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Leaking water pump 1923 Touring car
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Author:  JimLowery [ Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Leaking water pump 1923 Touring car

Rookie Texas Jim here, my water pump weeps pretty bad. Am I looking to rebuild it, or replace it? Where can I go for a replacement?
BTW I know to never throw away old car parts...

Author:  RichWarner [ Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Leaking water pump 1923 Touring car

I am NOT an expert, but these old water pumps seal with a packing material that needs to be occasionally replaced and/or tightened as a part of normal maintenance.

Author:  JimLowery [ Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Leaking water pump 1923 Touring car

Texas Jim here - When I first posted this I was 100% ignorant of the anatomy of these old water pumps. I've since learned what packing is, a gland collar , and packing (gland) nut. I found youtube vids on commercial pump packing maintenance and replacement, and that taught me the concept. Once again, I marvel at the brilliant simplicity of this technology! I also marvel that the glands/packing have grease fittings! What?! So the grease helps create a water seal, wow. I need to go find "waterproof" grease.
Here's my progress thus far:
-I think 100% of my leak came from front-side packing nut. When I went to tighten the nut, I discovered it wasn't even threaded on! But I couldn't get it threaded, it was too gunked up - so I thought.
-I discovered that some schmuck decades ago had installed packing INSIDE the packing nut, instead of inside the gland collar. I used a dental pick to get it all out. It was rotted, I managed to get several intact chunks out but most came out in bits and strands - painstaking.
-There was more packing in the correct place aft of the collar. Also ancient.

Now for help please? Technique for installing new packing - ?
-does it spiral in? Clockwise or counter-clockwise?
-one continuous piece? or, multiple? How long?
-Into the cavity? or, into the gland collar?

A tip I learned from the commercial vids: that a correct packing should be thick enough to allow only a partial thread on of the packing nut. That way as the new packing compresses over time, the packing nut can be snugged up without bottoming out too soon.
Thanks in advance for any help!

Author:  JimLowery [ Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Leaking water pump 1923 Touring car

I'm answering my own technique questions from last post and reporting a successful packing job, without a painstaking disassembly of the water pump (and with only one mistake).
Again thanks to Myers Early Dodge for the packing cord. Tom Myers confirmed I should use the cut-and-stack technique I'd seen in commercial pump vids.
The packing cord is woven 4-sided square. I don't own a caliper, so I took a piece of light wire to measure the shaft diameter. My mistake was, I cut a piece of packing cord the same length as the wire, which did not account for the difference in thickness, so the piece I cut was too short.
Correcting for length, I was able to carefully insert 2 rounds of packing, one at a time. I made sure the cut gaps were 180 from each other. I used 2 screwdriver blades, one to press the packing into the gland bit by bit and the other to hold the packing against the shaft keeping it round. This took careful hand/eye coordination but really wasn't all that hard.
After the first cut, I used the collar and nut to tamp the packing. This made room for the second round. The 2nd piece tucked just flush into the gland, then I tamped again.
The packing from Myers was more than enough for 4 cuts (both sides of pump) even with the wasted first piece I cut.
I hand tightened the packing nuts; put just a little more with wrench (mebbe a 1/8 turn).
I removed and cleaned the zerk fittings, pumped a little grease in. I put 1 gal of coolant in radiator, and started the engine. (DRUMROLL) No Leaks!

I can't close without repeating my rant about the horrible packing job I discovered in my pump. Even tho' it was very very old, I could tell they'd spiraled in pieces of cord, I found 2 different diameters, both inside the gland were it belongs, but also inside the packing nut itself! Don't pack inside the packing nut!

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