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Discussion Starter #1
2000 Ram 1500 V6, 3.9L

My drive belt burned through due to friction from the water pump pulley NOT spinning (it won't turn by hand and is completely seized). It happened on start-up so luckily no overheating occured. I'm hoping I'll have to just change out the water pump with new one, however, I'm wondering if something more sinister has happened. I don't see any coolant anywhere but did smell some prior to it failing. Even after it has failed I don't see any coolant on the ground or around the engine or pump.

I guess my questions are as follows:

1. Should I expect anything worse that the water pump itself

2. What are the common sense things to replace in addition to the water pump, since I'll have it all broken apart anyway.

One more thing: Fan and Fan clutch seem to be ok. Can't really test the fan though since nothing is spinning.

Thanks!
 

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Was this the original water pump, or an aftermarket one?

The odds are only the water pump & belt need to be addressed. Check the idler & tensioner pulleys to make sure they didn't get scraped up when the belt went.

It's odd that you saw no coolant loss. Usually, the pump will be leaking a small amount over time & that leaking coolant will wash out the grease in the bearing, which causes it to lock up.

Make sure you get the clamp on straight on the large bypass nipple on the replacement water pump. It's real common to have a small leak there and it will look like the pump is leaking, when in reality it's just a leak from the hose that runs down to the bottom of the pump housing.

Mike Sal
Mike Sa
 

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Since you are replacing the water pump you should also replace all the cooling system hoses and thermostat and gasket. Before you pull your pump off check to see if your radiator and overfill tank is full. Since you can't see any leaking and if the cooling system is full then you shouldn't have any problems.
 

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I had that exact same thing happen to me. Except, I was at 70 MPH in heavy rush hour traffic with my family in the car in the hammer lane. SUX to lose power brakes and steering like that. :SHK:

I had no leaking prior to this and only a faint squeel that sounded like an idler pulley losing a bearing. Whay happened was my pump lost its bearing and slid forward until the impeller touched the housing and it siezed there. I could rock the pump shaft up-n-down by hand.

$30 at O'reilly Automotive for a lifetime warranty reman. I'd change the hoses if they look the least bit worn, obviously the belt and the t-stat since youre in there.

The job is a pain :VHOT: bcuz you have to remove the fan shroud and the fan as one piece and put them back on that way. Once that is done it's simple.

The pulley wheel and the brass hose to the heater core come with the new pump so you dont have to remove the old one. Be sure to carefully remove the metal tube with the "o" ring on it as it is not very stout.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow! this is the first time I've used this forum and I have to say it's been a huge help. Thanks for all the replies!

I'm pretty happy w/ my Dodge overall. It has 167,000 miles and this is the first semi-major problem it's had (knocks on wood/head). To answer some questions:

Mike: it was the original. I'm replacing the tensioner as preventive maintanence while I'm in there. It was a bit sticky but freed up with some lithium grease. The coolant tank is full, but I did smell antifreeze on occasion. I just couldn't find a leak. I guess it's possible that the leak was so slight that it never accumulated any appreciable amount.

Sniper623: Thanks, I'll take the advice. The metal return tube and o-ring are being replace as it's pretty nasty looking. All hoses look to be in good shape but since they're cheap they're outa here.

98QuadCabV10: Yeah, thermostat is going to get replaced. Good advice and one that I figured out after reading the service manual. It would suck to have it fail when I was just in that vicinity anyway.

Once again, thanks for the help!

-Bryan
 

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The coolant you were smelling could have been from a tiny leak that was comming from the water pump and burning off (drying) before it could make it too far down the water pump. Once you are done make sure you pressure test it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, I think you're right. I just finished removing the fan, fan shroud and air filter case to get a better look at the top of the engine. There is a little bit of antifreeze residue that looks like it could have come from the top radiator hose (where it meets the engine) or the bypass hose. I will indeed get it pressure tested once all the new parts are in place. Thanks

One more thing: is RTV sealant good enough for the pump gasket? Anyone have anything they swear by?

-Bryan
 

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I don't like to use RTV alone. I always like to use a little RTV on the gasket. Sometimes RTV doesn't stick to well depending on the surfaces you use it on.
 
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