What technically causes waterpumps to fail? - Pontiac Solstice Forum
 6Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
ChopTop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hooterville, MI
Posts: 6,779
What technically causes waterpumps to fail?

OK, we've all been seeing waterpump thread failures recently, however, no on has really answered what is the technical reason that waterpumps fail?

.
.
.
.
.
Mr & Mrs ChopTop's 09 Fastback & 06 Vert Mods thread:https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...session-75468/ Original join date; Oct 2005 under LowLife handle.
ChopTop is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 01:48 PM
Moderator
 
rob the elder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Parker Colorado, USA, directly above the center of the earth
Posts: 15,862
OK

Before TS gets in here. I found several sources of information. This one looks the most useful

COMMON WATER PUMP FAILURES & THEIR CAUSES | FlowKooler Water Pumps - Chevy, Dodge, Jeep, Ford, & more

Exerpt here for your consideration:
1. LEAKING FROM THE WEEP HOLE: To understand leaking from a weep hole let's begin with some common questions and answers.
• What is the purpose of a weep hole?
The two holes you see in the water pump casting are called weep holes. The upper weep hole acts as an air vent. It allows air to evacuate the casting system and prevents the build up of humidity around the bearing. Also the vent allows atmospheric pressure into the pump and the seal remains seated.
The lower weep hole exists to allow fluid to collect or drain out of the water pump to protect the bearing integrity. In a horizontal centrifugal pump there is little space between the bearing and the seal so fluid build-up could potentially threaten the bearing. Weep holes permit this coolant to evacuate the system and protect the bearing. Weep holes also allow atmospheric pressure into the pumps and help the seals to remain seated.
• Does a drip from the weep hole mean seal or pump failure?
Perhaps. Seals will drip as the seal lap in but to understand a more prolonged or intermittent “drip” you have to understand a seal’s design. Seals purposefully drip because capillary action draws fluid from the seal face. As the seal drips, it helps wash loose debris out and reduce the heat load. Most drips evaporate or fall on the road and are not noticed.
Naturally, a more pronounced drip indicates a compromised seal and impending bearing failure.
• What causes a seal to prematurely fail?
High Temperatures:
Mechanical seal have spring-loaded assemblies to keep the carbon seals intact and rubber parts that may disintegrate if the engine runs hot or overheats. If a system overheats to the point of boiling out and the system is permitted to run dry, the polished sealing faces can wear and warp. A worn seal face allows fluids to escape and leak out the weep hole. Most pumps will leak catastrophically shortly after a boil-over.
Electrolysis:
Electrolysis may cause filming and/or crystallization on the seal face and cause the seals to permit fluid into the weep chamber. High mileage vehicle tend to have a greater incidence of seal failure due to pH imbalance that compromises the seal face causing fluids to leak out the weep hole.
Corrosive inhibitors are made up of silicates which plate metal surfaces. The degree of plating that actually occurs varies but as it does, the silicate levels deteriorate over time and the coolant becomes more corrosive. As the corrosion inhibitors deteriorate and the pH of the coolant drops to 7 or below, the result is electrolysis and plating. For this reason most mechanics and recommend a flush & fill at 24 months/30,000 miles. Unfortunately, few car owners flush and fill and radiators and water pump seals become compromised.
Additive Gels:
It seems every few months a new chemical additive for the cooling system comes on the market. Seal manufacturers find concentrations of gel from these additives and/or filming deposits build on the seal face or they find carbon rip out on the ring. These all contribute to premature seal failure.
Abrasive particles
If there are abrasive particles present in the cooling fluid can affect the wear resistance of the seal. Sand is the most common.
2. BROKEN WATER PUMP HOUSINGS AND SHAFTS COMMONLY CAUSED BY: Broken shafts are result of excessive vibration & unbalance and principally due to:
• Bent, cracked, or broken fans
• Fan not squarely mounted on the shafts
• Cracked or bent pulleys due to improper handling or installation
• Overtightened belts cause overload on the bearing and impose a powerful bending force on the shaft causing it to deflect substantially from true center rotation resulting in imbalance and early shaft fracture

Rob the Elder

Punisher's Daddy
Green Dragon's chief mechanic
Carol's husband for 50 years

Secretary Rocky Mountain Solstice and Sky Club
Punisher's story
https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f62/punisher-65168/
Punisher thread index
https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...ml#post1765649
https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...ml#post2067289

rob the elder is offline  
post #3 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 01:50 PM
Moderator
 
rob the elder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Parker Colorado, USA, directly above the center of the earth
Posts: 15,862
Having read this, I suspect that some of the early failures are due to heat. A bubble of air gets into the system, that results in cavitation of the pump, the lack of coolant flow allows localized overheating, that overheated coolant begins to move again, travels to the pump area and transfers the heat to the seal area . .. failed seal.

If you have the PH checked, you can tell if you are subject to electrolysis. This is basically the test that my GM tech has been running to identify when the fluid needs to be flushed.

Rob the Elder

Punisher's Daddy
Green Dragon's chief mechanic
Carol's husband for 50 years

Secretary Rocky Mountain Solstice and Sky Club
Punisher's story
https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f62/punisher-65168/
Punisher thread index
https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...ml#post1765649
https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...ml#post2067289

rob the elder is offline  
post #4 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 01:54 PM
Member
 
GS Stage 1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,639
Or it could just be GM sourced their pumps from the lowest competitive bidder?

Just saying.................


Sent from my DALEK MOBILE DEVICE using Exterminate.Com Free App
GS Stage 1 is offline  
post #5 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 01:56 PM
Member
 
The_Ghost's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Waterford, MI
Posts: 3,689
I have to say it's poor design....the undue stress that is put on a direct drive pulley. Has anyone looked at the '02 Vette (I think). They had a direct drive alternator and A/C compressor. Wondering if their failures are as numerous.

____________________________________________

Solo Street Race exhaust
Fujita CAI
ASAP T2 stripes and badging
Windrestrictor V2 lighted in white
Windrestrictor lighted door sills lighted in white
DDM Works IC Piping
Undercar LEDs in white to match Windrestrictor

ZZPerformance dyno tuned - 286HP, 317ft/lbs of torque at 23psi of boost.
The_Ghost is offline  
post #6 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 03:22 PM
Moderator
 
rob the elder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Parker Colorado, USA, directly above the center of the earth
Posts: 15,862
Quote:
Originally Posted by GS Stage 1 View Post
Or it could just be GM sourced their pumps from the lowest competitive bidder?

Just saying.................

That is of course always a consideration, but I have to believe that GM provided the mechanical design and the design paramaters. And I would be surprised if the manufacturer built things that are likely to fail like the seal. The seals and many (most?) of the parts making up the pump come from second and third tier suppliers.

Also, since the pump is used in all ecotec motors, I wonder what the failure rate is in other cars with a similar motor. Are Cobalts having similar failure rates? I have not read that they have the same challenges with their cooling systems injesting air for instance.

Rob the Elder

Punisher's Daddy
Green Dragon's chief mechanic
Carol's husband for 50 years

Secretary Rocky Mountain Solstice and Sky Club
Punisher's story
https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f62/punisher-65168/
Punisher thread index
https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...ml#post1765649
https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...ml#post2067289

rob the elder is offline  
post #7 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 03:25 PM
Moderator
 
rob the elder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Parker Colorado, USA, directly above the center of the earth
Posts: 15,862
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Ghost View Post
I have to say it's poor design....the undue stress that is put on a direct drive pulley. Has anyone looked at the '02 Vette (I think). They had a direct drive alternator and A/C compressor. Wondering if their failures are as numerous.
While I am sympathetic with your statement, I have no evidence other than the current failure rates that its a good design or a bad design. The water pump loading is not a particularly challenging environment, nor are the loads all that high. I guess I would like to understand better what is the basis for your statement.

Maybe the shock loads are higher? But it does not appear that the failures are due to purely mechanical failures but instead the seals are going bad and puking out the coolant in many (most?) of the cases we have seen documented.

Rob the Elder

Punisher's Daddy
Green Dragon's chief mechanic
Carol's husband for 50 years

Secretary Rocky Mountain Solstice and Sky Club
Punisher's story
https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f62/punisher-65168/
Punisher thread index
https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...ml#post1765649
https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...ml#post2067289

rob the elder is offline  
post #8 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 04:10 PM
Member
 
GS Stage 1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,639
Hmmm: I just hit the Cobalt Forum and did a quick search. Seems like a lot of familiar territory with over temp/coolant issues.

But there does seem to be a higher number of PYTs frequenting that particular forum. Perhaps I need to hang out there.

Sent from my DALEK MOBILE DEVICE using Exterminate.Com Free App
GS Stage 1 is offline  
post #9 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 04:13 PM
Member
 
MidniteBlues's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 728
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Ghost View Post
I have to say it's poor design....the undue stress that is put on a direct drive pulley. Has anyone looked at the '02 Vette (I think). They had a direct drive alternator and A/C compressor. Wondering if their failures are as numerous.
BINGO!!! digalingaling!! and the winner is Da Ghost... Whatcha want fer ur prize buddy..

runner up prize goes to GS1 for post #4..

We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.
Abraham Lincoln

The Constitution is essentially an obsolete charter of negative liberties
Barack Obama

Last edited by MidniteBlues; 04-30-2013 at 04:16 PM.
MidniteBlues is offline  
post #10 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 05:46 PM
Member
 
llllfly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 292
Rob,
Do you know the PH?
LLLFLY

08 PW SKY R/L 5-spd,The Wolf
Winner Goodyear Bimp flight 2010 NASSM
Best of Show Old Bridge,NJ 2011
Winner best interior 2012 NASSM
DDMWorks:,WindRestrictor
Elizabethtown,PA
llllfly is offline  
post #11 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 07:58 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,195
Quote:
Originally Posted by llllfly View Post
Rob,
Do you know the PH?
LLLFLY
In Robs brief synopsis, when the ph falls below 7 it's time to drain the pool.
NO peeing in the overflow bottle!
jeff465 is offline  
post #12 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 08:12 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,195
I'm not a fan of sprocket driven water pumps off the timing chain. Look at the bearing and seal diameters of the other chain driven components. Serp belt components have similar shaft diameters as a water pump because less lateral load on the bearing.
jeff465 is offline  
post #13 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 08:36 PM
Member
 
The_Ghost's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Waterford, MI
Posts: 3,689
So after it was brought up about the number of other LNF motors in other models with WP issues, I posted on several other boards. Very FEW in the HHR or Cobalt have had failiures....many of them being over 120k before they had an issue at all. So, what makes the Solstice and Sky so vulnerable to WP failure? Is it the rear wheel drive? hmmmmm.....this is an interesting question. I will do research on the Corvette that had a majority of the accessories driven internally. And repost here in a day or so....

____________________________________________

Solo Street Race exhaust
Fujita CAI
ASAP T2 stripes and badging
Windrestrictor V2 lighted in white
Windrestrictor lighted door sills lighted in white
DDM Works IC Piping
Undercar LEDs in white to match Windrestrictor

ZZPerformance dyno tuned - 286HP, 317ft/lbs of torque at 23psi of boost.
The_Ghost is offline  
post #14 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 09:32 PM
Moderator
 
rob the elder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Parker Colorado, USA, directly above the center of the earth
Posts: 15,862
If I had to guess I would say its heat. The kappas are more susceptible to overheating.

I would like to see a correlation between over heating and pump failures.
joybill44 likes this.

Rob the Elder

Punisher's Daddy
Green Dragon's chief mechanic
Carol's husband for 50 years

Secretary Rocky Mountain Solstice and Sky Club
Punisher's story
https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f62/punisher-65168/
Punisher thread index
https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...ml#post1765649
https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...ml#post2067289

rob the elder is offline  
post #15 of 89 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 05:25 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
ChopTop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hooterville, MI
Posts: 6,779
Thanks for the answer guys, and it does seem to relate to why it's important to have your cooling system pH checked and or flushed per GM recommendation (30,000).

.
.
.
.
.
Mr & Mrs ChopTop's 09 Fastback & 06 Vert Mods thread:https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...session-75468/ Original join date; Oct 2005 under LowLife handle.
ChopTop is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Pontiac Solstice Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome