Thanks to steve00ram360 for this article!!
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Performed on a 2000 Dodge Ram.
First option is to flush the cooling system before replacing the water pump. By doing the flushing now any gunk will not get into the new pump and you will know the motor is clean.
Drain coolant into a bucket using a hose on the end of the drain plug so you don’t make a mess.
Remove the accessory drive belt, use a 15 mm wrench or socket to move the tensioner so the belt is loose and remove belt off of pulleys. You'll be able to do this with the fan on and you will not have to move the belt over the fan to put it on and off.
Using a strap wrench to hold the water pump, loosen the fan clutch assembly. Some vehicles may have reverse threads so check your manual. I use a 12” crescent wrench which barely fits onto the fan clutch nut when loosening the fan clutch.
Unbolt the fan shroud and remove the fan assembly and the shroud at the same time.
Remove the alternator, and the wiring to the alternator, the positive cable on the back uses a 10mm socket to remove the nut. At this point you can do what I do and re-install the bolts into the bracket so there is no confusion when re-assembling it.
Remove the upper and lower radiator hoses.
Option: Now is a good time to remove the radiator and flush it out of the truck. I would back flush the drain valve and lower hose connections to free anything that might be stuck on the return side of the radiator.
Remove the a/c compressor by removing the 4 bolts that fasten it to the main accessory bracket and the bracket that mounts to the intake manifold.
The bolt in the pic requires a wrench to remove, a socket and ratchet will not do it. You’ll also have to remove it with the a/c compressor. I tie-wrapped the a/c out of the way so I could work and not worry about having it drop or put stress on the lines.
Remove the belt pulley to expose another bolt under it.
Remove the remaining bolts that hold the accessory bracket on and remove it from the engine compartment. This will completely expose the water pump. Remember to store the bolts in the bracket… makes putting it back together a snap.
Remove the heater core return line on the right side of the pump. If you remove the pipe coming from the pump, you will need a new o-ring when putting it back in.
Once you have all of the bolts out, you might have to pry a little on the pump to break it free from the timing chain cover. It shouldn’t take much to pop it off… make sure you have a bucket or something under the pump to catch any coolant that comes out.
Now that the pump is broken free of the timing chain cover you can either cut the bypass hose or remove it, since it is a PITA to get to, I always put a new one on.
Now is also a good time to change the thermostat. If you do, take the opportunity to cut off the “Front” tab that keeps you from removing it without tearing down the front of the motor. One other thing I always do is to drill a small bleed hole in the new thermostat, this ensures that all of the air WILL get past the t-stat.
Clean all the gasket surfaces really well. Once all of the surfaces are clean, you are ready for re-assembly. I recommend using original mopar gaskets since they have silicon sealant in them and don’t require any added sealant. Follow the service manual torque settings during re-assembly to prevent any leakage.
Re-install all of the brackets and accessories in the reverse order of disassembly.
Re-install the drive belt and make sure the belt tensioner is in good working order.
Re-install the fan and shroud.
Reconnect the battery connection(s).
Re-fill the radiator with a quality 5 year coolant AND USE DISTILLED WATER. Do not use tap water as it will hasten corrosion inside the cooling system and you will have sludge building down the road. Leave the radiator cap of at this time.
Fire it up and check for any leaks.
Turn on the heater to max hot and let the motor get up to operating temperature.
Top off the coolant level as all of the air pockets work their way out and the coolant level drops. You can squeeze the lower hose to help this process a little.
Once the coolant system is bleed, replace the cap and re-check for leaks. Remember that the coolant system is not under any pressure until you put the cap on and pressure has time to build up.
Done… easy huh?!