1989 Chevy Corvette Water Pump Removal Instructions

The 1989 Chevy Corvette is an eight-cylinder engine that generates a lot of heat, which is a natural result of the operation of the engine. The problem comes with the need to limit the heat generated by an engine so that there is no heat-related damage. Enter the cooling system. The water pump is a part of the cooling system and helps to regulate heat as the water is pumped and compressed through the engine. Without the water pump, the water would boil into steam and not be able to dissipate the heat. Removing and replacing the pump is sometimes necessary.

Tools Used: Replacement water pump, 2 gallons antifreeze, Replacement serpentine belt, Ratchet, Wrench, Screwdriver, Drip Bucket, Teflon tape

Water Pump Removal

Remove the negative battery cable from the negative battery terminal and make sure the cable does not come into contact with metal or the frame of the Corvette. This will prevent accidental shorts to the electrical system and injury to yourself.

Drain the coolant from the radiator. Place a bucket under the drain plug on the radiator and unbolt the drain plug with the wrench. Use caution when draining, as the antifreeze smells like a treat to household pets and can be fatal if ingested. Antifreeze can be slippery on concrete surfaces as well. Wipe up spills immediately.

Remove the upper and lower radiator hoses and heater hoses from the radiator. Some radiators use metal bands that are tightened with a screw to keep these high-pressure hoses on. Use a screwdriver to remove these bands and set them aside with the hoses.

Release the tension on the serpentine belt with the ratchet, and turn the tensioner counterclockwise. Remove the belt from the pulleys and wheels on the interior and set it aside. Use the ratchet to remove the fan shroud, the fan, the A/C compressor and the drive clutch. This will allow you to get access to the water pump. Remove the bolts of these parts in a crisscross pattern from the center of the assembly outward. When removing each part, inspect the O-rings and gaskets for damage or wear and use caution so that these small pieces do not fall into the interior of the engine. Removing the A/C compressor means removing the mounting bracket from the engine block. Use the ratchet to unbolt the bracket and the high and low pressure lines can be removed by pulling them from the unit.

Use a glove to remove the remains of any damaged gaskets. Insert a rag and wipe from the inside out to complete the process of moving these parts out of the way.

Remove the electrical connectors from the water pump. They are connected by tabs very similar to the phone jack type. Press on the tabs and pull the electrical connections off. Be careful doing so because these tabs are made of plastic, and 20-year-old plastic can be brittle. Label each of these connectors with numbers as each should go into the same location on the new water pump. Use masking tape and a marker.

Remove the heater-hose nipple from the water pump before you unbolt the pump from the engine. This will be the piece that may still be in the water pump when you remove the heater hose. You may be able to gently pull this out or unscrew the nipple by hand to avoid damaging it. Apply Teflon tape to the threads of the nipple when you install the new water pump.

Unbolt the old water pump and remove from the engine. Place the new pump onto the base and apply silicone sealant to the water pump mounting bolts when you install the new pump. Replace the heater-hose nipple and electrical connectors. Replace each of the removed parts in the same order you removed them with the exception of the old serpentine belt. It is recommended to replace the serpentine belt when the water pump needs replacing. This is because the belt runs the water pump, and if you've replaced the pump and the belt breaks, you could end up replacing it again. Replace the drain plug and refill the radiator with new antifreeze and water according to the manufacturer's specifications.

Tips & Warnings

Clean up antifreeze spills immediately to avoid slipping or accidental animal poisoning.

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