A neat piece of trivia is my Wildcat was actually taken to the junkyard because the sealing surface of the waterpump leaked and my father gave up on the car when he broke screw extractors off in the water pump bolt holes in the timing cover. The same water pump that had a leak at the gasket was with the car at the junkyard- in the trunk- and I re-installed it in October of 2004. Fast forward 8 years, and one day when I was doing pre-flight checks before heading off for a drive, I notice the power steering belt has what appears to have serious slack in it for no reason:

As I went through troubleshooting steps, the belts came off. The power steering belt got stretched, but the power steering pump hadn't moved.

When I got all three belts off, I found I could wobble the front of the water pump, and even though it was not leaking, the consensus was the bearings were shot.

You can actually walk right down to NAPA and get a brand new water pump for these cars. This is the five vane correct for factory A/C. There were a few posts online talking about different snout lengths, but the bottom line was NAPA part 42563 fit perfect on my air conditioned 401, and it was $80.45 out the door. Comes with a limited lifetime warranty. It did come with a gasket, which isn't well documented.

Below is the view of the old water pump with belts, top radiator hose, and fan shroud removed.

Here is the water pump removed. No accessories have to come off to do this, but some maneuvering will be required around the lower part of the alternator bracket. Note where the bolts come out of because some are longer than others. I found it interesting I have this silver color in my cooling system that won't come off- I have no idea what it is.

Below: Old and new.



The new pump gets a light coating of gasket sealant and then I smooth it out with a finger and remove excess.


The included gasket is pressed down into the sealant

and another light layer of sealant is put on.


New water pump attached to engine. Anti-seize used on all bolts.

Side view of the same:


I'd like to call your attention to the studs at the bottom left of this picture. I was finding it really hard to find the Dorman Help SKU that covered just four studs and hardware for GM water pumps and I found out why. Most retailers only stock a kit that includes three (maybe four?)  sets of hardware, one for GM, one for foreign, one for Ford, and one I can't remember. The kit was $5.39 at Advance Auto including tax- Advance part 23735. I can see why they would stock that versus multiple low dollar SKUs. Also in the picture is the fan with clutch and reproduction fan shroud.

New studs installed, once again anti-seize where it helps:


Pulley reinstalled after sanded, primed, and painted:


Finished job with new belts. NAPA couldn't get me belts so Advance DriveRite brand made in the USA belts installed. Power steering part 55515, A/C and alternator part 62013, 2 required. $12.06 with tax for those three belts.

Project complete! Since the water pump was new, the core didn't have to be returned, so it went to the scrap yard. If you notice my Tefba coolant filter in the above picture, read more about it here.