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Old 05-08-2017, 09:36 PM   #1
29er
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Default What maintenance on Leakless Water Pumps?

Since I have to replace a head gasket and will have the water pump off anyway, is there any maintenance needed on the water pump? It has about 5,000 miles on it and has worked fine. It currently has no issues. Other than cleaning and installing a new gasket, there's nothing more to be done, right? How many miles have you guys gotten out of your leakless water pumps?

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Old 05-08-2017, 10:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: What maintenance on Leakless Water Pumps?

15,000 to maybe 20,000 miles is about their limit. When they get near that mileage, be VERY careful. When mine started to leak, it was the thermocouple temp sensor that saved my engine. The water leaked out till the level was low enough that the impeller was just dipping the water in the head and not circulating it. Water was not reaching the analogue temp senor in the outlet on the head so it was useless. We all know what happens if the water does not circulate. It was the thermocouple with its preset alarm going off that alerted me.
BTW All that lead me to make my own pump which looks just like the original once mounted but runs a modern ceramic seal and sealed ball races. Nothing rubs the shaft anywhere to cause wear but it involves casting a new core so it would be probably too expensive for the market.
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Old 05-09-2017, 01:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: What maintenance on Leakless Water Pumps?

Remember that all leakless pumps do not have sealed bearings.
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Old 05-09-2017, 02:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: What maintenance on Leakless Water Pumps?

As Mike pointed out, it depends on whose leakless water pump you have installed. Mine came with these instructions:

The rear grease fitting should be lubricated every 500 hundred miles. Because the rear bushing of this pump is sealed, it is necessary to back off the pack nut when greasing. This will allow the air to escape and avoid damaging the seals. Pump grease into the rear fitting until you see it coming out between the shaft and the bushing.
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Old 05-09-2017, 06:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: What maintenance on Leakless Water Pumps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike V. Florida View Post
Remember that all leakless pumps do not have sealed bearings.
That is, all of the leakless pumps on offer by the vendors.
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Old 05-09-2017, 10:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: What maintenance on Leakless Water Pumps?

Depends on the pump. I went with the Extreme Duty Leakless pump by James E. Rupert. Double sealed bearings and no required maintenance.
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Old 05-09-2017, 10:44 AM   #7
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Default Re: What maintenance on Leakless Water Pumps?

I don't know if this is maintenance or not, but each time I check the oil, I take the drop on the end of the dipstick and put it on the pump shaft next to the packing nut. I put a drop on the shaft in the front also. Have never had any problems. . . . . .

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Old 05-09-2017, 03:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: What maintenance on Leakless Water Pumps?

Thanks guys. Good tips from all. I'm not sure which pump I have as it was on the car when I bought it, but it has a fake zerk on the front and a fake brass oiler on the rear, so I think both front and back bearings are sealed. I don't see any obvious markings that would indicate what pump it is.

I'll check it for end play and shaft wear. Tempted to do a pre-emptive replacement with a Rupert, but they are a little spendy. I think if all is well with my current pump I'll put it back in using the fake bolts (rather than studs) so it's easier to remove in the event of problems.

All your comments have been helpful!
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Old 05-09-2017, 05:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: What maintenance on Leakless Water Pumps?

Tom Endy will probably see this and post, but he has had wonderful experience with the Rupert water pumps, so I also got one many years ago.
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Old 05-09-2017, 06:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: What maintenance on Leakless Water Pumps?

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Tom Endy will probably see this and post, but he has had wonderful experience with the Rupert water pumps, so I also got one many years ago.
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:31 PM   #11
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Default Re: What maintenance on Leakless Water Pumps?

My car came with "leakless" pump. How does one tell the difference between the ones with lube vs. no-lube bearings (sealed bearings)?
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Old 05-11-2017, 09:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: What maintenance on Leakless Water Pumps?

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My car came with "leakless" pump. How does one tell the difference between the ones with lube vs. no-lube bearings (sealed bearings)?
My leakless requires grease on the rear, but not the front. The front has a dummy zerk.

So in general, if it has real zerk fittings, I'd lube it.

My pump also said to loosen the packing nut before greasing the rear, and watch for grease to come out.
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Old 05-11-2017, 10:14 PM   #13
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Default Re: What maintenance on Leakless Water Pumps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by duke36 View Post
My car came with "leakless" pump. How does one tell the difference between the ones with lube vs. no-lube bearings (sealed bearings)?
You can't get any lube in the fittings.
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Old 06-21-2019, 08:48 AM   #14
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Default Re: What maintenance on Leakless Water Pumps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dollar Bill View Post
As Mike pointed out, it depends on whose leakless water pump you have installed. Mine came with these instructions:

The rear grease fitting should be lubricated every 500 hundred miles. Because the rear bushing of this pump is sealed, it is necessary to back off the pack nut when greasing. This will allow the air to escape and avoid damaging the seals. Pump grease into the rear fitting until you see it coming out between the shaft and the bushing.
My leakless water pump has a grease fitting at the front by the blade and a brass plug at the back. I have seen pictures of these brass plugs having holes for grease to get into the back bearing but mine has no hole.

What gives?
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:04 AM   #15
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Default Re: What maintenance on Leakless Water Pumps?

Quote:
You can't get any lube in the fittings.
That reminds me of this post from the Rock Auto newsletter:

Repair Mistakes & Blunders

I got my first job when I first turned 16 working at a local gas station down the street from home. I basically was a gas pumper, but at times would change a set of wiper blades for a customer and do other menial tasks.

One day, the older mechanic I was working with asked if I would grease a car for him as he was too busy to do it. I gladly accepted the challenge and went to work greasing the front end, the front drum brake pivots, the drive shaft and the rear drum brake pivots. I had no problems at all getting grease in every fitting, except for those brake pivots!

I learned a little later that the reason they would not take grease is because they were the brake BLEEDERS, not what my 16-year-old mind imagined to be "brake pivots."

Jonathan in Pennsylvania
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Old 06-21-2019, 03:18 PM   #16
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Default Re: What maintenance on Leakless Water Pumps?

Kty, don't feel alone on greasing the brake bleeders. I did the same thing when I was about 14. It was on a grumpy ol farmers pickup and he let me know he was not happy and made a few comments concerning my intelligence level. LOL
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Old 06-21-2019, 03:26 PM   #17
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Default Re: What maintenance on Leakless Water Pumps?

Katy, don't feel alone on greasing the brake bleeders. I did the same thing when I was about 13 or 14. It was on a grumpy ol farmers pickup and he let me know that he was not happy. As I remember he also made some comments concerning my inelegance level and even referred to me as someone who might not know who my daddy was. LOL
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Old 06-22-2019, 08:50 AM   #18
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Default Re: What maintenance on Leakless Water Pumps?

S E, it wasn't me trying to grease brake bleeders, just something I read in the Rock Auto newsletter.
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