stripped bolt, general question

65, 289 Mustang. I was replacing my alternator and removed the bracket (and pump pulleys) that are attached to the water pump to clean and paint. and as I was putting the bracket back on, the long bolt stripped. It is the bolt that goes through the alternator bracket and threads into the water pump . (The water pump was replaced last year) So the big question is while the radiator, hoses, transmission lines, and everything else is removed from the car, should I just replace the water pump now before it leaks, or will one stripped bolt be insignificant and cause no problem, If anyone has ever had a single stripped bolt on the water pump please let me know how it worked out. I will wait a couple of days to evaluate the reply's. I hate the thought of removing everything to replace the pump if it is not really necessary.
Thanks to all that read this post and reply


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After a lot of analysis with depth micrometers, it appears that the block had about 1/2" of thread originally. The bolt that was in there (approximately 5") only went in and grabbed and stripped three turns of the threads. this was because the bolt was not the original and was to short and they used a flat washer and a lock washer which made the bolt shorted. I kept my fingers crossed and inserted a 5/16 threaded rod all the way in and could feel the stripped threads, I then used vise grips to turn the rod to get six more turns of good thread. I could have removed the rod, measured it, and cut down a new bolt to fit but I decided not to push my luck and left the threaded rod and put a lock washed and nut at the outer end to secure the water pump. I was able to get my 13 foot pounds torque which is recommended. So my recommendation to anyone restoring any car, when you remove a bolt , check the depth of the hole and compare to the length of the bolt. If your new bolt is shorter you stand a good chance of stripping it.
Another interesting fact I found The Mustang originally had no a/c which had a single sheave water pump pulley. This original pulley measured 6 1/8". If you install a/c you must replace the water pump pulley with a 5 7/8" pulley. I have power steering so we used a 2 sheave pulley. If you use the 6 1/8" pulley it will fit but you will have it scraping against the new crank pulley that needed to be installed for the extra belt groove for the a/c.