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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to replace the water pump on my 1997 F350 Powerstroke 7.3L XLT
However, I must admit that the transmission range sensor turned out to be for a 1996 (old style oval connector) rather than the recommended newer style (rectangular connector).

Like others, I am struggling getting the fan nut to break loose.

I also plan to replace the belt, but can't get the belt tension to release.

I've reviewed dozens of videos and threads. None of these techniques seem to work for me.

Currently, I can completely loosen or even completely remove the bolt from the tension pulley. I can use a pry bar or a long handled rachet and nothing I do moves the tension pulley.

I working on the idea that if I can just get the belt off I'd have a little more room to get at the fan nut. Yes, I've put wd 40 and pb blaster on the nut. Yes, I've tried a long handled screw driver and db hammer. Yes, I've tried a 1 7/8 wrench with the belt on. Perhaps I'm just dull-witted on this; but, the fan nut and I are not working out.

So since I am removing the water pump, should I just cut the belt and backout the bolts on the water pump to get it out with the fan on it and see if I can get it off on a bench?

It certainly looks like I need a new belt and a new tensioner pulley to go with the new water pump.

Yes, its my first time to this rodeo. It seems so straightforward in descriptions, service manual and videos. I just don't want to make things worse.
 

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Have you used a 15mm socket on the end of a breaker bar onto the bolt on the tensioner pulley and then pulled towards the passenger side of the truck?

It has worked for me every time that I have done it.

For the fan nut you are going to either rent the tool from a store such as Autozone or use a impact chisel to knock it loose.
 

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I've never heard of a seized tensioner. I can see where that would help wear out a water pump. There might be some other things worn out as well.

My fan nut is never difficult to remove, as my fan clutch goes out about every three years - Autozone lifetime warranty.

I built a fan nut wrench out of 1/4 x 3 flat strap that was laying around.

I would remove the radiator and shroud first and leave the belt on to help hold the fan pulley. The nut is right hand thread.

Use anti-seize when going back together.

Edited: A strap wrench on the pulley would also work - probably :)
 

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Remember, you put a wrench on the pulley bolt NOT to turn the nut, but to rotate the whole arm of the tensioner. And as said, you push the breaker bar toward the passenger side fender, effectively counter-clockwise. You're winding UP the spring, to DECREASE tension on the belt. Once the belt is a little loose, while you're holding the tensioner in that position, you slip the belt off the idler pulley on top, the one between the A/C and alternator pulleys.

But as also said above, do that AFTER you get the fan nut loose. The tension of the belt will help hold it. As for the radiator, if you don't remove it, I've heard some guys will put a piece of cardboard on the back of the radiator, so the fan doesn't damage it when you remove it. But since you're pulling the water pump, and draining the cooling system anyway, removing the radiator might be the more prudent move.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Success!

Thanks for all the advice. This is my first complex mechanical repair.

I made several mistakes, but have learned a lot and gained much confidence for the future.

1. Use gloves. Everything is nasty, black, filthy and most of it winds up under your nails.
2. Doing the wrenching is much more involved than reading about doing the wrenching.
3. One can never have enough ratchets or sockets.
4. There are many different ways to remove the fan clutch nut (special wrenches from autozone, chaining the water pump bolt, ratchet strap from side to side of engine compartment, make your own tool, vise grip on pulley, etc.). Keep trying until you find the way that works best for you (slip strap on the water pump pulley).
5. Rust is as powerful an adhesive as loctite.
6. Using an old ice chest to stand on while working in the engine compartment is not comfortable and has a tendency to slide.

I had problems getting the tension off the belt because I didn't clearly understand how to do it. The visual of moving the entire tensioner towards the passenger fender made the light bulb go off for me.

Apparently there was nothing wrong with the old water pump. The problem turned out to be a compromised/rotted o-ring on the lower water inlet. Adding to that, the two bolts that hold the housing on were completed rusted beyond belief. This must have been leaking slowly for years; although I've only owned it for about 10 months.

Whomever put the fan clutch nut on last time used loctite. That nut was as hard to remove as the two rusted ones on the lower water inlet. I used a slip wrench to hold the pulley and did get the loaner tools from autozone to loosen the nut.

Two observations: Thanks to whomever had the thread that alerted me to the fact that there are two blades on the fan that are farther apart than all the others. Makes it much easier to get your hands and forearm in there. And, I gained some space by removing two of the bolts holding the fan blades onto the assembly. Made a world of difference for me.

At the end, I realized I should have spent much more time on the tear down to know if I really did or did not need to replace the water pump. So while it was money I might not have had to spend, there was at least as much valuable learning taking place as the cost of the pump.

What should I do with the old pump? Keep it for back up, sell it, junk it?
 

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3. One can never have enough ratchets or sockets.
Should go up on every DIYer's workshop wall. Whenever there's a... "family discussion" about spending money on more tools, point to this rule.
6. Using an old ice chest to stand on while working in the engine compartment is not comfortable and has a tendency to slide.
We keep a little folding two-step ladder in the back of each truck, when we realized how much higher the hood is on a 3/4-ton 4x4 vs. a 1/2-ton 2WD.

Two observations: Thanks to whomever had the thread that alerted me to the fact that there are two blades on the fan that are farther apart than all the others.
Yuh, I always remember this when removing the belt (I don't see any other way to get in there), but always forget to mention it on the forums. :dunno:

What should I do with the old pump? Keep it for back up, sell it, junk it?
Keep it. Corollary to rule #3 - one can never have too many spare parts.
 

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I wouldn't hang onto the old water pump, unless you KNOW it's new enough to make it worthwhile using instead of buying another $150 new one when you need it.

Such an extra teardown for a possibly short-lived or malfunctioning cheap part that can leave you stranded or destroy the engine is a high price to pay, IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just a followup...
I took the dually out for a short trip (35 miles, empty) and it handled it fine.

Two days later out for a longer trip (140 miles round trip hauling an empty load trail dump trailer) and all was good.

In a couple of days I go for the 70 mile empty followed by 70 mile with a full dump trailer. I expect it will be fine.

The water pump no longer leaks, the radiator - thermostat and hoses are new.

I also changed out the transmission range sensor. Made a huge difference with the power drop out and racing rpms.

Thank you to everyone for your help.
 
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