1998 Generation III Plymouth Grand Voyager Expresso Mini-Van Miscellaneous Repairs.

Including Some Repairs for Generation 3 Chrysler Mini-Vans Also.

Water Pump Replacement

This is relatively easy if the pump is all you have to replace, and if you have a tool to release the tension on the serpentine belt.

The same procedure works for the 1993 Chrysler Gen II Town and Country with 3.3 liter V6, and it may be a little bit easier. Three hex-head sheet metal screws hold the splash guard up and it swings out of the way. Though the photos were from the '93 w/3.3 liter engine, they are very similar to the Gen III 3.8 engine pump. I used an old pump from 1998 T&C 3.8 liter engine and it fit on the '93 3.3. (The Mitsubishi 3.0 liter V-6 engine water pump is driven by the cam belt, so there is a different procedure for replacing it.)

REMOVE RIGHT FRONT WHEEL - Secure the lift with a jack stand for safety. If you have a nice "X" or "cross" tire tool the work will be easier. I like to put a little oil on the wheel lugs when I reinstall the wheel.

LOWER THE SPLASH GUARD - The front of the guard doesn't have to come loose. When you pull the trim fasteners out (including one that holds part of the inner fender) the guard will drop down far enough to work around. The splash guard on the '93 T&C with the 3.3 liter engine was held up with three hex-head screws. This photo shows the splash guard re-installed on the '93. Splash Guard Installed

LOOSEN PUMP PULLY BOLTS - If the belt is still on the pulley and has tension on it, it will probably hold enough for you to break loose the pump pulley bolts. However, on a later swap I had to use a long screwdriver through a hole in the pulley into the space between the pump body and block to hold the pulley while I loosened the pully bolts. If the belt is off, you might also try a strap wrench to hold the pulley. I used a strap wrench but had to have a helper hold it for me.

After the bolts are loose, remove tension from the belt then remove the bolts and pulley.
Pump Pulley Installed

LOOSEN BELT TENSION - Here's a page with photos and a video link: LOOSEN BELT TENSION - The problem here is to get the right tool. Once you have the right tool, just do what I explain on that page. Try a 15mm 'crow foot' on a 3/8" rachet handle; the longer the handle the better.

REMOVE PULLEY - Remove the pulley if you haven't already. Put the bolts in a safe place.

DRAIN COOLANT - Use safety googles to keep the anti-freeze out of your eyes. That stuff really burns. The simplist method is to drain at the pump. Put a plastic tub under the engine. Loosen the five pump bolts just enough to allow the pump to move some. Bump the shaft if necessary. Use googles. Let the water drain and loosen the bolts some more if necessary.

REMOVE PUMP - Finish removing the bolts and the pump. The next photo shows the installed pump. Pump Installed

CLEAN THE SEALING SURFACE - Carefully scrape any material from the sealing surface of the pump housing on the engine. I use a paint scraper that I've used for this purpose many years. Be careful not to scratch the surface. The next photo shows the mounting surface before it was scraped clean. I also buffed it a little with a sanding sponge.
Pump Installed

PREPARE REPLACEMENT PUMP - Put a light amount of heavy grease, like bearing grease, on the O-Ring and put it in the groove on the pump. Be sure that it sticks there well. Don't use RTV or gasket sealant. The grease should be adequate to keep the O-Ring from falling out of the groove as you handle the pump. Check that the old bolts thread easily into the shaft hub holes.

INSTALL REPLACEMENT PUMP - Carefully place and hold the pump against the housing mounting surface and start a couple of the bolts. Just be sure the O-Ring didn't fall out of its groove. Tighten the two bolts and verify that the pump still fits evenly and snugly against the mounting surface. Install the other three bolts and tighten them securely. I know from experience how to tighten most non-critical bolts like these by hand without a torque wrench.

LEAK CHECK - Now is a good time to do a leak check. You can start with about three quarts of water in the radiator. If you don't see any water at the pump to housing interface or at the shaft bleed hole in an hour it should be OK. My replacement pump (a rebuilt unit) actually leaked through the shaft and I had to remove it and go back to the store for another. I bought a new one that time. They (O'Rielly's) gave me a gallon of anti-freeze for my trouble.

INSTALL PULLY - Install the pulley and tighten the bolts as much as you can while holding the pulley with your hand. REMEMBER come back and tighten them some more after the belt is on and tensioned.

INSTALL BELT - Here's a video that illustrates how to install the built from the top. I once had to put a belt back on while parked under a freeway overpass in a pouring rain storm.

TIGHTEN PULLY BOLTS - When you get the belt on and tensioned, do a final tightening of the pulley bolts. (Ask me why that's important.)

FILL SYSTEM WITH PROPER COOLANT AND CHECK FOR LEAKS - The older minivans used the old green anti-freeze, but my 2000 T&C has a tag warning to use another type. The owner of a repair shop I sometimes go to said he didn't put anything special in the 2000s.

TOP OFF THE COOLANT - Let the engine run and add coolant as needed. The water level in the radiator will drop as trapped air comes out of the engine. If you added three to four quarts in that early leak check, add pure anti-freeze. I've used both small and big hydrometers for many years to check the amount of anti-freeze in the water. I've always found that if the water mixture looks green it's good down to zero. Since I live in the south, zero is enough, so a visual check is usually all I do now. Fill the coolant reservoir to the proper level.

INSTALL SPLASH SHIELD - Buy some new plastic trim fasteners at O'Rielly's, or wherever, if the old ones got torn up during removal. Just approximately match the length and diameter. Securing the splash guard was very important for my 2000 T&C. I bought it used and got stuck twice when water splashed up on the belt and it jumped off the pulleys. I replaced some missing fasteners and haven't had the problem since.

INSTALL RIGHT FRONT WHEEL - Install the wheel. I'm only strong enough to get the nuts as tight as they should be. That is, I'm probably not going to over tighten them. Use a torque wrench if you have one and think it's important. Don't drive off the jack stand!

Skipper Family Magazine

E-mail me: jamesmskipper1141@att.net

4/28/12 - Added photos and reference to
'93 T&C with 3.3 liter engine.
Originally Posted: 1/15/2012