Water leak! Water pump?? - Pontiac Solstice Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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Water leak! Water pump??

Dang the luck! I thought I was done with drip pans for a while! So I was reading somebodys post on water pumps with a graph of years the pump was changed. I went out and looked undernrath and saw a couple drops. All small trip beboppin' so I took it out and drove it about 100 miles and put a pan under it. This morning I saw an ounce or two of orange coolant. Only 30K miles!

The water level in the plastic coolant fill-up tub was down about 1/2 inch.

I could see wet on the passenger side motor mount and it was coolant!

Do you'all think that is a water pump going out?

If so I'm taking it to Buick/GMC if I can. What was that about a special tool needed for the water pump switch-out?

Any of you try that liquid radiator stop-leak stuff or like that?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 03:06 PM
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sounds like the water pump. the weep hole for the pump is exactly where you describe the coolant you've seen.

If you are going to a GMC dealer for repairs, he probably has the tool to hold the timing gear in place. They are used on some other cars as well. If this is a DIY project, you can buy the tool online for around $30.00, Get the full circle, not the half circle tool.

Don't know about others, but I have found that the stop leak stuff only works long enough to sell the car.

Bill.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 03:07 PM
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Please in the name of all that is holy and right do not put stop-leak into cooling system. I beg of you.
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Driving and working on a Sly 2008 Solstice GXP 5spd 260/260, and the worst-built 2012 LS3 Camaro 1SS to escape from Oshawa.

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Stored and needing to part ways with a 1970 Skylark Custom convertible I have owned since 1989 and turned into a GS455 clone. 462 with 7/8 primary headers, adjustable roller rockers, TA Performance Stage 1 aluminum heads, auto, Chevy 12 bolt, 3.31:1. Sadly a project car now but a driver from '89 to '06.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Aww Dang! I had my tube of AlumaSeal all shook up and ready to go! I could fix that and put on a water pump if I had to or had the space to! I ran into the sister of Dick Boyce a former racer of turbo-charged Solstices acording to her. I stopped at her yard sale and took her for a ride around the two mile circle in Sun Lakes phase three. The speed limit is 25 and I could probably drive this thing for ten years in its present condition around here if I dont go too far if I wanted to put water in it regularly but I'm sick and tired of that drip pan out there. The MG leaked a little oil for over twenty years.

How does $951 sound? Thats at Henry Brown Buick / GMC in Gilbert AZ. with a two year 24K guarantee. I'll never drive it 24K miles in ten years. They used to be a Pontiac dealer and said he has two in for repair right now, and special tool for the water pump was no news to them. I had a 1990 Pontiac Formula 350. It was fast but Bebop2 is a beautiful little car in every way. I'll bet it needs a pump for not enough use opposed to too much use. Even the first drop of water it spit out as a warning to me was perfect in its way. Check that photographs. Did I mention that I could do a water pump if I wanted to? (in about three weeks) It'll be over 100 here by that time.

Thank you for your help.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 05:59 AM
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The "stop leak" stuff is really only effective on static leaks. Your water pump seal is leaking - it's not like a whole in a radiator. And, as Chris said above, it's not a solution.

You do NOT want to continue to drive, even ten miles at a time, with a leaking water pump. Many owners have experienced a catastrophic failure of the seal. That means you dump all your coolant and you're 5 miles from home.

$951.00 sounds about "middle of the road". I've seen owners get pricing from $750.00 up to $1,200.00 if I remember correctly. Mine was in the 7-8 hundred range and they dicked it up - didn't use the tool even after I told the service manager they'd need it.

2007 2.4L N/A. Stock + some pretty crap.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 06:59 AM Thread Starter
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OK ChickenWire, thanks. If you don't mind me asking... did you have your repair that they dicked up done at a GM dealer?

How long would it take for me to know if they didn't do right on this one? Before two years? THANKS

That guy I talked to sounded like he knew what he was talking about. I hope so! I thought instead of beating around the bush i'd just tell them I want a new water pump. (instead of saying I have a water leak and let THEM FIND I need a water pump and maybe save on a diagnostic fee of some kind.) You know what I mean.

So I painted that 63 Willys and put them pretty aluminum rims on it but when I moved out here where I had a chance to do some 4-wheeling I took them off and sold them and put the steel rims on.

The aluminum was about half an inch thick! The steel was a little less than a quarter of an inch so I got a much better and deeper "bite" with the lug nuts.

That nice clear-coat flaked off the acrilic enamel in one summer in the AZ sun. If I ever paint the hood and top again it'll be by hand, cmamoflage, army style.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 08:01 AM
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Stop leak as described above will not help with the seal.

The seal fails sloooowly, then lets go. Typically you get intermittent small leaks, you refill, repeat. Then it dumps out all the coolant on the ground and you are calling for a tow.

The pump has been redesigned a couple of times that I know about and the newer units are supposed to be more resistant to seal failure.

Adding pump lubricant to a new or yet to fail pump may help preserve the seal.

The pump is driven by the cam drive chain. When the water pump drive is unbolted to allow removal of the pump for replacement, if the drive sprocket is not held in position (under tension) the cam chain will lose its tension. As soon as the car is started with the new pump it will exhibit a loud whirring noise which is the sound of the cam drive chain and sprockets destroying themselves due to over tension. Its LOUD and painful. The special tool holds the sprocket in position and maintains the proper tension on the drive chain.

The "book hours" for the swap come out to something like 8 hours. It calls for removing the turbo and the intake manifold to access the water pipe and then the coolant pump. It is possible to do the swap without removing the intake or turbo. It took me and a friend 9 hours to do it this way. Its not fun but it is doable and avoids introducing potential issues with the turbo and intake.

Make sure they know how to lift your car or drive it onto a pit or they will bend the fenders.

Good luck.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 09:55 AM
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These water pumps are the same in every Gen II EcoTec engine, according to my mechanic. I know it is the same one in my '13 Equinox. They very rarely fail in transverse applications so replacement is not very common, but it is not unique to us.

The key is to find a good dealership. I suggest Cadillac if one is around. Ours, at least, is a bit more responsive than the Chevrolet or Buick guys, but that could just be chance.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Bebop2 View Post
OK ChickenWire, thanks. If you don't mind me asking... did you have your repair that they dicked up done at a GM dealer?

How long would it take for me to know if they didn't do right on this one? Before two years? THANKS
Chevy dealer did mine. Last time I ever did business with them.

As Rob stated above, you will know IMMEDIATELY if it's not done correctly.

2007 2.4L N/A. Stock + some pretty crap.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 06:35 PM
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07 with 80,000km(50k miles or so)
Coolant on the ground.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 09:19 PM
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How does $951 sound? Thats at Henry Brown Buick / GMC in Gilbert AZ. with a two year 24K guarantee.
That's a darn good price quote. I just had mine replaced at my local GM dealer for just under $1200.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 04:55 AM Thread Starter
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OK you guys, thanks for the input. I dropped it at Buick/GMC yesterday. I will write in when I get it back. I asked Shane the service writer if they worked on many Pontiac Solstices and he said "yes, theres one in there now for a new motor" so I said "I'd like to see that!" Surprisingly he walked me back along behind the service stalls and it was a gray 2007 the motor out on the ground with the new one next to it ready to go in. That made me feel good if they can do that they should be able to do the water pump. I also had the post card from the passenger seat recall. Mine was working ok so I hope they dont skewer that up. I will add pump lubricant when I get it back. I don't know if the last guy ever changed the coolant in eleven years or not. Here's the low profile radio antenae I had to get for that used corvette cover if you missed it. THANKS
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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OK That was $1068.00 with sales tax for the water pump. That was fast! No leaks after one day. The guy said it's a common repair for the Eco-Tech motor. I guess thats what we have.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 01:53 PM
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OK That was $1068.00 with sales tax for the water pump. That was fast! No leaks after one day. The guy said it's a common repair for the Eco-Tech motor. I guess thats what we have.
WOW!! That's a good price. Book time is 9.6 hours for customer pay, 6.5 for warranty. So either they read the book time wrong, or the shop is dead. Or they're at $80/hr for labor, which is highly unlikely. Most quoted around here in Detroit are about $1400-$1500... Timing Chain is $2500....which so far has been much easier then a WP.

Personally I don't think it's pump lubricant that will help. I think it's a heat issue because the cat is right behind it and if your a turbo, that's directly above it...and there's little to no air flow. That's why it's not too common on the tranverse mounted stuff...

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