CORVETTE TIPS AND TECHNIQUES

1956-1962 ENGINE MOUNT/WATER PUMP REPLACEMENT MADE EASY


Recently I had the occasion to change the water pump and front engine support on a 1962 Corvette. The car was in good condition, and the hood was properly fitted, so I didn't want to remove it for better access to the front of the engine. Access is a problem because the way the engine mounting plate is sandwiched between the water pump and the engine block, the water pump gaskets must be installed properly so as to insure there will not be a coolant

leak at this point.


This job requires one to support the engine by some other means while the work is being done. The means of raising and supporting the engine is not the subject of this article, however, I would like to mention it is possible to do so by several methods. The most common method I have seen over the years involves jacking up the engine from below by means of a floor jack. This is a perfectly good method, except there is no good place on the underside of the engine to place the saddle of the jack. Usually, a block of wood is used directly on the underside of the pan, and this is a good way of damaging the pan.


Using a chain hoist, I lifted the engine from above. Using a chain, and attaching it to the intake manifold bolts or exhaust manifold bolts, will enable you to raise it the necessary amount without doing damage to anything including the engine paint.


After the engine has been supported, it's possible to remove the motor mounts and the water pump, and all the related parts.


When assembling the new parts, it's difficult to align the various gaskets, engine mount plate and water pump, and, at the same time, thread the mounting bolts into the front of the engine. This is especially difficult if you use gasket sealant on the four gaskets. I have found I could install these parts more easily by making some assembly studs as shown in the photos.


The short studs are used for assembling the pulley reinforcement plate, pulley, and thermostatic fan clutch on the water pump hub for the same reason. They are difficult to align when being installed on an engine which is in a car. Using these studs, the alignment is preserved while the parts are assembled, and after the correct bolts have been installed in two of the positions, the studs can be removed by hand. If for any reason the studs are difficult to unscrew, they have slots cut in the ends of them where a screwdriver can be used.


The studs used for the water pump are made from 3/8" coarse thread bolts with the heads cut off, and the ones used for the pulley are 5/16" fine threads. I used a hack saw to cut the slot in the top of each one in case it becomes necessary to use a screwdriver for removal. The

photos show the various parts as they are being held in position by the studs, so it isn't necessary to cover the steps in detail.






































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WaterPump.pdf