Instructions for Changing a Water Pump on a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee

by Jody L. Campbell

The 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee has a 4.0-liter 6-cylinder engine or a 4.7-liter 8-cylinder. Replacing the water pump in either engine is quite similar. Most commonly, when the water pump fails, it is due to the internal bearings. This will cause the outer seal to have movement in it and allow the coolant to leak from the water pump. Telltale noises, such as grinding, may come from the engine before the pump fails.


Working on a coolant system when the vehicle is hot can cause serious burns. Always allow the vehicle to cool down before attempting repairs. Also, coolant is toxic but has a sweet smell and taste, which can attract pets or small children. Always clean up any spills. To access the water pump in the Jeep Grand Cherokee, remove the fan shroud and the upper radiator retaining bolts. Unplug the electrical cooling fan wire harness. Remove the fan clutch bolts from the water pump pulley and then remove the fan clutch. Note that some of the 4.0-liter engines with the fan bolted to the water pump may feature right-hand threaded bolts. Once the fan clutch is removed, store it vertically to prevent any silicone from contaminating the bearing grease. Remove the belt from the pulley system. The 2001 Grand Cherokee has an automatic tensioner pulley with a square drive. Pivot the tensioner with a ratchet in order to relieve tension on the belt and remove it from the alternator pulley. Before removing the belt, make sure there is a routing diagram or draw one yourself so you know how to put it back on. The power steering pump assembly is also in the way. Unbolt the assembly from the block, and let it move freely to access the water pump.

The Thermostat and Radiator Hoses

Drain the radiator into a drain pan. The thermostat housing is above the water pump. If the Grand Cherokee overheated as a result of the water pump failure, now is a good time to replace the thermostat. Removing the thermostat housing also creates better access to the water pump. Remove the upper radiator hose from the thermostat housing. Be sure the drain pan is beneath the Jeep in case more coolant leaks out. Remove the thermostat housing and then remove the thermostat, taking note on how it sits inside the block housing. Disconnect the lower radiator hose from the water pump. Inspect both upper and lower hoses and replace them if necessary.

The Water Pump

Now you have access to the water pump. Remove the heater hose from the extension tube attached to the water pump. The tube will need to be removed from the old pump and installed onto the new one. Make sure to note its position and angle to be able to reinstall it correctly. Remove the retaining bolts. If they are different lengths, note where they go. Remove the pump. The mating surfaces of the water pump to block and the thermostat housing to block need to be cleaned. Use a gasket scraper and a brake cleaner spray or an angled die grinder with a medium coarse reconditioning disc. A spray or squeeze-tube sealant will help the thermostat and gasket and the water pump gasket stick to the mating surface of the engine block. Reassemble the water pump and thermostat housing. Tighten the bolts to torque specifications. Reattach the power steering pump assembly, replace the belt and then reattach the fan clutch and shroud. Fill the radiator with 50/50 coolant water mix and start the engine with the radiator cap removed in order to allow air pockets to purge from the water.

More Articles

article divider