Astra Owners Network banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,891 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Good evening all! I hope someone can help me in a hurry!

I'm trying the change the timing belt on my dad's Astra G 1.4 16v. It's the Z14XE engine I believe.

It's on 160,000 miles and I don't think the water pump was changed at the previous two cam belt changes, so I really wanted to do it this time. I've got everything out of the way (tensioner etc) and undone the three 5mm allen bolts but the pump won't come out. It must have moved a little because it has leaked coolant, but it hasn't moved even a millimetre!

Has anyone got any great tricks for getting the water pump out? I've been hitting it as best I can with a hammer but not getting anywhere.

Urgent help needed as it's going to get dark soon and the car is still in bits!
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,891 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I've been hitting it as hard as I can with a large hammer and a length of wood... it split the wood! Have also tried crow-barring it as best I can without damaging something.

I've had to give up and I'm putting everything back together now as the light is fading fast and the car is needed tomorrow.
 

·
A.O.N Assistant Regional Organiser - Scotland East
Joined
·
27,714 Posts
try spraying some releas agent like plusgas or even wd40 round the seam, prob just teh rubber seal thats keeping it tight or aluminium oxide build up) if its an aluminum block)?
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,891 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the ideas guys.

At the moment the car is back together and I've delivered it back to my dad. I was rather worried I'd mess something up, putting it back together in the dark when I've never done a timing belt before, but to my relief it works!

I'll probably have another go in a couple of weeks if I have time. It'll be a case of do what I can to get the water pump out and if I still can't then the new timing belt will have to go on with the old pump and we'll find out how many miles the original pump bearings are good for... 160,000 and counting... :err:

So any more ideas I would love to hear them! I found this other old thread - I hope my problem isn't as bad as his was!!
http://www.astraownersnetwork.co.uk/showthread.php?145787
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,891 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
try spraying some releas agent like plusgas or even wd40 round the seam, prob just teh rubber seal thats keeping it tight or aluminium oxide build up) if its an aluminum block)?
Yes the engine block and water pump are both aluminium (or aluminium alloys) I believe. With the amount of force I was giving it it can't be the rubber seal holding it - I think it must be something to do with metal corrosion or build up of hard substances. It did move just enough to leak, but no more - there was no visible difference.

The coolant is changed regularly by the way and was clean as a whistle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,124 Posts
They can be a bugger to get out, mine done this once, it will be corrosion and oxidation that's holding it. I used a bit of heat to expand the surrounding casing and it popped right out, just use the heat carefully it doesn't need to be red hot.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,891 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I was talking to someone at work and we were thinking the same thing. How did you get the heat to the right part? I don't have the car to hand to check it out. Can I get a blow torch onto the back of the casing that it's sitting in or is the throttle stuff in the way?

I also thought about using that stuff that plumbers use to freeze pipes to cool the pump itself - any opinions or experience anyone?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,124 Posts
i just used heat right on the edge of the water pump housing on the water pump itself, kept the flame moving never stopping in one spot to long as i was trying not to burn the back plastic , i heard a slight creek and with a bit of a pull it just came out, took about 30 seconds i might have been lucky but its worth a shot, you just take off the wheel on the drivers side remove the plastic arch/belt shield and once you remove the plastic cam covers upper and lower (which does need the balancer pulley removed first etc etc) you'll have plenty of access and room to work.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,891 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for that. I'll be giving it a go a week on Saturday when I have my hands on the car again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
293 Posts
Just a idea what about removing the rear water pipe (behind the pump) and put a bar or wood inside and hit with a hammer (pushing the pump out). Doing it this way saves damaging the surrounding area where the pump fits and seals in the block
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,891 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I didn't realise there was a pipe behind it - I will have to investigate that option when I've got my hands on the car! Thanks for the suggestion :thumbs:
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,891 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
SUCCESS! :dance2::yippee:

I came prepared this time! I bought this little blow torch from B&Q which is powerful yet small enough to get into the engine compartment. I also bought the freeze spray in case I wanted to cool the pump as well as heating the casing, but in the end I didn't use the freezing spray - heating with the blow torch did the trick.



To get access to the area I need to heat I had to remove the alternator. If you just remove the alternator top bracket and tilt it back, you can get to the back of the water pump like this:



But to give myself the best chance I decided to remove the alternator and its mounting bracket completely which gives me access all around the back of the water pump (picture taken from under the car):



Removing the alternator is tricky so here are a couple of things I learnt in case anyone else is doing this:
1. There isn't enough room to get normal tools in to disconnect the electrical connections from the alternator. The way to do this is to unbolt the alternator top bracket from the engine block, loosen the bottom bolt slightly and tilt the alternator back. Then working from under the car, remove two of the bolts that attach the alternator and auxiliary belt tensioner mounting bracket to the engine block, and just loosen the third one. Then you can tip the whole thing to the side to create enough room to disconnect the electrical connections. Make sure you have disconnected the battery negative before doing any of this!
2. Manoeuvring the alternator and its mounting bracket out of the engine bay is tricky. You need to have the timing belt lower cover and part of the wheel arch liner removed (which you will do if you're replacing the timing belt). Disconnect the wire from the oil pressure switch to give you more room and avoid damaging it. It will then get through that gap but only just. Life would be a lot easier if the oil pressure switch wasn't in the way, but I didn't want to have to drain the engine oil as well!

I used the blow torch to heat all around the back of the water pump. Obviously do not do this if there is oil leaking around there! My blow torch claims to be 1000W and I played the flame around the area for about 15 seconds, then took it away to check how hot it was getting. A couple more 15 second goes had it about as hot as it would be if the engine was running. A few taps with a hammer and a stout piece of wood then got it moving without too much trouble.

Finally got it out!



It was indeed the original pump as I suspected. It had been in there 15 years and 160,000 miles so really it's not in bad condition for its age! There was just some corrosion and calcification build up around it which is what must have been holding it in, but nothing too bad.

I cleaned up the area, smeared some silicone grease on the mating surface and my new pump is in:



I've used all genuine GM parts: timing belt, tensioner, two pulleys and the water pump, and the kit even came with new bolts. Cost of those parts was £143.54 at trade price. I also spent £14.98 on the camshaft locking tool (Laser brand, through eBay), £17.10 for the blow torch (which is bound to come in handy again) and £3.90 for silicone grease. Total cost £179.52 against £230 which an independent garage quoted. So only £50 saved for what turned out to be 16 hours of my time, but I have genuine GM parts and I have learnt a lot! And the engine is running smooth as, and seems quieter too. And perhaps the the garage would have increased the labour cost if they also had to remove the alternator to get the pump out, so the saving could be bigger.

Thank you everyone who contributed ideas and knowledge - it certainly helped me have the confidence to persevere with the job and succeed with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,705 Posts
Happy days! Glad you got it sorted pal. Those photos will definitely come in handy for someone else having the same issue :)
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top