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dewloft

1985 GL Wagon Water Pump Change

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Hello I am a newbie that loves working on his new 1985 Subaru GL Wagon. I am wondering if any of you can tell me how hard it is or if there are any special tricks to changing a water pump. The Mechanic I took it to said it was leaking in multiple places and was wanted 450 to change it. Considering I bought it for $500 I figure I should do it myself. If you have any info on changing the pump, or any manuals for the 85 GL it would be hugely appreciated.

Thank you,

Dewey

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You have to remove the timing belt covers and belts to get at the pump.  Unless you know how many miles are on them, and they are not close to the change interval, change them and the idlers.

 

Change all the small coolant system hoses while your at it.

 

Be sure to check the height of the pulley mount from the block side of the new vs old pump before installing it.  There were 2 slightly different heights, and if you pt the wrong one on, it's not good.

 

Unless you know there is anti seize was used when the existing pump was installed, get the car up to operating temperature BEFORE trying to unscrew the 5 bolts that mount it.  2 of them are under the timing belt cover, so get everything else loose first.  The hot engine will make removing the old bolts a lot easier, with less risk of snapping one off.  Alternative, use a heat gun and space heater to get the engine up to 180 or so.

 



 

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... Be sure to check the height of the pulley mount from the block side of the new vs old pump before installing it.  There were 2 slightly different heights, and if you pt the wrong one on, it's not good ...

 

Yes, 105 mm and 110 mm

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For what its worth, I think a shop asking 450-500 is a fair price for their time. But you could do it cheaper if you have more time than $. It will not be a 30min job. If its your first time I'd plan on giving it a whole weekend. Don't start taking things apart if your gonna need the car the next day. Lots of little steps will take you longer than you expect because there is very little space to get in there. Especially taking off the fan and timing belt covers. 

 

That said, you can totally do it. The parts themselves are not too expensive. Pumps are really cheap. You will spend more on the timing belt and Idle's but like DaveT says, you should do it. Its totally better to do it now. 

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And don't buy El cheapo belts and idlers. I've had good luck with the best quality NAPA water pumps.

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Thank you guys. I have the next two weeks off. So I have the time. How hard is the timing belt and idlers? My neighbor is a better mechanic than me, so if I get in a bind I can always hit the oh sh*t button and ask him for help.

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Check out this video. It, and others by the same guy, are incredibly awesome. He has a video for most things you will ever need to do on your car. 

 

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There may be an idler on the v belts.

 

The Idler in the timing belts is the one with teeth. 

the other 2 are the tensioners.  All 3 die at about the same time, about the life of the belts, which in my experience is about 50K miles.

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Not shown in the video, is that you have to get the center cover off, which is behind the center inertia belt wheel.  You need to lock the engine in place and a 22mm socket with a long breaker bar, in order to get that bad boy off.  To lock the engine, you can stick a phillips screw driver in a hole in the top of the big flywheel, at about where the 3 notches are.  The water pump has a hole in the top, that lets dirt into the bearings.  Seal that top hole with a flexible gasket maker, to keep the dirt out of the water pump, so that it will last a lot longer.

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