How to Replace the Water Pump in a Cheverolet Cavalier

by Chris MooreUpdated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Clean container

  • Jack stand

  • Lug wrench

  • Torque wrench

  • Water pump holding tool (J43651)

  • New water pump

  • Gasket sealant

  • Threaded stud

While the Chevrolet Cavalier is a compact vehicle, some repairs are not as simple as they might seem. Replacing the water pump in the car is one example. The process can be very complicated, especially depending on the type of engine it has. These instructions are for two engine types, identified by whether the vehicle identification number contains a 4 or an F. Consult a mechanic or other expert for best results.

VIN 4 Instructions

Disconnect the negative cable from the Cavalier's battery. Drain the coolant from the system into a clean container by removing the drain plug under the engine.

Loosen the bolts on the water pump pulley. Remove the accessory drive belt by placing a wrench on the belt tensioner's lug and rotating it to loosen the tensioner.

Disconnect the water pump pulley, followed by the surge tank hose. Disconnect the bolts on the water pump, then remove the pump and gasket.

Attach the gasket to the new pump by applying a thin amount of sealer to the outer edge of the gasket's seating area. Install the new pump on the engine and torque the bolts to 18 foot pounds.

Reconnect the water pump pulley, but only tighten the bolts by hand at the moment. Connect the surge tank hose and accessory drive belt, then torque the pulley bolts to 22 foot pounds. Connect the negative battery cable and refill the cooling system.

VIN F Instructions

Drain the cooling system into the container and remove the negative battery cable. Remove the exhaust manifold if the Cavalier has automatic transmission; you'll need to remove the oxygen sensor's electrical connector, accessory drive belt, alternator, radiator inlet pipe, oil filler tube and the nuts and bolts connecting the manifold to the exhaust pipe and heater outlet hose.

Raise the car on the right front side and remove the wheel. Remove the liner for the front fender and the access plate on the water pump sprocket.

Remove the bolts holding the water pump sprocket to the pump--you must install a water pump holding tool (J43651) onto the sprocket and secure the tool to the engine front cover with the access plate's bolts. Remove the bolts attaching the engine block and front cover to the pump and the feed pipe to the thermostat. Remove the last two bolts and remove the pump.

Install the new water pump, using a threaded stud in the hub to align it with the pump sprocket. Tighten the two bolts securing it to the engine to 15 foot pounds.

Connect the bolts for for the engine front cover and engine block, torquing them to 15 foot pounds. Insert two of the bolts for the water pump sprocket, remove the threaded stud, insert the last bolt and tighten them all to 89 foot pounds. Remove the water pump holding tool.

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