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Marks on radiator - Water pump leaking? And suggestions for best replacement pump


TRevver
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I spent some lockdown time refurbing the radiator from  my MK1 Vitesse. It looked great - for a while! The car didn't run much last year (that's a different story) but I noticed a pattern of "rusty marks" over the engine-facing side. At first I though this was coolant that had maybe escaped from the weep hole on the pump (manufacturers mark is "County"), and then found it's way along the taper and out of the 4 openings at the front of the pump. However, it appears to be where the radiator paint has chipped / flaked off (Eastwood black radiator paint  https://www.frost.co.uk/eastwood-radiator-satin-black-aerosol-340g/?ph=782f5d1b5f6507f8e0765137&gclid=EAIaIQobChMItt3Vma2e7wIV-IFQBh0ayAjVEAAYASAAEgIL5fD_BwE).

 

Anyone had any similar experiences or got any ideas what has caused it?

 

Also, the pump was a bit noisy and appeared to be suffering from worn bearings - it was often quite "squeaky" in operation. I've cleaned up the crud from the impeller but am thinking it could be due for replacement. I've seen the posts that they don't last long anyway. Are they all pretty much the same in terms of quality? A N.O.S or refurbed unit would seem a good alternative as it seems they were built to last but can't see any advertised, tried flea bay, Mick Dolphin etc. 

 

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Rusty marks are probably just the paint having flaked off through damage and the metal underneath rusting, or else water being dried of by the heat from the engine and leaving marks. Unless you're seeing drips or coolant loss it's no problem.

I had a lot of those recently but of more concern was a bluey-green set of marks that DID look like water seeping out of the copper tubes, plus there was one seriously rusty section on the halfway up, to the left. However: I pressure tested it with a hose and there were no leaks, so I've put off recoring it until I see how it performs. You can straighten out those bent vanes with fine-nosed pliers, one at a time, but don't waste money on a tooth-comb; they're angled so a comb won't work in the same way as it does on parallel fins.

1418AA74-B08D-4626-8C09-060B60A1FB55_1_105_c.jpg.638f77de77cfbbbf9f71e820c5e280e9.jpg  F513EFE1-9FB5-43F8-8D44-FDF412B2820E_1_105_c.jpg.61bb0f4cac898c0e736e4137558832f9.jpg

Water pumps these days are usually a service item, one or two years seems to be the expected lifespan unless you get an early original - look for the nut on the pulley which means it can be removed. They use replaceable bearings and can be refurbished. A seller on eBay was selling a huge pile of them recently but only as a job lot...

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if its leaking coolant from the 4 unused fan bolt holes then the front  seal has failed , probably due to the bearings having some float 

some pumps havea sort of rubbery gland seal ans others a sealed bearing 

if its county its probably half camel or something  else thats  dead .

who's is best is a long trial ,by the time you have an opinion you  have forgotten why your were concerned 

Pete

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1 hour ago, TRevver said:

I spent some lockdown time refurbing the radiator from  my MK1 Vitesse. It looked great - for a while! The car didn't run much last year (that's a different story) but I noticed a pattern of "rusty marks" over the engine-facing side. At first I though this was coolant that had maybe escaped from the weep hole on the pump (manufacturers mark is "County"), and then found it's way along the taper and out of the 4 openings at the front of the pump. However, it appears to be where the radiator paint has chipped / flaked off (Eastwood black radiator paint  https://www.frost.co.uk/eastwood-radiator-satin-black-aerosol-340g/?ph=782f5d1b5f6507f8e0765137&gclid=EAIaIQobChMItt3Vma2e7wIV-IFQBh0ayAjVEAAYASAAEgIL5fD_BwE).

 

Anyone had any similar experiences or got any ideas what has caused it?

 

Also, the pump was a bit noisy and appeared to be suffering from worn bearings - it was often quite "squeaky" in operation. I've cleaned up the crud from the impeller but am thinking it could be due for replacement. I've seen the posts that they don't last long anyway. Are they all pretty much the same in terms of quality? A N.O.S or refurbed unit would seem a good alternative as it seems they were built to last but can't see any advertised, tried flea bay, Mick Dolphin etc. 

 

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IMG_6076 copy.jpg

Forumite "Classic Life" had a pump reconditioned by a company, cost about the same as new but comes with a lifetime warranty. Hopefully he will be along with the name, but that would be my choice.

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was there staining from the WP drain hole as thats the first place any seal fail leak should exit. Ive found the life of the seal is drastically reduced if the engine is left for longer periods without being turned and guess that it sticks to the shaft so then gets damaged when eventually turned☹️

Wouldnt have thought the radiator paint loss is down to the pump leaking though...

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I think - if I remember correctly - I had two refurbished for around £90, £45 each all-in. These are the early brass-impellar pumps with the removable bearings, so unlike the more modern solid-state versions can be repaired.

 

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On the Vittesse only the early ones can be serviced. (1983 edition Haynes, Vittesse or GT6)

 

Early Water Pump.jpg

Late Water Pump.jpg

I note the phrase " The Impellor should then be soldered to the shaft to prevent seepage".

Pete

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Mine is definitely the newer (sealed unit) pump. I might give EP Services a call anyway, they might have some old pumps knocking about - there phone number is on the site, otherwise I'll get another one of the camel / roadkill seal variety. I saw the bay ad on eBay for the job lot of 60 but I don't have enough room to hide the other 59 from the other half! Wonder if the club would be interested in buying them?

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Yes I found Classiclifes original reply to a query about a Mk3 GT6 unit so it sounds hopeful even for the later type pumps:

Evening !!

I use EP Services which is a water pump reconditioning company that can overhaul any water pump of any vintage and rebuild with modern technology. Their workmanship is brilliant and in addition to that they offer a lifetime guarantee so long as you keep the car. Prices are very decent and you can expect to pay about £65 for a Vitesse / GT6 water pump. I know Colin has used them as well, for his Herald I believe, and happy with their services. 

A friend of mine with a Sunbeam Alpine who is as fussy as hell, was over the moon with the quality & overhaul service of his pump.................... that is praise indeed from him !!!

Turn around time is between 2-3 days. Here is the link: http://www.ep-services.co.uk/our_company

Anybody who needs their water pump replaced / overhauled due to wear and tear, would do well to consider this company.

I have no financial connection, just a happy Triumph and Daimler customer.

Regards.

Richard.

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I just spoke to the guy at EP Services. Very helpful chap called Paul King (07770 747724). He's happy to make a pump up out of spares with ceramic bearings etc, guaranteed for life for about £60 without an exchange unit, if anyone else is interested. He's grateful for any business coming through the forum. I put him in touch with the guy selling the job lot on eBay too.

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7 minutes ago, johny said:

but I take it EP services can modify the new style pumps so apart from being able to offer a no exchange service dont need the old style pumps in particular anyway?

Now that I don't know... as I'd have binned the modern pump in favour of the earlier versions which were designed to be refurbished and reused. By the time I find a modern pump is leaking it's usually quite rusty and the metal impellors are getting a bit dog eared. The early versions are all brass, so don't rust.

Best thing is to enquire of EP by phone.

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hey are you changing you anti freeze often enough Colin? They shouldnt be rusting especially as they dont seem to last long☹️

My take on EP services is that they can overhaul any pump, as I would expect a professional to be able to...

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10 minutes ago, johny said:

hey are you changing you anti freeze often enough Colin? They shouldnt be rusting especially as they dont seem to last long☹️

My take on EP services is that they can overhaul any pump, as I would expect a professional to be able to...

They're usually pumps taken off cars I've just bought; this was the content of the TR7 radiator the first time I drained it:

DSCF5903.jpg.43dbc60b366417b6eb2df2a0d1ab8a9c.jpg

My GT6 pump is still lying about the garage; rusted solid and almost seized. The replacement I fitted back in 2001 is still working away, but it needed a new radiator core and block flushing, too.

I'd reckon, yes, EP Services can overhaul any pump, but if they charge £45 for the work and you can buy a new pump for £38 it doesn't make financial sense.

 

 

 

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I think theyre always going to be more expensive than a 'chinese' replacement pump but if theirs comes with modern seal and bearings to give it a for life guarantee thats got to be worth it?

My coolant used to come out dirty like that but after repeated flushing these days is always pretty green and clear. Dont know if the alloy rad has made a difference....

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1 hour ago, Colin Lindsay said:

 

I'd reckon, yes, EP Services can overhaul any pump, but if they charge £45 for the work and you can buy a new pump for £38 it doesn't make financial sense.

 

 

 

I'd go for the £45 option without hesitation.

Just as a point in passing, when I took delivery of my Herald in 2015 it came with a brand new spare pump (County) still in the box. For ages I would carefully check out the existing pump ts see where it was leaking, why else would the PO have a new pump ready? Well still no leak . .😅

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yes Ive had pumps reseal themselves. As I say I think the seal sticks through not turning and is damaged when it is finally turned so it leaks. However sometimes they do seem to be able to bed themselves back in and seal again but it obviously reduces their life...

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21 hours ago, Pete Lewis said:

is that a rally mans bucket  ... the one with a 3mm hole in the bottom so you dont have to empty it ????

Pete

Pete. That`s "lost" on anyone who`s never been on a Caravan Rally. (or to Glastonbury).

Pete

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