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I just bought my first Taurus, a '99 with 72000 miles and the Vulcan engine, and I am going through it changing, oil, fluids, etc. I have a question about the Taurus water pumps. This vehicle is cooling fine, there is no leakage from the pump, and no noise when listening to it with a stethoscope. But when I try to wiggle the pump belt pulley (with the serpentine belt removed), I can get a tiny bit of movement. I have to really force it, and the movement is so slight that I first thought I was imagining it, but it is there.Should I replace the pump? I'm asking your advice and opinions for two reasons: (1) I'm not familiar with the 3.0 Vulcan engine and water pump longevity on it. (2) I've had an increasing number of problems over the years with getting replacement parts that are defective, going to much time and trouble to put them in, only to find that I'm worse off than I was before doing the work. Any help will be appreciated. And thanks.
 

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Sounds like you found a nice ride with only 72000 on it, congratulations. My guess would be that is the original water pump, if not, you dont know when it was last changed. Since it is a '99, I would go through it, flush the cooling system, install a new thermostat and do the water pump. Gen 2's have a bad reputation for having the heater core clog up so take a look at that also. This way, you will know the cooling / heating system is all good and thats one less worry.
 

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Vulcans also have a bad habit of melting off the water pump impeller. It's a really easy fix and the pumps themselves are cheap, even the good ones. My vote would be that it's cheap insurance to change the w.pump. While you're at it put on a new belt if what you have is the original.

Just my $0.02
 

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the best way to tell if it is working right their are two holes close to each othe on the top side called weep holes if they are dry then chances are it is good and also check the bolts to see if the pully it attached to pump tight good luck
 

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Vulcans also have a bad habit of melting off the water pump impeller. It's a really easy fix and the pumps themselves are cheap, even the good ones. My vote would be that it's cheap insurance to change the w.pump. While you're at it put on a new belt if what you have is the original.

Just my $0.02
No, its the Duratecs that have the melting impeller issue. To answer the original question, YES, change it. What happens to the Vulcan water pumps is the sleeve bearing wears eccentric and when it gets bad enough, it will leak at the seal or scrape the pump impeller on the housing and make a noise you will think its inside the motor. I have changed at least 4 vulcan water pumps on all of mine.

Be careful not to put too much grunt on the 8MM bolts that hold the pump
on if you change it. if you snap one off, you will have issues.

clearance on the water pump pulley is not great. The easiest way to do
it is leave the serp belt on, and use two open/closed end wrenches
offset to loosen the bolts, then remove the serp belt, then remove the pulley.
 

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Duratecs don't "melt" impellers. They might crack after 170k miles (like mine) when the bearings where probably wobbling, but was still looking sharp :)
 

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The shaft has a slight movement (in and out, not sideways). It's normal. 72k is not much. Stethoscope ok. Pump doesn't fail abruptly in general. I wouldn't replace it now.
 

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If your coolant hasn't been maintained (brown & nasty), I would change the pump. Vulcans are notorious for dissolving away their impellers in engines with poor cooling maintenance. The coolant becomes acidic and electrolysis finishes the job. A fairly easy DIY.
 

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I would change the water pump, flush the cooling system, check the hoses, (especially the lower radiator hose), check the belt tensioner, idler pully, tensioner pulley and spin the alternator while you have the belt off and listen for bearing noise at the pulley end.

I recently went thru a new-to-me Gen 2. I spent $400 on parts (some named above), and now have some peace of mind about taking the car on trips and it being generally reliable in order to avoid "fix or repair daily" (I hate that scenario). Because, I want to be in control of when the car is fixed, and not some emergency situation.
 

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I have a '99 Taurus Vulcan engine with 150k on it. Never had any problems with. Have done regular maint. on it all changing all fluids, spark plugs, wires, fule filter, O2 sensor, vehicle speed sensor, took upper intake off cleaned it out along with EGR, replace EGR hoses, cleaned MAF sensor. Vehicle starter getting hot at idle, cools back down while driving no heat. Instead of messing around I'm replacing everything on the cooling system (every hose/metal tube, thermostat, water pump, heater core. I love this car and the 3rd gen. body is my favorite. Dash has to come out for heater core but it is not that bad since I have the factory shop manual.
 

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^ Check out the taurus heater core shortcut video on youtube. Also, google: macs-airsept, click on the first (top) pdf and scroll down to heater core repair tips.
 

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Dash does not have to come out. I have done the shortcut and it works like a charm, there are links to it in our Topic Finder. Also, complete pipe/hose heater core plumbing assembly is available aftermarket, not just dealer. NAPA has it for like $64. And yeah, G3 is the best looking Taurus!
 

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Check the Timing cover seal as well, Mine has developed an annoying leak after 135K and it ain't fun to fix or cheap if you have the dealer or an independent shop do it. I was quoted 1,200 from ford :( Water pump leaks are often misdiagnosed because the water pump bolts to the timing cover. I'm doing the timing cover myself and the parts Including a new water pump are $110.00 you save a lot when you DIY. :)
 

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Why don't you determine what the problem is exactly instead of replacing everything? Even after replacement, you might not fix the problem. It could be just the thermostat, or the radiator fan might not be coming on. Don't you want to know what is causing the overheating?
 

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Congrats on finding a nice car! My opinion would be that I would not replace the water pump if it wasn't causing problems but then I don't know how you use your car and how many miles you intend to put on it. Even though it's low miles it is still a '99 and many parts get old and worn out over time not just miles. If you start replacing parts just because it might go bad in the next 50-100K miles you are going to have a really long list and you would have been better off buying a new car. Would it hurt to replace it? Of course not but for all we know it could go another 100K miles without a problem. I would give it a good cooling system flush and drive the car :)
 

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No, its the Duratecs that have the melting impeller issue. .
Incorrect. It is the Vulcans. It is the cast iron block of the Vulcans that cause the impeller issues when the coolant isn't flushed out every 4 years. Same goes with the heater core. All the rust/gunk from the engine accumulates in the core, blocking it. Why do you think Ford put a by pass hose at the heater core on Vulcan engines?

The Duratec is an aluminum block engine, and does not have these issues. One still should flush the coolant every 4 years, though.

I currently have 160,000 miles on my '97 LX with the Duratec. The engine still has all the factory original parts, except for the serpentine belt, pcv valve, and the upper radiator hose. Coolant flushed and changed every 4 years.
 

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I flush Vulcans every 2 years, Tecs every 4.
 

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No, its the Duratecs that have the melting impeller issue.
Really? Better tell that to the owner of this waterpump out of a Vulcan:

toast.jpg

I guess he'll be wanting to put that fine looking water pump back into his Vulcan engine since the Vulcan engine water pump impellers don't melt...

:p

While there is a "shortcut" way to do the heater core replacement that allows one to not have to partially remove the dashboard, the shortcut requires cutting off a vestigial bracket under the dash to make room for the core removal - and even after cutting the bracket out of the way, it still makes for an extremely tight and uncomfortable job. As the following video shows, the partial removal of the dash is a breeze - it just takes a few minutes to remove some bolts on one side, loosen two on the other side and remove the top bolts along the front of the dash (under the trim piece near the front window). That, plus popping a few trim bits off, and disconnecting the steering column (one bolt), and you just pivot the dash out on the passenger side (with the loosened bolts on the drivers side acting as a hinge of sorts). Then you have full access to the heater core area. The hardest part of the whole job is undoing and then redoing the heater core hoses in the tight confines of the area between the firewall and the engine - and that has to be done no matter which method you choose. As soon as the weather warms a bit here (it's currently a zillion below zero), I'll be heading out to the garage and replacing my heater core AND water pump (and doing the full flushing procedure as recommended on the video). The Taurus is my wife's daily driver - frozen wives do not maketh for warm bedmates...

 
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