92 Lesabre water pump replacement woes

OptimistPrime

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Hi there. I've got a 92 Lesabre that I've owned for some years now. It's been a decently easy to work on car until I ran afoul of this particular issue. My water pump recently went out. Easy swap, or so I thought, but it turns out my generation of Lesabre requires you to remove a motor mount to reach the pump. So I've been trying to get that mount off. I jacked the motor up until the power steering reservoir touched the engine cross member, removed all the bolts, but the mount won't come off. It impacts on what I guess is the shock absorber. I jacked the body up a bit and managed to get 2 of the 3 bolts visible on that shock removed, but the other is stuck tight. I'm not even sure I'm going about this the right way, because my Haynes manual is fairly vague on this.

Has anyone successfully gotten the pump, and these other parts on this car removed? What's the best way to get that lower stuck bolt off, since I have no impact wrench?
 

OptimistPrime

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That's the procedure I used. This last bolt is stuck tighter than I can believe. It's the upper-forward bolt on the lower portion of the mount. There are four bolts on the thing and I've got 3 out. the other one won't budge. I'm soaking it overnight in penetrating oil, then if that doesn't get it, I guess I'll have to get an impact wrench. The good news is that I've worked out a pretty decent system to raise and lower the car and engine, using two jacks and some wood to protect the oil pan.

I don't know, I guess they torqued the thing like crazy at the factory. It's never been taken off before, and the car has no rust.
 

OptimistPrime

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Day 2 of my battle with that bolt. It's stuck tight, and I can't get very good leverage because the AC line is in the way. It's looking like I'll have to depressurize the AC, since those lines are too rigid to move to the side slightly, to give me good clearance. But I have no idea of the size wrench I'll need to get that fitting off. The AC hasn't worked in years. I might just sawzall the lines if I can't find another way. I need this car back on the road.
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2007LucerneCXL

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To loosen a stuck bolt. Get a good size punch close to the bolt head size and small hand held sledge hammer give a good couple of wacks dead on, a breaker bar or a extension on the socket wrench for additional torque, a plummer torch and apply heat to the area.They all have cautions on using depending on the area you are working in.

Going through the wheel well could also be a option if you can see the bolt you are trying to remove.
 

OptimistPrime

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Woo, I got it. Thanks for all your help. I didn't need an impact wrench, instead I solved the issue like I often do, by going to the junkyard and inspecting one of the old wrecked Lesabres there. That's when I noticed that you can get a better angle for the ratchet from inside the battery box, if the battery is removed. Now the bolt is off, and I've gotten the pump changed. Its bearing was totally worn out, which might explain the odd noise my car was making last week.
 

OptimistPrime

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I spoke too soon. When I went to put in the coolant, everything came pouring out the top of the manifold. Apparently there's a hose that runs out of the pump into a plastic fitting up there. The fitting has snapped off at the head, so I'm trying to figure out how to extract it.
 

2007LucerneCXL

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I assume you're talking about the coolant elbows. These are known to go and it doesn't take much to crack then if they are old. There's two, yellow 1 & 2, that get replaced at the same time, you'll crack #2 more then likey when you remove the bracket. Just look up 3800 coolant elbows and a bunch of info is out there.

hc_exchange_1-2.jpg
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Zeroboostbuick

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If a bolt is seized, I use a plumbing torch on the bolt for a couple minutes and she'll go.

I had a 92 LeSabre many years ago and I replaced the water pump. I remember it was a bitch cause of the motor mount, but I got it done. My brain chose to forget the detail of that job, probably because it was not a pleasant experience lol.
 

Zeroboostbuick

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I assume you're talking about the coolant elbows. These are known to go and it doesn't take much to crack then if they are old. There's two, yellow 1 & 2, that get replaced at the same time, you'll crack #2 more then likey when you remove the bracket. Just look up 3800 coolant elbows and a bunch of info is out there.

View attachment 12306

No sir. This is for a 92 Lesabre 3800 Series 1. Motor mount bracket has to go to remove the water pump.
 

OptimistPrime

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This isn't an elbow, it's a straight piece of plastic that's threaded on one side. Here's a picture.
In this image, I've removed the alternator and scraped out all the remainder of the plastic fitting. I'm hoping the threads in the block didn't get too mangled. You can see the head of the fitting still attached to the hose.

20180917_002954.jpg
 

HotZ28

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The metal replacement fitting is available in the "HELP" section of most big brick auto part stores. You should also replace the hose elbow!
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2007LucerneCXL

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My error had "95" on the brain from a door handle question at the time and forgot it was a 92.
 

OptimistPrime

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I had a 92 LeSabre many years ago and I replaced the water pump. I remember it was a bitch cause of the motor mount, but I got it done. My brain chose to forget the detail of that job, probably because it was not a pleasant experience lol.
Removing that mount was definitely in my top 10 of hardest things I've had to do on a car. Sneaky GM, I bet they raked in some sweet labor fees doing that job at the dealership. It's compounded by the fact that the guide is wrong, you have to actually raise the motor about an inch ABOVE the crossmember. That crossmember has to come out, or you can't get the mount itself around its shock to remove it. What a frickin nightmare procedure, to fix something that takes 10 minutes to change on my truck.

A shop would have charged at least 600 bucks for that. But they probably wouldn't have broken so many bolts, too. You can see in the pic I posted, where the head has snapped off one of the pulley bolts when I was trying to tighten it. It was a tedious operation to spin that broken bolt shaft until it came out the back of the pulley mount. I'll have to grab another one of those when I'm out scavenging later today. Actually, I might do all four. They seem like they've been weakened by age, or metal fatigue, or maybe just the coolant leaking on them.
 

OptimistPrime

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Alright, I got a replacement fitting. Made out of genuine METAL. Thanks, 90's GM "engineers" for making the original out of plastic. Hey, that's a great material to use for something that will spend its whole life at high temp, and takes the brute force of a sumo wrestler to loosen if you want to remove it.
 

2007LucerneCXL

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Glad to hear and again sorry on 95 photo elbows, must be old age & muscle memory kicking in lol
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OptimistPrime

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Glad to hear and again sorry on 95 photo elbows, must be old age & muscle memory kicking in lol
No worries. I appreciate the help regardless. Like I said above, this ended up being one of the tougher jobs I've done. I much prefer working on my S10, because for the most part it's easier to swap parts out. Ironically, I need to work on its mounts as well. And they are no where near as easy to get at. I wish they were half as study as the iron on this old Lesabre. These so called "torque axis" mounts Buick put on the series 1 3800s could be used to secure a jet engine.
 

HotZ28

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Glad to hear and again sorry on 95 photo elbows, must be old age & muscle memory kicking in lol
Just to clarify for anyone else viewing this thread in the future, the '92-'95 LeSabre had the same Series I engine, and coolant bypass fittings. That changed with the Series II engine used in the PA (Base) in '95, but not the LeSabre. The '96-'97 &'98 Series II used one plastic coolant elbow, then it was changed to two plastic elbows attached to the tensioner.
 
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