Water Pump - 90 Nissan Maxima - needs to be replaced

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  #1  
Old 03-19-07, 12:47 PM
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Water Pump - 90 Nissan Maxima - needs to be replaced

As stated I have a 90 Nissan Maxima that has a bad water pump and needs to be replaced. I do not have any experience with engine maintenance but I am a very competent person and not afraid of taking on new challenges. With a manual and a decent set of instructions I can do almost anything. Here is my question:

Is this something I should take on myself to save money or just give in to my mechanic and fork over 400$!?

This car is starting to get a little expensive in maintenance so I would rather take matters into my own hands. Any thoughts? Do it yourselfers and Professionals need only reply with realistic answers.

Thanks so much in advance for your help.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-19-07, 01:11 PM
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depends

Do you have a good set of tools? do you have the time and place? Also if car has a timing belt driven water pump replace it also however if a timing belt is involved it can get more compicated. I looked up on google at gates timing belts and your Maxima has one that needs replacment every 60 thousand miles.
 

Last edited by michael van; 03-19-07 at 01:25 PM. Reason: add info
  #3  
Old 03-19-07, 01:45 PM
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Unfortunately, autozone.com's repair info doesn't list your Maxima, but the Gates site that Michael refers to doesn't indicate that it is timing belt driven (no "#" in the chart). That's the good news; it's probably not a bad DIY job. Now the bad news; the Gates chart shows you have an interference engine, aka a valve-bender. As michael notes it requires replacement at 60,000 mile intervals. If you are past 60,000 miles since the last time the timing belt was replaced you are on borrowed time and when it breaks the car is done, because the repair cost will easily exceed the value of the car.
 
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Old 03-19-07, 01:48 PM
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no good set of tools yet

but I do have the time and place - my driveway, just waiting for the warmer weather because I dont have a garage. Am I correct in assuming that I wont have to lift the engine? someone I work with mentioned that I might and if this is the case I wont be able to do the work myself.

and yes I would replace the timing belt as well. Any suggestions on brand names for tools like a torque wrench etc? Also what specific tools would I need that I may not know about? I obviously havent finished my research yet so this would save me some time if I asked you good people on this forum.
 
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Old 03-19-07, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by the_tow_guy View Post
If you are past 60,000 miles since the last time the timing belt was replaced you are on borrowed time and when it breaks the car is done, because the repair cost will easily exceed the value of the car.
wow , thats very informative , thank you. Fortunately, I have a good mechanic and I know he replaced that within the mileage range.
 
  #6  
Old 03-19-07, 01:52 PM
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first thing

First thing is get a book on your car. Second dont scimp on tools I am not saying get snap-on but also dont get dollar store brand. Craftsman is plenty good., Get some good jack stands also unless you are super skinny. Metric tools is what you will need.
 
  #7  
Old 03-19-07, 01:55 PM
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yeah I was thinking about getting jack stands as well as two ramps that will go under the chassis in case something goes terribly wrong with stands. and yeah, I already have a chiltons guide for my car.

you can tell I am new...its ok to chuckle a little.
 
  #8  
Old 03-19-07, 01:58 PM
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good deal

You are almost there just get the tools from sears and your stands and dig in. now would be a good time to replace all hoses and clamps since you will have it apart.
 
  #9  
Old 03-19-07, 02:30 PM
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just a follow up question for tow guy:

What is the difference, technically speaking, if its timing belt driven or not?


also, what does valve bender infer? I am assuming this is a bad name given to this particular engine, just curious why?

Thanks again.
 
  #10  
Old 03-19-07, 03:53 PM
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On a traditional-style water pump, the unit is basically bolted to the front of the block or in the case of a front-wheel drive car it's up against the inside of the right wheel well area. It is run by either a serpentine belt (one long belt that runs all the accessories), or it may have two or more individual belts for accessories.

On a timing belt driven pump, the pump is still basically mounted in the same area, but it won't be visible until you remove the timing cover. Once you do, you would see a toothed gear that the timing belt rides on to turn the pump.

The interference engine is commonly called a valve-bender, because when the timing belt breaks it, tah-dah, bends the valves. Think of the engine rotating and the pistons going up and down in their individual cylinders. In the tops of the cylinders (the cylinder heads) are the valves which open and close at the proper time to allow the fuel-air mixture in and exhaust gases out. On a NON-interference engine there is sufficient clearance that at no time does the travel limits of the piston(s) and valves ever overlap the same point in space. On an interference engine the pistons and valves travel through some common areas in space, which is not a problem as long as they are properly in "time" (controlled by the timing belt synching the crankshaft and camshafts). Once the belt breaks, however, whichever valves happen to stop in the "red zone" are struck by the pistons which are still going up & down. Results; bent valves. Normal fix: replace the head as an assembly with a replacement unit. Cost; varies, but $1200+ is not uncommon.

And I'm a Craftsman tool fan. If you buy tools from Sears, make sure they actually say "Craftsman" on them; Sears also sells some lesser quality tools.
 

Last edited by the_tow_guy; 03-19-07 at 04:10 PM.
  #11  
Old 03-19-07, 05:02 PM
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well done

The tow guy explained it perfect could not have done better myself. even the craftsman tool part make sure it says crafstsman and not just Sears. I still love my snap-on tools but I have some craftsman myself nothing wrong with them just in my field I need some special tools only Mac or Snap-on makes.
 
  #12  
Old 03-19-07, 06:04 PM
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Your Max is timing belt driven and it's interfered engine as the Tow Guy mentioned above.

Use the jack stands instead of rams because you'll need to remove the right front tire for easy access to the side, you'd need a good 1/2" breaker bar and a 36mm 1/2" drive socket to remove the front crankshaft bolt (if it ever comes out without air impactwrench), then you'd need a puller set to pull the crankshaft's pulley off (donot try to pry it off with screwdrivers as you will damage the timing cover), when you get those two off, the rest are just a normal metric size sockets and wrenches tool set.

You don't have to remove the timing belt to do water pump but just because you are already there, it's a good time to do timing belt too, just be very careful when lign up the new belt, you'll pay a big price if they not lign up correctly.
 
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