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Re: '77 MGB Water Pump failure

To: "Parenti, Mark" <>
Subject: Re: '77 MGB Water Pump failure
From: Larry Dickstein <>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 08:42:24 -0500
"Parenti, Mark" wrote:

> I returned home from a trip and my son told me that on his 1977 MGB the
> ignition light had come on and that the car had started running hot so he
> brought it home and parked it (good move!) When I looked at it, I discovered
> the fan belt was broken and coolant was leaking from the bottom of the water
> pump. I tried turning the pump by hand and it spun freely. I suspect that
> the water pump may have frozen causing the belt to snap, but that doesn't
> explain why it now spins freely (unless something snapped in the pump at the
> same time the belt snapped). I have ordered a new pump, but was curious if I
> should be concerned about anything more major being amiss. The engine starts
> and runs fine.

    More likely the belt broke causing the engine to overheat (as well as not
turning the alternator).  The little "weep" hole in the bottom of the pump is
just that-a good indicator that the pump has decided that it has lost interest.
It's often a good early warning indicator as well.  The pumps tend to leak a
little for a long time before they spit up.
    A lot of the after market water pumps have a plastic impeller and, if that
was the case, yours has melted into a blob.  Make sure that no large pieces are
missing and are now in the system somewhere.
    After replacing the pump, I would change the oil and filter as a
precaution-no telling how hot it really got!  My kids tended to leave a little
out of each story so it might have gotten really hot.  If it starts and runs you
probably have no damage but it could have shortened the overall life of the
engine some.
    If you have not had the car long, you probably should keep an eye on the new
belt.  Some cars have had less than excellent care and might have misaligned
pulleys, bent pulleys, bent mounting equipment, etc.  If it continues to eat
belts or shuck them off, you need to do a little more investigation.  On the
other hand, if you have had the car for years and this is the first belt, then
you are in good shape.  As long as all the coolant is now on the ground, it is
probably a good time to take a good look at the hoses.

Larry Dickstein
Lone Jack, MO

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