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waterpump gasket leak

This is a discussion on waterpump gasket leak within the External Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I had noticed when I park my car in the garage I smell antifreeze. I checked everywhere and I can't ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    1998 Trans Am

    waterpump gasket leak

    I had noticed when I park my car in the garage I smell antifreeze. I checked everywhere and I can't see a leak. I looked closer from underneath and I noticed what initially appears to be a small oil leak in front/right side of the timing chain cover. When I shine the light I can see where the water pump outlet connect to the engine. I dont see a big leak but it looks like is leaking lightly. The oil leak has residual of something redish color on it. I was thinking A4 fluid but there is no way this will be in this area. So it must be antifreeze. I checked the radiator and the fluid went down a bit. I took off the belt and I moved the pump shaft/pulley and I don't have any bearing noise or play.

    Is it hard to remove the pump? I'm thinking about just getting the gaskets and replace them. If im correct i just have to remove the bolts that hold the pump, hoses and the fans. I really dont want to spend $140 bucks in a brand new pump from autozone but if it is a pain in the ass to replace I either get the new pump or wait until the leak is bigger. What you guys think? Thanks in advance.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Have you tried putting it up on stands and running it at idle to see if it is in fact coming from the pump? There should be a weep hole on the bottom side of the pump. IF it is leaking from there your pump is fixing to be toast. That is usually the early warning sign that the pump is about to go.

    Another area might be the the cross over tubes when you did the LS6 VCT. Check those to make sure it's not leaking from there too.

    If you are not leaking from the weep hole then I would do the gaskets too and cross my fingers hoping the pump last a little longer.


    Check your PM box in a few mins, I'll send you the complete directions with pics on how to do this in pdf format.

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    The water pump gasket leak is a common problem. Get the GM gaskets, they are good ones and cost about $7.50 per pair. It is not a hard job and you do not have to remove the fans.

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayTA98 View Post
    I had noticed when I park my car in the garage I smell antifreeze. I checked everywhere and I can't see a leak. I looked closer from underneath and I noticed what initially appears to be a small oil leak in front/right side of the timing chain cover. When I shine the light I can see where the water pump outlet connect to the engine. I dont see a big leak but it looks like is leaking lightly. The oil leak has residual of something redish color on it. I was thinking A4 fluid but there is no way this will be in this area. So it must be antifreeze. I checked the radiator and the fluid went down a bit. I took off the belt and I moved the pump shaft/pulley and I don't have any bearing noise or play.

    Is it hard to remove the pump? I'm thinking about just getting the gaskets and replace them. If im correct i just have to remove the bolts that hold the pump, hoses and the fans. I really dont want to spend $140 bucks in a brand new pump from autozone but if it is a pain in the ass to replace I either get the new pump or wait until the leak is bigger. What you guys think? Thanks in advance.
    Replacing the gaskets is easy. I have a camshaft swap guide in the internal engine section that describes how to remove the pump and replace the gaskets. But basically this is what you do:

    Place a bucket under the water pump.
    Loosen all 6 bolts until it will start to drain.
    Once the draining has tapered off remove the bolts and the pump. Then grab your gaskets. I threaded a bolt in the opposite side than the gasket I was installing the gasket for then threaded the bolts in that side. Now unthread the bolt on the other side and install the gasket. Thread in the rest of the bolts. Now torque the bolts down to 18 ft-lbs (I think that is the spec) Don't forget to check your coolant level and add coolant. If you haven't done a coolant flush in a while you could do it now also.
    1998 Trans Am WS6 - Phantom
    421 CI LQ9, Tick Performance Custom Cam, TFS 255cc LS3 heads, Kooks 2" LT headers, Kooks 3" True Duals w/ high flow cats, FTP 104 lid, Speed Density Tune, 4" silicon tube, LS6 VCT, FAST 102 Intake, NW 102 TB, Oil Catch Can, SLP Bilstein Shocks w/ Vogtland Springs, CTS-V 4-piston Calipers w/C6 Z06 rotors, Stainless Steel Brake Lines, R1 concepts premium rotors, Hawk HP+ brake pads, VFN WSQ Hood, C5-R timing chain, SLP oil pump, E85 tune, Walbro 450 fuel pump, Deatschwerkz 95# injectors, Breathless performance headlights, Frost Tune, !HVAC.
    (Coming Soon) BMR DSL, UMI TQ Arm
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