevelle as a supporting member  
Chevelle Parts at SS396.com      
GROUND UP & SS396.com         
Official Sponsor of Team Chevelle
     

Auto Insurance

Chevelles.com is the premier Chevrolet Chevelle Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Engine AdvertisementGeneral Engine Discussion.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old Apr 16th, 12, 1:42 PM
fnsteffen fnsteffen is offline
Steffen
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 20
Default Water Pump went out. Did I screw up my engine? Please Help!!

Hey everyone. I've been driving/rebuilding my '71 El Camino for several years now, but it's been my first vehicle to really work on and trouble shoot. For that reason, I find myself learning about things as they happen (or after they happen). That's been a good educational method for the most part, but now I'm hoping that it didn't cost me a bunch of money. Could y'all give me your advice?

I was driving on I-10 East to Houston yesterday evening and noticed that the engine started running warm. It wasn't shooting up to the top of the gauge, but it was hotter than normal. Suddenly, I started to get a fuel knock, so I pulled over immediately. The engine was hot, but the radiator was cool to the touch. Thinking it was a bad thermostat, I pulled the thermostat out, let the engine cool, topped off the water, and hit the road again. It ran a little cooler than normal, but everything else was normal for the next 30 miles.

Then it started to creep up again. It would get up to 200 and then drop down to 180. Then it got up to 210 and dropped again. Then it got up to 220, and I started looking for an exit (I was east of Luling, and there are only exits every 7 miles or so). When the engine started knocking again, I was freaking out, but I really wanted to get to the approaching rest stop as opposed to sitting on a narrow shoulder for an hour. I coasted into the rest stop (trying to avoid putting load on the engine), but by the time I got there, the gauge was damn near topped out at 250. Shut the engine off immediately, let my electric fans run, and opened the hood. Again, the radiator was cool to the touch, and the reservoir was full. Since it did this with the thermostat removed, I can only assume that the water pump is going out or I've got a clog in the system somewhere. Not wanting to push my luck, I called AAA and had it towed the rest of the way home. I'll hopefully get to work on it this evening if this rain stops.

What I'm worried about now is that I may have done major damage to my engine. It's a GM 350 Fast Burn motor with approximately 50K miles on it, and I haven't had any issues with it up to this point. As I mentioned earlier, all my knowledge up to now has been gained on a purely trial and error basis, so I'm kinda shooting in the dark.

The water pump looks easy enough to install, so I plan on replacing the pump and thermostat and flushing the system this week. While I'm doing that, what else should I look for to make sure I didn't do more damage?

I know I need to check my oil for water (currently running synthetic with 700 miles since the last change). But what other things would y'all recommend that I look at?

Many thanks for your help with this. I really appreciate you guys guiding a newbie along.


Much obliged,

-Steffen

EDIT: For clarity on the order of events.
__________________
'71 El Camino SS (Clone)

Full Restoration Album

Still very much in progress...

Last edited by fnsteffen; Apr 16th, 12 at 3:58 PM. Reason: For clarity on the order of events.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old Apr 16th, 12, 3:20 PM
Robinls5 Robinls5 is offline
Senior Tech Team
Bob
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Jeannette Pa. near pittsburgh
Posts: 5,109
Default Re: Water Pump went out. Did I screw up my engine? Please Help!!

I would try this. Remove the thermostat, Re install the goosneck-Fill with coolant and go for a ride. (close to home).
This is a guess, I sounds like your thermostat is sticking. Due to the fact the Rad. is NOT HOT and the temp gauge is going up and down.
Try it without a thermostat.......If the impeller came off the water pump, The gauge would bury itself and NOT come down.
Bob
__________________
70 SS 454 El Camino 07 AACA Grand National Winner-MCACN-GOLD-2013
70 SS 454 Station Wagon - Driver
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3  
Old Apr 16th, 12, 3:52 PM
Tom Mobley Tom Mobley is offline
mod since about forever, old now :)
TerribleTom II
 
Join Date: Oct 1998
Location: Glendale, Az
Posts: 21,442
Default Re: Water Pump went out. Did I screw up my engine? Please Help!!

>> "Thinking it was the thermostat, I pulled it out, let the engine cool, topped off the water, and hit the road. As expected, it ran a little cooler than normal, but I was running good for the next 30 miles."

Pretty hard to understand, it kept doing it after you pulled the stat? The same thing?
__________________
Tom
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #4  
Old Apr 16th, 12, 3:55 PM
fnsteffen fnsteffen is offline
Steffen
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 20
Default Re: Water Pump went out. Did I screw up my engine? Please Help!!

Thanks for the reply, Bob. I actually tried that the first time it overheated yesterday. I pulled the stat, filled it back up, and started driving again. It was at that point that the temperature started fluctuating and ultimately overheated, which is what lead me to believe that the pump is going out.

Is there any reason the pump would run intermittently? Would the impeller be slipping part of the time?

I noticed a small water leak at one of the top bolt holes of the pump, so I think I'll just replace it anyway. Is there anything else with the engine that I should watch for to make sure I didn't screw something up? I'll be checking the oil to make sure I didn't blow a gasket, but I'm not sure what else could have messed up on account of getting too hot.


Thanks,

-Steffen
__________________
'71 El Camino SS (Clone)

Full Restoration Album

Still very much in progress...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5  
Old Apr 16th, 12, 4:01 PM
Tom Mobley Tom Mobley is offline
mod since about forever, old now :)
TerribleTom II
 
Join Date: Oct 1998
Location: Glendale, Az
Posts: 21,442
Default Re: Water Pump went out. Did I screw up my engine? Please Help!!

>>> "Is there any reason the pump would run intermittently? "

is it an electric pump?
__________________
Tom
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #6  
Old Apr 16th, 12, 4:07 PM
fnsteffen fnsteffen is offline
Steffen
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 20
Default Re: Water Pump went out. Did I screw up my engine? Please Help!!

No, it is a belt driven pump.

Someone told me to check if the pump was going bad by trying to wiggle the sheave. When I did, it moved ever so slightly (enough to feel, but not enough to see). Also, there was a small amount of water leaking around the top right bolt hole.


-Steffen
__________________
'71 El Camino SS (Clone)

Full Restoration Album

Still very much in progress...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #7  
Old Apr 16th, 12, 4:07 PM
Brad Richardson Brad Richardson is offline
Tech Team
Brad
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Terre Haute, Indiana
Posts: 214
Default Re: Water Pump went out. Did I screw up my engine? Please Help!!

Could be a partly clogged radiator. The water pump will leak out of the tattle tell opening in the bottom when seal and bearing failure is getting close. Have heard of the impeller washing out enough not to move enough coolant but IMO not the norm. Need a 50/50 mixture of water/antifreeze. Turn on the heater to circulate coolant thru the heater core when this happens to help get the temp down. DO NOT put coolant directly in a hot engine. Good luck and I feel the engine is probably ok at this point....Good luck..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #8  
Old Apr 16th, 12, 5:35 PM
fnsteffen fnsteffen is offline
Steffen
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 20
Default Re: Water Pump went out. Did I screw up my engine? Please Help!!

Thanks for the advice!

I'll most likely pull everything apart to inspect it as I don't want to leave any stone unturned. The blood pressure spike from yesterday still hasn't gone down, and I definitely don't want to risk having that again.

Is there a certain way to check if there's a clog in the radiator?


-Steffen
__________________
'71 El Camino SS (Clone)

Full Restoration Album

Still very much in progress...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #9  
Old Apr 16th, 12, 7:20 PM
forcd ind forcd ind is offline
Lifetime Premium Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: woodbine, md
Posts: 6,771
Default Re: Water Pump went out. Did I screw up my engine? Please Help!!

if you dont have a thermostat, you should be able to pull the cap, and with the engine running (do this cold) rev it up and you should see the water flow-prob not a bad idea to replace the pump, pull the back off the old one, ck the inpeller
__________________
when your credit cards are maxed, have the limits raised
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #10  
Old Apr 16th, 12, 7:31 PM
Brad Richardson Brad Richardson is offline
Tech Team
Brad
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Terre Haute, Indiana
Posts: 214
Default Re: Water Pump went out. Did I screw up my engine? Please Help!!

I have seen stop leak type stuff clog radiators but if it has had none it is probably fine inside. Hard to say if it's up to snuff. The outer is easy enough to wash out and does help a lot. Can see major obstructions like leaves, bugs and such. Is it possible that the system has an air pocket? With a cool engine fire it up and watch the circulation with the cap off. FYI always give the upper rad hose a squeeze before taking off the cap. If limp your good but if you feel pressure let it cool a bit more.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #11  
Old Apr 17th, 12, 5:46 PM
427L88 427L88 is offline
Gold Member
Gene
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Buffalo NY
Posts: 10,645
Default Re: Water Pump went out. Did I screw up my engine? Please Help!!

The pump on our 427 went w/o warning. No noise, no leaks, and heck, I couldn't even tell it was broken UNTIL I pulled the back plate off and you could just hear the impeller hit the casting a touch. BUT the whole system got hot and under pressure.

Your engine is likely fine, but I pulled the oil filter ( and oil!) to examine it after our "event". I also did a compression test as the system pressure was pretty high.

Worst case is that the oil rings got too hot and lost their tension, which will show up as oil consumption.
__________________
Gene
ACES 3112/Team Chevelle Gold #62
Be big, be a 'builder'!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #12  
Old Apr 18th, 12, 5:55 PM
fnsteffen fnsteffen is offline
Steffen
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 20
Default Re: Water Pump went out. Did I screw up my engine? Please Help!!

Just wanted to give you guys an update. After tinkering around with the cruck over the last few nights, I'm pretty sure I have a blown head gasket. In fact, I'm nearly positive that the faulty gasket is what was causing the overheating.

When I checked the oil the other night, it was still clean and normal. However, when I ran the engine with the radiator cap off, I noticed what I thought was steam coming out of the top. Since I've never run a vehicle without the radiator cap, it didn't seem all that odd that some steam would come out of it.

Anyway, I went ahead an put the cap back on and kept inspecting every nook & cranny of the engine. There's a small exhaust leak where the headers bolt to the block that I've known about but wasn't too worried about. When I looked at that, there was some liquid sputtering out of the leak. Hoping I was just running VERY rich, I released the pressure on the radiator cap, and the sputtering immediately stopped. It was then that I realized that the exhaust and cooling systems were being mixed.

My new hypothesis is that the faulty head gasket is letting exhaust into the coolant loop. The exhaust is then over-pressurizing the system and blowing all the coolant out of the cap (witnessed with the old and new radiator cap). The part that's still mysterious is that the radiator was cool both times it overheated on Sunday, but I guess if all the water was getting blown out of the cap, there wouldn't be anything to actually carry heat to the radiator and it would cool off due to the fans. At least, that's the only thing I can think of.

As much as I'd like to replace the gasket myself, I think I'm in over my head at this point, and I'm probably going to take it to a shop. What are yall's thoughts?

I apologize if all of this is obvious stuff, but as I mentioned before, I'm still pretty much a rookie. I appreciate you all looking at and pondering my situation, and I can't thank you enough for your advice.


Much obliged!

-Steffen
__________________
'71 El Camino SS (Clone)

Full Restoration Album

Still very much in progress...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #13  
Old Apr 19th, 12, 11:42 AM
fnsteffen fnsteffen is offline
Steffen
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 20
Default Re: Water Pump went out. Did I screw up my engine? Please Help!!

So the first quote was $1,300 (minimum). That included 9 hours to pull the head, a machine shop testing and resurfacing it, the valve job, the new gasket, and flushing the coolant and oil systems.

Now that's just AWESOME.

9 hours to pull the head seemed excessive to me, but is that pretty normal?

Can anyone recommend another place in the Houston area I should talk to? I've never been one to make a decision based purely on price (since you usually get what you pay for), but I really can't afford a four-digit mechanic bill right now.


-Steffen
__________________
'71 El Camino SS (Clone)

Full Restoration Album

Still very much in progress...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #14  
Old Apr 19th, 12, 12:04 PM
pizzi-man pizzi-man is offline
Lifetime Premium Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Brisbane California
Posts: 823
Default Re: Water Pump went out. Did I screw up my engine? Please Help!!

You could do it your self and the cost would only be the cost of gaskets. It's not that hard of a job but is time consuming. by the time you get one head off it only takes 1/2 hr more to take the other one off. I did one head one time and a month latter the other gasket went out. Since then I always change both. You should not need a valve job with only 50,000 on the motor but you might take the head to a machine shop and have it checked for warpage and cracks.
__________________
Don Pizzi
66 el camino LT1
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #15  
Old Apr 19th, 12, 12:22 PM
66 chevelle 496BBC 66 chevelle 496BBC is offline
Tech Team
Jim
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: EASTERN PA
Posts: 542
Default Re: Water Pump went out. Did I screw up my engine? Please Help!!

this is easy to fix. take off you dist cap and move it out of the way crank engine untill rotor points forward and remove dist. remove battery lead and antifreeze. unbolt the accesories on the head in the way and remove intake with the carb still on it. unbolt exhaust manifold. unbolt head get checked. remove oil. clean block surface and put new fel pro gasket on.
put permatex pipe thread sealer on all bolts and torque properly. stick on the intake using the same sealer and torque properly. bolt on exhaust manifold and accesories. install dist with the rotor pointing forward as removed. put in oil and filter add antifreeze. put your pushrods inplace. you may count the threads showing on each rocker arm nut to get them near where they were and then adjust them with engine running or do it the other way. get the valve cover on. now clean up the messy engine oil if you did not put on the rocker arm clips designed to deflect the oil from go ing all over the place if you adjusted them while running. the only special tools are torque wrench and a distributor wrench.

jim
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply
Chevelle Tech > Mechanical > Engine      Current Topic: Water Pump went out. Did I screw up my engine? Please Help!!
Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Chevelle Tech forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address. Note, you will be sent a confirmation request to this address.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 5:56 AM.


Is there a site like this for?    El Caminos Camaros Novas Impalas GTO Chevy Punch All Chevys

2009 Team Chevelle - AutoForums