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Thread: Water Pump Leak

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  1. #1
    Yoda Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Water Pump Leak

    I almost hesitate to post about another problem but here goes:

    Yesterday while almost done with a long ride to make sure that the brakes were okay (they were) I got a spatter of oily drops on the windshield and when I popped the bonnet i found a pretty liberal spray of oil across its underside, just above the fan. This morning after cleaning everything off I put the car up on jack stands and ran the engine at about 2K to see if I could find the source.

    There is a slow but steady leak--perhaps a drop every three or four seconds--coming off of the back face of the water pump pulley, which leaks onto the fan belt and gets tossed across the engine compartment. The strange thing is that it does not seem like engine oil as it is brown in color and has a definite bittersweet taste--nothing at all like the color or taste of the engine oil. It is sticky and looks almost like Permatex Indian Head Gasket Shellac.

    There is a grease nipple on the water pump and though I know I lubed it when I last changed the water pump that was some time ago. I am not certain about the color of the grease but am thinking it was either red or blue.

    There is no oil in the water nor any water in the oil.
    The leak is not coming out of the weep hole in the water pump.
    The leak does not seem like oil that is emulsified--it really seems like shellac but that makes no sense to me.

    Any thoughts will be appreciated.

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Le Mans
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

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    Yoda steveg's Avatar
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    Re: Water Pump Leak

    Maybe the water pump is deteriorating and coolant/grease mix is seeping out. Do you detect any roughness or play when turning the fan by hand?

    Edit: on re-reading, it sounds like a coolant leak out the shaft of the water pump. Is your coolant brown?
    Last edited by steveg; 07-31-2019 at 07:06 PM.
    Steve Gerow
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    Yoda John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: Water Pump Leak

    A mix of coolant and grease? Supposedly, regular antifreeze is sweet and poisonous (to pets).
    John, BN4

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    Great Pumpkin Keoke's Avatar
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    Re: Water Pump Leak

    I suggest replcing water pump with one SANs grease fitting on the side
    1966 Daimler V8 Saloon; Safely Fast, Built to Last & and; Smooth as Glass.
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    Yoda Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: Water Pump Leak

    I have experienced leaks of coolant from pups in the past but never oil or a mixture of grease and oil.

    I wonder if anyone has developed any new or rebuilt pump alternatives as the ones we get from the usual suppliers appear to be less than great. In the past Bill Bolton rebuilt cores with, as I recall, a supposedly-better carbon ring.

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Le Mans
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

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    Re: Water Pump Leak

    I don't think you have a choice but to pull the pump (but you knew that). The good news is swapping pumps on Big Healeys is a (relatively) easy job; the bad news is getting a good new one is almost out of the question. AFAIK, most aftermarket pumps are being supplied by County, and I won't go into my problems with them--they're documented in a couple threads here--but suffice it to say 'good luck.' Michael Salter on the email list does proper rebuilds, but I got one from him that blew its rubber 'bellows'-type seal (no fault of Michael's, and he made good on his work). I don't know if Michael does rebuilds for 100s, but if I were you I'd contact him directly to see what he recommends. I have one of his rebuilds in my BJ8, and he sourced a rebuilt OEM-bodied one for me from a supplier in Canada that he new that I carry as a spare, and if all else fails I have a new County (that would be my last resort). The semi-good news is I think the 100 pumps were more engineered to be rebuilt than the later pumps; sourcing quality parts will likely be an issue.

  7. #7
    Yoda Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: Water Pump Leak

    I didn't mention it earlier but my present pump came from the usual sources less than two years ago.
    Perhaps we need to regard the standard water pump as a maintenance item.

    I wonder if anyone has successfully installed an electric water pump in a Healey?

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Le Mans
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

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    Yoda tahoe healey's Avatar
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    Re: Water Pump Leak

    I've had a Country pump on my BJ8 for over 5 years with no problem (I was told that they need to be spun for a few minutes before installation). However I did get and rebuilt the old pump with a kit from Mike Salter. With his video it is not hard and I carry it as a spare.

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    Re: Water Pump Leak

    Michael, your description pretty much matches what will be seen when you mix enough coolant with the grease in the cavity between the pump bearings that it can be pushed out through the front bearing. Back when you installed your pump, I remember dis-assembling my spare pump. Every internal part and the front face of the front bearing were completely covered in a similar brown substance. I'm afraid the seal in the pump has failed. Remove the fan and pulley and you will have your answer.

    As for the electric water pump, I have often thought of that myself in conjunction with an electric fan which could be centered on the radiator core unlike our mechanical fans that are probably 3 inches above center.

    If you check out the water pump offerings at Ahead4Healeys, they have an inexpensive version(probably County) and one listed as being "as original". If I were in need of a pump for my 100, that's the one I'd be looking at. It has threads to allow installation of the heater tap(not a pressed in tube like the cheaper unit) and the hardware at the front of shaft matches original design. Double the price, but still pretty reasonable.

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    Re: Water Pump Leak

    Quote Originally Posted by John Turney View Post
    A mix of coolant and grease? Supposedly, regular antifreeze is sweet and poisonous (to pets).
    Not to mention us 2-legged creatures, although we (probably)aren't as likely to be lapping it up off the ground.

  11. #11
    Yoda steveg's Avatar
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    Re: Water Pump Leak

    Quote Originally Posted by tahoe healey View Post
    I've had a Country pump on my BJ8 for over 5 years with no problem (I was told that they need to be spun for a few minutes before installation). However I did get and rebuilt the old pump with a kit from Mike Salter. With his video it is not hard and I carry it as a spare.
    Mike Salter states in his blog* that 100 pump rebuilds are not available because he can't find a source for the parts.

    *in the comments below this blog posting.
    http://www.netbug.net/blogmichael/20...-pump-rebuild/
    Steve Gerow
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  12. #12
    Great Pumpkin Keoke's Avatar
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    Re: Water Pump Leak

    Quote Originally Posted by tahoe healey View Post
    I've had a Country pump on my BJ8 for over 5 years with no problem (I was told that they need to be spun for a few minutes before installation). However I did get and rebuilt the old pump with a kit from Mike Salter. With his video it is not hard and I carry it as a spare.
    OH!

    You are so lucky. I don't let a County box in my shop unless it is empty .
    1966 Daimler V8 Saloon; Safely Fast, Built to Last & and; Smooth as Glass.
    1966 BJ8 [ 2 ] Lil Red & Miss bLU
    1985 XJ6 Saloon
    1948 & 70 Lincoln continentals
    1973 Volvo P1800ES

  13. #13
    Yoda
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    Re: Water Pump Leak

    Quote Originally Posted by steveg View Post
    Mike Salter states in his blog (somewhere, IIRC) that 100 pump rebuilds are not available because he can't find a source for the parts.
    I've seen adverts for shops that rebuild water pumps for old cars in magazines like 'Old Cars Weekly' and Hemmings; dunno if they do imports.

  14. #14
    Yoda steveg's Avatar
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    Re: Water Pump Leak

    In the early oughts I replaced my water pump with one from Moss, which has worked fine ever since. I guess it must be one of the old 'good' County pumps from when the original Old Man County was running the shop. I also have an OEM pump, rebuilt with a Salter kit, if it ever poops out.
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  15. #15
    Yoda Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: Water Pump Leak

    This morning while ordering a replacement pump from Moss I found that I bought the the present one in 2015.

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Le Mans
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

  16. #16
    Yoda steveg's Avatar
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    Re: Water Pump Leak

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Oritt View Post
    I didn't mention it earlier but my present pump came from the usual sources less than two years ago.
    Perhaps we need to regard the standard water pump as a maintenance item.

    I wonder if anyone has successfully installed an electric water pump in a Healey?
    Ed Neumeyer has been running one for probably 10 years in his monster 4-liter DMD-engined car.

    It should be easy to do as they insert into the lower hose. However you'd need a fitting to replace the water pump on the block.
    Steve Gerow
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    Jedi Warrior
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    Re: Water Pump Leak

    Have you determined what the oily mix actually came from? Was it rusty in color? Brown covers many shades. Wonder if there is rust accumulated in the block that somehow broke loose and now is running through the block.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Jake's Avatar
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    Re: Water Pump Leak

    If yours is newly sourced, it'll have the bellows style seal. You may be able to replace it fairly easily if you can press off the impeller.
    I engineered a solution for mine, but it's an OE pump with a separate carbon ring. The seal in that one is NLA, so I had to come up with my own solution.

    https://www.ahexp.com/forum/the-100-...212062.212096/

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    Re: Water Pump Leak

    I have nothing to add other than empathy!

    I have longed forever for a single care-free summer of driving.... But it never works out that way.

  20. #20
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    Re: Water Pump Leak

    Quote Originally Posted by kozelding View Post
    ... I have longed forever for a single care-free summer of driving.... But it never works out that way.
    No such thing as 'care-free' with any piece of machinery. My new Mustang GT can't handle the heat; if it sits outside for a few hours in 100degF+ heat all the fancy electronic nannies--cross-traffic, side traffic, backup alerts, etc.--take a powder. They come back after a few miles of driving when, presumably, the electronics cool off (dealer couldn't reproduce, natch).

    Before you rail on Ford, Consumer Reports' fave Toyota just got slammed with fines for selling faulty diesel emissions equipment. So, yeah, 'they all do it.'

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