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Started hearing this strange rattling noise from my water pump area. The pump wasn't weeping any coolant so I thought I could ride it out awhile. Anyway, I finally got around to getting it fixed last week. Well as it turns out, the aluminum pump housing was the problem. My SE is a 99, so the pump is on the left side. The pump housing has a metal liner inside it. I can only assume they built the pumps like that because it's cheaper to throw a liner in there than to machine the surface smooth and to the right contour. The liner broke loose form the housing and was spinning around freely. In the process of the spinning it tore the hell out of the housing. From ford (which is the only place to get the housing ) is $105- but you get a new pump as well.

Just thought I'd share a unique experience that a mechanic told me he never saw before. Maybe it could help someone in the future. Now I'm going to flush the coolant system to get any "debris" out of there!
 
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