How to Change a Bravada's Water Pumpby Eli Laurens
The Oldsmobile Bravada's water pump is designed to function for many thousands of miles, but replacing one is a straightforward endeavor. All models of the Bravada series were manufactured with the 4.3 liter V-6 engine, which had a front-mounted, belt driven water pump. The average backyard mechanic can complete this job in about two hours.
Drain the coolant. Open the metal cap on the radiator, then unscrew the drain plug on the bottom, passenger side of the radiator housing. The coolant will take about ten minutes to drain completely.
Remove the old water pump. It is located on the very front of the engine, on the top of the fan shaft. It has two bolts on the top left, and two bolts on the lower right. The pump is driven by a pulley, which can be removed by taking off the fan belt, then unscrewing three bolts holding it to the primary water pump shaft. Also, disconnect the coolant hoses by using a screwdriver to loosen their hose clamps. Once unbolted, and released from its hoses, the pump itself will slide out towards the radiator.
Install the new water pump. The replacement pump will include a new gasket, for its outer edge. The old gasket cannot be reused. Bolt it in with the four main bolts, Reconnect the hoses, then replace the pump pulley with the three smaller screws. Install the fan belt around the pulley.
Refill the system with coolant. It is recommended that the same style and color of coolant be used. Close the drain plug, then fill from the radiator cap a 50/50 mix of coolant and ordinary water, if the coolant is not diluted already. Once the radiator is full, crank up the Bravada without sealing the radiator cap. The coolant will be drawn into the engine, and lower the amount in the radiator. Continue to pour until the radiator is full and not taking in any more coolant. Seal the radiator cap, and add coolant to the white reservoir in the rear of the battery.
Run the vehicle for several minutes. Check the temperature often, and look under the car for leaks.
Things You'll Need
- Water pump
- Socket wrench and drivers
- 3 gal. Coolant
- Drain pan
- Disconnect the battery when working on a vehicle Use safety goggles to prevent coolant from getting into the eyes
Eli Laurens is a ninth-grade physics teacher as well as a computer programmer and writer. He studied electrical engineering and architecture at Southern Polytechnic University in Marietta, Ga., and now lives in Colorado.