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How To: Replace a Water Pump on a Chevy 5.3 Liter Vortec V8 Engine


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      How To: Change the Engine Air Filter in a 2012 to 2017 Toyota Camry
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      I tough truck at my local county fair, and I recently bought a 1998 F-150 to run for the event this year. The truck has been sitting for some time and needs new calipers, however I like to build these without having to throw a bunch of money in. I was wondering if there was any way for me to take the calipers off my 2002 Chevy Astro van that I ran last year and put them onto my '98 f-150. I'm assuming I would have to make a custom mounting plate of some sort? I would like an external opinion before I dive into this if you have any input.  
    • By Counterman
      The water pump is a vehicle component that needs no introduction. For most vehicle owners, however, they don’t think about it until something goes wrong.
      As the only moving part of the cooling system, the water pump plays a vital role in keeping the vehicle running optimally in all weather conditions. Water pumps usually last a long time – 100,000 miles or more on average. When a water pump fails, though, the results can be catastrophic for the engine.
      Let’s talk about some common causes of premature water-pump failure.
      Coolant Contamination
      Coolant can become contaminated with dirt, debris or other substances that can wear down the water pump’s internal components, including the seals and bearings. This contamination can accelerate wear and lead to early failure.
      Cavitation
      This phenomenon occurs when vapor bubbles form in the coolant near the pump’s impeller blades, causing shock waves when they collapse. Over time, this can lead to pitting and erosion of the impeller blades, reducing the pump’s effectiveness.
      Improper Coolant Mixture
      Many water-pump failures are caused by factors other than a faulty pump. Using the wrong coolant mixture or water-to-coolant ratio can cause corrosion and deposits within the pump, reducing its efficiency and lifespan. Additionally, incorrect coolant types can chemically react with pump components, causing deterioration.
      Bearing Failure
      Bearings within the water pump allow the impeller to spin smoothly. Over time, these bearings can wear out or fail – often due to tension from a misaligned or overtightened belt – leading to noise, leaks or a seized pump.
      Thermal Stress and Fatigue
      Constant exposure to fluctuating temperatures can cause the metal components of the water pump to expand and contract, leading to stress fractures and eventual failure.
      Leakage and Seal Failure
      The water pump’s seals are prone to wear and degradation over time, leading to coolant leaks. Such leaks not only reduce the efficiency of the cooling system but also can cause overheating and further damage to the water pump and surrounding components.
      Warning Signs
      Recognizing the early signs of water-pump failure can prevent more significant engine damage. Here are some key indicators:
      1. Coolant leak – One of the most straightforward signs is a coolant leak at the front of the vehicle, typically near the center. This can indicate a failed seal or gasket in the
      water pump.
      2. Overheating engine – If the water pump isn’t circulating coolant effectively, the engine temperature can rise, leading to overheating. Persistent overheating, especially under normal driving conditions, should prompt an inspection of the cooling system, including the water pump.
      3. Strange noises – A failing water pump can produce a variety of noises, such as whining or grinding, often due to bearing failure or an impeller rubbing against the pump housing.
      4. Steam from radiator – Seeing steam emanate from the radiator is a clear sign of overheating, which could be due to a malfunctioning water pump.
      5. Corrosion and deposit build-up – Visible corrosion or significant scaling on the water pump or surrounding components can indicate a failing pump, often due to improper coolant use or leaks that allow air into the system.
      While the service life of most OE water pumps should be 100,000 miles or longer, a cheap replacement pump might not make it 30,000 miles before it starts to leak. To keep your customers happy, it’s always a good idea to recommend a well-built, high-quality water pump from a trusted manufacturer. And when they’re replacing the water pump, you’ll want to check if they need any gaskets, hoses, coolant, belts or a thermostat. 
      Also, if your customer who just purchased a new aftermarket water pump from you doesn’t flush the system and use new coolant when they install the new pump, there’s a good chance you’ll be hearing from them sooner rather than later with a warranty return. You should encourage your customers to follow the vehicle’s recommended flush-and-fill schedule, and to always use the coolant specified by the vehicle manufacturer. Most coolant suppliers do not recommend intermixing different brands or types of coolant in the same cooling system, due to the risk of coolant-gelling, corrosion or abrasion of water-pump seals.
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    • By Counterman
      Carter has expanded its line of electrical auxiliary water pumps to include three new part numbers tailored specifically for Tesla vehicles.
      “With a focus on meeting the unique demands of Tesla vehicles, these auxiliary water-pump SKUs are engineered to efficiently move fluid in high-temperature environments, keeping pace with the rapidly evolving technologies found in modern engines,” the company said in a news release.
      The new part numbers cater specifically to Tesla models, complementing Carter’s comprehensive range of water pumps that already cover 95% of domestic and import VIO,
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    • By Counterman
      It seems like everything old is new again. TV and movie producers love to “reboot” our favorite classics, musicians regularly cover or sample from songs we all know (and sometimes loved). Fashions from high school that make us cringe will be back in style sooner or later.
      It can serve to bring us together by introducing younger generations to the things their parents knew and loved, or drive a wedge between us as we argue over which version is better. For the record, I’m the grumpy old guy who argues that the original is always better … but I don’t think I ever expected to see another Mazda with a rotary engine.
      The Wankel rotary engine was a unique (if somewhat flawed) design that had last appeared in the 2012 Mazda RX8. Designed by German engineer Felix Wankel in the 1950s, various displacements of the two-rotor engine appeared in Mazda production vehicles beginning in 1967. In addition to the more familiar RX7 and RX8 sports cars, Mazda also produced roughly 15,000 rotary-powered B-series pickups from 1974-1977, and even put its tiny 1.3-liter rotary into a small bus in 1974. A prototype four-rotor engine powered Mazda to a win at LeMans in 1991.
      The rotary design is unique in that it only has three moving parts. An eccentric shaft and a pair of three-sided rotors move inside a pair of roughly oval chambers, completing the traditional Otto-cycle of intake, compression, combustion and exhaust without the use of reciprocating pistons or a valvetrain. Instead, the twin rotors spin around the eccentric shaft like a hula-hoop. The secret to the Wankel design is the geometric shape of the rotor, known as a Reuleaux triangle. The fattened triangular shape of the rotor has a constant width, always sealing the chamber in three places throughout the cycle … in theory.
      Sealing was an issue for the early Mazda rotary engines, with the apex seals at the three points of the triangle tending to fail. Like a piston ring in a reciprocating engine, the apex seal is responsible for maintaining compression throughout the cycle. This problem dogged the brand for years, but another inherent issue is in the housing design itself.
      With the intake and compression strokes occurring at the top of the oval chamber, and the combustion and exhaust events at the bottom, the housing experiences uneven heat buildup. This leads to one of the more confusing cataloging elements of the rotary Mazdas: “leading” and “trailing” spark plugs.
      Due to the heat differential between the upper and lower portions of the housing, the stock spark plugs are of different heat ranges. The leading plug (the “lower” position) is a hotter plug than the trailing (“top” position), although some enthusiasts prefer to run trailing plugs in all four positions. (Each rotor/chamber houses a pair of plugs.)
      Inability to meet increasingly strict fuel-efficiency and emissions requirements ultimately killed the original rotary engine, but in 2023, Mazda resurrected the design. A single-rotor 830cc Wankel engine can now be found in the Euro-spec MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV plug-in hybrid. Unfortunately for RX enthusiasts, the engine serves only as a range extender for the PHEV variant of the MX-30, powering a generator rather than powering the drivetrain directly.
      With improved compression, gasoline direct injection and an EGR system, this engine is much cleaner and efficient than previous rotaries. We’ll see if this improved technology can make its way back into the U.S. market, but for now, the European-engineered Wankel rotary engine has returned to its roots, thanks to the Mazda engineers who have believed in this funky little powerplant for nearly 60 years.
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