How to Remove a Water Pump From a Pontiac Grand Prixby Leonardo R. Grabkowski
Many modern vehicles are equipped with timing belts rather than timing chains. The placement of the timing belt often makes removing the water pump extremely challenging, as the complicated timing belt system must be removed first. Thankfully, the Pontiac Grand Prix does not have a timing belt, and accessing the water pump for removal or replacement is much easier. Learn more about removing and replacing the water pump in your Grand Prix, including proper tightening procedures for different engines.
Park your Grand Prix on level ground. Gather your tools for easy access and disconnect the negative battery cable.
Place your drain pan underneath the radiator and locate the coolant drain plug. Newer models will have a plastic guard to remove before you can access underneath the front of the engine bay. Remove the drain plug and let the coolant completely drain into the pan.
Cover the drain pan and place it in a safe area. Engine coolant is highly toxic if ingested by animals or humans. If you do not have a lid for your drain pan, use something else to cover it. Foreign objects entering into your coolant can contaminate it.
Use the screwdriver or socket wrench to remove the accessory belt protective cover to access the water pump pulley. Loosen the bolts on the pulley, but do not remove them. Once the pulley bolts are loosened, turn the pulley to remove the accessory belt, and then finish removing the pulley.
Set the pulley and its bolts aside. Remove the five bolts (all models) mounting the water pump. The bolts will require force to remove; use a solvent such as liquid wrench to assist you. Once the bolts are removed, set the water pump and gasket aside. If the gasket is stuck to the mounting location, carefully scrape it off. Always discard the old gasket.
Thoroughly clean the contact area, and then install the new gasket and water pump. Use the torque wrench to tighten the five bolts. Different models must be tightened to different levels. The 3.1- and 3.4-liter engine bolts must be tightened to 89 inch-pounds; 3.8-liter engines have long bolts and short bolts. The long bolts must be tightened to 25 foot-pounds and the short bolts to 16 foot-pounds. Do not overlook this setting, as it is very important for correct water pump installation.
Attach the water pump pulley and tighten the bolts to 106 inch-pounds for 3.1- and 3.4-liter engines. Tighten the bolts to 115 inch-pounds for 3.8-liter engines. Replace the accessory belt on the water pump pulley.
Replace the pulley cover and the engine bay guard (if equipped). Replace the coolant drain plug and replenish the coolant system. Reconnect the negative battery cable, and then start the engine and check for leaks.
- On Grand Prix models equipped with the 3.8-liter engine, removing the power steering pump will help you access the water pump. This is optional. If you do remove the power steering pump, the bolts must be tightened to 25 foot-pounds of torque when replaced.
Things You'll Need
- Socket wrench
- Drain pan with lid
- Torque wrench
- Replacement water pump gasket
- Replacement water pump
- Use caution when working with engine coolant. Its sweet smell attracts children and animals.
Leonardo R. Grabkowski has been writing professionally for more than four years. Grabkowski attended college in Oregon. He builds websites on the side and has a slight obsession with Drupal, Joomla and Wordpress.