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Waterpump leak.

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by 29Rat, August 21, 2019.

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  1. 29Rat

    29Rat New Member

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    2003 4.0L, replaced the waterpump about 7 times in the last year, along with a new tensioner, fan hub, and fan blades. And a pressure cap, and fresh coolant each time. Still leaking out of the weep hole, the waterpump shaft seal, tried different brands, motorcraft included. Really pissing me off. What else am I missing that would cause a water pump to fail?
     
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  3. Drewmcg

    Drewmcg Elite Explorer

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    I've never heard of this before, with several years on this forum. No offense, but how confident are you that the leak is from the pump?

    I replaced the water pump on my '02 XLS 4.0L SOHC when I did the timing chains, just b/c I was in there. Where's this "weep hole" that you refer to? (I'm aware of weep holes on other water pumps, but not this one. 2002 FORD EXPLORER 4.0L V6 Water Pump | RockAuto .) Can you send a photo?

    Also, are you saying that coolant is leaking out of *both* the shaft seal and the weep hole? Or different leak paths on different units?

    If I had to guess, the leak is coming from somewhere else and leaking down the front of the engine/timing cover, causing you to conclude that's its a failed water pump. Could be anything from a bad hose, the ubiquitous thermostat housing leak(s), or bad head gasket. Either that our you have a bad/warped/cracked timing cover.
     
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  4. ptf18

    ptf18 Elite Explorer

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    7 times? Gee... I'll be interested in hearing what the fix is
     
  5. 29Rat

    29Rat New Member

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    It is for sure coming out of the weephole, when I refer to shaft seal leak, I am referring to the water coming out of the weep hole, indicating a shaft seal leak. I am positive in that due to the fact that I have washed it off, and pressure tested it, along with having the engine running, and clearly see the water leaking out of the weephole itself. Now I am not 100% positive that it is the weephole on this leak, because I haven't pressure tested it yet, but visually with the car running water is coming out of the weep hole. I have been washing it off and pressure testing it each time though, and will do for this leak too, even though it feels redundant at this time. Along with pressure testing the cooling system, I have pressure tested the coolant reservoir cap, rated at 16psi, popped at 15psi on my gauge.

    Here is a photo of the weep hole, https://i.imgur.com/oYrj3c9.jpg , more of a cavern than a hole on this style of water pump haha.
     
  6. Number4

    Number4 "I'm counting to 3, then I'm getting your dad." Elite Explorer

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    Make sure you aren’t having a harmonic balancer issue. Common on the late model 4.0. Will eventually fly off. Look through the forums here to find discussions on it.
     
  7. Drewmcg

    Drewmcg Elite Explorer

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    I like Number 4's thought, though you'd think there'd be a more immediate/audible/visible sign that the serpentine belt out of whack due to failing harmonic balancer than destroying 7 water pumps!

    Assuming that you're not repeatedly using cheap, aftermarket crap water pumps, I'll go back to my theory of a warped or otherwise defective front timing cover. It makes more sense to me that when you torque down all the water pump bolts to that cover, you wind up twisting/flexing the pump somehow out of plumb, causing abnormal stress on the bearing, resulting in premature failure.

    You can get a replacement cover @ Rockauto, or maybe find a cheaper solution on Ebay or a junkyard. Like I mentioned, this is not a common problem (I've never heard of it), so I wouldn't hesitate to use a junkyard part.
     
  8. 29Rat

    29Rat New Member

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    Hmmm good suggestions for sure. The original motor had 200k miles on it before the timing chain gave out, and had the same waterpump issue as this 100k mile motor does. Only thing I swapped from old to new motor was alternator and a/c compressor, as they were both newer, along with fan hub and fan, as the fan hub was bad on the used motor, and fan size was different. I did do a visual inspection of the harmonic balancer before installing the motor, but will take a gander at it when I have a chance to work on it this weekend. Also odds of both timing covers being out of wack? When I pulled the used motor I used that waterpump as it was not leaking, and did not remove the waterpump, but I did use my fan hub and fan as the. That's why when that wasterpump failed I replaced the fan hub, fan, and belt tensioner, as the tensioner was looser than a new one, and the fan hub was cheap. I thought that solved my problem until now.

    Idk, need to pressure test the system when I get a day off in a few days. I'll keep ya posted, but 99.9% sure it's that weep hole.
     
  9. 29Rat

    29Rat New Member

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    Pressure tested the system today, as expected it was the weep hole. Went to advancedauto and got a refund of my money from their Driveworks water pump. Went to O'reilly's and picked up a Murray water pump, brand new, not refurbed, and a couple of different brands of stop leak... just kidding, I'd never use stop leak. We'll see how it lasts. Even torqued it down this time, never torqued and external water pump before, but what the hell, doesn't take that much more time. Also, the harmonic balancer looked good, no pushed out rubber, or cracking. Thanks for the help!
     

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