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How to Replace a Water Pump on a 1989 Ford Tempo

Leaving a water pump not operating at full capacity can starve the engine of coolant, leading to damage of vital internal engine components. Once the pump shows any signs of failure, it should be changed immediately. When the water pump has been correctly diagnosed as the problem in a 1989 Ford Tempo, it can be changed by most novice mechanics within an hour. Having a working water pump will ensure the engine is getting enough coolant to keep the operating temperature within the normal range.

Tools Used: Engine fluid drain container, 3/8-inch rubber hose, Pliers, Pry bar, Wrench set, Socket set, Razor blade, RTV sealer, Water pump gasket, Torque wrench

Replace a Water Pump

Drain the radiator of coolant. Push a 3/8-inch rubber hose onto the drain onto the bottom of the radiator. Slide the container under the radiator, guiding the end of the hose into the container. Turn the drain plug with pliers to drain the coolant into the container. Tighten the drain plug when the coolant has finished draining. Detach the hose and remove the container from under the car.

Disconnect the negative battery cable with a wrench from the battery terminal.

Loosen the idler pulley with a socket wrench, creating enough slack to slide the drive-belts off of the water pump pulley, on models not equipped with an automatic tensioner. Place a pry bar in the center of the tensioner, rotating it against the tension spring to create enough slack to slip the drive-belts from the water pump pulley, in models equipped with an automatic tensioner.

Remove the two coolant tube brackets with a socket wrench. One bracket is located on the bottom of the oil pan. The other bracket is located just under the water pump.

Pull the coolant tube, previously held in place by brackets, down to detach it from the water pump.

Remove the three mounting bolts that hold the water pump to the engine block with a socket wrench. Remove the water pump from the engine compartment.

Clean the mating surface in the engine block with a razor blade, removing all traces of the old gasket and any debris that is present on the surface. Clean the mating surface on the replacement water pump pulley if using a used water pump pulled from another vehicle.

Coat both sides of the new water pump gasket with a thin coat of RTV sealer. Place the gasket onto the engine block.

Place the replacement water pump against the engine block and finger tighten the bolts to hold the pump in place. Tighten the bolts with a torque wrench to 21 foot-pounds.

Push the coolant tube onto the bottom of the water pump.

Place the two brackets over the coolant tube to hold it in place. Install the bracket retaining bolts with a socket wrench.

Loosen the idler pulley with a socket wrench, creating enough slack to slide the drive-belts over of the water pump pulley, on models not equipped with an automatic tensioner. Place a pry bar in the center of the tensioner, rotating it against the tension spring to create enough slack to slip the drive-belts over the water pump pulley, in models equipped with an automatic tensioner.

Attach the negative battery cable to the battery terminal with a wrench.

Remove the radiator cap and fill the radiator with coolant. Tighten the cap.

Start the engine and check for coolant leaks around the water pump.

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