tkeiser1

63 Riv Water Pump Replacement or Rebuild Kit

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I'm frustrated with the water pumps I've been buying lately. On two different vehicles they've lasted less than one year. On my 63 Riviera, there was a replacement water pump on it when I bought the car at 63,000 miles. It went up shortly thereafter. I put a new water pump on it, and now, in less than 1,000 miles, it's gone again. I've been searching for reviews that rate the quality of pumps from the various manufacturers (re-labelers) but can't find anything useful.  Suggestions??

 

FYI . . . I have the original pump. I thought it might be best to rebuild that, but can't find any kits.

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

I use O'reilly's new water pumps on all the old cars I work on and haven't had any problems....I've got one of their pumps on my 65 Riviera

that has been on the car for seven years with no issues.

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I send mine to the "Flying Dutchman" in Oregon for all my quality rebuilt water pumps for at least 20 years now with no problems.  Do a search you'll find them.

 

Tom T.

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There's some real garbage out there.  I went through 4 water pumps in about 15 months on a different vehicle.

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7 hours ago, KongaMan said:

There's some real garbage out there.  I went through 4 water pumps in about 15 months on a different vehicle.

That's encouraging. 🤪

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Anyone have an opinion on the Flow Kooler water pumps?

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1 hour ago, RivNut said:

Anyone have an opinion on the Flow Kooler water pumps?

There are several in the forum that have installed that water pump including me.

I have had it running for 2+ years without any issues. I think they only come for Thermal fan clutch setup, AC, (from memory).

 

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I thought Bestoffercounts had 2 water pumps; 1) original 5-vane for AC and, 2) a non-original with a fancy impeller for higher flow.

Not sure if they were new, rebuilt or modified rebuilt.

A water pump is pretty simple. A casting, shaft with a hub and impeller on each end, bearings and a seal. How could that get messed-up?

I guess the Made-in-China pump I have in a box is good to keep in the trunk along with fan belts and tools for if I ever go on a trip?

John B.

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Rebuilders will "smooth" out the vanes. When doing so they remove the material that actually moves the water. If they "surface" the face of the impeller leaving a gap between the impeller and the front cover, then the impeller will just cavitate in the water and not move it.  If you don't get a new impeller with your rebuild, you're not going to be any better off than you were with the old pump.

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12 minutes ago, XframeFX said:

I thought Bestoffercounts had 2 water pumps; 1) original 5-vane for AC and, 2) a non-original with a fancy impeller for higher flow.

Not sure if they were new, rebuilt or modified rebuilt.

 

Here's a picture of the impeller on the "higher flow" pump that is mentioned above. 12 impellers.

 

Quite a write-up to go with it.

1871584119_s-l400(2).jpg.203e31b2d00ca925dfa55677c87bc5d1.jpg

 

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6 hours ago, RivNut said:

Anyone have an opinion on the Flow Kooler water pumps?

I installed one on my 64 When I bought the car, and it lasted until the motor blew.

As part of a rebuild in put a new one in and it has been going ever since.

The first on had no issues just replaced it as everything else was new.  Kept the old one as a spare.

Over 10 years and 30,000 miles.

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Those Flow Kooler Water Pumps have been around that long? They are a proven product then? All new, not rebuilt? Off-shore manufactured?

John B.

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14 hours ago, RivNut said:

Rebuilders will "smooth" out the vanes. When doing so they remove the material that actually moves the water. If they "surface" the face of the impeller leaving a gap between the impeller and the front cover, then the impeller will just cavitate in the water and not move it.  If you don't get a new impeller with your rebuild, you're not going to be any better off than you were with the old pump.

This is true.  It's like getting an end mill sharpened: yeah, it's sharp, but your 3/8" mill is now a 23/64" mill.  It still works (and better in some respects), but not quite like it's supposed to.

 

Besides, most of what goes wrong with a water pump is bearings and seals.  If the shaft is corroded or the impeller beat up (how does that happen, anyway?), then replacement of the defective components is the only responsible option.

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I would be inclined to think an individual's method of belt adjustment would be the main factor in water pump life. I am not one for making them real tight. I also add a can on water pump lubricant when I service the cooling system in any way.

 

1960's Buick pumps were usually good for about 60,000 miles. In the early 1970's you might notice a lot of bowed face bars on the models that used them. They weren't strong and the tow job ended up being obvious.

 

One of the features of the LT1 cars is a camshaft driven water pump to achieve the 100,000 mile tune up. Got away from belt tension.

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1 hour ago, 60FlatTop said:

I would be inclined to think an individual's method of belt adjustment would be the main factor in water pump life. I am not one for making them real tight.

Concur.  Putting a breaker bar on the belt adjuster is a quick path to a destroyed pump.

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The old conundrum. Tight enough to keep the AMP light off is too tight for the water pump. Especially on the dual pulley a/c cars.

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On 6/3/2020 at 10:50 AM, RivNut said:

Anyone have an opinion on the Flow Kooler water pumps?


Ed, I installed a Flow Kooler on my ‘63 with AC 4-5 years ago and have had no issues at all. Figured with all those impeller fins it would be as good if not gooderer than OEM. Fitted to a new timing cover, stainless bolts and studs for bling. Not sure where it was made but it is working. Changed out the coolant last weekend, I’m happy about that too!

 

In my search for pumps, at that time, it seemed best option for me!

 

just my three bobs and two half pennies worth ( pronounced hape knees in Orstralia ) 😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀

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IF your car DOESN'T have A/C & only P/S & Alt. you can tighten the belts evenly & the pump will last for years.

When I rebuilt my engine in the early 70's I reused my original pump. It lasted until almost 200K. Flushing, adding water pump lube & just general maintenance goes a long way, BUT for me it's a no brainier as that's has been my profession for about 60 years now.

The diff. between A/C & non A/C pumps besides weather 3 blade or 5 blade impellers is that the bearing in an A/C pump is pretty much larger to take the extra belt & tension required to keep the A/C compressor spinning when the A/C is turned on.

 

Tom T.

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Thanks everybody for the helpful comments. The most helpful to me was the tension issue. During the 60s I only had non-AC cars, and we always tightened the belts hard, usually with the jack handle. I was completely unaware of the problem with tension with AC. In fact, while replacing the fuel pump a couple of weeks ago, I tightened the belts with a bar. Based on what you all are saying, I did it to myself!!  

Thanks for all the help. You're never too old to learn.

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Most ALL never even look to see what the belt tension is supposed to be.  Look it up it's probably in just about EVERY repair manual, chassis manual out there. Follow the instructions & ALL should be OK once again.

 

Tom T.

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3 hours ago, tkeiser1 said:

During the 60s I only had non-AC cars, and we always tightened the belts hard, usually with the jack handle. I was completely unaware of the problem with tension with AC. In fact, while replacing the fuel pump a couple of weeks ago, I tightened the belts with a bar.

Nothing wrong with using a jack handle; you need to pull the alternator somehow.  The best course of action is to buy a belt tension gauge for $10 -- then you'll know if it's too tight.  FWIW, my experience is that most belts aren't tight enough.

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One of the problems being is when new belts are installed they are tightened tighter in the belief that they will loosen up initially, BUT the truth is it has a tendency to cause undue stress on the new belt & will need another tightening adjustment now thinking that "I'll go a little tighter this time which makes the matter even worse.

Am I making sense???

 

Tom T.

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It's not like adjusting a belt is a complicated operation.  Set it correctly, check it later.  If it's too loose then, tighten it.

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22 minutes ago, KongaMan said:

It's not like adjusting a belt is a complicated operation.  Set it correctly, check it later.  If it's too loose then, tighten it.

There ya go, taking a out my waistline again.  I usually have to do some  belt adjustment after every meal. Then again a few hours later. Tighten- loosen, repeat cycle.

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I just go straight for the unbutton and unzip.

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