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'96 B2500 5.9 w/AC Water Pump, etc....

02-13-2012, 06:09 PM
I'm hoping someone can help me with some questions about tackling this
"PITA" job. Heard this clicking around the belt pulleys...took off old Dayco
belt and determined that the bearing in the tensioner pulley was making
noise. Figured I'd replace the tensioner ass'y and get a new Gatorback big deal. While I was checking the accessories' pulleys, I checked the water pump shaft...uh-oh...some free play; it rocks back and forth. Darn! The thing does look like the original (140,000 mi.) so it is well past replacement time anyhow. But, man it looks like "Mission Impossible" to replace for a 62 yr. old guy with a bad back, sciatic nerve
problems, and a short temper fuse. I'm just not as agile or as strong as
I used to be.
So: my questions are 1) Anybody got any idea of how much $ this is going to cost me? Any "Flat Rate Manual" estimates on how much shop time involved? 2)Does it make good sense to replace not only the water pump, but also the thermostat, the temp.sensor, the hoses & clamps, the
bypass hoses, the fan clutch and anything else nearby because it is such a "PITA" to even get into the front of this engine? 3) My local Dodge
"stealer" has a bad do I find the right person to do the job correctly?
I sure appreciate in advance any ideas you guys can give me. I really
like my Van (it's my 6th Dodge Van '67, '69, '72, '82, '86, '96) and by far the most comfortable and powerful. It's in beautiful condition (from AZ)
and has all the bells and whistles. But, I'm not able to do some of the work anymore..... Thanks.

02-18-2012, 06:51 PM
Tommy, that is a big job for someone in your shape to do, not impossible but a lot of bending and straining. Shops around here charge about 300.00 to 450. to replace the water pump itself. It's hard to find a mechanic you can trust these days, about the only thing you can do is call around and go with someone reasonable. Good luck.

02-18-2012, 07:59 PM
Changed my water-pump last spring. That fan-clutch assembly that mounts unto it is the real PITA. Next is that intern casting

Well, if your radiator has a fan shroud, you will be under and over the engine area at least three times to get it off. This allows the ability to get the fan-clutch assembly off of the water pump. Or, if fan-clutch will not come off, then remove it with the water-pump. It will take a sawzal or something like it to cut the nut. Just cut below the part of the fan-clutch.

For a great OEM water-pump, RockAuto has them for our vans.

It took me 10 hours to replace ...
- radiator
- water-pump
- t-stat
- all hoses

And, I'm a person who is in shape.

02-19-2012, 02:11 AM
Thanks for the ideas/opinions/estimates to both james & steve. I figured at least 500. + parts IF I CAN FIND A REPUTABLE MECHANIC (???). I'm just too darn old to
do this stuff anymore...CRAP...I hate it! Yeah, steve, that fan shroud and the big
nut on the fan shaft look pretty tough...not to mention that huge casting that holds the alt. & the AC compressor. It just looks like a nightmare in there! And all those AC hoses running all over....AAAUUUGGGHHH!
Thanks for the Rock Auto tip...great website; easy to navigate; good prices and
selection. Also thanks for the Gatorback tip- they ARE very quiet belts.

02-19-2012, 01:30 PM
Good luck Tommy, Mopar Stev good advice. This is a good sized job for a person in perfect health. I rented the special tools when I had to replace my fan clutch and it was still a pain.

02-20-2012, 04:49 PM
Thanks again, James. My niece's husband is a VW tech. and my bro-in-law has a heated shop. They promised to assist, so we're going to give it a try. What are the special tools you rented to get the fan clutch off?
also...any special tips/hangups/hassles you encountered? to get the darn fan shroud off with all those AC hoses running over it?

02-20-2012, 07:19 PM
Tommy it was a pain getting that shroud off. I had to go to autozone and rent the kit for fan removal with the big wrench to fit that nut. I tried a big adjustable wrench first but that didn't work. When I got the kit it was still hard because the fan still wanted to turn. There is a video on you-tube and it helped a little but they make it look easier than it was. I think I may switch to an electric fan later.

02-21-2012, 11:13 PM
Since I was replacing the viscous-clutch anyways, I used a sawzal to cut the nut off. Forget the "special" tool, unless you did the job before and placed anti-seize or never-seize onto the threads.

03-25-2013, 06:07 PM
Hello Ram Van friends. Finally got to the computer to report on the water
pump job on my '96 b2500 5.9. It was a 2 day job. Hired a friend to help and
needed him. Shroud came off pretty easily from the bottom in 2 pieces. Went
to NAPA and paid $65 for the special wrench and pump shaft holding tool. It was worth it.....but needed us both to make it work. Removed the AC condenser, alternator, coil, and the big bracket that holds them to the front of the engine. This gave access to everything needed. Turned out the bypass hose was leaking and rotten (lucky it was still intact after 17 yrs. and 140,000).
Replaced water pump with new. Replaced water temp sensor and water temp sending unit. Replaced thermostat and upper/lower rad. hoses....basically as much as I could in the front of engine, including new OEM MOPAR belt tensioner assembly and idler pulley, too. New Gatorback belt (Thx. mopar Steve!) too.
Lots of work and moving things out of the way for access, but the job went better than I'd worried about...although an experienced friend really helped.
Thanks to all who offered their help and advice. Yes, YOU CAN DO IT....with
a little help from your friends!

03-26-2013, 09:40 AM
Good job getting all of that done. I do have to say though, that If I was that far into a 140K miles engine, I sure would've removed that one extra cover and changed the timing chain and gears while I was there. I say this because in about another 30K miles you'll be tearing all of that apart again to access and replace the timing set.

05-18-2013, 12:58 AM
Thanks alloro...yeah, I thought about the timing chain & gears. I probably should've done them too but since I only drive the Van about 5K / year and they seem (I hope..) OK, decided not to. Maybe I'll regret it, but......Anyhow, Van still runs great and I feel more confident driving it now with all the new stuff. All you guys on the forum have really helped...thanks!

10-10-2014, 03:11 PM
Hello again with more on the water pump job...Noticed coolant loss on garage floor 1 year after water pump replacement. Thought it was probably heater core and I'd wait until after summer to replace. Took Van to a good shop I trust and they found with pressure test the gasket between water pump/timing cover was bad. Most likely cause was ME! Insufficient sealant on gasket OR improper torque on bolts. I felt like a dumbass. Had them redo the whole thing and (thanks to you alloro) replace the timing chain/gears too. Cost a bunch ($550.) but worth it. The moral of this story: DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME....or PAY A PROFESSIONAL.
Van seems OK now and new timing chain really makes a difference.

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