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Discussion Starter #1
Sounds like a stupid question. I replaced my water pump. I've done it before. No problem. 91 XR7 5.0.
This time, it leaks. Badly. I thought I did everything right.
The sealer I used was VersaChem Mega Black O.E.M. high temp silicon gasket Part No. 99839. It does say it's for water pumps. I bought the one they recommended. However, it says it's a "gasket maker" not a gasket sealer. O'Reilly didn't have anything that said gasket sealer on it. Only gasket maker. I thought gasket maker was for when you needed to make your own gasket. But that can't be true if that's all O'Reilly has. Did I used the wrong sealant, or (more likely) I just did a bad job on it? I think last time I used something like this Permatex 80088 Gasket Sealant High Temp and everything was fine.
I'll be redoing it soon.
 

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In my experience, getting stuff like this not to leak is kinda like paint work, the paint job is only as good as the underlying prep work- same with getting gaskets to seal- gotta really clean thos surfaces good. In the old days before my compresssor that meant a chisel scraping the mating surfaces to get all the old stuff off. also, a chemical wipe to get oils and stuff off also. There's a gasket remover spray that I've used which dissolves that old junk but be careful it also dissolves paint. I've never replace a water pump without some sort of gasket, albeit the thin flimsy kind that come with the replacement part. I always used a non-hardening gasket sealant on both sides. might have been overkill, but it was a belt-and-suspenders approach.

If you didn't use an actual gasket, I could see some potential problems. Also, were you careful to get around all the mounting bolt holes? Also, perhaps that particular car you are working on has some bolts that are tapped into the water jacket, such that you have to use a teflon sealant on the bolt threads to keep leakage from coming up around the mounting bolt (s) that are affected.

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter #3
In my experience, getting stuff like this not to leak is kinda like paint work, the paint job is only as good as the underlying prep work- same with getting gaskets to seal- gotta really clean thos surfaces good. In the old days before my compresssor that meant a chisel scraping the mating surfaces to get all the old stuff off. also, a chemical wipe to get oils and stuff off also. There's a gasket remover spray that I've used which dissolves that old junk but be careful it also dissolves paint. I've never replace a water pump without some sort of gasket, albeit the thin flimsy kind that come with the replacement part. I always used a non-hardening gasket sealant on both sides. might have been overkill, but it was a belt-and-suspenders approach.

If you didn't use an actual gasket, I could see some potential problems. Also, were you careful to get around all the mounting bolt holes? Also, perhaps that particular car you are working on has some bolts that are tapped into the water jacket, such that you have to use a teflon sealant on the bolt threads to keep leakage from coming up around the mounting bolt (s) that are affected.

Kevin
Thanks for the advice. I thought I cleaned the block very well. The pump was brand new. Yes, I did use a gasket. I put the sealer, or "gasket maker" as it was called on the water pump first making sure to put sealer around all the mounting bolt holes. Then I put the gasket on top of that. Next I put sealer on the other side of the gasket again making sure to coat it everywhere including around the holes and placed pump and sticky gasket onto engine block. Possibly I messed up the gasket while doing that. Don't know for sure. Every bolt went through every hole unobstructed. There's no gasket material sticking out. If the gasket slipped, it went inside the pump, not out.
 

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My brother, a long time mechanic of boats, cars and jets, once told me I could use 3M Weatherstrip Adhesive in either the yellow snot or black version. I use the black on all my water pump and thermostat installs and have never had a leak. Those are the only two places I use the stuff.
 

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I always use the grey stuff on water pumps and housings. My truck ('97 7.3 Diesel) didn't have gaskets on the water pump or housing from the factory, they just used the grey non-hardening sealant. I used the same stuff when replacing everything and had no leaks. I also used it on just about everything on the Cougars engine, and I have no leaks from gaskets.

Maybe you can just try to tighten the bolts up a little more and see if that helps. I had a small leak on my water pump in the Cougar when I first built it, but a retorque stopped it.
 

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I was asking 3tbmfan
I do four sides just like if doing a piece of weatherstrip. A line around the gasket and a line around the housing and/or pump.
 

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My brother, a long time mechanic of boats, cars and jets, once told me I could use 3M Weatherstrip Adhesive in either the yellow snot or black version. I use the black on all my water pump and thermostat installs and have never had a leak. Those are the only two places I use the stuff.
Yup 3M Weatherstrip Adhesive works better than any other product I have tried. Sure holds gaskets in place. I normally glue the gasket to the pump and if the engine surface is in good shape leave the engine side of the gasket dry. Thread sealer should be used on any bolts that go into water jackets. If the engine side is in poor shape I apply a thin coating of Permatex Ultra Black to the engine side of the gasket. From Experience if it came stock with a gasket one must be used if not its optional. Using RTV on both sides of a gasket is a bad idea as doing so can force the gasket out of place when the bolts are torqued. Cheap RTV aka RTV that smells like vinegar should never be used under the hood. That blue stuff comes to mind.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #11
At the permatex website there's a gasketing video
http://www.permatex.com/videos/video_gasketing_eng.html

it says that there is a difference between gasket sealer and gasket maker. You use gasket maker without a gasket (according the video). I think that's what they mean anyway. Now I'm afraid to use my Ultra Copper because it's a "gasket maker". I did see one that was water pump specific. I may go back and buy that. Or the 3M sounds good. I used a yellow sealer on my pump one time and it worked great. Maybe it was 3M?
 

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x2 to Clance and Bill's thoughts. You should have been OK, but with gasket makers - you generally have to give it time to "skin" before assembly, also you need to be sure that you mate them without to much fiddling so it gets a solid seal once you tighten the fastners in correct sequence - evenly.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
At the permatex website there's a gasketing video
http://www.permatex.com/videos/video_gasketing_eng.html

it says that there is a difference between gasket sealer and gasket maker. You use gasket maker without a gasket (according the video). I think that's what they mean anyway. Now I'm afraid to use my Ultra Copper because it's a "gasket maker". I did see one that was water pump specific. I may go back and buy that. Or the 3M sounds good. I used a yellow sealer on my pump one time and it worked great. Maybe it was 3M?
I called Permatex. The tech guy said Ultra Copper will be fine. He told me I don't need a gasket because with a gasket your 'e sealing 4 surfaces and without you're sealing 2. I told him I'm more comfortable with a gasket. He said that would be OK. He also said to just bolt it on finger tight and wait for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Then torque it down and wait for 3 hours.
I don't know if any holes are water jacket and if any are, which aren't. I don't know how to tell. I may use thread sealer on all of them. Does that make it more difficult to remove later? Is it (Teflon) a spray or a tape like on indoor water valves?
This was so easy the other times I did it. No problems. Before I just put sealer on both sides and torqued it down.
 

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I called Permatex. The tech guy said Ultra Copper will be fine. He told me I don't need a gasket because with a gasket your 'e sealing 4 surfaces and without you're sealing 2. I told him I'm more comfortable with a gasket. He said that would be OK. He also said to just bolt it on finger tight and wait for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Then torque it down and wait for 3 hours.
I don't know if any holes are water jacket and if any are, which aren't. I don't know how to tell. I may use thread sealer on all of them. Does that make it more difficult to remove later? Is it (Teflon) a spray or a tape like on indoor water valves?
This was so easy the other times I did it. No problems. Before I just put sealer on both sides and torqued it down.
I watched the video. My thoughts are most of the info is related to late model stuff that was made for assembly without gaskets. I still stand by using a gasket if one was used from the factory. The only reason I can see for waiting to torque the bolts would be to eliminate forcing the gasket out because sealer was used on both sides of the gasket. 3M Weatherstrip Adhesive aka trade name "monkey snot" is only used to hold gaskets in place. It may act as a sealer but its not the reason for using it. I would have no problem using a quality gasket without any sealer or gasket adhesive as long as there are only 2 surfaces going together and they are in good shape. As far as thread sealer goes paste type works better than tape for me. Never seen spray stuff. Permatex makes some good stuff though expensive. Quality plumbers pipe thread compound is cheap and works well. Its been a long time since I replaced a WP on a 5.0. If I remember correctly only the long bolts go into water jackets. It will not hurt to use thread sealer on all the bolts. It will not cause the bolts to seize in the threads. I would guess your leak may be caused by the lack of thread sealer on the long bolts.

Bill
 

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I use Gasgacinch to seal/hold gaskets in place. It works like contact cement. I haven't had any problems with leakage using this product.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
At the permatex website there's a gasketing video
http://www.permatex.com/videos/video_gasketing_eng.html

it says that there is a difference between gasket sealer and gasket maker. You use gasket maker without a gasket (according the video). I think that's what they mean anyway. Now I'm afraid to use my Ultra Copper because it's a "gasket maker". I did see one that was water pump specific. I may go back and buy that. Or the 3M sounds good. I used a yellow sealer on my pump one time and it worked great. Maybe it was 3M?

The yellow sealer I used was not 3M. I used black 3M for the moonroof (AKA sunroof) seal on my 91 XR7. I knew I had used 3M somewhere before. BTW, I called the 3M phone number off of the black 3M box (super weatherstrip and gasket adhesive 08008) and asked if it's suitable for water pumps. The rep told me that the black stuff isn't a good idea because they haven't tested it for high temps. However, I got two different stories at Permatex on another water pump issue, so this guy could be wrong too. I didn't ask him about yellow 3M .
 

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Been using yellow 3M i want to say some 25 years now. Use only enough to hold gasket in place. It isn't meant to be used as a gasket or really as a sealer. Probably should not use on cars with O2 sensers.
 

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Been using yellow 3M i want to say some 25 years now. Use only enough to hold gasket in place. It isn't meant to be used as a gasket or really as a sealer. Probably should not use on cars with O2 sensers.
It may not be a sealer "technically" but in the years I have used it on water pumps and thermostat housings I have never had a leak except once when I didn't have it at hand. That made me make sure it was always at hand. For threads in the water jacket I use Permatex thread sealant when bolting the pump/timing cover on.

Actually just used the stuff when replacing the water pump on the 98 Sable. It has a thin and tortuous outline on the Vulcan and it is sealed leak free.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thank you everyone for your help.
Just an update. The water pump was OK after all. I had replaced it correctly
. No leaks there. The bad news it that it didn't need to be replaced at all. I wasted time and money. The leak is from just above the pump. Just below and behind the thermostat housing. It's either the intake manifold or the timing chain cover. It's at the dealer. I'm getting a new engine. The original has 178,000 miles and also the rear main seal or oil pan gasket needs to be replaced. I could do all this myself. If I had a second car, I'd just do it. However, since it's my only car, I don't want to have it taken apart in my garage for a week or two or longer. It wouldn't matter how long it took it I had another car. It will be nice to have it not leaking all over my drip pan in my parking space. It will be nice to not need the drip pan. It will be nice to not worry about "needing a new engine some day" because that day is here.
 
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