Tip & How-To about Ford ZX2

How to change the water pump on an Escort ZX2.

Tools.
* Jack and jackstand
* 8 and 10mm box end wrenches
* 8, 10, and 13mm sockets
* 3/8" drive rachet and breaker bar
* Hammer and long screwdriver may be needed
* A prybar may be needed
Getting started
1. Drain the engine coolant. If you want to reuse the coolant, drain it into a clean container. There is a small drain **** (yes, that is what it is called) on the lower driver side of the radiator. Just loosen it and the coolant will come out of the hole. Take the radiator cap off to make it drain faster.

2. Put the passenger front side of the car on a jackstand and remove the passenger front wheel and plastic underpinning if you still have it on your car.

3. Before you remove the belt, you'll need to loosen the 3 10mm bolts holding the pulley onto the water pump. The tension in the belt should be enough to hold the pulley in place while you loosen the bolts. If not, use the breaker bar and 13mm socket to apply more tension while you loosen the bolts. You can apply more tension by trying to loosen the center bolt on the tensioner pulley. This will move the tension arm towards the front of the car and put more pressure on the belt. If you push too hard, you'll end up loosening the tensioner pulley bolt. That isn't a problem because you can just tighten it back up, but it won't do you any good for removing the water pump pulley bolts.


4. Once you get the three water pump pully bolts loose, use the 13mm socket and 3/8" breaker bar to release tension on the serpentine belt. You do this by rotating the wrench clockwise as if you were trying to tighten the bolt in the center of the pulley. It is spring-loaded so once you let go, the tensioner will move towards the front of the car. Don't get your fingers caught. Leave the breaker bar on the tensioner. If you remove it, the tensioner arm will swing up more and might be difficult to get it moved far enough to get the belt back on. If you are going to replace the belt as well, go ahead and remove it now. If you don't have a belt diagram handy, draw one before you remove the belt.

5. Remove the 3 water pump pulley bolts.

6. The water pump is held to the pump housing by 4 8mm bolts. Remove these bolts and try to pull the water pump out. If you are unable to pull it out, you will have to coax it out by trying to tap it up and down. I used a long screwdriver and a hammer to tap it from the top and bottom until it was loose enough to pull out by hand. It fits very tight into the housing so don't hit it too hard or you'll gouge the housing and it'll leak. Do not pry between the pump and housing mating surface. This will almost certainly cause a leak. You may have to pry the engine over a bit to get the pump out. Insert the prybar between the upper engine mount and the mount brace. This will move the engine more then enough for the pump to fall out.

7. Once the pump it out, check to see if the rubber seal is intact. If it doesn't look new, do not reuse it. If there is deposit build up (may look green, yellow, or white) then you'll need to clean it out of the pump housing or you'll have a leak. I used a small screwdriver. Since the housing is aluminum, you'll have to be careful if you scrape it off. You cannot scrape too hard or you'll gouge it, and you guessed it, it'll leak.


8. Once the housing is clean, install the new gasket onto the new pump. Don't roll the gasket onto the pump or it
may leak since it isn't sitting flat. The pump will only go in the right way. The bolt holes are offset. The small freeze plug in the pump will face down. Thread the bolts in by hand. From there you'll want to tighten the bolts up evenly and in a crosswise pattern. I can't find a torque rating for these bolts. The only ratings listed are for the pulley bolts and not the pump bolts. The best I can guess is about 8-10 ft-lbs or about as tight as you get spark plugs. Not very tight, just firm.

9. Put the pulley on and get the 3 bolts in finger tight. Put the serpentine belt on and tighten up the water pump
pulley bolts. Get them as tight as you can. The pulley will slip in the belt so you can't over tighten them.

10. Make sure the drain **** is closed and fill the radiator. Leave the cap off, start the car, and turn the heat wide open on vent. Once the car warms up to operating temperature the coolant level in the radiator should drop. Add coolant as the level drops. Be careful, it can splash back as air is pushed out. When the heat blows hot and the temperature hand is on normal, it should be full. Just let it run this way a few more minites to make sure. Shut the engine off and put the radiator cap back on. Now you are done.

Note: If you have to add water, only use distilled water. Tap water is a bad idea. You can see from the last picture that there was a lot of deposit build-up in my pump housing. I've only ever used distilled water. Imagine what it would be like if I had ever put tap water in this cooling system.

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