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List of Useful Threads 3.5L Water pump replacement - Gotchya's

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by mcpcartier, June 27, 2018.

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  1. mcpcartier

    mcpcartier New Member

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    When I have some more time I'll try to add other information, but figured I'd share some of the mistakes/thoughts from replacing the water pump last weekend.

    BTW....I have a 2013 Limited with a 3.5L Naturally Aspirated

    First off....I referenced the online video's by Robinson Auto (he did a flex) and Makuloco (F-150) extensively....those were invaluable. Even with those I managed to make several key mistakes.

    1. Main chain guide's (black)
    ----- These are installed right above the water pump. The mounting bolt for one of these is shadowed by one of the phasers. Make sure you mount those BEFORE you mount the phasers. The phaser bolts are torque to yield so if you need to take a phaser out to install the guide you need new phaser bolts.

    2. Timing Chain Cover bolts (15mm bolts in the center of the cover)
    ----- Two (2) of the 15mm bolts cannot fit between the frame and the cover (at least for my 2013 NA explorer). They must be in placed in the cover before dropping the cover into place. Or you get the joy of taking it back out and re-doing the RTV etc...

    3. Secondary Chain Tensioner Activation
    --- The melling BT7008 tensioners MUST BE manually activated. This mean nothing happens when you pull out the blue tab. I mistakenly thought that released them so they're ready to go....NOPE....what that tab does is make sure you can't inadvertently activate them by pushing the piston in by accident. Once you have it mounted remove the tab. Then install the phasers and secondary chain. After everything's in place push that piston in until you hear a click and release. The tensioner will push up on the chain like you expect. If you forget to do this you get to take your valve covers off again and do it....ask me how I know. You do have to push hard....I used a piece of wood because my whimpy hands couldn't take the pressure.

    4. Crank Pulley Puller
    ---- find the one recommended in the video's (i can't recall)...but it's tiny (narrow). The puller I borrowed from O'Reilly wouldn't fit inside the crank pulley.

    I didn't evac the AC....that would have made putting in the timing cover easier....but it's totally doable without touching the AC.

    I thought i did a great job of blocking the top of the oil pan before removing the water pump...still had about a liter of coolant end up in there. Don't know how you can avoid that.
     
    Last edited: June 27, 2018
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  3. Sixonemale

    Sixonemale Active Member

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    Not that I will ever attempt this myself, but nice write-up. What made you decide to replace your water pump, was it leaking or did you do it as preventative maintenance? Also, how many miles were on the engine/water pump? Was your replacement pump identical to the one you took off or next generation? I've seen two different pumps in this forum, but can't recall what year they changed the design slightly. Thanks
     
  4. mcpcartier

    mcpcartier New Member

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    I have 118k on mine. The original water pump was leaking out the weep hole, so I had coolant dripping out over my alternator. The water pump I took out had a single gasket so I got very lucky. The gasket failed into the weep hole area...what are the odds. I had nothing going into my oil. I bought the ac delco for replacement. It has concentric gaskets so no matter where the first gasket fails there is a path to the weep hole over the alternator. So the second I see a leak there I know i'm on borrowed time (unless the exterior gasket fails first...never really thought of that...then coolant would be in the oil and the weep hole).

    Edit

    Put a picture of the water pumps in a different thread....post #537...click on this link

    Water pump failure leads to dead engine
     
    Last edited: August 31, 2018
  5. Sixonemale

    Sixonemale Active Member

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    Excellent response, thanks. A couple of more questions, when you replaced the water pump, I assume you did it with the engine in place or did you pull the engine? About how long did it take you, again assuming you took your time. Lastly, how did the timing chain and it's guides look? Thanks again
     
    Last edited: June 28, 2018
  6. mcpcartier

    mcpcartier New Member

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    I did not pull the engine...just squeezed the timing chain cover up between the frame and the engine.

    The chain/guides all looked fantastic...no issues. I replaced them because I'm hoping to get 100k miles on this water pump and didn't want to open this up again between now and then to do the chains.

    Time...well...it took me about 20 hours. I have quite a bit of hands on experience but mostly working on my GTI and A4 (quattro). I've replaced several timing belts, cam chains, and clutches on those. I also recently (about 1 1/2 months ago) rebuilt the PTU on the explorer. I didn't enjoy that job, too much working on my back in the driveway but decided that we're going to keep this for a while and I wanted to clean it out and put in a drain plug.

    Next time would be way faster. For example...when I started on a Friday evening it took me 2 1/2 hours to get the intake and the front valve cover off. I didn't know what was connected to what, where the harnesses ran, and had to fight to break the cover free. When I opened it up to fix my secondary tensioners it took me 2 1/2 hours to pull off the intake, both valve covers, fix the tensionsers, and put it all back together. That's about 4 times as much work in the same amount of time. Experience is one thing...but experience working on a specific vehicle is what counts.
     
  7. Sixonemale

    Sixonemale Active Member

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    Thanks again for the responses. One last question, you are obviously very mechanically inclined, so the question is what made you notice that coolant was leaking? Was it because you saw coolant on the ground? Was it due to your checking under the hood occasionally? Did the engine get hotter than normal and trigger a check engine light? Did your temp gauge go up, if you had it displayed? Etc. Thanks
     
    Last edited: June 28, 2018
  8. mcpcartier

    mcpcartier New Member

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    Initial discovery was a small wet area under the alternator in the driveway. Took a look and it was dex-cool...orange coolant on the alternator. Took a look online and saw videos about the water pump weep hole exits over the alternator so if you have a leak there it's time to change your water pump. Filled up the coolant with distilled water and drove it for another 50 miles or so to get to the weekend. After that 50 miles every time it was parked there was a steady stream of water leaking out...it was getting bad. Had no other indications.....I check my oil/coolant levels all the time....oil never had any indication of coolant in it. By topping off the coolant the engine never over heated. Kept the display on engine temp and had a jug of distilled water in the back to keep it full until I changed it.
     
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  9. Sixonemale

    Sixonemale Active Member

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    Thanks again and pretty much what I expected. You are a very mechanically inclined individual who has replaced a water pump, not an easy task by any stretch. If it had been during the winter rainy season, or if it leaked in a parking lot toward the passenger side, or if an owner not mechanically inclined dismissed the wet area, the result could have been an overheated or maybe even a seized engine if the coolant was leaking internally into the oil. It sure seems like some sort of sensor on the coolant reservoir tank would be extremely helpful to all fifth generation Explorer owners. This sensor would trigger a check engine light with code and should be extreme in color and brightness due to the importance of what is occurring. After all it is a closed system and no fluid should be escaping.
     
    Last edited: June 29, 2018
  10. JoeMcc

    JoeMcc New Member

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    A couple of quick questions on replacing the water pump and timing chains. I have all my parts and waiting for the cam tools. First did you support the front of the engine after removing the mount, and do you have to take off the phaser to replace the main guide if i'm not replacing the secondary chains.
     
  11. mcpcartier

    mcpcartier New Member

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    I just used a jack with a piece of wood on it under the oil pan to hold it up...worked fine.

    So here is the problem. See the black guides for the main chain in the pic below....they go over the waterpump so you need to remove them to get the pump out. But only one of them can be removed without removing a phaser....I put a note there "bolt shadowed by phaser"...but I can't seem to remember if it was that one or the other one I couldn't remove with the phaser in place....but for sure you'll need to remove one of the intake phasers. Those phaser bolts are TTY....so you'll need a replacement intake phaser bolt which is p/n AT4Z6279D. I got mine on ebay for a good price.. If you decide to pull the exhaust phaser you'll need the longer bolt which is p/n AT4Z6279E. I pulled all my phasers so I needed two of each of those parts.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: August 31, 2018
  12. mcpcartier

    mcpcartier New Member

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    So my comment in RED is wrong.....that silver shaft you see in the middle of the red circle is the pivot the guide slides over and just below that you'll see the grey bolt that holds it in place. I believe once you remove that bolt you can slide the guide out from its pivot shaft no problem. But part of the other guide (the one not circled in red) is behind the phaser. You can remove the mounting bolt (grey bolt just below the phaser) but you can't pull the guide out over its pivot shaft because the phaser is in the way. You have to remove the phaser so you can slide the guide off of its pivot arm (silver shaft in the middle of the black).
     
  13. sheltonfilms

    sheltonfilms Active Member

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    Be nice to know what the hell is going on with the concentric vs single gaskets. Seems like the 11-12 Explorers had two orings, then during 2012 production they switch to a single piece oring. Then there was another change (unknown) for the 2016+ models.
     
  14. JoeMcc

    JoeMcc New Member

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    Thank you, that helps a lot. From looking at other pictures it looked like i could unbolt it and slide it out.
     
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  15. Maxud

    Maxud New Member

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    Doing this job now on 2013 Ford Explorer 3.5 non turbo.
    Water pump is leaking externally (thank god), my friend lost an engine on 2012 Mazda CX-9 3.7L duratec, that dumped all coolant into oil.
    My valve covers were super difficult to pry off. Old rubber glued to the heads and especially spark plug tube seals.
    Go gently from different angles and eventually they will separate. Front chain cover was stuck on one of the guide pins (rear bottom).
    Again, go easy and rock it back and forth.
    I bought cam holder tool set from ebay, and disappointed with it. The fit has a bit of play, which causes the whole assembly to rock and slip.
    Almost bought OTC brand, not sure if the fit is any better. For something I dont plan on using ever again, I did not want to spend a lot of money.
    I pulled harmonic balancer by grabbing the outer edges with my regular puller. Like OP mentioned, you need a special puller to pull by inside
    spokes. I could have probably used my sliding hammer puller, but just grabbed a large external one and it was fine, nothing got bent.

    I also only had one bolt 15mm that did not come out of the cover. But also had one of the top V 6 bolts was interfering. I removed the engine mount
    stud for that one.

    I am over half way done with the job, put the new water pump in already.
    Here is a portion of procedure dealing with timing, for anybody brave enough to do it
    https://f01.justanswer.com/dcraig1000/115055f0-8c9a-4c2f-85f6-672e977a814b_eee.pdf

    I am taking a lot of pictures, so if anybody needs a pic of something, reply here.

    A piece of art, brought to you by Ford Duratec

    t1.JPG

    Full timing chain kit and new water pump

    t2.JPG


    And the guts of the devil

    t3.JPG
     
  16. SuperGreg

    SuperGreg Member

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    I'm thinking of doing this soon just to avoid potential failure. Explorer has 106K on it right now. I've done timing belt/water pump on say an Acura TL before. *Very* tight engine bay.These pictures make it look like there is a lot more room in the Explorer, but I keep hearing people talking about taking the engine out to do this job? Why?
     
  17. Maxud

    Maxud New Member

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    I have done over 20 of Honda J engines (current running series of V6 Honda/Acura engines for the last 15 or so years.
    This job is very mechanical in nature, nothing super ordinary. Plenty of room once you get all the components out.
    More room to work than Honda.
    The only reason to take the engine out is the timing chain cover. Its tight to remove, and gonna be even more difficult to put
    in with silicone on the block. Timewise, you are total different universe. I can do Honda timing belt/water pump in less than a day.
    I anticipate over 16 hours by the time I am done with this Ford.
     
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  18. Sixonemale

    Sixonemale Active Member

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    Good post. How many miles were on your 2013 Explorer when the coolant began to leak? Thanks
     
  19. SuperGreg

    SuperGreg Member

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    Thanks. Cool, yeah I was working on a J32A2. So do you feel trying to do it in place is easier than removing the engine? After struggling with getting at parts before doing it the "shortcut" way I've started taking the time to just take things apart enough to make the job easier. But pulling the engine seems like quite the task unless there is an easy way to just pull one side of it up high enough to do the job and leave a lot of things still connected.
     
  20. Maxud

    Maxud New Member

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    So, let me put into prospective. For a dealer who has all the right equipment, AC charge machine, hydraulic table to drop the subframe, etc... It "maybe" quicker to drop the engine. But it requires so many other items to be disconnected: exhaust, axles, etc. I am an advance diyer, doing this in my home garage. No room for that kind of operation. I don't know for a fact if the dealer drops engines for this job.

    I do know that for Toyota 2GR-FE (current gen v6, chain driven) water pump and a lot of other items were originally specked to be engine out jobs.
    Just did 2014 Highlander and definitely did not need to drop the engine. Toyota also updated their procedures to not drop the engine.
    But at least they designed the engine right, where water pump is belt driven and is removable without tearing entire timing mechanism apart.

    I definitely feel like this job is just fine for how I am doing it, ie engine in the car. It does take a lot longer doing things the first time, but that's par for the course. Last night I made good progress, timing cover is in, and it went a lot easier than I anticipated. It took me longer to remove it than put it back in. I did lift the engine a bit to give me even more clearance room, but I did it when I was taking cover out originally, so its unchanged since then. Putting RTV was a bit of a pain, but ended up using my fingers around the alternator and rear head and got it done.

    Gotta prep the surface, cleaning everything is essential for a leak free result.

    As mentioned, Honda is alot tighter. Key there is to remove the body side engine mount to get at bolts for snub engine mount on engine side.

    Here are more of the carnage pics:

    New timing set installed (primary chain, secondary chains, 3 new tensioners, every chain guide, water pump
    m1.JPG


    Right bank (rear) timing mark

    m2.JPG

    Left bank (front) timing mark

    m3.JPG

    Crank pulley timing mark

    m4.JPG

    New primary tensioner (different design than OE ford)

    m5.JPG

    Front timing chain cover

    m6.JPG

    Replaced crank seal

    m7.JPG

    Cleaned the bolts and timing cover

    m8.JPG

    Finally cover is glued back on

    m9.JPG



    m10.JPG
     
  21. Maxud

    Maxud New Member

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    Not my car, so not sure when it started to leak. Dealer apparently saw the leak and informed the customer. I want to say current mileage is around 170k miles.

    But, like I mentioned earlier, my neighbor friend lost an engine on 2012 Mazda CX9, with around 135k on the odometer.

    If you look online, reports of failure are scattered all over the place. I actually recently found out there is a lawsuit against Ford for this right now.
    Ford Water Pump Class-Action Lawsuit Says Engines Fail
     

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