1925 & Earlier Buick Water Pump Rebuilding Procedure

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Just put a bolt through the impeller with an nylock nut on the other side.  Simple and if you ever want to remove it for any reason, simple.

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I thought we were working on stuff in the nickel plated and not the gold plated era.  

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The special water pump seals are now in place and working well.  I put about 10 miles on the car until other issues set me to the shoulder of the road, but that is another posting.  I saw a few drips on the water pump shortly after initially starting the car.  When I backed off the brass nut, the inlet seals started to come out of the pump.  I wanted to make something that would

a) hold the seals from coming out

b) that I could remove at a later date if the seal started to leak

c) I could throw packing in the nuts as a back up plan to keep on driving.

I first made this spacer out of PVC because it was easy to make and install and remove.  You can see the lip seals behind the PVC. 

Then I realized that it might not be able to take the heat long term.  I went to look for CPVC, but could not find sch 10 (thinner wall).   So I cut these out of copper pipe.  The split in the ring determines the ring diameter.  I put a rubber O ring in for good measure and to keep it aligned.  They are a little finicky to install, but I can remove them if needed without pulling the pump apart.  

Photo 1 shows the bronze bushing, the 2 lip seals, and the little bit of ledge that is left over after cutting back the bronze bushing for the lip seals.

Photo 2 shows the PVC spacer.

Photo 3 shows the copper spacer and the rubber O ring.  Both have a single cut to allow removal.  The copper spacer does not touch the shaft.  


After all that I have gone thru on my water pump, I feel that I need to completely go thru my procedure on water pump rebuilding as a lot has changed to get me to this point.  I will repost it once I get some time.  



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All right all,

I have to ask — there’s a LOT of wonderful information online about ‘rebuilding’ one of these water pumps (and beautiful photos of these things already taken apart with no mention of certain critical things such as the fan drive pulley) — but how in the hay do you simply repack the packing nuts?

On my 1918 E-35 I first tried to loosen the nuts and repack on the shaft but there simply is no room. It doesn’t exist.

Is it necessary to remove the shaft to repack these nuts? If so, do you have to remove the timing gear cover. If so, how do you remove that diabolical fan driving pulley?

Just thought I’d ask since as you can tell I already removed the bolts and probably went too far already. On second thoughts I tried to put them back on while I studied up on this.... After an hour of not getting it to line back up enough to get more than any 2 back on I put the tools away and called it a day. I can’t afford to get frustrated around this particular machine. I’ve learned this after removing its radiator from its (near-exact fit) shell.

That bill should be coming any day now....and I’m not ready to talk about it🙂


Ben P.



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 Yes things look more crowded on your earlier 4 cylinder than on either of my 6s. where the packing nut is concerned.


Plenty of room to unscrew the nuts to add packing on both my 1925s

.DSCF7363.thumb.JPG.e36334898d9df5ea0fea34b3900d5b56.JPG  With bearings and couplings pulled back prior to removal.

 My advice since you have gone this far is to remove the entire pump and have a new stainless shaft and new bushings made.

 See the thread Mark Kikta has about his 1922 water pump. This is what your pumps shaft probably looks like...


These shaft surfaces should be perfectly smooth.


 To get your front cover off.

 You must remove the pulley nut first and use a gear puller to remove the pulley. I had done this already on my 1925 Standard WHILE THE RADIATOR WAS STILL IN PLACE. I was able to use forked wedges to get behind the pulley to drive it off uniformly. I did this to replace the original leaking felt seal with a modern lip seal. It works great . No leaks. 1053452653_frontpulleysealinstalled20362.thumb.jpg.e0a9f990a2f9129b1a0e96e26ee049e8.jpg   Photo is from another forum posters car.

Except 6 months later the head developed an oil leak so I jumped into a full rebuild.

 I am about at the same point with my 1925 Master. (The timing gear needs replaced.) I will have to disconnect my exhaust down pipe, loosen the engine mount to the frame bolts. Then, when I disconnect the front engine mount bolts on the crank stub I can raise the engine a bit to clear the frame .

 Best Of Luck!

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