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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2008 DGC 3.8L. I discovered i had a failing water pump bearing after replacing the serpentine belt and tensioner in early spring. The belt chirping and squeaking continued like nothing had changed. I narrowed the issue down to the water pump bearing and ordered a replacement.
During replacement, i completely snapped off a bolt on the water pump trying to break it loose. After many hours of trying to find a solution to remove the bolt(im not looking for tips, im a professional millwright and machinist) it appeared my only solution to remove the broken bolt was to lower the engine somehow so I could properly drill it out.
Due to time constraints and the fact this is an old van... I wanted something quick and dirty... Some google searching led me to a few posts in other forums about this. Just mount the new pump with 4/5 bolts.... I also used some RTV silicone lightly on the gasket and let it sit for 24 hrs before i added coolant to the engine. After refilling coolant i took it for a test drive... 150 km later i could see a droplet of coolant forming around the water pump where the missing/broken bolt, only while tye engine was hot and running, a new drop would form every 2-3 min and would evaporate and no leaking while engine off.
A retired mechanic friend of mine swears by bars leaks so I added a bottle. Several months later and an oil change interval and no leaks running great. I wanted to post this in case someone else came across the same problem and wanted some confidence to try the quick and dirty repair. My only concern moving forward will be how it holds up during the winter. I will update then
 

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538 RWHP, LS motor, RX7 body
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A temporary and risky fix.

Years ago we had a Dodge Caravan we bought used with 215k miles. Great car. On a whim I thought I would change out the thermostat while doing other work. The housing was between the firewall and engine - tight space and hard to reach and see. In the process of putting the thermostat cover back on, I cross threaded one of the bolts getting it back in. Unfortunately, the threaded hole was in a protruding tab on the edge of the engine block, part of the aluminum block itself. Cross threading the bolt broke the mounting tab off the engine block (1 of the 2 holes to hold the t-stat cover on). Location was impossible to reach with any attempts with epoxy putty "fixes". Very expensive accident, and lesson.

Lesson: Don't fix something that is not broken. (or consider it carefully).

Getting a fastener on can be just as challenging as getting it off. Using a flexible tool to put a bolt or screw on can be very dangerous and hard to tell if you are threading it in correctly ( a slippery bolt, tight threads, or tight working quarters makes the install dangerous).
 

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I know Jeepman likes that stop leak crap, but it truly is a band-aid repair. I won't put it in any of my vehicles.

While replacing my belt and tensioner, I noticed that someone had previously broken off one of my water pump bolts. They used some sort of a C-clamp to hold that corner of the pump in place. It looks similar to the ones that are sold to hold exhaust pipes to the manifold when a stud breaks off in the flange. It doesn't leak and has been on there long enough that it is fairly rusty, so I decided to leave it alone 'til I have a reason to disturb it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As a pro millwright and machinist, are you wishful that this "setup" will hold over time? Heat cycling, expansion/contraction, vibration, pressure variations?
Yes i am hopeful, It is a 14 year old dodge van. If it lasts me another year i will be thrilled... From speaking with others i and the mileage ive done now i think i can expect this to last the life of the van... I live in the great lakes rust belt so vehicles dont hold up well past 10 years here. Also, the alternative is to drop the engine to properly perform the repair and that isnt in the cards for a few months.
I think i should also add... The broken bolt was on the lower inside of the pump housing... So the belt tension is actually kind of helping it clamp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A temporary and risky fix.

Lesson: Don't fix something that is not broken. (or consider it carefully).
Yes i completely agree, and after reflecting on how this job went Im not sure I could have changed out the pump without breaking the bolt off, so leaving it I run the risk of loosing the water pump while driving. Pick your anxiety LOLZ!
 
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