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Pontiac water pump question

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 55yak, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. 55yak
    Joined: Nov 5, 2011
    Posts: 41

    55yak
    Member

    Do any old Pontiac guys know the answer to this question concering the 4 bolt water pumps used from 1955 to 1963? It seems there are two configurations, one is a cast iron impeller with curved vanes to the direction of the left cylinder head (when sitting in the driver's seat) and one that has a steel impeller that has vanes that curve the opposite direction. Since my 1957 "347" has the older style cooling system where the heads were cooled first through long perforated tubes in the cyl. head water jackets, it seems it would be important to know which direction the water should initially be distributed based on the impeller's vane curvature and the fact that the left inlet is higher than the right side. The reason for the two pumps is probably due to accessories that might cause the drive belt to run the pump pulley clockwise rather than counterclockwise like the crankshaft turns. I would sure appreciate any knowledge on this as I can't seem to get an answer from Kanter, Ames, or anyone else that sells old Pontiac parts. They acknowledge the existance of both configurations, but can't give me an answer to which direction the pump should spin for a car with the only accessory being an alternator which spins in the same direction as the crank. I would assume it would be the cast iron impeller vanes that curve to the left head first, but I have had cooling issues when stuck in traffic with this pump (all other possibilites corrected) and wonder if I have had the wrong pump the whole time. Any experience with this question would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,186

    55chieftain
    Member

    The reverse cooling engines 55-59 used the cast impeller and the latter use the stamped steel pump. I havn't done it, but I know of others that have used the later stamped impellar pump in the reverse cooled engines with no problems. The pump still turns the same direction regardless of which impellar is used.

    There is a better cooling description at

    http://www.pontiacsafari.com/

    under the Pontiac garage area for information between both cooling systems
     
  3. 55yak
    Joined: Nov 5, 2011
    Posts: 41

    55yak
    Member

    Thanks for the info on the Safari website explaining the "gusher" style water system but I'm still confused as to why NAPA offers PN#58594 that says it is a cast iron impeller hub that turns clockwise and then right below it offers PN#58298 that says steel impeller with vanes that are opposite curve and says hub turns counter-clockwise. Type in 1957 Chieftain water pump on the napa.com site to see. Thanks again, but I must be missing something here.
    John
     
  4. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,186

    55chieftain
    Member

    Thats an incorrect description than , obviously the pump turns the same way on either engine. Reverse cooling has nothing to do with the direction of the pump . Reverse cooling means it exits the pump than enters the heads first. Standard cooling it enters the block first instead.
     

  5. Poncho60
    Joined: Jan 23, 2011
    Posts: 236

    Poncho60
    Member
    from N Illinois

    My 60 Pontiac had a cast curved vane impeller that I removed due to a seal leak. The replacement has a cast impeller with different shaped vanes. Both seem to work OK as far as cooling goes.
     
  6. 55yak
    Joined: Nov 5, 2011
    Posts: 41

    55yak
    Member

    Thanks for letting me know that the steel impeller worked ok. I do know they both turn the same way but I can visualize maybe with a/c, p/s, etc. one of the belts was routed so as to not wrap around the pulley but against it turning the pump only the opposite direction. Just a guess as I really don't know or care as I just am turning an alternator and everything spins counter-clockwise. I have a new steel impeller pump that blades are opposite to my old cast one and I'm going to use it based on what you and 55 Chieftain says.
     
  7. Gator Mc Klusky
    Joined: Apr 18, 2006
    Posts: 308

    Gator Mc Klusky
    Member

    Hello.

    I have I think the same question. On my 61 the water pump gave up. The engine is actually from a 63. I had a rebuilt one, that I found in the trunk of a 63 parts car. Today I wanted to change. Then when I took the old of, I found the same situation. Both are cast though. The old one that is curved like clockwise and looks like a sun wheel looks very more powerful (the green one, left side) than the new one which looks it should turn the other way. I think both could work, but the old one looks so much tougher, or isn't it that neccesary? The small curves enough? Anyone knows whrere to buy the left one, or ideas if both work?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
  8. I put a water pump from a 63 4cyl tempest on my 55 GMC 287 and it worked. They where exactly the same part number and impeller.
     
  9. xlr8
    Joined: Jun 26, 2006
    Posts: 650

    xlr8
    Member
    from Idaho

    I got one from Carquest about 5 years ago that had straight vanes, not curved either direction, I assume it would be a universal replacement. It's now on a '63.
     
  10. KoolKat-57
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,982

    KoolKat-57
    Member
    from Dublin, OH

    Went to NAPA for a waterpump for my '57 347".
    They could not find a listing for a '57 Pontiac 347.
    So I asked if they had a listing for a '57 GMC truck 347 V8.
    Sure enough there it was and only $45 + core.
    Had it the next day!
    KK
     
  11. Gator Mc Klusky
    Joined: Apr 18, 2006
    Posts: 308

    Gator Mc Klusky
    Member

    Now I installed the one on the right, and yes it is not working. The car heats up and there is no real water flow. All the replacement pumps look like the shitty one. Anyone ideas??
     
  12. take them apart and put your old impeller on the new pump. They can be pressed apart.
     
  13. Gator Mc Klusky
    Joined: Apr 18, 2006
    Posts: 308

    Gator Mc Klusky
    Member

    Sounds like a good idea, but I do not know who can do it over here. I will have a look.

    thanks
     
  14. mechanickeith
    Joined: Mar 9, 2009
    Posts: 470

    mechanickeith
    Member

    The pump on the left is for use on a V8 motor. The pump on the right is for use on a 61-63 Pontiac Tempest 4 cylinder motor. You can use the V8 pump on the Tempest motor but cannot use the Tempest pump on the V8. If the pump on the right is used on a V8 motor the motor will overheat due to no water getting to the left side of the motor. See this thread for pictures & descriptions of the different Pontiac 4 bolt pumps.

    http://forums.performanceyears.com/forums/showthread.php?t=603327&highlight=water+pump
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012

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