Today we are taking a look at what is involved in replacing the waterpump on an EL Falcon. The EL, EF and AU Falcon’s are much the same in the waterpump department and we also have THIS TUTORIAL for the earlier EA to ED model’s.
The first step is to remove a few components to allow easy access to the bottom radiator hose so we can remove it at the radiator end and drain the cooling system. This is best done outside or at least in an area away from where you are going to do the rest of the job, there is nothing worse than trying to work when the floor is covered in water!
First there is the front engine cover which is removed by taking out the power steer dipstick and removing the 10mm nut at the other end of the cover.
Next we need to remove the air intake to the air filter box by removing the two Phillips head screws.
Now we can remove the cooling fan assembly by removing the two 10mm bolts securing it to the top of the radiator and by disconnecting the electrical plug on the passengers side, near the top radiator hose. It is then simply a matter of lifting the assembly out while taking care not to get it caught on the overflow bottle hoses.
Now we can access the bottom radiator hose and undo it at the radiator end. The longest flat blade screwdriver that you can get your hands on will help here.
Once the cooling system is drained we can move the car to where we are going to do the rest of the job and start by removing the drivebelt. This is done by using a 3/8 drive ratchet or small breaker bar and pushing the tensioner in the direction shown. Once the belt has some slack in it you can slide it off the waterpump pulley and remove the belt completely.
A good idea here is to draw out the route that the belt takes to make it easier to refit correctly.
Next we need to remove the alternator brace by removing the two 13mm bolts.
Now we can get to the four 10mm bolts that hold the waterpump to the block. There will be plenty of coolant still left in the cooling system so before you undo the waterpump bolts place a tray or container under the car to catch the remaining coolant.
The waterpump bolts are “shrouded” a bit by the pulley but if you are careful you can remove them with a socket, extension bar and ratchet. Just be careful not to get your socket stuck between the bolt and the pulley! The other option of course is to undo all four with a ring/open end spanner.
Once all four bolts are out the waterpump should come out without any dramas.
Replacement waterpumps for these engines come in two different configurations, with and without the pulley. Unless you have the right tools (and plenty of patience!) I suggest that you use the replacement waterpump with the pulley as it saves a bit of mucking around. The price difference is around $30 from memory.
The next step is to thoroughly clean the gasket surface of old gasket. A single sided razor blade works well for this and you might find a small mirror very handy for checking to ensure that the surface is all clean.
There is also an o ring on a pipe that goes into the back of the pump that has to be replaced. A smear of rubber grease on the o ring itself or on the back of the new waterpump where the pipe fits will ensure it won’t get torn as you fit the pump.
Time to fit the new waterpump. I like to use a non-hardening sealant such as Loctite Aviation Form-A-Gasket on the block to waterpump gasket, just to be sure that there will be no leaks but it is not essential that you do this.
Also at this stage it is advisable to clean the four waterpump bolt threads up with a wire brush and if possible blow out the bolt holes with compressed air. This ensure that the bolts go in nice and easy and tighten up correctly.
To keep the gaskets and plate lined up I first fit the two top bolts into the waterpump and then fit the pump to the block making sure that nothing gets out of alignment.
Once the pump is fitted to the block we can then do up the four bolts evenly and make sure that the pipe and o ring has gone in properly to the rear of the pump. There is no need to go ballistic on the bolts, just nipped up and then a fraction more will be fine.
The next step is to fit the bottom hose, putting both end clamps in a position that will make for easy access if needed.
Then we can refit the drivebelt by installing it on all but the waterpump pulley, pushing the tensioner down and across to the drivers side of the car and sliding the belt over the waterpump.
We can then refit the alternator brace (two 13mm bolts). At this stage I like to refill the cooling system with water AND coolant, very important in an alloy-headed engine, and run the engine with the heater on “HOT”.
We turn the heater on HOT to open the heater tap and allow full circulation on the coolant which helps remove any air pockets. Don’t run the engine for too long as we don’t have the cooling fans fitted yet, just enough to get an idea if you have any leaks or not.
Once you are satisfied that all is good, stop the engine and refit the cooling fans, being sure not to forget the electrical connection! Refit the air intake and front engine cover.
The next step is to run the engine until it reaches operating temperature and check that the electric fans are operating. It make take until the “O” in the word “NORMAL” on the temp gauge before the fans kick in and this is perfectly ok.
And finally, check for any leaks, allow the engine to cool down and recheck the coolant level. If all is good you can now do the happy dance because you have potentially saved yourself a couple of hundred dollars by doing it yourself!