Replacing the Water Pump

On a Classic Corvette


You havenít lived until you have replaced a water pump on a classic Corvette.I recently purchased a new aluminum radiator for my 1962 Corvette and thought that I may as well replace the water pump.


Refresher:The front motor mounts on a Classic Corvette are mounted to each frame rail in front of the engine block.There is a mounting plate that spans the front of the engine and rests on the rubber motor mounts and is fastened to the engine via the four (4) bolts that pass thru the mounting plate and the water pump.


Very Important:You must support the front of the engine prior to removing the water pump bolts and you must utilize two (2) sets of gaskets, one on either side of the mounting plate to seal the water pump to the block.Supporting the engine is usually accomplished by placing a 2x4 or better yet a 2x6 across the bottom of the oil pan and placing a floor jack under the wood to support the engine.Have someone take the weight off the motor mounts by raising the engine a fraction of an inch once you make contact with the wood.Then and only then can you loosen and remove the water pump bolts.


Lining up the motor mount plate, two sets of gaskets and the engine block all at the same time to insert the bolts is nearly impossible, especially by yourself.


Hereís how a pro does it.ITíS THE GREATEST LITTLE TRICK THAT I HAVE SEEN IN A LONG TIME!This was a trick that my friend Mac used when replacing water pumps.


Get two bolts that are similar in length and thread with the two bolts that are used on the top two holes of the water pump and cut off their hex heads.Thread a nut onto the studs from the opposite end and screw them over the cut end of the bolts to ensure that the threads are still useable.


Spray the two sets of gaskets with appropriate gasket sealant and place them on both sides of the mounting plate in their appropriate locations.


Recommendation:Coat the threads of the water pump mounting bolts with RTV to seal them when they are installed.They will be penetrating a water jacket.


Once the mounting plate is in place (loosely bolted to the motor mounts on the frame rails) with the gaskets attached to both sides with gasket sealer, loosely thread studs that are long enough to support the water pump thru the top holes on the plate and into the block.Hint: You may have to raise or lower the engine by raising or lowering the floor jack.The studs can now be used to rest the water pump while you complete the installation of the bottom bolts.

Remember: Do not install the studs until the plate is installed over the mounts.Install them finger tight so they can be removed and replaced with the appropriate bolts once the bottom bolts are installed.


After installing the pump on the two supporting studs, install the bottom bolts and then remove the two top studs and install the upper bolts.


This system can easily work on later cars and assist in guiding the water pump to its proper position without disturbing the gaskets.I have had amazing results with this process.Good luck and Save the Wave.


Paul Jenkins