How to Replace the Water Pump in a 97 Blazer

by Jeana KemberlingUpdated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Coolant

  • Bucket

  • Pry bar

  • Socket set, 3/8-inch drive

  • RTV sealant

  • Torque wrench

  • Needle-nose pliers

A water pump on a 1997 Chevrolet Blazer passes coolant through the radiator to the engine. The coolant temperature is lowered in the radiator by air passing through the grill and fan. At that point, the coolant is passed through the water pump and into the engine to cool the engine's temperature. When the water pump breaks, water can't get to the engine. This will make the engine overheat and could cause serious problems if not taken care of immediately. Replacing a water pump is something that can be done at home in a garage in about an hour.

Pull your car into the garage, and turn it off. Open the hood, and take off the negative ("-") battery cable.

Put a bucket under the radiator, and position it so that it's centered under the drain plug. Pull the drain plug, and let all of the coolant drain out. When there is no more coolant in the truck, reconnect the drain plug.

Remove the bolts connecting the radiator shroud to the frame. Do this by getting the right size socket and turning the bolts counterclockwise. When the bolts are off, the shroud will come off easily by hand.

Check the fan shroud for a diagram of the routing of the serpentine belt. If there is no diagram, grab a piece of scrap paper and pen and draw a diagram so that you will know how to put the serpentine belt back on when your putting the new water pump on.

Find the right-sized socket that fits the pulley tensioner bolt, and loosen it just enough to remove the belt from the water pump pulley.

Take the radiator and heater hoses off of the water pump. Squeeze the clamp with a pair of needle-nose pliers so that it gets bigger, and move it down the hose. Pull the hose from the water pump. The heater hose is located on top of the water pump, and the radiator hose is on the bottom of the water pump.

Remove the bolts holding the water pump to the engine. You need to turn them counterclockwise. If you can't remove the water pump after you have removed the bolts, then take a rubber hammer and tap on the pump until it becomes loose.

Put paint thinner on a rag, and clean off any of the old gasket from the engine. This will ensure a tight seal of the new gasket.

Put some RTV sealant on the new gasket, and put the gasket on the new water pump. Put the new water pump back into the engine, and finger tighten the bolts. Use your torque wrench to make the bolts tight.

Reinstall the radiator and heater hoses on to the water pump. The radiator hose goes on the bottom and the heater hose gets attached to the top of the water pump.

Put the serpentine belt back onto the water pump. Make sure that you check your diagram to see that you are putting the belt on correctly. Turn the tensioner bolt clockwise while using a pry bar to pull the water pump toward you.

Reinstall the radiator shroud by turning the bolts clockwise.

Reconnect the negative battery cable.

Turn the car on, and let it run until it gets to running temperature. That way any air in the lines will escape out of the open radiator. When you are satisfied that there isn't any more air, then you can put the cap back on the radiator; make sure that the cap is tight.


When taking parts out of your truck, make sure to keep the parts and bolts together so you don't lose them.

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