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TJ Water Pump Replacement

I've never been one to appreciate wrenching in cramped places.  For that reason alone, Lady has a 6" lift and sits on 35" tires.  That way, I can crawl underneath her and wrench without feeling all scrunched up!  (grin)

So, when Scott decided he was going to replace his '99 TJ water pump with one of the high flow styles, I offered to help him since I needed some more content to add to the site AND I had not done a water pump before either.  (note that the water pump for 2000 and newer is different then the first 3 years)

Now, it is my opinion that having the radiator and fan shroud fully removed from the TJ made the water pump a very easy task.  Scott decided to replace his water pump with a high flow design to help increase his cooling efficiency and he had to pull his radiator to put a pusher fan on it.  If you were replacing the water pump because it had worn out, you probably wouldn't mind pulling the radiator and shroud.  Given the price of coolant, there is no reason NOT to put fresh coolant in, so you might was well drain things down, do a little maintenance while you got everything apart, check the hoses, pop in a new thermostat, and put it all back together so it is as good as new.

To review the steps involved in pulling the radiator and fan shroud, click here.  Follow the steps through the first two pages until you have the fan shroud and the radiator removed.

Note:  8/14/2004 - I replaced my water pump today as it had started leaking out the weep hole.  As I had replaced the radiator about 18 months ago, I opted to leave it in place.  I did find that one's elbow room was very restricted compared to when I helped Scott change his pump.  The fan shroud was removed (just 4 bolts) after the fan and upper radiator hose was removed and it made the task much easier.  (I should know because I did it this the 2nd time....the 1st time I didn't and the result was a poorly cleaned gasket surface on the engine block that resulted in a slow leak.)


The next step is to remove the fan.  (Do this BEFORE you loosen the belt so the pulley does not rotate freely while attempting to remove the nuts.)  There are four studs with nuts on them that must be removed.  These four nuts hold the fan in place.  In the above photo, we placed cardboard over the condenser coil so we would not accidentally ding it with a wrench or the worse yet, one of the fan blades while we pulled it out.  When you have removed the four nuts, carefully remove the fan assembly.


It is now time to remove the belt.  Loosen the bolt in the middle of the belt tensioner (a couple of turns).  Turn the tension adjustment until there is enough slack in the belt to slip it off of the tensioner.  Note how the belt is routed around the various pulleys.  If memory serves me, there is a routing diagram on the radiator.  However, if you have replaced it, as I have, the diagram is long gone!  It is the pits when you get your water pump running backwards because your belt is on wrong.


The small red rectangle near the center of the photo highlights the adjustment bolt for the tensioner.  The tensioner runs along the length of this bolt.  I removed the 3 bolts that held the power steering bracket to the engine block/water pump.  I loosened, but did not remove, the remain three bolts that attach the actual power steering pump to its mounting bracket. 


With the belt removed, slip the large pulley off of the studs where the fan was mounted. 

OK....the shroud, fan, belt, and pulley from the water pump is now out of the way.  Time to go get something cold to drink.  When you come back, flip over to the next page and we'll continue on.  Take you time because I am going to get something to drink too.

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