Sable water pump job

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  #1  
Old 01-08-02, 10:24 AM
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Sable water pump job

Ok Joe and you other pros, looks like the_tow_guy will have to get his hands dirty next week. Got a report from my baby brother that our Mom's car has been diagnosed with needing a water pump soon. The garage where my brother normally takes it (and his own vehicle) wrote up an estimate for water pump of somewhere around $500 (which sounds pretty steep to me since I priced a pump here at $35, sounds like a labor rate of about $100/hr), another $250 to replace all hoses, and some other associated gaskets, shop supplies, ad nauseum to a total tune of about $800 (I know shops mark up parts etc, but JEEZ!; same garage got him $140 for front brake job on his wife's caravan - told him I'd slap him next time he paid that much for a non-time-critical repair I could do some weekend). Consequently, I'll be swapping vehicles with him this weekend. Fortunately time is not a problem (Mom doesn't drive herself, keeps the car for sentimental value), so I can keep it for however long I need it.

Soooo, how bad a job is a water pump on a '93 Sable (3.0L, I think)?
 
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Old 01-08-02, 04:10 PM
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Sable could either be a 3.0 (8th digit of the Vin is a U) or a 3.8 (8th digit is a 4). The 3.8 is known for head gasket issues as you have read here from many replies from Fordtech and myself. He is your Ford guru, but I think he's over there nodding his head in agreement reading this..

It's not bad as I recall. You take the alternator out, and perhaps a brace or two (along with the belts) and it's staring you in the noggin .

Change all the belts, hoses, thermostat and heater hoses while you are there. Gates and Dayco make all fitted hoses for the application, so do it all while you have it.

800 bucks is quite steep. Furnish a fax # and I'll see if I can dig something up for you.
 
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Old 01-09-02, 12:40 AM
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Thanks, Joe, I'm not really overly concerned, especially since I can take my time. Had already figured on belts, hoses, etc. The car is about 100 miles away, but was going up there for visit this weekend anyway and will just bring it back here. Have access to Alldata, so should have good diagrams. Curious to get to a rate manual and see what the time est. is; the labor quote was something like $400 and didn't include labor for the hoses as near as I could tell over the phone with my bro; can't imagine it being more than about 3 hours even allowing for not naving done this one before. Will have to keep track of my time and parts costs and see how really bad they were trying to stick it to them.
 
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Old 01-09-02, 01:43 AM
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Ok. Alldata should give the time needed to complete the job.

That being said, figure on 75 bucks an hour. Average labor rate now.

For a giggle, call the Ford dealer and ask what the cost is. They should be able to tell you. You'll now have an idea.
 
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Old 01-09-02, 06:34 AM
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Well, guessed the wrong engine in it (50/50 chance), it's the 3.8L. Got the Alldata printount and doesn't look too daunting; I think the time was 2.5. A little confused on their garage's estimate tho; there is apparently some reference to gasket leakage between water pump and intake manifold. Unless I'm missing something don't see any such connection; pump mounts to front of block as usual. They also included in the estimate an intake manifold gasket set, so what I'm thinking is there is a coolant leak near the pump that could be either the pump gasket or somewhere in the vacinity and they are covering possible costs depending on what's leaking. Still, the total looks way out of line to me. Will find out what's up Sunday. Average labor rates in my home territory here is about $55/hr; could be higher where they are, but not that much.
 
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Old 01-09-02, 04:15 PM
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Yea, the 3.8's are gasket blowers. I would bet the intake gasket is a common failure on this motor. Alldata have anything about it? Fordtech would probably know.

These are common head gasket blowers as well.

Let us know how you make out.
 
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Old 01-10-02, 02:47 PM
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They are sure known for the haedgasket problems. Also from what's been stated about the estimate it does seem high but then you mentioned the intake gasket.I would suggest pressure testing this thing before i started and see exactly what's leaking.
We've also seen a few of these come in that's had the water pumps replaced and the leak was actaully the timing cover housing gasket and guess what as you already know the pump has to come back off to replace it.
 
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Old 01-11-02, 02:15 AM
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Thanks, Fordtech, I had already noticed on the Alldata diagram that the timing cover was between the pump and block and the ugly thought of a leak there crossed my mind. Will have better info when I get up there to pick it up this weekend and can talk to my brother to see exactly what he was told and get a chance to look at it myself. I'm probably going to wish I had let them have it done up there, but hey that's what family is for. Just out of curiosity, how bad is that timing cover gasket replacement? I'm assuming once you get as far as the water pump off it's not much more; meaning, is that one of those "while I'm in the neighborhood....." things?

By the way, car has 52K on it and they want to keep it about 2 more years (already had the standard Sable/Taurus tranny failure couple of years ago).
 
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Old 01-11-02, 05:40 AM
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As I remember, you're about half way there when you do the water pump. It's like that on most cars. I should have done the timing chain on my 79 T/A when I did the water pump. I'll be doing it in the next few years when I have to change the hoses and belts again! .
 
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Old 01-13-02, 04:18 AM
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Geez I hate Ford products. Looks like you might be on the money Fordtech. Got the beast down here, put it on ramps and pulled washer/overflow tank and alternator. Got sign of fresh coolant on the lower bolt for the aluminum casting that mounts the oil filter (oil pump housing?). Spent about 20 minutes with a flashlight and mirror but the only moisture I can find is right at that bolt (there are 6 bolts holding that piece, 4-10mm and 2-8mm; the drip is at the bottom 8mm). Impossible to view where actual origination point of the trail is, but I can see nearly all of the gasket seam between water pump and timing cover and it is bone dry. Looking at the Alldata diagram for the water pump, that's right in the area where the passage through the timing cover would be for that side of the motor.

Do I really want to know how much of a PITA that timing cover is?
 
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Old 01-13-02, 04:21 AM
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Ah, Blue Oval gets ya again .

What does your Alldata say about it? Except for it being turned the "wrong way" (aka, front wheel drive...the RIGHT way is longituditionally mounted in my book, which is rear wheel drive), it's just an erector set of disassembly. I don't recall it being that bad frankly.
 
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Old 01-13-02, 04:38 AM
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Can't get to Alldata until Monday; biggest pain in the butt looks to be that the ac compressor and p/s pump could be annoying (aside from the dist having to come out and not sure about the oil pump arrangement, whether that has to come off separately or everything comes off with the cover).

I'm with you on FWD vs RWD; I could just about do this in my sleep on a RWD car.
 
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Old 01-13-02, 04:45 AM
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A trick for "Hanging" A/C and other fluid carrying lines out of the way.

Get some heavy wire, such as a couple of coathangers. Use them to "suspend" the compressor out of your way, yet not disturb the freon. Works like a charm
 
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Old 01-13-02, 01:29 PM
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Used to use safetywire (lockwire) to keep things out of the way when I was fixing planes for Uncle Sam; cursory look at the ac compressor looked like access to the mount bolts would be the pita. Almost looked like the easiest thing would be to remove radiator for more clearance
 
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Old 01-13-02, 11:31 PM
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It sure would. Not a bad time to send it out to be boiled out. Will avoid any problems down the road and isn't costly at this point. If questionable, replace the radiator.

Good luck.
 
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Old 01-18-02, 04:34 PM
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The Sable lives again! Got it back together and running briefly late this afternoon. Only difficulties so far were having to move the distributor one tooth (oops) and found out why the original garage wanted to mess around the thermostat area; the bypass fitting at that end had a hole corroded in it. Tired of messing with it today, so all-out test tomorrow morning. Got way less than $200 for parts and of course can't charge my brother labor, so he should be happy.
 
  #17  
Old 01-18-02, 04:55 PM
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Congratulations Tow Guy!! Aren't some of these vehicles nowdays fun? My family as you can expect does me the same way,alot of times i won't even hear from them unless there's car trouble. Goodluck on your future endeavers.
 
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