Changing the water pump on a 1995 Jeep Cherokee

If you don’t know much about replacing the water pump on a Jeep, don’t worry, most people don’t. But it goes something like this:

1) unplug the electric fan at the radiator, remove two bolts, and take it out.

2) remove the four bolts connecting the mechanical fan from the engine, the 2 bolts holding it’s shroud, and remove it (easier said than done, especially if you don’t have the hands of a 10 year old)

3) loosen 4 bolts on the power steering pump, allowing it to swing a little, which then allows you to remove the belt from the front of the engine connecting everything together

4) tighten the belt back up, so you can loosen the four bolts holding the pulley onto the water pump, but don’t try to remove it yet

5) repeat step 3 to remove the belt (again)

6) remove the 4 bolts from 4, allowing you to remove the pulley from the water pump

7) go ahead and remove the 1 bolt and pulley from the belt tensioner, this will save you hassle later

8) remove the two bolts holding the power steering pump to the water pump, find out that there is another bolt, hidden in the back like a secret room in a video game

9) completely remove two of the bolts from 3, allowing the pump to swing out even further so you can remove the hidden bolt and then move the power steering pump out of the way

10) drain as much of the water/cooling from the engine as you can (even though your water pump has already tried to drain as much as possible, there will be a surprising amount left)

11) remove the lower radiator hose, and the heater hose (rubber one) from the water pump

12) remove the 4 bolts holding the water pump to the engine

13) you will be left with the water pump and the metal part of the heater hose still connected to it (this will be the ***** to remove later)

14) bike to the parts store, pick up the new pump, verify that it has the gasket, pick up some shellac, a gallon of coolant (not 50/50 mix) any tools you don’t have but will need, or any tools you may have broken thus far (ahem, those darn channel lock pliers!)

15) bike back, noticing how much weight this all adds

16) spray the metal heater hose with WD40, let it sit, and try to find some way to loosen it, with a part that you need a serious vice grip to hold in place

17) wish that you had a serious vice grip

18) spray metal heater hose connection with silicon lubricant, replace steps 16 and 17

19) using a closed-end wrench, make an A-frame out of the old water pump and the wrench, with it on the metal heater hose fitting, and the ground; press down on this with your foot with even pressure until the metal heater hose finally loosens

20) rejoice!

21) place metal heater hose on new water pump, aligning it to fit up past the temperature sensor housing

22) bolt water pump on with the 4 bolts from step 12, noting where the 1 longer bolt goes in at

23) fit hoses back on water pump

24) put power steering pump back in place, attaching super secret hidden bolt first, then the two bolts connecting it to the water pump, and then placing the other two bolts back in, but do not tighten those down just yet

25) reattach pulley for belt tensioner

26) attach pulley to the water pump, but do not try to tighten yet, it will just spin around

27) return belt to the system, noting that just because *most* of the connections are via channeled pulleys, there are a few that you will need to visually check (ahem… the mechanical fan’s pulley)

28) tighten the water pump-based belt tensioner bolts

29) tighten the bolts on the water pump pulley

30) return mechanical fan and shroud, and find a way to place the four nuts that hold the mechanical fan into place

31) crawl onto engine, allowing your hand to be best suited to place the four nuts for the mechanical fan

32) find numerous lacerations on your wrists from the fan blades

33) tighten those nuts like your life, and your engine, depends upon it

34) place electric fan back in place, and plug it in

35) fill you radiator with coolant and water

36) check for leaks at hoses and around the water pump

37) start the engine, listening for the sound of the mechanical fan wobbling, the belt dragging on anything, or any other sound that was not there before

38) look, carefully, for anything not turning properly, or just looking dangerous

39) test drive

40) double-check all bolts to make sure nothing has wiggled loose in the test drive

41) rejoice! you are done!

4 Responses

  1. This is the first time I comment here and I must say that you provide genuine, and quality information for bloggers! Great job.
    p.s. You have a very good template for your blog. Where have you got it from?

  2. It would be helpful to note, perhaps in the title, if this is for the 4.0L straight 6 engine, or other option.

  3. I hope I never have to replace my water pump but if I do, I may just let someone else beat themselves up!! Of course I’ll supply the parts & trips to parts house LOL
    I’ve been looking for info on how to loosen the belt tensioner so I can put the serpentine belt back on after replacing the thermostat. I foolishly took off the pulley to the left of the thermostat housing to let belt hang to get to the lower bolt on the housing. Of course I now cannot get the belt back on & do not know where the tensioner is. I’ve just bought this particular Cherokee 2WD not 4X4 :( as my 4X4 was recently stolen ($#@#$%&&*)
    I found a video saying I have to loosen the water pump bolts – is this how to get it done? And OMG where is the other bolt!?!?! I’ve found the one on back & one underneath the WP & the one on the side to adjust tightness – but the guy on the video says theres another one on back of the WP. Is there an easier way to release tension or am I going to beat my Jeep & break tools & have a fit just to loosen it to slip the belt back on?! I’m wondering if the one on bottom could be the elusive ‘2nd bolt’ as his Jeep was a 92 not a 95. Any advice is appreciated! And just for kicks & giggles – I don’t have 10 yr old hands either & am currently dousing the fan cuts & nicks with peroxide just so I can do it again tomorrow! Jeep!!

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