Water pump casing damage 78z - Nissan : Datsun ZCar forum :Nissan Z Forum: 240Z to 370Z
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Water pump casing damage 78z

Water pump was making a “rattling” sound and had some radial “wobble” when you pulled on the pulley. When I pulled off the pump I found scoring on the timing chain cover (see attached picture. ). The deepest part of the groove is about 5 thousandths. I know this may decrease the efficiency of the pump some but really dont want to pull the cover to have it built up and machined. Anyone had experience with this type of scoring and whether its still serviceable as is?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 11:26 PM
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that looks pretty bad, I would just buy a new one (timing cover), you can get them off ebay or direct from japan, 75$ + shipping. I routinely replace water pumps now every 10k, its the one area of the Z that has gotten me going back 30 yrs. I had one break a the shaft and take out the radiator, another just spring a leak, stranding me for hours until I did a replacement away from home. Now I just replace it with one of the cast impeller types if I can feel ANY radial movement. Don't over tighten the bolts, use some anti seize.


While you have the timing cover off replace the timing chain and guides and tensioner, or at least the guides. I just recently had the tight side guide just break loose and fall down into the bottom of the cover. Not sure why, as the chain did not seem worn. I did the whole job with the engine in and the hood on. Not that bad.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 11:51 PM
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Oh, I don't know... it's not a sealing face, per se.

If it were I, and I really didn't want to pull the cover, I'd smooth down the gouge edges and call it macaroni.

The Best Solution will still wont further action, but it's a can I should think you could kick down the road a bit.

But that's just me, of course.



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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 12:41 PM
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Oh, I don't know... it's not a sealing face, per se.

If it were I, and I really didn't want to pull the cover, I'd smooth down the gouge edges and call it macaroni.

The Best Solution will still wont further action, but it's a can I should think you could kick down the road a bit.

But that's just me, of course.
I'd do the same. I don't see any real damage there, and I think a good quality water pump would work just fine.

My hat's off to DaveM. I tried to get the timing cover on my 280 ZXT in place without leaks, with the oil pan and head already installed, and it was one of the most frustrating experiences of my mechanical life. I ended up taking it to a Datsun mechanic (I actually know one) and paid him to do it.

I'd go a long way to avoid ever taking that timing cover off again, and if I do, it won't be a DIY project.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 07:52 PM
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zx prob a bit more of bear with more stuff in the way. On a 280 its pretty easy, pull the rad out and you get a good amount of room to work in, put it up on ramps and you get better still, with the splash pan and water pump out its pretty roomy. The hardest part for me was getting the AC compresser mount out of the way, it blocked one of the small screws on the TC. removing the alternator and the carbon canister helped too.


From there the only real issue is the damper. an impact driver will make it easy, otherwise a long breaker bar and way to hold the engine (e brakes, in gear, wheel chocks) and a 27mm socket will get it out of the way. a set of pullers is good to get the damper off, I used a 3 jaw med sized.


making sure you have all the bolts off including the ones that go thru the cylinder head to the cover, and a plastic hammer to tap on the back side of the cover and its off.


Or pay someone
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Teupilot View Post
Water pump was making a “rattling” sound and had some radial “wobble” when you pulled on the pulley. When I pulled off the pump I found scoring on the timing chain cover (see attached picture. ). The deepest part of the groove is about 5 thousandths. I know this may decrease the efficiency of the pump some but really dont want to pull the cover to have it built up and machined. Anyone had experience with this type of scoring and whether its still serviceable as is?
Don't even give it a second thought. The gouging you're seeing is very slight and won't make a bit of difference in your water pumps function. I've seen it way worse than that and still put it back together without any issues whatsoever. Make sure that you use a good quality water pump when putting it back together. ALWAYS use a pump with a cast iron impeller, NEVER use the stamped steel version and stay away from rebuilds. If I take an engine apart with the stamped steel impeller, that water pump goes right in the scrap barrel. I've seen a noticeably higher failure rate on them and have even seen them go through radiators on many occasions.
As far as pulling the timing cover goes you should NEVER just try pulling the cover. Besides being a pain, it's asking for trouble. Always pull the oil pan or the head, in most cases the oil pan because it's so much easier. It goes back to the old adage......."Do it right or don't do it at all"
You should NEVER use a 3 jaw puller on a crank pulley, that's a good way to damage the pulley. There are 2 threaded 8mm bolt holes in the pulley and that's designed for a steering wheel puller. Personally, I use my 2 biggest screw drivers placed behind the pulley and alternate pressure and 98% of the time the pulley slides right off. Just be sure that you either catch the pulley as soon as it comes off or else place a fluffed up towel on the floor to cushion the impact or you could be buying another crank pulley. Z man of Washington

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Last edited by zmanofwashington; 10-16-2019 at 10:24 PM.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 10:33 PM
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Thanks for the info on not to use 3 jaw puller. Seemed to work fine for me (it did not take a lot of force) but I can see how using the proper tool in the designed in bolt holes makes sense. I was able to just loosen the pan all the way around and drop it about 1/4".
a Bigger deal IMHO is the timing chain guide. My chain showed no signs of stretch, but somehow the tight side managed to snag on the chain, tore itself off and landed down on the bottom of the cover, after getting chewed on. For me that means NEW guides and tensioner at least if 100k on engine.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 10:41 PM
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 10:45 PM
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Oh I think I get it now, the pulling on the outer edge stresses the rubber bond (think that is how damper is assembled), besides the possible damage to the pulley.
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