View Full Version : TR2/3/3A rebuilding a tr3 water pump

11-13-2014, 09:50 AM
Has anyone had any success rebuilding a tr3 water pump? I have a couple of what looks like original pumps that could perhaps be rebuilt. I used the one that came with this basket case restoration, but when I put water in the radiator the water leaked out right at the seal. I see that Victoria B. sells a seal, but I have never tried rebuilding one or know if the seal would even work or if it is the seal that keeps the water inside.

11-13-2014, 01:29 PM
I have no personal experience with these people, but they have been mentioned by others as a good place to get pumps rebuilt. Cheers, Mike


11-13-2014, 02:32 PM
I've rebuilt several. If you have access to a press, it is an easy and straight forward job. The hardest part is tracking down the bearings. The part that seems to wear the most, aside from the seal, is the steel shaft. It tends to erode in the middle.

Geo Hahn
11-13-2014, 03:36 PM
I have seen it done without a press by using a purpose-made tool to press out the shaft. Here is a (tantalizingly out-of-focus) picture of said tool taken from the video of the tech session that might give you some ideas:


I do recall that it was the availability of the bearing that was an issue in the past.

11-13-2014, 04:16 PM
However, I have heard that the seal sold by VB is the wrong one. It could possibly be made to work with additional machining, but was not a replacement for the original. (Of course, that may have changed since then.)

FWIW, TRF has a reproduction pump on sale for $80 (less if you are part of their customer investment program). It lacks the grease fitting and I don't recall offhand if it has the boss where you could add a dummy fitting. But it fit perfectly (without additional machining as some others need) and works for me.

11-13-2014, 04:56 PM
Here is the contact information for the person recommended by Gates engineers and other companies in w/p manufacturing and repair shops. Harold will provide quality parts that will fit properly.
Harold Bishop HDRK CO, INC. IN Albany, Indiana. (765) 789-4406
If you want to repair your pump to last give Harold a call. He has been great at answering questions.
I got ceramic seals from Harold instead of the old carbon seals.

11-13-2014, 08:00 PM
Thanks you guys that is great information and Geo do you still have the picture of the water pump pulley remover you made. I had it on my old computer, but that stuff got lost.

Geo Hahn
11-13-2014, 09:03 PM
The pulley puller --


11-14-2014, 08:29 AM
I've rebuilt several. If you have access to a press, it is an easy and straight forward job. The hardest part is tracking down the bearings. The part that seems to wear the most, aside from the seal, is the steel shaft. It tends to erode in the middle.

Do you have sources and part numbers for the bearing and seal that you used?


11-14-2014, 11:57 AM
I used the VB seal...I do not recall the bearing numbers...

Geo Hahn
11-14-2014, 12:26 PM
This thread addresses the same topic - but, alas, does not answer the bearing question (other than to suggest they are unobtainium):


Don Elliott
11-14-2014, 02:56 PM
My neighbour with a 10" lathe and a big press helped me rebuild mine in 1990. We put in a stainless steel shaft that he turned to accept modern bearings with modern diameters. It lasted 112,000 miles till last year when I had a small leak from the front seal. So we took it apart and replaced the front end ceramic seal. I have driven another 1700 miles with no issues. The stainless steel shaft was still like new (no rusting) and we put the same bearings back in.

11-15-2014, 08:43 AM
Nice to have handy neighbours Don! Cheers, Mike

11-15-2014, 09:25 AM
I need a plan B to get the pulley off this water pump. I could possibly use some 8 grand bolts that would not bend and perhaps provide more tightening strength, but right now the angle iron and the bolts are bending and nothing is giving. The setup is now setting under pressure with oil on the shaft, and I am tapping it with a hammer to cause some vibration. I tried heating the pulley, but this thing is rusted from years of weather. The best bet is to probably purchase a new pulley and pump and be done, but what fun is that? My new machine shop buddies might try and push the pulley off as a freebie, but I am thinking something is going to break or bend before it comes off. And again perhaps patients is my problem. Maybe I will let it set for a couple of days under pressure and soaking; however I am always open for ideas.

11-15-2014, 09:45 AM
This is my TR6 pump but shows how an arbor press does the job.

35225 35222 35223 35224

11-15-2014, 03:53 PM
I'm afraid this is one of those jobs that you need the tools. You will need a bearing puller...the scissors looking thing that bolts around the pulley to grab it. Then that can be placed into a press and push the shaft right out. It's a 3 minute job with the correct tools. Unfortunately, my bearing puller cost as much as a new TR2 water pump!?! But...it comes in handy for future jobs.

11-18-2014, 12:08 PM
Well I got it fired up, but the old back up water pump leaked also, so I shut it down. If I actually do rebuild the pump, my question is did you guys pull the impeller off the back or just push the guts of the pump out front to back. I had 2 old trashy pumps that I push the guts out this way, but the inner snap ring gets toasted in the process. It is probably not a big deal because I can just get another small inner snap ring one. Moreover, if rebuilt this way it looks to me that I should be able to leave the impeller on, put a new snap ring in and push the complete assembly back in the housing from the back, put the big snap ring on and be good to go. However, I do see a large gap on the shaft between the rubber seal and what is called the spinner washer and that does not look correct. Perhaps the new seal is larger and would fix this. Anyways before I take my other 2 pumps in and have the pulley push off and if advised have the shafts pushed out from the front to the back maybe I can get some input. I was also thinking about calling the rebuild guys to ask questions and buy parts but I do not want to waste their time.

12-13-2014, 01:43 PM
Well I talk to Harold the guy Tomshobby suggested, and he is totally cool. He has been rebuilding water pumps since 1957, and we talked for about a hour about water pumps. I am only guessing, but it seemed to me he has a larger business with a staff and we were talking about water pumps just for fun. I did not realize that the housing and seal need to fit square or exactly on the same plane with a small amount of preload on the spring on the seal. He also recommended that I put the housing in a lath and turn the surface true and flat where the two meet, but the surface looked good on one of my old casings, so I used it without turning it. Anyways, he sold me a seal with a metal back that worked fine for a couple of dollars. I reused some bearings that I had, but he called a buddy and that guy had some bearings that would work, but the bearings are narrower so the distance piece between the bearings needs to be longer. Again, Harold is a great guy with a wealth of experience, and I actually believe he enjoys helping people, you do not see that every day.

12-13-2014, 04:19 PM
Good to hear, Steve!

The seal face in the pump housing is likely fine. I had a couple housings where corrosion chewed up that face, so I trashed those housings. I am pretty sure the service manual mentions using a Churchill tool to face the surface if it is bad. If you have access to a lathe, turning it would be great...but if you don't, I would think the machining costs to farm it out would be higher than the cost of a rebuilt pump on Ebay.

12-14-2014, 12:37 AM
sp53, glad to see you got in contact with Harold. He is a wealth of knowledge and he enjoys sharing it. And as you found out he is a great guy!

12-14-2014, 09:01 AM
sp53, glad to see you got in contact with Harold. He is a wealth of knowledge and he enjoys sharing it. And as you found out he is a great guy!

Wow, I dealt with Harold Bishop over 25 years ago when I was rebuilding water pumps for a living. At the peak, we used to do about five hundred a day. I can't believe he's still around. Maybe I'll give him a call.