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How to Replace a Water Pump on a 1968 Pontiac Firebird

The good thing about the 1968 Pontiac Firebird is the large engine bay. You will find it much easier to work in the engine bay compared to late-model vehicles stuffed with excessive engine components. So, when you go to replace the water pump, you will have ample room to maneuver tools. This makes the process of replacing the water pump much more pleasant and much faster.

Tools Used: Drain pan, Socket set, Pliers, Scraper, Water pump O-ring, Water pump gasket, Pry bar, Funnel

Replace a Water Pump

Place a drain pan under the radiator and remove the drain plug with a ¼-inch ratchet driver. Drain the coolant into the drain pan and then place the drain plug back into the Firebird's radiator.

Remove the compression clamp that secures the radiator hose to the water pump with pliers. Pull the hose off the pump.

Loosen the top and bottom mounting bolts on the engine's alternator with a socket and ratchet and push down on the alternator. The bottom bolt is a pivot bolt. The alternator will lower and relieve tension on the drive belt. Pull the drive belt off the water pump.

Remove the four bolts that secure the water pump to the front of the engine block with a socket and ratchet and then pull the pump out of the block.

Clean the surface of the engine block with a metal scraper to remove the old gasket.

Slide a new O-ring onto the new water pump's rear bulkhead and lubricate the O-ring with coolant. Place the gasket onto the engine block and slide the water pump onto the engine block. Secure it with the four bolts, socket and ratchet.

Slide the drive belt onto the water pump pulley. Place a crow bar between the bottom of the alternator's casing and the alternator's mounting bracket and pry the alternator upward. While holding tension on the pry bar, tighten the top and bottom mounting bolts on the alternator with the socket and ratchet.

Slide the radiator hose onto the Firebird's new water pump and secure the hose with the clamp and pliers.

Remove the cap from the radiator, place a funnel into the filler spout and drain the coolant back into the radiator. Remove the funnel and replace the cap once filled.

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