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How to Change the Water Pump on a Dodge Dakota Truck

by John Rose

When the water pump goes bad on the Dodge Dakota, you will of course have to replace it. The procedure is the same regardless of the engine that is in the truck, but the water pump in trucks with a 2.5-liter engine is distinctly different. The 2.5-liter engine uses a reverse-rotation pump, while the other engines available on the Dakota use the forward-rotation model. Be sure to pick up the right replacement when you go to the auto-supply store.

Drain the engine coolant into the drain pan. The drain valve is on the bottom of the radiator and opens with a wrench. Loosen the negative battery terminal with a wrench and disconnect it.

Loosen the idler pulley bolt with a socket and ratchet and then loosen the tension-adjusting bolt with a socket and ratchet. Remove the accessory drive belt.

Remove the engine cooling fan and pulley using a wrench.

Remove the power steering pump with a socket and ratchet.

Remove the radiator and heater hoses using a screwdriver to loosen the clamps, and then pull the hoses off.

Remove the water pump bolts using a socket and ratchet. Clean any remaining gasket material from the water pump mounting surface.

Place a new gasket on the new water pump and place it on the water pump mounting surface. Hold it in place by installing the bolts loosely. Tighten the bolts down with the socket and ratchet.

Reconnect the radiator and heater hoses and tighten the clamps with the screwdriver.

Reinstall the power steering pump and tighten the bolts with the socket and ratchet.

Reinstall the cooling fan and pulley and tighten the bolts with a wrench.

Reconnect the accessory drive belt (see Resources for diagram). Reconnect the negative battery terminal and tighten with a wrench.

Refill the radiator and reservoir with engine coolant. Start the engine and check thoroughly for leaks.

Tip

  • One of the bolts on the water pump is longer than the rest. Make note of this when you change the pump so that bolt goes back into the right place.

Warnings

  • Do not lay the fan clutch assembly flat or silicone may leak into the bearing grease and contaminate it.
  • Don't work on the engine cooling system when the truck is hot or it will result in severe burns.

Items you will need

About the Author

John Rose has been writing professionally since 1981. Now contributing to various online publications, he specializes in auto repair, home maintenance and similar topics. Rose studied English at Frostburg State University.

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