93 Century Water Pump Pulley Clearance

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When I investigated 'loose metal' noise while engine running on my 93 Buick Century 6 cyl wagon, I discovered the water pump pulley hitting bolt heads on the water pump. One head had a little groove worn into it. The pulley bolts were not loose. I removed the pulley and inspected the water pump. Everything seemed to be okay there, other than some of the bolts were tightened. No leaking and the pump shaft turned normally. The pump has no more than 30,000 miles on it. It's not original equipment. The car hasn't overheated or shown any evidence of cooling trouble.

When I bolted the pulley back to the shaft, the clearance was worse. Is there a shim or something that goes between the pulley and the shaft to enable clearance from the water pump bolts? There wasn't anything there when I removed the pulley. Thanks for any and all replies!

posted by  TheCommissioner

Are you sure that the pulley isn't backwards?

posted by  Juhosaphat

Thanks for the reply!

Yes, I am sure the pulley is correct. I can go in only one way. If it was reversed, the serpentine belt wouldn't touch it.

posted by  TheCommissioner

Hmm...So all the bolts are tightened...and it's not backwards...What else could it be....

It's studs or bolts holding the pulley on? Because if you can, you could try to put a couple of flat washers on the inside of the pulley to try and push it out some to make clearance for the bolts. Just an idea.

posted by  Juhosaphat

I tried the trick of putting flat washers on the inside of the pulley just like you suggested and it worked when I started the car. I then turned it off and went into the house to announce to my wife that the problem was solved. She went out, started the (her) car, and the noise came back even worse. Now I am really scratching my head!

posted by  TheCommissioner

The noise came back...but was it the same thing causing the noise? Hmm....Is it a constant noise or like a ticking? Because if it isn't constant, and it's the pulley hitting bolts, then that would indicate a bent or mis-shaped pulley, so maybe replacing the pulley would be a solution. Just another thought lol

posted by  Juhosaphat

I took a chance, spent some money, and replaced the water pump. Problem solved. No noise after a test drive. That's the first water pump I ever replaced that wasn't leaking!

Thanks for your help!

posted by  TheCommissioner

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