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2002 5.3L GM frequent water pump failures?

WarWagon

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In under two years and low miles (20K tops) we are on the 3rd water pump for the 2002 Yukon 5.3L V8. OEM died, shop installed GM pump that failed in a little over a year as well as leaked everywhere including from the new GM t-stat housing. Shopped warrantied it and dropped on a parts store replacement (as GM parts warranty was up) with gray silicone instead of the metal rubber gaskets to block. It just died at 1 year leaking out the weep hole badly. Put a GM pump back on.

Missing something causing the WP failures here. Didn't see anything (debris) drained out in the coolant bucket.

At least GM didn't bolt every Fing thing to the water pump on the 5.3L. Just 4 hoses and a tensioner. Real pleasure to not have to remove all the accessories to get the pump off.

Now THIS is a Fan Clutch removal tool.
fan nut.jpg
 

Will L.

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Fan balance issue- It vibrates and takes out the seal/ bearings.

Also improper load on belt tensioner can donit from a side load issue.

Drain / flush coolant system and filter through old tshirt to look for debris.

Disassemble bad pump and see what actually failed.

With coolant drained you should be able to blow through radiator with your mouth and not feel a restriction.

Mixed coolants can kill the seals in waterpump.
So can too high nitrates or calcium.
 

WarWagon

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Best I can tell by feel is the bearings in the failed pump are fine.
 

ak diesel driver

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I had to replace the one on my 2000 burb and the one I replaced it with started leaking got another one just to discover the back cover/plug wasn't tight. So now I have a spare sitting here. The first one was new and didn't require a core so I turned the original in instead of the replacement
 

btfarm

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We've had 3 differen6 5.3 Tahoes that all have gone over 100k and never had a water pump fail.
 

Will L.

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Yeah agree on the antifreeze for sure. Cheap=cheap.

At the plastics to fuel place we had to get a couple hundred gallons of antifreeze for some testing on a prototype machine. There is a company here that recycles antifreeze. Buys from auto repair shops, does some reconditioning and resells it to the shops. HORRIBLE results. And this outfit was a highly rated one. It will be 2030 before I ever consider reconditioned antifreeze again.

I want to find a good comparison brands to see what is the best options.
 

RonR7373

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In under two years and low miles (20K tops) we are on the 3rd water pump for the 2002 Yukon 5.3L V8. OEM died, shop installed GM pump that failed in a little over a year as well as leaked everywhere including from the new GM t-stat housing. Shopped warrantied it and dropped on a parts store replacement (as GM parts warranty was up) with gray silicone instead of the metal rubber gaskets to block. It just died at 1 year leaking out the weep hole badly. Put a GM pump back on.

Missing something causing the WP failures here. Didn't see anything (debris) drained out in the coolant bucket.

At least GM didn't bolt every Fing thing to the water pump on the 5.3L. Just 4 hoses and a tensioner. Real pleasure to not have to remove all the accessories to get the pump off.

Now THIS is a Fan Clutch removal tool.
View attachment 53225
If you didn't get any coolant out of the motor or the radiator you might want to check your oil and see if it went in there your oil will be a milky color
 

BIGR

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If you didn't get any coolant out of the motor or the radiator you might want to check your oil and see if it went in there your oil will be a milky color
Really, please tell us about your experience, have you experienced these issues before?
Hey it's all about learning here, provide us with your great knowledge.
 

RonR7373

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Really, please tell us about your experience, have you experienced these issues before?
Hey it's all about learning here, provide us with your great knowledge.
Yeah quite a lot since I have a heave foot I have blown head gaskets I have thrown rods I even cracked a few blocks if your water pump went out and all your machanic was put a cheap water pump on with no gaskets cause it doesn't take much to blow out silacone if that's all he used a small leak could a big problem you could have leaked out all of your coolant and not know it and it doesn't take much for these newer engines to get hot and blow head gaskets or even ceack a block
 

BIGR

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Do you think the 5.3 Vortec is a realiable engine for extreme duty applications and capable of obtaining high performance speeds as high as 139 MPH?
 

WarWagon

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It was more or less a trouble free rig vs. the 6.5 diesel. I had the coolant flushed at the local oil change shop and the pump lasted until the Yukon was totaled out. Not enough time or miles to say if it mattered.
 

BIGR

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It was more or less a trouble free rig vs. the 6.5 diesel. I had the coolant flushed at the local oil change shop and the pump lasted until the Yukon was totaled out. Not enough time or miles to say if it mattered.
Great info @WarWagon, for sure, just wondering, what knowledge and info, RonR7373 has about the 5.3 Vortec. He talks about issues, I would like to hear more from him.. 😉
 
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