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How to Change a Water Pump on a Dodge RAM 1500

by Gregory Crews

The water pump is one of the most essential parts to keeping the Dodge RAM 1500 running smoothly and keeping cool. The radiator sends water through the thermostat and across several ridges built into the motor. The water is then routed to the water pump where it is then pumped back into the radiator. The force keeps the water in motion keeping your truck from overheating.

Removing the Water Pupmp on a Dodge RAM 1500

Step 1

Evacuate the water from the radiator. Unscrew the petcock valve to release the water. You will need a large tub to hold at least 3 to 4 gallons. When the water is through draining you will want to tighten the petcock valve.

Step 2

Detach the wires and hoses leading to the windshield washer and coolant overflow containers. You will need these detached to pull the fan shroud.

Step 3

Unbolt the fan shroud from the outer portion of the radiator. Pull the fan shroud with the reservoir bottles attached and lay it on the ground.

Step 4

Unbolt and pry the bottom radiator hose from the exhaust pipe of the water pump. Remove the hose from the radiator and place it on the ground.

Step 5

Loosen the spring loaded tensioner pulley with a ratchet to pull the serpentine belt off the pulley system. The socket size will range from 1/2 to 3/4 inch.

Step 6

Using two wrenches loosen the fan blade from the middle pulley. You will now have adequate access to the water pump pulley.

Step 7

Loosen the Allen wrench screws holding in the water pump pulley. The pulley can be removed.

Extract the bolts holding in the water pump. Take the water pump out slowly to ensure you pull the majority of the gasket off the housing area where the water pump was located.

Installing the Water Pump on a Dodge Ram 1500

Step 1

Scrape the old gasket material where the water pump was housed. The surface should be smooth.

Step 2

Squeeze a light amount of silicone on the back end of the new water pump. The new gasket will stick to the surface of the pump to install on the motor assembly.

Step 3

Tighten the bolts holding the water pump on. Tighten the bolts snug to secure the pump in place.

Step 4

Re-attach the pulley to the water pump. The screws should line up to the new pump.

Step 5

Following the belt diagram located in front of your radiator, install the serpentine belt back on the pulleys. Loosen the tensioner pulley to make room for the belt. Release the pulley to tighten the belt.

Step 6

Install the fan by tightening the bolts leading to the pulley. These will be male-female inline bolts that will fasten together.

Step 7

Clamp the radiator hose back on the water pump outlet pipe. Re-attach the other end to the bottom portion of the radiator.

Step 8

Line the fan shroud up to the radiator and screw in the fan shroud. The shroud should have a few inches clearance all around from the coolant fan. Tighten the screws securing the shroud in place.

Step 9

Attach the water lines and the electrical lines to the coolant reservoir bottle and the windshield washer bottle.

Step 10

Using exactly a 50 percent mix of water and antifreeze, pour till full. Crank the truck and let it run. The coolant will circulate through the system. Pour in more water till the radiator is full. Tighten the cap on the radiator.

Inspect the truck for leaks. Observe the belt to make sure it is running smooth.


  • Do not attempt to work on motor after running. The coolant will be boiling hot and could result in burns.

Items you will need

  • Allen wrench
  • Wrench set
  • Socket set
  • Ratchet
  • Silicone
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • New water pump
  • New gasket

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