[PHOTO DIARY] First Gen Explorer Water Pump Removal in 10 Steps. | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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[PHOTO DIARY] First Gen Explorer Water Pump Removal in 10 Steps.

Thank you for taking the time to do this, The images with stuff highlighted and circled are really helpful.


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a heck of alot better than a Haynes or Chilton . got to do the wifes exploder this weekend , I found the leak last night by accident while I was replacing the fuel filter , this will probably solve the disapearing A/F problem , whats this dayco pulley you mentioned is it to make the fan/water pump spin quicker??

also I was going to mention when you apply gasket adhesive/silicone , you just need to put a little thin layer on the parts not goop it on as the excess goes to waste or into your cooling system . I ussually put it on my finger and smooth it on .

and the last screw you show removing was a ***** to remove. for me atleast.

Haha, when I did this a couple of years back we named this bolt Tricksy...and the other one thats hiding in the little groove corner is called Heidi. :D

I just replaced waterpump in 1993 Explorer. These picture and instructions were very helpful. Thanks!

Two quick things.

1. Removing the Idler Pulley makes it easier to remove gasket residue. (top of picture 8 on removal). Comes off in seconds with 15mm.

2. I found an easy way that to keep track of location and tightening of the 12x waterpump mounting bolts. I used the new pump as a visual for removing the bolts, and placed the bolts (as I removed them) in the holes of the new (ready to install) pump(one by one). This helped me know which bolts were left to remove. Once I had the old pump out, I then moved the bolts to the old (now deinstalled) pump. Again, this (visually) helped me know which bolts I had installed, and their location.

i have an overheating problem, and am leading to this post as a solution.
i have already removed the thermostat intirely, so that its totaly free flow... and still while driving in regular drive mode, the engine heats up quickly. but while in overdrive, rarely does it overheat??? i do believe i have a coolant blockage...and a couple days ago, i noticed the fluid in my rad had turned foamy!?
ive heard of a c l r coolant flush, and was wondering if someone here could point me to a post that had specific information on this topic, as well as , if anyone had more insight as to what my problem may be?
another thing, the temp also goes up when i turn my heater on?!

this is a 92 xlt ex

thanks this is very helpful, I now know what i will be doing tomorrow before work.

It should be the same. Water pump is the same part number 1991-2000. Fan clutch the same from 91 to 97. With yours being a six the procedure should be the same.

Nice Writeup. simple , to the point and mostly...informative.

Good Write-up. You also should add to inspect your Plastic Cooling Fan. Mine had many cracks, so it can be replaced easily when doing this procedure.

my 94 xlt for some reason "boils" when i park after i drive it. it boiled most of the coolant out yesterday and the coolant i put in before i drove again boiled out as well/ dad helped me and said its probably my water pump because you cant see the water having a currant when the rad cap is off? idk but the gauge says its fine even tho its literally boiling out of the coolant catch. and my check oil light started staying on but when my dad and i looked at what was going on with the coolant the light came off. weird to me. btw there is no weeping at the water pump on the bottom side but above the pump there is something that has leaked. need help and low on cash

Unfortunately, I did not notice this post before I took on this project myself. I changed the water pump and noticed some interesting differences between how we did it so I figured I would post the method I used for anyone looking for an alternate method.

So, here's how I did it without any special tools and getting it done as cheaply as possible


(Note: did not drain because my pump completely died, all water was already drained with the exception of a small amount)

1) removed air intake tube
2) broke loose bolt on fan, using channel locks or a vice grips forget which was successful i tried both (i didn't bugger up the bolt in the process for anyone who may be concerned)
3) hand spun fan until off completely. the nut will not spin as fast as the fan but this is the easiest way to remove the fan
4) removed fan shroud bolts (only 2 bolts up top)
5) removed both fan and shroud from front of vehicle, freeing up tons of room for this project (what I enjoyed most)
6) while the belt was still on (important, otherwise it will be a pain) broke bolts on front of water pump pulley loose but did not remove
7) used breaker bar and 5/8" socket (it might really be metric 15mm according to someone else, but i used a 5/8" socket) to loosen belt tensioner and took serpentine belt off. breaker bar not necessary, but worth their weight in gold so if you don't have one might be time to break down and get one
8) inspected serpentine belt, hold it with the lines facing you and bend it into a fairly tight "U" shape pointing towards you if you see cracks that are closer than 1 inch apart, replace -- i had none since i recently replaced my serpentine belt after my compressor locked up and burn up my belt
8) finished removing the pulley from the front of the water pump, placed bolts with pulley
9) removed idler pulley (directly to the left of the water pump, spins easily with your hand)
10) removed heater and radiator hoses from water pump
11) got new water pump, placed it carefully on top of engine over a rag to use as a reference for where the bolts are
12) removed each 12 bolts from the water pump. each bolt i removed i put in the respective hole in the new pump in order to both not lose track of the bolts and know which i had completed and which i lacked. i tried to do the difficult ones first then do the easy ones last (difficult ones are on the bottom and left side of pump)
13) removed water pump (believe it held on with no bolts simply by the gasket etc) -- it was very easy, would have liked to had someone holding it while i removed the last bolt

1) scraped old gasket material off of the front of the engine with putty knife. tried to be real easy and not chip or scratch my engine block at all, but not easy with a putty knife. would have preferred something like a gasket removal rotary tool or something like that
2) placed old water pump on top of car and transferred bolts to it so that i could see which i've put in where i put it, etc.

honestly, i don't recommend this step at all!
3) i used grease from where i replaced my front bearings to get gasket 'moist' and sticking to the water pump (made sure not to put on too thick and made sure no excess got inside area where coolant would be)

4) put 2 top bolts in easy to screw in places and carefully lowered the new water pump to the front of the engine
5) hand-tightened both bolts to the best of my ability, to align and position the pump well -- wasn't easy, dropped the bolts a few times etc. i may have even gotten one in and let it hang by 1 bolt while i grabbed another bolt to put in
6) immediately put a bolt on the bottom and tightened enough to have a good hold.
7) continued putting each bolt in one by one tightening them all so that there was no space between the pump and the head of the bolts, but did not fully tighten
8) tightened bolts fully somewhat in a cross pattern (doesn't need much, tiny bolts and remember that's your engine if you break one off in there so don't overtighten)
9) affixed both hoses to the new pump
10) replaced idler pulley and tightened

this is where it gets interesting...
11) hand-tightened pulley onto front of water pump, had to use a wrench or something to get it tight enough that it wasn't wobbly, but no need to fully tighten just yet
12) used breaker bar and 5/8" socket to put belt back on (has diagram on front of frame that shows routing). again, breaker bar not necessary, but worth their weight in gold so if you don't have one might be time to break down and get one -- if you are using a standard wrench, you may want to
13) fully tightened all bolts on front of water pump
14) removed/loosened belt again (i know, weird, but it made it much easier to ensure a proper tightening of nuts on the front of the water pump)
15) now, with the serpentine belt OFF (but still routed properly, important!), i lowered the fan and shroud together down with a partner. i had the partner hold the fan in place, putting the nut onto the front of the water pump. while maintaining that position i spun the front of the water pump until the thread caught. once it caught, i tried to continue spinning as much as i thought i could to ensure there was a good catch with no cross threading that wouldn't fall off in the next part
16) used breaker bar to put belt back into position and routed properly.
17) spun fan with hand to get even better on the front, but complete tightening not necessary just make sure it's on there "real good"
18) replaced fan shroud bolts
19) replaced air intake tube
20) started engine briefly (yes, without coolant). the idea here is to start it, then turn the car right back off. what this does is tighten that blasted bolt on the front of the fan so that you don't have to break your knuckles or purchase special tools to do it.
21) had 1 gallon of pure anti-freeze, not mixed. grabbed a 1gal pitcher from inside filled it with water (i used filtered water to avoid calcium deposits in the engine, but i don't suppose that's necessary)
22) filled the radiator with 1/2gal of the water
23) filled the radiator with 1/2gal of pure antifreeze
24) filled remainder of antifreeze bottle with the remainder of the water (making it 1 gallon total)
25) topped off radiator with antifreeze
26) took exactly my 2 gallons, filled antifreeze jug with water, filled overflow with water
27) ran vehicle, letting it pull in coolant from the overflow as needed and left heater running to ensure all components using coolant were being circulated
28) after letting cool, checked levels, all good -- took on a quick test drive when i came back after cooling off looks like radiator was at the proper level and it was able to pull in all the extra coolant it needed from the overflow, no "burping" required

this was done by a complete newb, and i'm sure i did things i shouldn't have, but i hope in some way this helps someone do the job easier.

thanks for this informative photo diary. the descriptions and particularly the photos will be extremely helpful to me. I have a 1994 Mazda B3000 V6 4WD which at first glance appears to identical to your photos. The manual I have in fact is by Ford and albeit that the descriptions appear correct the photos are scant and at best pathetic. I can't stress enough the value of good photographs such as yours. Thanks again for sharing.

Thank you so much for this great information!!! Removed water pump yesterday. Inspected fan and found that it had quite a few fractures so headed out for new fan. Ran out of daylight so heading out today to finish the job. I've saved so much money, learned so much and gained so much confidence from this site!! Not to bad for a girl huh?

It's good to hear that people are getting help from this thread. I haven't been on here recently because my explorer blew it's transmission last october and I just recently started to put the new transmission in now.

Thanks for the writeup! I used it a few weeks ago and it was like following an instruction manual. Everything went pretty well. The only issue I ran into was trying to use the rented tool to take the fan off. It had been abused so much that it kept slipping so it took a good hour to get it off, and then a couple more to get it back on. Other than that, it was a piece of cake. Thank you for doing this, it's so much easier to read something like this than what little a Haynes/Chilton guide offers.

after I replaced the water pump and the radiator. I have leak on the driver side what could be the problem. Paul in texas

Just saw this write up.

so i thought i'd share the fan clutch removal tools i made while changing my 91's water pump recently.

The measurements i ended up with fit perfectly on my '91, IIRC they were a little different than the ones i looked up here before i started the job.
i just welded them together real quick out of some flat bar and square tubing i had laying around. the center piece of flat bar i ground down to the exact thickness i needed, then i just put the two side pieces on it and welded them on. 10 minute tool worked great.

large wrench for the pulley bolt heads: 2 7/16"
small wrench for the clutch: 1 3/8"




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Thanks so much man. This thread just saved my Explorer's life. Great write-up