How to Change the Water Pump on Ford Cars

by Contributing Writer

When the water pump stops working on your Ford car it won't properly circulate the coolant, and your car will begin to overheat. Leaking around the water pump is a tell-tale sign that you need to replace the pump and the gasket. Yet another way of knowing that the pump is bad is if there is play in the water pump pulley when you wiggle it, indicating that the bearing is shot. The replacement process is not very difficult, so save yourself some money and fix it in the driveway.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change the Water Pump on a Ford 3.8 V6 Windstar

Open up the hood of your Windstar and locate the battery cables. Use a wrench to remove the bolts that holds the cables in place. Disconnect the negative cable from the battery terminal.

Grab the drain pan and position it directly below the radiator drain plug which is located at the bottom on the radiator. Remove the drain plug and drain the coolant in to the pan.

Use a nut driver to loosen the bolt attached to the drive belt tensioner. This will loosen the drive belt and allow you to remove it from the vehicle. Locate the lower radiator hose. Use a wrench to loosen the bolt which fixes the clamp around the hose. Remove the clamp off the hose and disconnect the hose from the water pump.

Remove the bolt fixed to the water pump tensioner with the nut driver. Slide the water pump belt off and use a wrench to remove the four mounting bolts which fix the water pump in place. Lift the damaged water pump from the vehicle.

Clean the new gasket and rub a thin player of grease on to it. Fix the new water pump in the same place from which you removed the old one with the retaining bolts. Place the water pump belt on the tensioner and tighten the bolt to hold it in place.

Place the radiator hose in to the water pump and fix it in place by tightening the bolt around the hose clamp. Put the drive belt on to the drive belt tensioner and fix it in place the same what in which you inserted the water pump belt. Take the cap off the radiator and insert coolant in to the radiator. Reattach the battery cables on to the terminals, fixing them in place with the bolts. Turn on the engine to check that the water pump works correctly.

Items you will need

  • Nut driver

  • Wrench set

  • Replacement water pump

  • Drain pan

  • Gasket grease

 How to Change Water Pump on Ford Focus

Removing the Water Pump

Disconnect the car's negative battery cable, then rase the car's front end and support it on jack stands. Unbolt and remove the lower cover on the auxiliary drive belt.

Drain the cooling system--place a large container under the radiator drain fitting and loosen the fitting, then drain the remaining coolant at the engine block's drain fitting.

Loosen the bolts for the water pump pulley with a wrench but don't remove them yet.

Take off the auxiliary drive belt by rotating the tensioner with a ratchet or breaker bar and socket on the tensioner's center bolt to loosen the tension.

Unscrew and remove the bolts for the water pump pulley and remove the pulley.

Disconnect the coolant hose connected to the water pump housing, then remove the pump's mounting bolts to remove the pulley. Discard the gasket.

Installing the Water Pump

Clean off the mating surfaces for the water pump housing using acetone or lacquer thinner.

Install the water pump within the housing and tighten the bolts. If the water pump requires an O-ring, use a new ring and lubricate it with clean engine coolant.

Re-connect the coolant hose to the pump housing and connect the water pump pulley.

Re-install the drive belt using the same method of loosening the belt tensioner.

Refill the radiator and cooling system. Don't use the old coolant if it is dirty; use a fresh mix of antifreeze and water.

Lower the car and re-connect the battery cable.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Container

  • Ratchet or breaker bar and socket

  • Wrench

  • Water pump

  • Water pump gasket

  • O-ring

  • Antifreeze

 How to Change a Water Pump on a 2002 Ford Ranger

Turn off the engine and wait until it is cooled off completely. Disconnect the battery.

Position the drain pan under the radiator drain on the bottom of the Ford Ranger 2002 radiator.

Open the radiator drain, making sure the drain pan catches the liquid. Open the radiator cap on the top of the radiator. Wait until the radiator is drained completely.

Unscrew the bolts from the hub that holds the water pump pulley, remove it and take off the drive belt.

Take off the four bolts that hold the water pump in place and take off the pump.

Wire brush the area where the new pump will be installed to remove any debris and old sealant. Finish cleaning with a rag.

Lubricate the new o-ring gasket with a thin layer of sealant on each side and place it into the correct position.

Install the pump onto the mounting surface and replace the bolts that hold it tight. Tighten the bolts to the specified torque of 89 inch/pounds or the torque the owner’s manual recommends.

Replace the drive belt and the belt pulley. Replace the bolts for the pulley and tighten them to 18 feet/pounds, or torque as suggested in the owner’s manual. Connect the hoses to the pump. Check all connections to make sure they are tight.

On the radiator bottom, close the drain valve. Funnel the old coolant back into the radiator, or replace it with a new 50/50 premixed coolant.

Re-connect the battery, start the engine and let it run while you inspect your new pump for proper operation and leaks.

Items you will need

  • Drain pan

  • Metric wrench set

  • Metric socket set

  • Metal scraper

  • Rags

  • New water pump and gasket

  • Gasket sealant

  • Funnel

 How to Replace a Water Pump on a 1998 Ford Escort

Remove the negative battery terminal with a wrench and drain the coolant from the engine into a drain pan. The drain valve is on the radiator at the bottom and can be opened with a wrench.

Use the wrench to remove the timing belt covers then rotate the crankshaft with a ratchet until the timing notch on the crankshaft lines up with the timing mark on the engine. Remove the crankshaft pulley and hub with a socket and ratchet.

Mark the direction of the timing belt as well as the placement marks with a marking crayon. Loosen the timing belt tensioner with the socket and ratchet and remove the timing belt.

Place wheel chocks behind the rear wheels and raise the car up with a jack.

Remove the oil dipstick bracket bolts from the water pump with the wrench then remove the two bolts and the gasket from the water inlet pipe with the wrench.

Unscrew all the bolts from the water pump except the one at the very top with the socket and ratchet. Lower the vehicle back to the ground with the jack and remove the remaining bolts from the water pump.

Remove any remaining gasket material from the water pump mounting surface with a scraper to lightly scour it away.

Place a gasket on the new water pump and install it on the engine. Screw the top bolts into the pump hand-tight.

Raise the car up again with the jack. Install the remaining water pump bolts and torque them between 14 and 19 ft.-lbs.

Install the bolts on the water inlet pipe and torque them between 14 and 19 ft.-lbs. Reinstall the bolt onto the oil dipstick bracket with the wrench. Lower the car back to the ground with the jack.

Reinstall the timing belt according to the markings you made when removing it.

Reinstall the crankshaft pulley, making sure to line up the timing marks on the engine and pulley as in Step 2. Reinstall the timing belt covers and tighten the bolts with the wrench.

Pour coolant into the radiator and reservoir. Reconnect the negative battery terminal and tighten it with the wrench.

Start the car and bring it to operating temperature. Check the system thoroughly for any leaking.

Items you will need

  • Metric socket set

  • Metric wrench set

  • Torque wrench

  • Marking crayon

  • Scraper

  • Automobile jack

  • Wheel chocks

  • Drain pan

 How to Replace the Water Pump on a Ford Mystique

Removing the Water Pump

Open the hood and disconnect the negative cable terminal from the battery using a wrench. This is the cable connected to the post with the negative sign next to it.

Place a large drain pan under the radiator, open the radiator drain valve and loosen the radiator cap. Allow all the coolant to drain from the radiator and then close the radiator valve. Remove the drain pan from under the vehicle and cover it if you plan to reuse it later.

Unfasten the two bolts from the top engine cover, which shields the water pump pulley. Use a ratchet, short ratchet extension and socket. When removing the cover detach the crankcase ventilation tube from the edge of the cover by hand.

Raise the front of your car with a floor jack, support it with two jack stands and chock the rear wheels with a couple of wooden blocks.

Rotate the drive belt tensioner clockwise using a breaker bar with a 3/8-inch driver. Insert the breaker bar driver in the square hole of the belt tensioner. Hold the belt tensioner in the release position and lift the drive belt from the pulleys. Slowly release the belt tensioner to its original position.

Loosen the clamps holding the two hoses to the water pump using a Phillips-head screwdriver and detach the hoses from the water pump.

Unfasten the three bolts that hold the water pump and housing assembly to the engine using a ratchet, short ratchet extension and socket. Remove the water pump from the engine.

Unfasten the water pump body from the water pump housing bolts using the ratchet and socket.

Installing the Water Pump

Remove old gasket traces from the mating surface of the water pump housing using a plastic scraper. Install a new water pump gasket following the instructions of the new pump manufacturer.

Position the new water pump in place over the housing and install the mounting bolts by hand. Tighten the bolts to 18 foot-pounds using a torque wrench and a socket.

Place the water pump assembly in position on the engine of your Mercury Mystique and install the new bolts (part number W701544) by hand. Tighten the bolts to 13 foot-pounds using the torque wrench, short ratchet extension and socket.

Rotate the three water pump assembly bolts clockwise an additional 95 degrees using the socket, short ratchet extension and a degree wheel.

Attach the two hoses to the water pump and tighten the hose clamps with the Phillips-head screwdriver. Reinstall the drive belt using the breaker bar.

Lower your Mercury Mystique off the jack stands.

Replace the top engine cover with the ratchet, short ratchet extension and socket. Refill the radiator with coolant and tighten the radiator cap.

Connect the battery cable to the negative battery post using the wrench. Start the engine, check for coolant leaks around the water pump and add more coolant to the radiator, if necessary.

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • Large drain pan

  • Ratchet

  • Short ratchet extension

  • Socket set

  • Floor jack

  • 2 jack stands

  • 2 wooden blocks

  • Breaker bar with a 3/8-inch driver

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

  • Plastic scraper

  • New water pump gasket

  • New water pump

  • Torque wrench

  • Water pump assembly bolts (part number W701544)

  • Degree wheel

 How to Replace the Water Pump in a Ford Explorer

4.0L Explorer Engines

Place a drain pan underneath the radiator. When the engine is cool, drain the cooling system from the radiator into the pan.

Remove the fan shroud, the cooling fan, the accessory drive belt and the water pump pulley with the bolts.

Disconnect the coolant bypass hose and the lower radiator hose.

Loosen and remove the bolts attaching the water pump and remove the pump from the engine.

Clean all the mounting surfaces to the water pump.

Install the new pump, tightening the bolts to 89 inch pounds (20 to 28 Nm).

Reattach and install all components in reverse order from removal. Tighten the water pump pulley bolts to 18 foot pounds (25 Nm).

Refill the cooling system. Start the car and check for leaks when the engine reaches normal operating temperature.

5.0L Explorer Engines

Disconnect the negative battery cable and place a drain pan underneath the radiator. When the engine is cool, drain the cooling system from the radiator into the pan.

Remove the fan shroud, the cooling fan, the accessory drive belt and the water pump pulley with the bolts.

Take out the accessory drive belt. Disconnect and remove the heater hose and the bypass hose from the pump.

Remove the brackets to the engine control sensor wiring. Move the harness out of the way.

Loosen and remove the bolts to the water pump pulley and the water pump and remove the pulley.

Pull the water pump out and away from the front cover. Once the water pump is out of the way, disconnect the lower radiator hose. Then, take the water pump out of the engine.

Clean the front cover to the water pump and all the mounting surfaces. Put some adhesive gasket sealer on both sides of a brand new gasket and put it on the pump.

Reattach the lower radiator hose to the pump and reattach the pump, tightening the bolts to 15 to 21 foot pounds (20 to 28 Nm).

Reattach and reinstall all components in reverse order to their removal. Reattach the negative battery cable and refill the cooling system. Start the car and check for leaks when the engine reaches normal operating temperature.

 How to Replace the Water Pump in a Ford F-Series

4.9L Ford F-Series Engine

Place a drain pan underneath the radiator. When the engine is cool, drain the cooling system from the radiator into the pan.

Remove the lower radiator hose from the water pump.

Take out the drive belt along with the fan and the fan spacer and shroud.

Remove the water pump pulley.

Disconnect the alternator pivot arm and the heater hose from the water pump. Loosen and remove the water pump bolts and take out the pump.

Clean all the mounting surfaces on the pump and cylinder block for the gasket. Replace the heater hose fitting with a new one.

Install the new pump with new gaskets, tightening the bolts to 18 foot pounds (24 Nm). Make sure to coat the gaskets with sealer on both sides when installing.

Reinstall and reconnect all remaining parts in the order in which they were removed.

Refill the cooling system, start the car and check for leaks once the engine reaches normal operating temperatures.

7.5L, 5.8L and 5.0L Ford F-Series Engines

Place a drain pan underneath the radiator. When the engine is cool, drain the cooling system from the radiator into the pan.

Loosen and remove the bolts to the fan shroud connecting it to the radiator. Place the shroud over the fan.

Disconnect the following hoses from the water pump: lower radiator hose, by-pass hose and heater hose. Then remove the fan, fan spacer, fan shroud and drive belts.

Remove the pulley from the pump. Use belt tension to hold the pulley when doing so.

Loosen the bolt that attaches the alternator arm to the water pump and the alternator pivot bolt. Remove the power steering pump bracket from the pump if equipped, then move it to the side.

Remove the bolts that attach the water pump to the timing chain cover. Remove the water pump from the engine.

Install the new water pump with new gaskets, tightening the bolts to 18 foot pounds (24 Nm). Make sure to coat the new gasket with sealer when doing so.

Reconnect and install all remaining parts in the order in which they were removed.

Refill the cooling system, start the car and check for leaks once the engine reaches normal operating temperatures.

Items you will need

  • Drain pan

  • Wrench set

  • Coolant

 How to Replace a Water Pump on a 1996 Ford F150

Drain the radiator by placing the drain pan under the drain valve and opening the valve with the pliers. Take the radiator cap off to promote faster draining. Close the valve when drained.

Remove the fan clutch spacer, which is the large nut securing the fan to the water pump pulley. Place the strap wrench around the pulley and use the large adjustable wrench to turn the large nut counterclockwise to remove. Once the nut is broken loose, it can be spun by hand. Just spin the fan counterclockwise and the nut will follow. Don't remove it completely at this point.

Remove the fan shroud bolts with a socket. Remove the fan shroud and the fan together. Loosen the belt tensioner using a socket and ratchet. Place the socket on the tensioner and move the tensioner away from the belt as the belt is removed.

Remove the four bolts in the water pump pulley using a socket. Remove the alternator support bracket from the water pump using a socket. Loosen the clamp on the heater hose on the water pump and pull the hose off. Loosen the clamp on the lower radiator hose where it attaches to the water pump and pull it off.

Remove all the bolts securing the water pump to the block using a socket. Remove the water pump. Scrape all the remaining gasket material from the mounting surface on the block.

Place RTV sealant on both sides of the water pump gasket. Place the gasket on the new water pump and insert one of the long bolts on either side of the pump for a guide. Install the new pump by aligning the two long bolts and threading them into the block. Slide the water pump in place on the block. Install the rest of the bolts and tighten with a socket.

Install the heater hose and tighten the clamp. Install the alternator support and tighten the bolt. Install the water pump pulley and tighten the bolts. Install the belt by installing the ratchet and socket onto the pulley, and moving the pulley away from the belt as the belt is installed. Relax the pressure on the belt tensioner and allow it to apply tension on the belt.

Place the fan shroud and the fan in place as a unit. Move the shroud in toward the engine to give clearance for the fan. Spin the fan clutch nut onto the water pump pulley threaded nose by turning it clockwise. Place the strap wrench on the pulley and tighten the nut with the adjustable wrench.

Install the bolts in the fan shroud and tighten. Fill the radiator with antifreeze.

Items you will need

  • Drain pan

  • Pliers

  • Ratchet

  • Set of sockets

  • Gasket scraper

  • Large adjustable wrench

  • Pulley strap wrench

  • RTV Silicone sealant