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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Jarrettsville, MD
    Posts
    90

    Default Copper shavings in coolant & water pump replacement

    I drained the coolant from a freshly assembled 455 (decided to replace the thermostat to a different temperature) and found copper shavings in the coolant. Mechanic diagnosed it as a water pump that needs replacing, which I will be handling myself.

    What is the best way to get all of the copper shavings out of the engine and radiator? I'm not sure draining and filling will get all of them out, and I don't want the shavings to possibly mess up the new water pump.

    Is there anything special to be aware of while replacing the water pump other than just removing the bolts around the pump, pulling it off, putting the new one on, and tightening the bolts? I have the Chassis manual and assembly manual, but didn't realize there was a separate chassis service manual. I have ordered one, but it's not here yet.

    Thanks in advance for the help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    DFW area Texas
    Posts
    414

    Default Re: Copper shavings in coolant & water pump replacement

    Didn't know the water pump was made of brass, most are aluminum housing with a stamped steel or cast iron impeller. The front cover would be aluminum or maybe a stamped steel volute. I don't know for sure on that engine. Could it have chewed up a brass core plug?
    TexasJohn55...........................Wasn't born in Texas but I got here as quick as I could.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Oakland Gardens, N.Y.
    Posts
    27,208

    Default Re: Copper shavings in coolant & water pump replacement

    I would suggest using one of those Prestone flush and fill kits. They come with a tee that goes in the heater inlet hose and the tee allows you to connect a garden hose. That way, you can run the engine with the garden hose supplying fresh water, and the overflow comes out the radiator cap opening. You could also open the block drains as well.

    http://www.autozone.com/heating-and-...kit/525931_0_0

    When water pumps go, it is usually the bearing. The shaft starts to wobble, which takes out the seal. Sometimes. you can see the pulley wobble with the engine running. You can also grab a hold of the fan and try to wobble the shaft to check for bearing play.

    The biggest problem with water pump replacement is snapping those small bolts from them seizing in the timing chain cover. I would think this will not be a problem with a freshly assembled engine. Use anti seize compound on all the bolts upon reassembly.
    Larry
    1998 "Fully Optioned" SC3800 Riviera
    70 GS 455 Stage1, TSP 470, 602 HP@ 5900, 589 TQ @ 4900
    TA Hyd Roller Cam, 230*/238*, 112, .544"/.577" lift, 4-7 swap
    MSD Digital 6+, Ignitionman Distributor w/MSD trigger
    THM400 with Ultimate 258mm converter, Gear Vendors OD
    AED 1000 HO Carb, 800 CFM 7042240 Quadrajet
    8.5 10 bolt, 3.73's Race weight 4025lbs.
    Best E.T. 11.54 Best MPH, 116.06
    Larrymta@verizon.net, GSCA #291
    BPG # 1063
    N.E. GS/GN Club Assistant Director

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Windsor Ontario
    Posts
    8,410

    Default Re: Copper shavings in coolant & water pump replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by LARRY70GS View Post
    I would suggest using one of those Prestone flush and fill kits. They come with a tee that goes in the heater inlet hose and the tee allows you to connect a garden hose. That way, you can run the engine with the garden hose supplying fresh water, and the overflow comes out the radiator cap opening. You could also open the block drains as well.

    http://www.autozone.com/heating-and-...kit/525931_0_0

    When water pumps go, it is usually the bearing. The shaft starts to wobble, which takes out the seal. Sometimes. you can see the pulley wobble with the engine running. You can also grab a hold of the fan and try to wobble the shaft to check for bearing play.

    The biggest problem with water pump replacement is snapping those small bolts from them seizing in the timing chain cover. I would think this will not be a problem with a freshly assembled engine. Use anti seize compound on all the bolts upon reassembly.
    is the bearing collar brass/copper?
    Gerry
    1972 GS 350 ht #s
    2015 Chev Colorado Z71
    2015 Chevy Cruze

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Oakland Gardens, N.Y.
    Posts
    27,208

    Default Re: Copper shavings in coolant & water pump replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by gstewart View Post
    is the bearing collar brass/copper?
    Not sure Gerry.
    Larry
    1998 "Fully Optioned" SC3800 Riviera
    70 GS 455 Stage1, TSP 470, 602 HP@ 5900, 589 TQ @ 4900
    TA Hyd Roller Cam, 230*/238*, 112, .544"/.577" lift, 4-7 swap
    MSD Digital 6+, Ignitionman Distributor w/MSD trigger
    THM400 with Ultimate 258mm converter, Gear Vendors OD
    AED 1000 HO Carb, 800 CFM 7042240 Quadrajet
    8.5 10 bolt, 3.73's Race weight 4025lbs.
    Best E.T. 11.54 Best MPH, 116.06
    Larrymta@verizon.net, GSCA #291
    BPG # 1063
    N.E. GS/GN Club Assistant Director

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Jarrettsville, MD
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: Copper shavings in coolant & water pump replacement

    I got it done, no big deal. With the temperatures being as low as they are here, I decided to not flush with a hose, mostly just because of dealing with water freezing in the hose. The number of copper particles in the coolant was significantly less than it had been. I'll do the drain-and-fill method a few times (each time, once the engine is up to temperature) to be sure to get all of the particles out.

    For other people reading this in the future, I opted to not use RTV on the gasket, and there are no leaks so far. I had to scrape a lot of the old gasket along with RTV off of the timing cover and didn't want to put me (or whoever has to do it next) through the same thing if it wasn't necessary. From my experience, the RTV isn't necessary.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    DFW area Texas
    Posts
    414

    Default Re: Copper shavings in coolant & water pump replacement

    What was the source of the copper shavings?
    TexasJohn55...........................Wasn't born in Texas but I got here as quick as I could.

 

 

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