Will New Water Pump be immediately damaged if Power Steering Pulley is a little tough to rotate?

mustystang

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Aug 20, 2022
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Currently in the middle of replacing my water pump. Almost finally done and replaced all other recommended parts. T-stat is out and I'm going to drain from bottom a few times as well. Heater core still has some dirty fluid unfortunately.

I noticed when belt was off that the Power Steering Pulley was sometimes a little difficult to rotate freely by hand. This is a 2008 Mustang 4.0L. Rotating to left gives no issue. Rotating to right (direction belt spins) and sometimes it's easy, and then sometimes it fights back a little with some resistance. Not to the point I cant turn it, but there is definitely more resistance than I would like. I will replace this soon along with some other things.

Is this going to immediately ruin my new water pump? I was reading that rotational issues along the belt path from other accessories can lead to pump failure at some point, just not sure how soon. I want to make sure the car is ok to drive a little bit without messing up my new pump.
 
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cbxer55

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Jan 25, 2020
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I had to replace the water pump on my 4.0 earlier this year, the seal around the shaft had pushed out. But I fail to see how any other parts on the belt path are going to affect the water pump.
 

mustystang

Claiming to be an Alpha Chassis
Aug 20, 2022
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I haven't put the belt back on yet, only tried rotating it by hand.

One website said "The drive belt for the water pump can be either the timing belt/chain for the vehicle or a serpentine/accessory belt. If either is installed incorrectly or if other components driven by the belt seize or have rotational problems, this can affect water pump performance and eventually lead to failure. A misaligned belt that isn’t fully engaging the water pump’s pulley is another concern, as it can put undue pressure on the pulley and shaft." quoted from (https://gmb.net/blog/water-pump-install-mistakes/).

Maybe they just mean it will overheat and wear out bearings over time, rather than immediate stress on the pump itself. The article wasn't as informative/direct as other websites so maybe I'm overthinking it.

I was curious because I just had new alternator and battery installed a month ago when my car died on me on the road. Rotating the alternator pulley and it squeaks a little, and it's a brand new alternator I bought online. Just didn't expect squeaking after less than a month, but I did read somewhere that sometimes it may squeak a little until it's properly broken in? I don't think I noticed any squeaking when the belt was on it, only when free turning by hand it squeaks frequently. I was thinking maybe this Power Steering Pulley intermittently seizing could be putting extra stress on the other components as well?
 

7991LXnSHO

wanna catch the space herp
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Sep 1, 2010
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You are overthinking this. I will try to clear some things up.
First, the timing belt and chain driven pumps are different than the front accessory serpentine belt drives. A New Beetle water pump can take out the timing belt and the engine. I believe yours is still an externally driven pump like this.
(@Mustang5L5 please verify or debunk that for me.)

Which side of the belt goes around the water pump pulley on your car? On the serpentine drives I am most familiar with, it is the smooth side. If one of the other accessories were to be out of alignment, that's no big deal for the smooth pulley. The belt will slide over the WP pulley without groves.

If the power steering pump freezes, it snaps the the serpentine belt rather quickly, possibly after making some horrible slipping noise. Over tensioning belts is hard on the accessory drive bearings. That’s easier to do with three V belts than a spring loaded tensioner on a flat belt. (I hope Ford did not go back to a manual tensioner for your year.)
If an alternator bearing sounds bad or dry, it might run a long time that way, but it will not get better. If it is under warranty, please use it so you are not stranded. But the chances of it taking the WP out are quite slim.
 

manicmechanic007

5 Year Member
Sep 26, 2017
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It is the drag of the pump starting to build pressure
Normal
I think you are worrying a bit too much mustystang
The alternators do squeek slightly, also normal
It is the tensioner and idler pulleys that need replacement regularly
 

mustystang

Claiming to be an Alpha Chassis
Aug 20, 2022
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Thank you that is some good advice. Smooth side is for water pump, did not think about that. Alternator and Power Steering pulley are groove side. So maybe possibility Power Steering pulley could be affecting my alternators some, not sure. Just replaced 4 out of 5 relays as well because I know some were temperamental and not working properly. This car has alternator issues every so often, so I've been trying differnt things out over the years. Belt tensioner pulley is automatic I believe, pulley roates fine but I will replace it and the belt soon along with some other things like spark plugs and such. Belt tensioner is original, belt was replaced at 80k miles and car has 165k on it now, but belt is in better condition than when I replaced it at 80k. I do drive the car hard but I warm it up properly and only abuse it when it's ready.

So reason for WP replacment was:
Most recent main issue I was having was losing coolant, and also lost a lot of oil somehow. I did have a shop do a coolant flush at one point thinking it would be a good investment. 3 months later I have all these issues I've never had before. Check fluids and there's no coolant in reservoir and dipstick isn't showing any oil either. Also started seein smoke/fog/vapor come through the air vents intermittently under higher rpms after oil was replaced, and then changed again because it was super dirty. Smoke/vapor was even happening during idle and giving the car a little gas. Also noticed a faint but noticeable coolant smell coming in through the cabin more and more frequently and was leaving puddles under the car. Finally figured out it was water pump that was leaking, and I'm hoping this has somethin to do with the vapor coming through the vents too. Thought it may have been electrical after high output alternator replacment so that's why I did the relay swap.

Leading backstory:
About 8 mos ago had a shop replace transmission and they said they couldn't guarantee the work unless they did radiator too because it was damaged slightly.. Had a coolant smell coming into car after tranny and rad replaced, but I wasn't using the AC because it was winter. A month goes by and then AC finally went out about a week after I started using it. Took it back to the guy he said he forgot to charge the AC system and all was good. AC went out again a week later and the coolant smell was strong. He said just keep on driving it and basically bring it back if it breaks down.... Pretty sure this guy broke something or sabotaged something in my car hoping I would sell it or that I would total the engine. A few days later I know something's not right and something major is going to happen. He said he put some dye in it this time and just keep driving it and bring it back after AC breaks again... I take it back and he says heater core went out and a bunch of other stuff and that I owe 2.4k, after I had just paid him 5k for the transmission... He was my only option for transmission rebuild during Xmas week and I needed the car for work, checked every other shop and they were booked over a month out in advance. I immediately get my car and take my business elsewhere to replace the heater core and hoses so that he doesn't break something else (did not know I could do the U-tube and bypass it at the time), and also wanted a shop to see what in fact was broken. Some people online say coolant smell and vapor coming through vents could be heater core, but it's relatively new so I'm hoping it's just the water pump, T-stat, etc thats the problem. When I took the T-stat out it was covered in crud, and water pump was also full of crud. Internally hoses look like they were rusting and were falling apart. I also just changed fuel filter last night which was also very dirty with crud.

Random thought regarding part of crankshaft?
Also if I hit a puddle I get a very loud short screech that sounds like a boiling kettle for 2 or 3 seconds. It almost seems like it happens more on the right side but not sure. Hope it's not something near crankshaft, saw a plastic ring beneath water pump, kind of behind the teeth portion on the crankshaft pulley that had cracked, not sure if it's important or just a small protector. I'll have to do more research on harmonic balancer stuff and crankshaft, and I've been told I also have a small oil leak coming from oil pan. As long as it doesn't require lifting the engine, I plan on doing all future repairs myself, I'm done with these shops messing something up. Unfortunately I'm stuck with this 210 hp v6, I see everyone with new and more efficient mustang's that get 2x the power I have and better mpg... I'm broke and have been stuck fixing this car up over the past seveal years, and the unexpected transmission replacement pretty much wiped me out.
 
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mustystang

Claiming to be an Alpha Chassis
Aug 20, 2022
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It is the drag of the pump starting to build pressure
Normal
I think you are worrying a bit too much mustystang
The alternators do squeek slightly, also normal
It is the tensioner and idler pulleys that need replacement regularly

Just to clarify, the belt is not on and fluids have not been put in the car yet. I have not manually turned the new pump yet either after filling with water, so not sure how pressure is building. Also I was testing the pulleys by hand with belt off, not sure if you can accurately test them if belt is still attached.

Thank you for clarifying about alternators sometimes squeaking. Doesn't make sense to me but maybe there's a reason.

The idle pulley rotated freely with no issues. Belt tensioner pulley rotates good but I know spring can go bad. It was very stiff to move to get belt off, and even though it adjust automatically I can kind of put a slight bias on the tightness (maybe a sign spring is bad?). Not sure if this adjusts once car is started and if the bias I put on it will actually stick. Maybe under sudden high rpm hits it's not adjusting properly and I'm stressing my alts under high or low loads or something. It's on my list to replace with the power steering pulley, serp belt, and the spark plugs (looking into Iridium and different spark styles for performance). I can't remember if I had new spark plugs at 80k miles or if these are still original from 2008 lol. I drive the car hard sometimes so if there's something upgradeable that will accommodate constant hard driving and not break belt components that would help. Car is auto, not manual, unforunately.
 

manicmechanic007

5 Year Member
Sep 26, 2017
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I thought you said it was the power steering pump pulley you were turning
You can spray a little grease on the spring in the tensioner and free it up some
I would consider Motorcraft Iridium plugs
It was always just the brushes in the alternator causing the squeek
They must have put some stop leak in it? was the crud?
Too bad about the heater core
Did you get that fixed?
 

mustystang

Claiming to be an Alpha Chassis
Aug 20, 2022
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I thought you said it was the power steering pump pulley you were turning
You can spray a little grease on the spring in the tensioner and free it up some
I would consider Motorcraft Iridium plugs
It was always just the brushes in the alternator causing the squeek
They must have put some stop leak in it? was the crud?
Too bad about the heater core
Did you get that fixed?

I was checking all the pulleys. Power Steering Pump Pulley had resistance. Thought it may be causing my alternator to go bad over the years. Alternator pulley has squeak when rotating but no resistance. Heater core was fixed by another shop because I was in a hurry and wanted them to check over what was broke. It should be fixed, AC seems to be holding now after heater core, hoses, and a pipe were replaced.

Finally got water pump hoses and everything hooked up just about, I'm about to add water and hope my car doesn't blow up. Coolant reservoir mini spring clamp has lost its clamping force over the years, but the hoses I got on it are so tight I had to cut it off when adjusting earlier. I guess the tiny spring clamps aren't necessary for the hose that runs from radiator to coolant reservoir I was reading, so I'm not too worried about it. I may put a new one on once I can drive to store and get some concentrate. I had everything hooked up last night but then I realized I forgot to put the belt back on so had to redo a lot of steps. Hopefully no more vapor/smoke will be coming through my vents under rpm now.
 

mustystang

Claiming to be an Alpha Chassis
Aug 20, 2022
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So I need a new t-stat housing unit. Last one went out about 40-50k miles ago I think. Was hoping this one would last but apparently this part is known to fail on 4.0L. Not sure if there's a difference in quality between some of the plastic ones. May just go cheap unless anyone thinks the more expensive plastic ones are worth it. Not paying extra for a metal one at the moment. I do see a cheap one that says "heavy cast" but can't tell if it's plastic or metal..
 

manicmechanic007

5 Year Member
Sep 26, 2017
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Well, the housing will be plastic and the thermostat metal
The HD cast one might not come out in 3 pieces in 2 years
It is real common to need a new thermostat real quick on the ones that will turn on the check engine light over it
Like you said every 40 thou
 

mustystang

Claiming to be an Alpha Chassis
Aug 20, 2022
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Well, the housing will be plastic and the thermostat metal
The HD cast one might not come out in 3 pieces in 2 years
It is real common to need a new thermostat real quick on the ones that will turn on the check engine light over it
Like you said every 40 thou

Yea I already got a replacement thermostat ahead of time, was hoping I could save the housing but after how hot engine had been getting and after examing the plastic material I had a good feeling it was going to be warped. Even if it didn't warp the internal threading may have gone bad. I can't get last bolt out I was hoping I could try to resit the top and get it to seal but I can't. I will have to take entire housing unit out. Probably best it happened this way, I could see it blowing apart on me in the future if I didn't change it now. Was really hoping to have car running today. C'est la vie.
 

mustystang

Claiming to be an Alpha Chassis
Aug 20, 2022
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Well I think I figured out where the vapor was coming from. Finally got housing unit out and it must have been leaking just enough for a long time. I would post a picture but it's too horrific.
 

mustystang

Claiming to be an Alpha Chassis
Aug 20, 2022
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Ok give me a sec to upload. Picture doesn't do it justice though, it is like 10x deeper and thicker than what it looks like in the pictures. I must have scraped some out before I took a pic. I also see some rust inside the hole to the left, will definitely consider one of those rust removal flushers before I fill with coolant. Had my hand in the cave pretty deep trying to scrape out the crap and mud or whatever it is. There was also gunks of grease and a poor snail shell in there I almost cut my hand on that had exploded from the heat. Also wire coverings that had become brittle and disintegrated. Definitely some acidic contamination, hand started burning. Rinsed under water for 15+ mins to neutralize, still feel some irritation and slight burning but I think it's just in my head. At first I thought it was oil but it didn't really smell too much like coolant or oil. I did not taste it though. I'll be using some heavy duty gloves when I go back in.

I'm trying to look up what I'm looking at, maybe someone can help me identify what exactly I'm looking at in the picture.
 
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mustystang

Claiming to be an Alpha Chassis
Aug 20, 2022
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Ok so it's hard to see, I used the light and flash that I have available. A wire goes far back then submerges into something, I'm guessing it's a ground of some sort, not entirely sure. It looks like it's attached to a nut or something. That wire basically goes into water though. What is that? Temperature sensor maybe?

The wire covering are all gone now that I reached in a few times. Barely touched it and it just collapsed to ashes. You can see a few chunks deep in the back that had already fallen off.

Last picture there is some type of shiny circle cylinder that isn't really visible in picture. The wire is literally laying right on top of it. The circle cylinder thing is completely covered in crap so you can't see the shinyness, I had to wipe it off some to see it. At first I thought the circle puddle was oil leading straight into the engine and I was screwed. I think it's still sealed though. I'm trying to research what is under that shiny circle or seal though.

Sorry I don't know more, I'm never back this deep and I couldn't even reach my arm all the way to the back. This picture is what's behind the thermostat housing unit after I finaly removed it. Had to remove the bottom without removing the top because threads of a bolt had stripped on top part and it wasn't loosening. It literally took me hours trying to remove the bottom thermostat with just basic tools.


20220823_200703.jpg
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mustystang

Claiming to be an Alpha Chassis
Aug 20, 2022
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Anything back there need replacing or just clean it out the best I can? I gotta pick out a new thermostat housing unit. Some are $20 some are $40 to $60. Aluminum one is close to $90 but not sure if that would just make corrosion worse. The t-stat I have is Gates, can't remember who made the o-ring I also bought. I definitely need new bolts.
 

mustystang

Claiming to be an Alpha Chassis
Aug 20, 2022
112
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Sorry I'm an idiot, it must have just been dirty back there and when the housing unit started to leak it must have sprayed a ton back there. It's dried up a lot now so I'll vacuum the area out tomorrow and hopefully get a lot of the sand and dirt out. Not sure where the glop of grease came from though. Really hoping nothing else major is going on and I can get the car working again. It includes a new temp sensor too. I can't recall my temperature gauge really ever moving, pretty sure it's been on the same line for years.

I went with an aluminum housing unit for a little over $50. It didn't specify if it came with anything.

Any insight to the visible rust in the hole on the left? rust remover flush can hopefully get some of that cleaned out? Does that wire need new coating protection? The outside felt in good condition.
 

cbxer55

Active Member
Jan 25, 2020
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I replaced the stupid plastic thermostat housing with a one piece aluminum one in 2020. The stock plastic one cracks at a seam, since it is a two-piece POS. Just do it. Best $90 you'll spend.