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Old 12-14-2014, 01:07 AM #1
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Unhappy When to replace water pump?

I have a 97 Limited, I see a sticker that says my timing belt was replaced in 2013. How do I know when (or if) the water pump needs to be replaced? Would my mechanic be able to tell? I just bought this from a dealership a couple weeks ago.
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Old 12-14-2014, 01:14 AM #2
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Your water pump should be changed with the timing belt.

That sticker should have more than just the year it was replaced. It should also tell you how many miles your rig had when it was replaced. There is some debate about how often they should be replaced, but 100k miles is usually what most people say, give or take, so unless you've been driving it a lot I doubt it's time.

Some people let it go longer, because it's a non-interference engine, so you won't have any damage if the belt breaks, but that is up to you.
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Old 12-14-2014, 01:25 AM #3
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My 16 year old water pump looked fine when I pulled it off earlier this year; the problem was that the original RTV had wrapped itself around the impeller shaft.

If the PO was somewhat diligent with maintenance, then the water pump was replaced.
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Old 12-14-2014, 02:07 AM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff88 View Post
Your water pump should be changed with the timing belt.

That sticker should have more than just the year it was replaced. It should also tell you how many miles your rig had when it was replaced. There is some debate about how often they should be replaced, but 100k miles is usually what most people say, give or take, so unless you've been driving it a lot I doubt it's time.

Some people let it go longer, because it's a non-interference engine, so you won't have any damage if the belt breaks, but that is up to you.
Yep, jeff88, it also shows the miles it had (183k) at the time it was replaced. So if the timing belt was replaced, it's safe to assume the water pump was done at that time too?
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Old 12-14-2014, 02:11 AM #5
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Where is this sticker usually placed? I'm assuming that different mechanics apply the decal in different places, and some might not even put on a sticker.

I have over 170,000 milles and I'm unsure of the timing belt situation on my 4Runner. I purchased it with 157,000 miles.
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:01 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benjamin247 View Post
Yep, jeff88, it also shows the miles it had (183k) at the time it was replaced. So if the timing belt was replaced, it's safe to assume the water pump was done at that time too?
If the mechanic didn't, they are really stupid. It's so easy at that point to do it with everything already taken off and out of the way. Most kits are going to come with the belt and water pump (and other small parts), so it should just be done. If you aren't sure or aren't comfortable with not knowing, just change it. A cheaper option would be to get an UltraGauge or ScanGauge to monitor temps. real time and the second it starts to overheat, you shut down. Then you know you need to change some parts. UG or SG is going to be cheaper than a $300 kit.
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:05 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SURF RUNNER View Post
Where is this sticker usually placed? I'm assuming that different mechanics apply the decal in different places, and some might not even put on a sticker.

I have over 170,000 milles and I'm unsure of the timing belt situation on my 4Runner. I purchased it with 157,000 miles.
In most cases, it will be right on the timing belt cover on the front of the engine. Again, if the mechanic didn't put a sticker they are really stupid and I wouldn't go there again.

If there's no sticker and you can't find it in maintenance records, you might want to consider buying the kit and getting the maintenance done. Better than getting stranded. I imagine it's been replaced at least once if the PO has anything more than a half brain though.
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Old 12-14-2014, 06:36 AM #8
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Not all aftermarket kits come with a sticker. If you really worried and have some free time pull some parts off and look for the casting month and date on the water pump. Then you will know the oldest (worst case scenario) that it could be. I know all Aisin pumps will have that info on them, not sure about other manufactures.
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Old 12-14-2014, 12:27 PM #9
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Am I missing the timing belt cover? Maybe I still have the original timing belt and original water pump after 172,000 miles. Is this possible? I looked everywhere and don't see a decal... current photo of my engine below...

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Old 12-14-2014, 12:46 PM #10
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Nope, it's all there. Most put the sticker on that flat piece just below and in front of the "3" in 3400. The timing cover is the whole black piece with the 3400...etc. on it. The fact that there is no sticker is no guarantee it was never done, but given what it costs it would be no surprise that someone put it off. I deliberately waited until 120k to do mine. There are lots of original TB's/WP's that have gone 200k.

There is no way to tell if is original for sure until you get a good look at the pump that is in there. Factory will have FIPG (Toyota RTV) and no gasket--just a groove in the flange for the gook. Replacement Toyota and AISIN aftermarket pumps will have no FIPG and a metal/rubber gasket with grooveless flange.

In your case, I'd do a full TB/WP and establish a baseline. If it was done once at book 90k, you are only 23k short of being due again anyway if you want to follow Toyota spec.
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Old 12-14-2014, 12:52 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benjamin247 View Post
Yep, jeff88, it also shows the miles it had (183k) at the time it was replaced. So if the timing belt was replaced, it's safe to assume the water pump was done at that time too?
I wouldn't worry too much about it. Even if it wasn't done and the pump starts to go bad you'll get some warning before it gets to the point where you can't drive it.

When a water pump starts to fail the seals almost always go first. That lets water get into the bearings and eventually they go bad. The pump has a small hole in the bottom called a "weep hole" so when the inner seals go bad you'll start to smell antifreeze and usually see a small leak. I've seen them go for thousands of miles once they get to that point, but on the 4Runner you want to deal with it ASAP because it soaks the timing belt and eventually that's going to fail and you're stuck.
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Old 12-14-2014, 12:55 PM #12
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When I got my 4Runner inspected two weeks ago the guys doing the state inspection were feeling my timing belt and said something to each other (not to me) something to the effect that it had never been replaced. I don't know if it is possible to tell just by looking or touching the belt. Anyway, I passed the inspection so I didn't have to worry about it that day.

Is there a recommendation on the kit for the timing belt/water pump? Is the Toyota OEM replacement kit the way to go? I'm assuming that I could buy the kit from Toyota and get it done somewhere else for cheaper labor.
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Old 12-14-2014, 03:00 PM #13
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Quote:
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Is there a recommendation on the kit for the timing belt/water pump? Is the Toyota OEM replacement kit the way to go? I'm assuming that I could buy the kit from Toyota and get it done somewhere else for cheaper labor.
Go ahead and go to the stealership and see how much they want to charge for parts. Or you can buy the kit from me!

PM sent.
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Old 12-14-2014, 03:08 PM #14
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Without taking off the top timing belt cover, I don't know how you could feel a timing belt on a 5vz. And those bolts don't look like they have been touched lately.

Considering how old the drive belts look, the T belt could be original. Buy a kit and you will be good to go.
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Old 12-14-2014, 03:36 PM #15
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They must have been touching the belts that are visible in my photo and assuming that the timing belt wasn't done.

I've got some more mods I want to do before I spend the money on changing out the timing belt and water pump, so I'll probably risk getting stranded for the next 6 to 12 months.
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