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Preparing to Replace a 98 Aurora Water Pump...

08-12-2006, 04:36 AM
I just came to these forums to find some new tips about stuck Water Pumps for Aurora's with 4.0L Engines (seeing how the last post about this was dated for 2004 by DIGBY67 own troubles with it) as I (mostly my brother) will try to replace the water pump ourselves.

Before we found out the Water Pump was stuck, I took my car to the GM Service (August 4th) because of engine coolant leak that occured one day. Well since the car was under extended warranty (ends August 14th my Warranty so I thought I was lucky) they said the water pump was leaking and gasket so they were going to replace that and charge me $149 under warranty.

I thought this good deal so I said yes.

It wasn't until monday they told me it will cost $1,300 all of a sudden because they said the water pump is stuck to the water housing and that the only way to remove it is to lower the engine and remove replacing the housing itself. (Their explaination to how this might occured is that MAYBE one of the tablets they use for the car may have leaked out and some how "froze" the two components together.) Anyways, during the process of removing the stuck thing, they said they "broke" a 400lb pulley just to try and get it off.

I did not want to pay $1,300 for this service mainly because I am just a college student so paying that much is more then a semester cost for me and books.

Anyways, the car is still at the GM Service and I will have the car towed from them to my house as my brother said he will try to remove it without having to remove the engine. He also said before he starts the work, that I look around the internet for tips and advice.

So far these are the information I got from past posts before going ahead with this project:

1 Mechanic (My brother is a Mechanic for Nissan but he never really done work to a V8 before.)

Sealant Tabs - Read that this is important and can obtain from GM Services. I will ask for some of these tablets before heading off home with the car.

Special Water Pump Removing Tool - Heard this was important as my car falls under the 97-99 category for removing the water pump. But my brother may want to try other methods instead. However I will ask the GM Service people if we can borrow this tool seeing how they made the car literally unoperable now.

Heating Gun - My brother actually said the GM Service guys probably knew they could use this method however wanted the extra money because they broke their 400lb pulley. And yes, the GM people did NOT try the heating method.

Dex-Cool - Recommended by users from on the internet. Along with Distilled Water.

Hammer - Along with some holding device for the water pump as this may work too perhaps from what I read?

Thats everything I have gathered so far while researching. So far I was hoping for more recent posts and information but none available. If anyone else has new tips or suggestions, please don't hesitate to respond!

Thank you in advance!

08-13-2006, 01:05 PM
I just had my water pump replaced by my brother last week, my brother is a machenic. you will need a special tool to get it out. The dealer will not lend you this tool because this is the mechanics personal tool, and not owned by the dealer. The pump cost me 70.00 dollars with tax, my brother chaged me 40.00 to replace it. I watched him do it, not sure how you would get it out without this tool.

08-13-2006, 06:16 PM
Yeah, my brother told me that he will need to get a Water Pump Removal Tool for the Aurora.

I was looking at getting something like this:

However I do have an Update for the Background story of this.

Apparently my brother asked if they could take my Aurora from the GM Wrench Service place to the Nissan Dealership Service Garage and they will try to remove the Water Pump without having to charge for a huge labor with my brother being the lead person for this project.

Though my brother says he wants to try the Heat the Water Pump with a Heat Gun and use a Impact Wrench to remove it as we seem to own the two at home.

The transfer will begin tomorrow actually really early in the morning. (While the car is under Warranty as tomorrow is when the warranty expires!)

08-23-2006, 12:22 PM
i never heard of these magic tabs you are talking about. what are they exactly? another question, if its under warranty, why are they charging you any money? if the water pump is under warranty, they should do it right

08-23-2006, 04:18 PM
the "magic tabs" are a gm product meant to be use in "orange dex cool" systems. I dont think they are intended to be leak fixer. if i remember correctly that are more like treatment tabs to prevent corrosion and or lubricate the water pump. i know i have seen them but cant remember the exact name or function.

08-24-2006, 07:04 AM
The faulty part in the car was the water pump. The warranty stated that they will repair ANY faulty part due to normal wear.

The water pump, gaskets, and such were covered. Which should have been an easy job.

But, during the removal of the water pump, the mechanics at GM Wrench said the water pump was "stuck" to the water pump housing.

This is where everything fell apart with the warranty.

Because the GM mechanics weren't great with their wording with the warranty folks, the "water pump housing" was not broken at all however because the GM mechanics couldn't remove the water pump from the unbroken housing, the warranty people believed they do not have to cover the costs for replacing the water pump housing and the labor to remove and install the water pump housing to the engine (which made the labor well over a thousand dollars).

Thats how the situation occured and by the time this happened, it was too late and the car was unoperable.

As for the for "magic tabs" it was once recommended by GM to use the Sealant Tabs with DEX-COOL whenever you refill your Engine Coolant, however they seem to have revised the Owner's Manual (online) to not include this. I myself decided I won't use these afterall as they may have add such things already into the DEX-COOL for easier use. (Speculation but a lot of people did complain about this so I am assuming this is the case now that its no longer part of GM's advisory when dealing with the Engine Coolant)

08-24-2006, 07:55 AM
Does the warranty cover the labor to replace the defective part? or just the part. if it says that the warranty covers just the part, then I suppose I could be okay with it. However, it also tells me that the warranty is a waste of money as the labor is usually the same cost or more expensive that the price of the part.

I am very critical of these so call warranties. they have no problem telling you how great they are and then taking your $1500 for them, then when something fails, they either replace it with a rebuilt part or say its not covered. a lot of times, they dont even let you know the details ofthe warranty at the time you purchase it- they just give you a stupid brochure with a bunch of ambiguous hype about how great it is. Oh well, I would think that a faulty water pump that got stuck in the housing would have ruined the housing so the housing is also defective and required to be replaced under warraty. but if labor isnt included, then youre still stuck with that. good luck.

08-24-2006, 08:09 AM
i just re-read your post. if the warranty states they will "repair any faulty part" that means they cover the labor too-not just the cost of the part. and if a faulty (ie. covered) part is stuck, the repair of that faulty part neccessaily entails removing it. thats part of the labor to replace it. I would argue the hell out of that and threaten court action. They just dont want to lose out on their warranty cause this repair will cost more than you paid for the premium. tough rockoes- thats the risk they took when they offered it to you.

Call them up and demand they cover it. tell them you will sue them for the cost of the repair and attorneys fees and ask for the name of their agent who will accept service of process. if and when they refuse, send them letter a letter stating the same thing. sounds like theyre playing you. they know it will cost you more in attorneys fees than the cost of the repair so they're hoping you just suck it up. It will cost them more to defend it than to pay it. so let them know you'll take them to small claims court. possibly sue them for damages for breach of a fiduciary duty or whatevers its called when an insurance company fails to cover a covered loss (do an internet search and get the correct legal terminology). Most states have small claims courts that have limits sufficient to cover your damages. they wont want to spend the time sitting in small claims court.

its a shot....

09-10-2006, 05:37 PM
Water pump removed and replaced!!!

Final installation is in the way (few clamps needs to be sealed but should be done in a few hours as I have to head for work)

Method: Impact Wrench was used WITH Special Removal Tool on Day 1 to help loosen it up slightly. Then used a Heating Gun till the water pump itself began to smoke a bit. Then used Impact Wrench with Special Removal Tool again a few times. (Nothing spectacular should happen such as pop off, but if it does, your done!) After that, sprayed around the water pump area with WD-40 and then let mother nature eat at the corrision and rust...

Day 2: Did Nothing
Day 3: Did Nothing
Day 4: Did Nothing
Day 5: Did Nothing
Day 6: Did Nothing

Day 7: Returned back to the car hoping mother nature did its thing. Took a large and long flathead screw drove and pryed away as much of the dome off from the water pump. It may not come off but it will bend the hell out of the dome to be disfigured. During this process, you will feel it loosen a bit. Then sprayed the water pump area again with WD-40 and then used the impact wrench with special removal tool again. (Method used, let the impact wrench do its thing a few times, then finally HOLD down the impact wrench and special removal tool against the water pump housing and let the vibration from the impact wrench do its thing. Water Pump finally came lose)

Did not go to a shop to get this all done! Done this all at home! Saved $1200!! Very satisfied!!

I will post aftwards if any more leakings will occur once I driven the car a bit more but for now it seems solid with water standing still...

05-09-2009, 10:15 AM
Hope my experience helps out someone, but here goes...
I found two water pump tools. One was cheap and thin, the other was heavy-duty and beefy. The cheap one lasted ten minutes after being chipped on it's edges, so I put the better one to work. After 128,000 miles on my 1995 4.0L, the original pump WOULD NOT BUDGE due to the sealant tabs the original owner used in the cooling system. I used an impact wrench set on setting 2 and tried multiple times just hammering away at it. PB Blaster was used, and I let it sit for two days and still, the damned thing wouldn't move. I pried off the dome of the impeller with a large screwdriver so I could see a little better and that definately helped.

What eventually worked was heat. I took a propane torch and heated the impeller for about ten to fifteen seconds until it started to smoke. I then used the impact wrench and POP! It came right out. I know the pump is mounted in an alluminum cover assembly, but if you only let the pump heat up for a short amount of time, you really can't damage anything.

Installation was a snap. Much easier than removing the old pump, that's for sure! Just be sure to use some form of grease on the O-ring so it stays in place while you fit the new pump into the hole and just turn it into place with a torq wrench or breaker bar intil it can't turn anymore. You'll see the stop tabs on the pump seat all the way and BAM... you're golden.

Hope this helps someone else out. I found this thread and it really saved my butt, that's for sure!

Paul in Virginia

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