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Been noticing the coolant level in overflow has been down slightly the past year and have topped off a couple times. Went out yesterday morning, in the COLD drizzle, 39deg. to check thefluids before beginning the day and saw that the level was down again, and this time saw droplets of fluid on the pan underneath. Followed the drops to the water pump and there was the leak, top right side. Called Advanced auto. They had a KMG for $50. Went online and read the reviews on this brand, and all 19 reviews were positive and satisfied. It looked identical to Chrysler. It has a ceramic seal, composite impeller and aluminum body. Just like the original.

The changout was very easy, with the 3.7l, the entire front engine is acessible. Used the tensioner to loosen and remove the belt, removed a lower pully and took out the bolts to the pump, came right off. Caught the fluid in a large pan for recycle. Smeared a small amount of RTV silicone sealant on the new gasket and installed, put the pully back and slid the belt into place. Ran the engine til the thermostat opened and topped off the rad with Mopar antifreeze. It took close to 1 gal.

A very simple repair, even in the ice cold Pittsburgh rain!~
 

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Its hard to judge a water pump by appearance, if you've got online reviews that would provide me some confidence.

Stay away from AirTex waterpumps or anything from airtex. I had an AirTex waterpump fail on my chrysler 2.0L DOHC, where the water pump is on the timing belt, after only 42k miles and bent all the valves in the motor. The OEM water pump that was still good at 176k mi would probably have lasted longer than the new airtex waterpump.

I just replaced a fuel pump on my daughters XJ, and googled the airtex fuel pump, found nothing but one statement after another saying AirTex Fuel pumps don't last more than a year, pretty much the same as the water pumps.
 

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Good to know.
I remember reading awhile ago about after market water pumps and their unreliability. It was suggested to go with the Chrysler OEM. But after reading all the positive reviews, and much lower price, I figured why not. hope it lasts.
 

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Getting a replacement water pump can be tricky. Most of the time replacement water pumps (non OEM)are re-manufactured with very little quality inspection. The best advise I have is to try to find a new pump instead of a reman. Reman's most likely have been heated intensively because of failure and/or the engine it was on has been severely overheated. They tend to have warped gasket surfaces or have "Out of Round" bearing seats, leading to premature bearing failure or leaking. I don't know for sure these days but OEM replacements are new castings, were aftermarket brands are returned cores that have been rebuilt. Aftermarket companies generally don't have the rights to produce new castings. Even if this repair is an easy one in regards to accessibility, having to do anything twice just sucks. And Ya Pittsburgh rain in January also stinks. C'mon snow!
 

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rhobll: How many miles are on your 2006 3.7L? I am just trying to get an idea if/when my pump fails.

I will be buying an OEM pump when the time comes after reading rwmorrisonjr's problems with his GMB water pump from Advance.

First thread: Identifying the problem (failed OE water pump).
http://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15782

Second thread: Finding out aftermarket pump was the cause of coolant loss for the second time.
http://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16233&highlight=water+pump
 

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Discussion Starter #6
rhobll: How many miles are on your 2006 3.7L? I am just trying to get an idea if/when my pump fails.

I will be buying an OEM pump when the time comes after reading rwmorrisonjr's problems with his GMB water pump from Advance.

First thread: Identifying the problem (failed OE water pump).
http://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15782

Second thread: Finding out aftermarket pump was the cause of coolant loss for the second time.
http://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16233&highlight=water+pump

Sorry, it was a GMB. I have 62.5k and running strong. The pump is new and not remanufactered. After reading the threads, hopefully I will not end up regretting " cheaping out".
 

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I hope not either. Good luck, I learned the hard way that OEM is better and worth the cost sometimes.
 

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rwmorrisonjr: Do you know if they changed the design of the water pump? The could have changed the part number which is a good sign they made changes to the pump.
 

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bob, I don't know, I threw mine away when I removed it. The problem was the gasket groove was cut about 1/16" too deep, so the gasket sank in and wouldn't seal properly. Hopefully you'll have better luck than I did.
 

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While I'm sitting in class last night I get a text from my wife telling me the "hood is steaming"...I knew the water pump let go. We have been hearing what sounded like a bad bearing near that area for some time but could never quite pin point it. Looking at it in the dark last night, it is the pump for sure.

Tonight ill be doing the water pump on the 3.7. I'm pretty mechanically savvy and do 90% of my own work and have for years...but I read somewhere that there is a bolt behind the pulley? Is that true?

I would like to HOPE its just a simple, release the tension bolt, pop off the pump...looked like about 10 bolts... put a little instagasket on the pump, pop it back on, tighten up the belt and filler it back up.

47,000 miles and the water pump is already toast. Let the fun begin.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
While I'm sitting in class last night I get a text from my wife telling me the "hood is steaming"...I knew the water pump let go. We have been hearing what sounded like a bad bearing near that area for some time but could never quite pin point it. Looking at it in the dark last night, it is the pump for sure.

Tonight ill be doing the water pump on the 3.7. I'm pretty mechanically savvy and do 90% of my own work and have for years...but I read somewhere that there is a bolt behind the pulley? Is that true?

I would like to HOPE its just a simple, release the tension bolt, pop off the pump...looked like about 10 bolts... put a little instagasket on the pump, pop it back on, tighten up the belt and filler it back up.

47,000 miles and the water pump is already toast. Let the fun begin.
There's a bolt behind a pulley on the left side of pump. It came off very easy. In fact, replacing the pump was all very simple since there's so much space in front of the engine. One of the pluses to having the 3.7l, easy access!
 

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Yes, my pump swap went very easy. Well, sorta. Total time, about 25min start to finish. The bolt behind the pulley is pretty simple. -just remove the pulley to get to it.

I did screw it up though on the refill of the antifreeze. You say, how the hell did you do that?!

Well...I filled it up with coolant...it took about 1/2 gallon. I let it idle, AC going full blast to get it warmed up as fast as possible. I got a massive air bubble that floated to the top, then the water level dropped a bit allowing me to add a little more antifreeze. I thought it was the thermostat that opened. (temp on the gauge was normal, straight up and down, when this happened) We took it for a spin where it overheated pretty bad. I managed to get it back home to find it needed a lot more coolant. -quite apparent that the thermostat never opened like I thought it did. It ended up taking a full gallon of coolant and about a quart of distilled water by the time it was all said and done

My advice to anybody doing this, make sure the thermostat opens before you call it "done" lol. Mine idled probably 5min, temp gauge showing normal operating temp when in fact the thermostat still hadn't opened.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
i see how that can happen... cause I did the same thing! I should've replaced the thermostat though.
 

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Well the leak will only get worse and eventually the coolant will get into the bearings of the water pump and then it will lock up or fly apart. Not a good deal on a rear wheel drive car because the fan that is attached to the water pump will hit the radiator then you need a belt, water pump, fan, radiator, radiator shroud and god knows what else. Its a ticking time bomb. Ive seen quite a few old farm trucks get pulled into the shop with a fan blade protruding through the hood.

If you have to drive it just keep an eye on the water pump pulley if it starts to make noise or rocks back and fourth its close to causing a disaster.
 

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Well the leak will only get worse and eventually the coolant will get into the bearings of the water pump and then it will lock up or fly apart. Not a good deal on a rear wheel drive car because the fan that is attached to the water pump will hit the radiator then you need a belt, water pump, fan, radiator, radiator shroud and god knows what else. Its a ticking time bomb. Ive seen quite a few old farm trucks get pulled into the shop with a fan blade protruding through the hood.

If you have to drive it just keep an eye on the water pump pulley if it starts to make noise or rocks back and fourth its close to causing a disaster.
Nice of you to pop in and give your opinion. Do you own a Commander ?
 
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