308 water pump failure?

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by Gianluca, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. Gianluca

    Gianluca Formula Junior

    May 6, 2003
    Centreville, Virgini
    Full Name:
    Gianluca Chegai
    I really need some help on this.
    Took engine out and did the usual: timing belts, new hoses, WP rebuilt, gaskets and seals.

    Put engine back and most things are ok with the exception of the cooling system. I used the Evans waterless stuff, by the way.

    The problem is that the warm/hot water is not reaching the expansion tank (with all the associated problems) nor is reaching the radiator.

    I have put more than enough coolant, I have tested the therostat and I am reasonably sure I have all the plumbing right.

    It appears, however, that there is not enough coolant in the system because
    is not coming out of radiator nor the thermostat bleeding valves.

    I am reasonably confident that the WP I rebuilt is properly done.

    Question: could some coolant have gone in the oil pan somehow? I know I did put the coolant in the proper place but is there a way I could have screwed up so badly the plumbing that coolant ended up in the oil pan?

    Unfortunately Evans coolant is somewhat viscous and slimy, similar to brake fluid in some respect so it is not really apparent if the oil on the dip-stick is contaminated.

    The only other things I can think of would be the WP has failed. Belt is new and looks good while running. New seal and new bearings; no noises and no leaks from WP.

    To recap, engine gets hot and hoses running between heads are hot (maybe from engine radiated heat, however), both bottom hoses, and hoses to expansion tank cold. The coolant level in the expansion tank seems correct.

    What gives?


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  3. pma1010

    pma1010 F1 Rookie

    Jul 21, 2002
    Full Name:
    How do you know hot water isn't reaching the rad or the tank?
    Have you thoroughly bled the system? Will it produce air or liquid from the rad bleed valve when you open the knurled knob?
    Who rebuilt the WP? Are you sure the impeller is on the pump?
  4. Gianluca

    Gianluca Formula Junior

    May 6, 2003
    Centreville, Virgini
    Full Name:
    Gianluca Chegai
    I used to see some "pissing" in the tank (before I took the engine out). Now there is no movement and the tank is cold.

    I have tried to bleed the system however, nothing is coming out.

    I rebuilt the pump and I am positive the impeller is on. Also, the clearance of the impeller has beck checked and is correct.
  5. pma1010

    pma1010 F1 Rookie

    Jul 21, 2002
    Full Name:
    No air or liquid is expelled? If neither, you have a blockage somewhere.
  6. Gianluca

    Gianluca Formula Junior

    May 6, 2003
    Centreville, Virgini
    Full Name:
    Gianluca Chegai
    Ok, I will clarify. I put a little air pressure in the thermostat bleeding valve and some coolant did come out of the radiator bleeder valve. Also, when I filled it, I kept the same valve open and coolant did come out of it. Now, however, no coolant is coming out by itslef with the engine either running or stationary.

    Do you think is possible that coolant would end up in the oil pan because of some bad plumbing or some porting inside the engine, missing "o" rings, missing gaskets etc.?
    I keep on having this sinking feeling that there is very little coolant in the system but it truly seems impossible that it could end up in the oil pan.

    Anyone has an answer to this question? I have gone all over the car and there are no coolant leaks anywhere.

    Also, should the thermostat fail to open, would these symptoms be appropriate for such failure?

    Pleeeeeeease help!!!!
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  8. Steve King

    Steve King F1 Rookie

    Feb 15, 2001
    Just rethink this. If you had water in the oil then you would see it on the dipstick. It would be way overfilled. If you want to verify just drain the oil and refill it. Next did you put in a new thermostat ? Also are you sure that the WP shaft is spinning with the engine running? Also how much water did you put into the system. Try this before you go any further. Also you mentioned you took out the motor to do a belt change? Why pull the motor?
  9. carguy

    carguy F1 Rookie

    Oct 30, 2002
    Alabama (was Mich.)
    Full Name:
    Hmmm...since the coolant is "waterless" does this mean it does not expand, cavitate or boil like water? I'm not sure how this would react during bleeding of the system, there may not be hardly any bleeding necessary. And like Steve said, your oil level would be getting higher if coolant was getting into the engine. When the engine is running and getting warm, what does the temp gage show? Is it up to temps to where the cooling fans should be coming on? Have you done a short road test? If the water pump pulley is spinning, the shaft or key way (if there is one) would have to be broken for the impeller not to spin, correct? Lastly, could the thermostat be installed there room for this in the housing?
  10. Gianluca

    Gianluca Formula Junior

    May 6, 2003
    Centreville, Virgini
    Full Name:
    Gianluca Chegai
    the oil level does show a bit high but I check it after it drains from the cooler and thus I am not able to make a positive judgment.

    The temp, gauge does go up to about 160 but, by then the engine feels hot and I turn the car off as I know something is wrong.
    The fans do not come on, however. I think if everything was ok they would come on.

    No road test yet. (car ready to go (sort of) and stuck in the garage!!!!).

    The key on the WP shaft pump (there is one) is something I have thought of but it is small and it would take a massive problem for it to snap. I will check that, however, as soon as I take the WP out. The thermostat is in the correct position (it just came out) and I do not think it could go in backward.


    You are right about the dipstick but as explained above, I can not interpreter the level for sure. All the inspections (visual, odor, viscosity etc.) do not indicate collant in the oil but...where has all the coolant gone? No trace of it at the thermostat (with thermostat removed). Only in the expansion tank I do have it.

    The thermostat is not new but has been tested and it works fine (at least with water)

    WP shaft spinning? At this point, not too sure.

    I put almost 19 liters (5 gallons)

    The motor came out for regular maintenance but mainly for new timing belts and general service. Car has 28000 miles on it.

    Had oil leaks and it was very very dirty...but it ran fine. Boohoooooooo!

    Thanks for all has responded so far. I will not keep any stone unturned.

    This weekend oil, coolant and WP are coming out. Also, I think I will chuck $ 150 of coolant and go back to regular stuff. At least is green and it does NOT mix with oil.

    Here are some picts. The first shows the short hose in the center where I put the coolant in. The other two, before and after.



    Yes, the first is just a joke before I shoot myself in the head. (Maybe I just shoot the car instead)!
  11. pma1010

    pma1010 F1 Rookie

    Jul 21, 2002
    Full Name:
    If necessary, remove the knurled knob completely from the rad. Are you saying nothing comes out when the expansion tank has plenty of liquid it in and the car is normally oriented (i.e., level)? Tells me liquid isn't flowing (independently of the pump) through the system.

    BTW, fans usually come on at 195 - 200 degrees.
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  13. Meister

    Meister F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 27, 2001
    Duluth, MN
    Full Name:
    The Meister
    All I can add is just start with the simplest stuff first. I cant tell you how much time I've wasted and frustration I've gone through by not looking at the simplest thing first. I've torn things apart when the problem was only a blown fuse....
    When I replaced my radiator with a new aluminium one and I must have put 4 gallons back in there just by switching rads. By pulling the engine I'd think you'd have almost 2 gallons in the block itself... just a guess.
  14. henryk

    henryk Formula Junior

    Dec 9, 2003
    Door County, WI
    My 308QV WSM states that there are 24 liters of coolant..........interestingly, my TR WSM states only 20, for the TR. Seems that the 12 takes less than the 8!!!!!!!!!!
  15. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
    Consultant Owner

    May 5, 2001
    Groton, MA
    Full Name:
    Verell Boaen
    IMHO, It's unlikely that you've got coolant going into the oil. However, you could check by draining the oil into a container. The coolant would come out 1st, followed by the oil. If there's no coolant in the oil, just pour it back in.

    You've probably done the following, but just in case, here's the detailed bleed procedure I've never had fail me:

    1) Set both of the heater levers all the way to hot. (This ensures coolant can flow thru & into the heater cores & that air can bleed out. Otherwise you'll trap about 2 liters of air in the system!)

    2) Remove the coolant tank cap & leave it off. The cap must be off for the system to bleed properly, otherwise a partial vacuum will form & very little bleeding will occur.

    If the tank isn't at least 1/2 full, you just haven't put enough coolant in, so add coolant up to the level spec'd by the owners manual.

    3) Open the radiator bleed valve. You should hear air hissing out, until the valve starts peeing coolant. With the system cold, the air flow will be pretty slow, but either coolant or air should be coming out.

    Occasionally check the coolant tank & keep it at least 1/2 full.

    4) Remove the thermostat bleed bolt. This should result in a couple of things:
    a) Increase the rate that the radiator is bleeding.
    b) Bleed air out of the engine.

    Keep checking the coolant tank.

    5) Once the radiator starts oozing coolant, close the radiator bleed valve off.

    6) Once the thermostat bleed hole starts gushing coolant, insert the bleed bolt. ( I drilled about a 3/32 axial hole down the center of my bolt, and about 1/4 of the length down from the cap I drilled a radial hole in one side & that picks up the axial hole. Someone said that one of the P* models has a pre-drilled bleed bolt that droops right in.)

    If you don't have a drilled bolt, the air will come out in a hurry, followed by a pencil sized fountain of coolant.( You'll want a BIG wad of towels in place for this!) Now put the bolt back in & clean up the mess. (Don't rush too much & drop the bolt tho!)

    7) Repeat steps 3 thru 6 until you don't get any more air out. It's best to wait 10-15 mins between each round of steps, but not mandatory. Usually takes about 3 rounds.

    8) Fill the coolant tank to within 6cm(~ 2") of the top & cap it.

    9) Take the car for a short drive to bring the system up to temp, but stay close to home in the unlikely case it starts to overheat. Once it's hot, shut it down & let it cool off thoroughly enough so that you know it'll be safe to remove the coolant cap.

    Heating will open the thermostat & let coolant sweep air out of the various nooks & crannies in the system. The air will tend to accumulate in the radiator & thermostat housing where it's ready to be bled out.

    10) Once it's cooled off, go back & repeat steps 1 thru 8.

    That should take care of things.
  16. Gianluca

    Gianluca Formula Junior

    May 6, 2003
    Centreville, Virgini
    Full Name:
    Gianluca Chegai
    Thank you to all for your help.
    The problem/mistery has been resolved!

    Not enough coolant in the car.

    As several people mentioned about the amount of coolant in the engine, I decided (try the easy things first...thanks Meister) to add some coolant. Evans says that as an emergency coolant to use straight Propylene Glycol (sp.?). So I added about 1/2 gallon more and everything started working perfectly. Surely the last 3 replies all pointed to this problem.

    My manual says 18 liters I put 19 liters. I believe that the Owner's Manual refers to the amount it takes for a coolant change. As Meister said, with the engine pull all the coolant was gone and thus....

    Verell, tomorrow I will do a full system bleed using your method. I will also modify the bleed screw of the thermostat.

    Happy Easter to all,


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