96 Dodge Ram Van with a 318 ...Have put on 4 water pumps and they keep leaking at the weep hole and now at the timing chain cover. There is NO emissions in the radiator fluid and the heads are not cracked. It will not leak with the rad cap on loose which if there was a crack or high pressure build up, one would expect it to over flow. Have taken it to two different shops and they are both without an explanation. I am at my wits end and NEED HELP!
Replaced water pumps KEEP LEAKING on 1996 Dodge Ram Van 3500
by 96 Ram Van in American Fork, UT on February 13, 2010
7 answers 5 comments
ANSWER by Bret Bodas , February 13, 2010
If the pump is leaking from the weep hole, then I would think the pump is bad. Where are you getting the pumps from? What brand and quality are they? I can't see the leak, but are you 100% sure the leak isn't coming from somewhere else and it look like it's coming from the pump? We've all been fooled before, so I never rule these types of things out.
COMMENT by 96 Ram Van , February 13, 2010
Two different shops confirm it is leaking from the weep hole. THe last pump started leaking while it was being test driven after replacement. The water pumps being replaced cover NEW and remanufactured with cardone and master pro each. (4 times) Does one get FOUR bad water pumps in a row? ..seems highly unlikely... still, what is causing them to leak? Dont want to pay anothe shop to put a band-aid (another pump) without knowing what is causing them to go out!
COMMENT by Bret Bodas , February 13, 2010
This is crazy, it just doesn't make sense, and I'm sure your very frustrated. There is a site called IATN, and it has a database of information about problematic issues with auto repair, and they might have something like this in there. The problem is only technicians can access it, and only if they have an account. I would see if any of the shops you have been dealing with have access and see if they will look into this for you. What I can't understand is why the shops are putting this on you, if they are replacing a part and the part is bad, then they should be working to get this resolved with the part manufacturer and you. Isn't there a part warranty that covers these parts and the labor?
COMMENT by 96 Ram Van , February 13, 2010
Yes, it IS CRAZY! The first pump went bad within a few months (few drips here and there) but within a year, it needed to be redone. Because it was over 6 months, the labor portion had to be paid again.. the part was free. After that one was changed, I have gone though 3 more within 1-2 months. The pump and labor has been free since, but they dont want to do it any more. So I went to another shop.. paid 120.00 for them to diagnose no cracked head or block and install a new belt tension er ... they drove it ...didnt leak... I drove it and it leaked a good puddle... the second shop wants 480.00 to put a new pump and timing cover(they know the first shop and will work to get a refund off the last pump) but what good is it to keep replacing pumps if it is NOT known what it causing them to go out? Called Dodge... they want 300.00 to do the pump and 500.00 to do the timing chain cover... what crazy about Dodge is I am being charged to do two seperate jobs required at the same time.. meaning the water pump is bolted to the T.C cover and they have to take the pump off anyway. Thanks for the advice on the website... now if I can only find a shop who is not only familiar with it, but belongs also! (Still Frustrated!)
ANSWER by Ram Van Man , March 24, 2010
The radiator needs to be a 2 row core or better to relieve the pressure before the thermostat opens up.I had the same problem since replacing original waterpump and the radiatorI went through 2 radiators and 4[Boschand Airtex] waterpumps until I replaced the radiator finally in 2010 with a Silla all aluminum [1 5/8" 2 row ,core radiator.
ANSWER by Visitor , April 17, 2010
put a sealer in the radiator this will stop it put in 2 water pumps before and they always leaked
COMMENT by Visitor , July 10, 2010
That sealer your talking about will plug up everything. The heater core and your radiator will overheat to the point replacing both is your only option.The original radiator needs a two row aluminun replacement and a high volume water pump to keep the pressure at 16PSI on my 1996 Dodge 5.2L van.
ANSWER by Visitor , July 09, 2010
If you have around 100,000 miles it may be your timung chain cover. The 318 timing chain is notorious for getting a little slack in it and rubbing a hole in the cover next to the water jacket. H have exerienced this myself. Got the info from a friend who is a Mopar exert. Diagnosed the problem when the pros couldn't
ANSWER by Visitor , August 29, 2010
I'm wondering if the pumps you've been buying are some kind of cheap re-builds. I suggest genuine NAPA parts.
ANSWER by Visitor , September 30, 2010
If water pump is replaced because of bearing/shaft damage or leaking shaft seal, the mechanical cooling fan assembly should also be inspected. Inspect for fatigue cracks, loose blades or loose rivets that could have resulted from excessive vibration. Replace fan if any of these conditions are found. Also check condition of the thermal viscous fan drive. A vibration in the fan assembly can take out a water pump in no time.
COMMENT by Visitor , February 24, 2011
Go back to the shop that has to warranty the pump. Ask them to do the timing chain and replace the pump with a new pump from the dealer. If there a reputable shop they will cut you some slack on the price. I have had so many master pro water pumps for dodge, jeep and honda fail that I no longer use them. Seems they have a problem with there front bearings/ bushings. There made in china mostly.
ANSWER by Earl425 , January 30, 2013
First off let me tell some of you advisors some things. Believe or don't but here it is. The timing chain cover HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS. A water pump on these La 318's bolts flush to the outside of the chain cover. So no water can leak out of the timing chain cover ever! Okay now to the original poster that says the pin jole on the pump keeps leaking on all these water pumps. Maybe..if it's some korean cheap stuff. Order form auto zone or Oreillys and you will get a good pump. Now for the other actual possibilities that no one as of now has thought of that usually cause this. The BYPASS hose that runs from the thermostat housing to the water pump OR most of the time the thermostat housing itself that you cannot see because the alternator blocks its view is nototrious for this to where it drops onto the very top of the timing chain cover and runs down onto the top of the water pump! But this is the second forum i have heard people say water leaking from the chain cover..PEOPLE if water ever leaked through your chain cover your oil pan would be a full of water!