How to Change the Water Pump in Dodge Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The water pump is a part of the engine cooling system of an automobile. Operated by one of the accessory drive belts, it is located on the front of the Dodge car engine. To replace it, you have to remove a number of parts that are located around it. Replacing the water pump on your Dodge car can be a lengthy process, taking up to six hours.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change the Water Pump in a 2002 Dodge Durango


Disconnect the Durango's negative battery cable.

Place a large container under the radiator and open the drain fitting with pliers so the engine coolant drains into the container.

Remove the cooling fan and shroud. For an electric fan, disconnect the electrical connector from the motor, remove the clips at the top and lift it out. For a mechanical fan, loosen the retaining nut, disconnect the hoses at the coolant bottle and windshield washer tank and then unbolt and remove the shroud followed by the fan assembly.

Rotate the tensioner for the drive belt with a wrench (or loosen the idler pulley on a four-cylinder engine) and remove the belt.

Loosen the hose clamps for the water pump hoses with pliers and detach the hoses. If the hoses are stuck, grab them at the ends and twist them to break them off. Cut them off and replace them as a last resort.

Unbolt and remove the power steering pump using a wrench if the Durango has a four-cylinder engine. Set the pump aside without disconnecting its hoses.

Remove the bolts surrounding the water pump with your wrench and lift the pump out of the engine. On some V8 models, reach above the pump with pliers to release the bypass hose clamp.


Scrape off all traces of the gasket material on the engine block with a gasket scraper. Clean the surface with acetone or lacquer thinner and clean off corrosion and sealant from the bolts.

Apply thin layers of RTV sealant to the engine side of the new gasket and the mating side of the new water pump. Attach the gasket to the pump and slip two of the bolts through the holes to hold the gasket in place.

Install the pump onto the engine and insert the remaining bolts. Tighten them by hand and then tighten them the rest of the way with your wrench in quarter turn increments.

Reconnect the power steering pump with its bolts—if needed—and the hoses for the pump with their clamps.

Install the drive belt, using the diagram on the radiator support for the correct routing path. On a four-cylinder engine, tighten the idler pulley with the wrench and test the belt tension with your thumb; it should not deflect more than a quarter inch in the center.

Reinstall the cooling fan and shroud in the reverse order of removal.

Reconnect the battery cable.

Fill the engine coolant at the radiator. Use the old coolant only if it is uncontaminated; otherwise, use a fresh mix of water and antifreeze.

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • Large container

  • Pliers

  • Gasket scraper

  • Rag

  • Acetone

  • RTV sealant

  • Water pump

  • Water pump gasket

  • Water

  • Antifreeze

 How to Change the Water Pump on a Dodge Dakota Truck

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.

Items you will need

  • Metric socket set

  • Metric wrench set

  • Drain pan

  • Regular screwdriver

  • New gasket

 How to Change the Water Pump on a Cummins 5.9L Turbo Diesel

Remove the cable from the negative terminal of both batteries with a socket wrench. Place a drain pan under the radiator drain and remove the drain plug. Wait for the coolant to drain from the radiator and replace the drain plug.

Detach the electrical connectors from the air temperature sensor and the mass airflow sensor if your vehicle is so equipped. Detach the inlet tube for the turbocharger and remove the housing for the air filter with a socket wrench. Remove the alternator assembly.

Rotate the tensioner assembly clockwise with a long-handled wrench to relieve the tension on the accessory drive belt, then disconnect the belt. Remove the mounting bolts for the water pump with a socket wrench and disconnect the water pump from the engine. Remove and discard the O-ring from the water pump.

Install a new O-ring onto its mounting groove on the water pump. Install the water pump so that the weep hole on the water pump faces down. Torque the mounting bolts for the water pump to 18 foot-pounds with a torque wrench.

Install the accessory drive belt with a long-handled wrench. Connect the alternator assembly and torque its mounting bolts to 30 foot-pounds with a torque wrench. Install the air filter housing and attach the inlet tube for the turbocharger. Attach the electrical connectors to the air temperature sensor and mass airflow sensor.

Refill the radiator with coolant and connect the cables to the negative battery terminals with a socket wrench. Start the engine and allow it to warm up. Check and correct any coolant leaks.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench set

  • Drain pan

  • Long-handled wrench

  • Torque wrench

 How to Change a Water Pump on a Dodge RAM 1500

Removing the Water Pupmp on a Dodge RAM 1500

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

Items you will need

  • Allen wrench

  • Wrench set

  • Socket set

  • Ratchet

  • Silicone

  • Screwdriver

  • Pliers

  • New water pump

  • New gasket

 How to Replace the Water Pump in a Dodge Ram

Drain the fluid from the cooling system.

Disconnect the negative battery cable.

Remove the clutch assembly and disconnect the wiring harness retainer from the water pump when working with either the 3.7L & 4.7L Engines. Also disconnect the lower hose. Remove the fan assembly and shroud and keep the fan clutch upright to keep the silicone fluid from leaking if you plan on reusing it.

Take out the accessory drive belt, the lower radiator hose and the heater hose with the tube, the bypass hose and the water pump pulley when working with the 3.9L, 5.2L and 5.9L Engines.

Remove the engine cooling fan as well as the coolant recovery bottle and washer bottle, the A/C compressor and alternator brace, the fan shroud, the idler pulleys, the radiator and heater hoses and the belt tensioner when working with the 5.7 engine.

Take out the washer solvent bottle, the engine cooling fan and shroud, the upper radiator hose, the accessory drive bet, the lower radiator hose and heater hose, the water pump pulley and the bypass hose when working with an 8.0 engine.

Remove the water pump and install the new pump, tightening the bolts to 18 foot pounds.

Reinstall and connect the rest of the system in reverse order and reattach the negative battery cables.

Refill the cooling system and start the engine. When the engine gets to normal working temperature, check the system for leaks.

 How to Replace the Water Pump of a 2000 Dodge Neon 2.0


Make sure the engine is cold and remove the negative battery cable. Loosen the petcock located on the bottom of the radiator and drain the coolant in a pan.

Remove the right, inner splash shield and accessory drive belts.

Support the engine with a car jack and remove the power steering pump. Remove the upper and lower torque isolator struts and right-side engine mount.

Move the pump/bracket assembly aside and remove the power steering pump bracket bolts. Remove the right engine mount bracket, timing belt and tensioner, camshaft sprocket and the inner (rear) timing belt cover.

Remove the water pump and discard the O-ring. Clean off all residue and adhesives on surfaces.


Install a new O-ring in the groove of the water pump. Hold it in place with some silicone sealant.

Install the water pump and use a pressure tester to check the shaft seal and O-ring for leaks. Pressurize the cooling system to 15 psi and torque the bolt to 105 inch-pounds.

Connect the inner (rear) timing belt cover, camshaft sprocket, timing belt tensioner and timing belt, right engine mount bracket and engine mount, power steering pump, upper and lower torque isolator struts, accessory drive belts and negative battery cable.

Refill the cooling system

Perform the camshaft and crankshaft timing relearn procedure with a DRB scan tool by connecting it to the DLC (datalink connector). It is located under the instrument panel by the steering column. Turn the ignition switch on to access the miscellaneous screen. Select Re Learn Cam/Crank and follow further instructions on screen.

When you replace certain parts of the car, it helps to do a quick diagnostic check and make sure it is all hooked up properly. DRB scan tools are specifically used for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge automobiles to provide necessary diagnostics.

Items you will need

  • Gloves

  • Rags

  • Torque wrench

  • Crankshaft puller

  • Drain pan

  • Jack

  • Silicone sealant

  • New water pump & gaskets

  • O-ring

  • Pressure tester

  • DRB scan tool

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.