|1999 Rover 800 820 with Leaking Water Pump.|
Car: 1999 Rover 800 820 Auto Fastback
Colour: Charcoal Grey / Black
This Rover 820 was slowly losing coolant over time. During the weeks / months that this car was losing coolant we kept topping the coolant up to the maximum level, until we could work out what was going wrong!
The first item to reveal a problem, was the coolant/reservoir overflow bottle which had developed a small pinhole leak. This was replaced with a brand new Rover part from the local X-part dealer. Thinking the system would now be working properly, it was not long before we realised the car was still losing coolant!
We still did not know where or how we were losing any coolant, we even suspected the Head Gasket! Then the radiator on the Rover 800 Coupe decided to develop a small leak, so we decided to take a look at the radiator on this car too. At first we found nothing, but because the weather had been the coldest for 30 years, and not only did we need to replace the radiator on the coupe, but the Jeep Wrangler radiator went the in same few days. (all had 50/50 coolant mix, but they were all now aged radiators), we took another look. This time we took a look at night with torches, only now could we see the small glimmer of a reflection down one side of the radiator, along the seam where the veins are clamped to the side tanks.
The leak was so small that the coolant was all being evaporated, before any could reach the ground! ...making it a very hard leak to find! A new radiator was purchased and fitted, hurray!
The trouble was we were still losing coolant! Two thumbs were never going to be enough to stop this dyke leaking!
For a few weeks we just had to go back to square one topping up the coolant as and when it was needed. That was until a small pool of coolant appeared underneath the car one day!
Now we knew we had a leak! ...but still the leak was so small it took us a few days, of checking before we could even tell whereabouts this mystery leak was coming from?
Eventually a few days later, the small 'evaporating as you are driving drip', became a proper drip. Now we could finally see a drip underneath the vehicle, and tracing it's location upwards, it had to be coming from the water pump area.
We had not even suspected the water pump, because it had never made any noise, and normally we would associated a faulty/worn water pump with those loud squealing noises that you might expect to hear! For this reason we thought the water pump must be okay, maybe we just need some new seals and so a new set of seals was ordered.
By the time the new water pump seals finally arrived a few days later, the car was dripping constantly & was now losing about a litre of water a day! A couple of people had also suggested to us that a seeping water pump is a sign that the water pump is on its way out! But we thought as we have already ordered just the seals, we may as well try them first anyway before buying a new water pump.
We took the old water pump out and it was pretty obvious the old seals were well worn, and the water pump itself seemed to have very little to no play in it, so we though we must of ordered the right part then.
We removed the old seals and cleaned up the water pump, refitting it with the new seals (using a small amount of grease to hold the loose seals in place while we fitted it to the car). The water pump drain holes on the engine housing had also been cleared of muck that had accumulated.
Having refitted the water pump we started to fill it with coolant. Once we got above a certain level it was immediately obvious that coolant was pouring out from the water pump area! & so I decided to see what would happen if I started the car. On starting the engine, the leaking stopped immediately! but on turning the engine off the coolant came flooding back out of the water pump drain holes. It seemed cleaning those drain holes confirmed the fault was with the water pump and not the 3 changeable seals (even though they were on their way out).
We ordered a new water pump, which for under £50 from X-part we were more than happy to pay, as the old water pump had been good for over 90,000 miles. We did not wish to order a cheaper one elsewhere which can be had for around £30.
With the task of swapping the water pumps that bit easier this time, because the new pump has the seals already bonded into it's channels, it was just a case of a quick swap-over because the car was still on the ramps.
As soon as we added the coolant with none pouring out from anywhere, we already knew the problem was now solved even before we started the engine.
That night though we did have a little scare when the car left a fresh small puddle of coolant underneath it! Luckily it was just the Jubilee Clip on the hose requiring a little extra tightening!
Even with the New Coolant Reservoir Bottle and New Radiator Solving 2 Leaks, the Leak Just Searched for the Next Weakest Point! The Coolant Level is Now Falling by a Litre a Day, and the Car Can Not be left to Leak any Longer!
The Drip a Day, to Drip a Hour, to Drip a Minute, to Drip a Second has now got to the Stage Where the Dripping has Stopped!
...and the Flow has Started!
Now the Coolant can Easily be Traced Back Upwards to the Water Pump Housing Area!
(Not so Easy to Trace, a Week Earlier when it was Just Drips that were Evaporating!)
Removing the Hose to the Water Pump Housing, Made it Slightly Easier to Access the 5 Bolts Required for Removal of the Water Pump Cover.
With The Cover Removed, You can now See the Water Pump & 1 of the Seals.
The Water Pump Has Now Been Removed from the Engine.
The Seal on this Side of the Water Pump did not Appear to be Very Healthy!
The Seals on this side Although not as Bad to Look at, Had over time Welded themselves to the Water Pump!
The First Seal was Very Easy to Remove.
The Second and Third Seals were Firmly Stuck, and Needed Prising Away!
The Water Pump Housing was Given a Thorough Cleaning! This Included Using Cotton Buds to Clear the Muck Out of the 2 Drain Holes.
The Water Pump Seal Channels have Now Been Cleaned up Ready to Insert the New Seals into.
The New Pack of 3 Water Seals (Part Number PFQ10001L) only cost about £6 and Should Provide a Cheap Fix.
The Water Pump Seals with a Little Grease Used to Hold them in Place whilst Fitting the Water Pump.
The Water Pump Has Now Been Bolted Back into Place on the Engine.
The Coolant was Refilled (via the Coolant Bottle) up to the Height of the Pipe, then the Pipe was Pushed on and Tightened up.
All that was Required now was to Refill the Coolant Bottle
The Coolant Bottle was Refilled with a 50/50 Mix of Coolant and Distilled Water. The Coolant Leaked Out Again Though, Even Though the Engine Was Switched Off! This was Due to the Water Pump itself being No Good, and the Fact that we Had Cleaned the Drain Holes was Not Helping Things! (With the Engine Running the Leak Would Stop, so the New Seals were Working!)(Trouble was as soon as the Engine was Switched Off again, the Coolant Would Pour out Again! Through the (Worn Inner Seal on the) Pump Itself! )
A Brand New Water Pump was Bought from X-part for around £45 (Part No. PEB102420) & this was Fitted the Next day.
Unfortunately I only Realised (just as I was Tightening up the last Bolt) that I had not Taken a Photo of the New Water Pump!
The New Water Pump came with the Set of Seals already Set into the Channels.
Later that Night, we did Get a Slight Scare when we Saw a Small Puddle of Coolant Underneath the Car. Luckily it was Just the Jubilee Clip on the Hose, that was Leaking, and a Quick Tighten did the Trick!