If its a 3.4 L, you'll find it conveniently close to you in the front passenger side, near the radiator cap.
I'm a space hog, and an amateur mechanic, so I decided to take some parts out and tackle this one step at a time.
1. Disconnect battery. Remember, you'll need to recode your Radio. Your Chevy dealership will tell you what it should be. Mine was 199, but my venture is a 99.
2. Take off big angled strut bar with 1/2" socket. There are two in the front, and one hidden at the back where the antenna is. To expose it, remove plastic windshield wiper motor cover. Find where there is resistance at the clips, and slide upwards. There should be two clips on the side, and three on the back under the weatherstripping.
3. Unclasp Fuse box. Move it out of your way towards the cabin compartment.
4. Now you can get that big bulky battery out of your way. With an extension, using a 1/2" socket, remove the bolt holding the battery down. Remove battery cables with 6mm socket.
5. Now that you have space to work, you need to take the serpentine belt off the water pump.
6. Using an 8mm socket, feel the one bolt holding the plastic clip over the belt. Mine had a picture of the belt route. That's the one that has to come off.
8. Once out of your way, you need to carefully slip the belt off the pulleys. There is a tensioner that has some play in case your engine jolts when starting it. This tensioner can be retracted/rotated to slip the belt off. My friend helped slip the belt off while i rotated the tensioner pulley.
9. You now have complete access to that water pump. The problem is you have to drain some coolant, or its going to be a total mess.
10a) You can do this two ways: drain the cockvalve on the drivers side radiator, at the bottom. Its white, and you should see or feel it from the bottom. turn slowly, but no need to take it right off.
10b) Or, you can loosen the left upper rad house at the bottom. No need to take the whole hose off, but you want to drain the fluid to the point where the level is lower than the pump.
10c) Or, you can (but not recommended) siphon the coolant out into a pail until you're certain the coolant level is lower than the pump. DO NOT GET ANY IN YOUR MOUTH, is poisonous!!!
11. Now, you can focus on the pump. Remove the four bolts holding the water pump casing/pulley. Slip off the pulley.
12. Remove the five bolts holding the actual pump on.
13. The pump is off! Now, remove any remnants of the gasket. You will have to use a new gasket. I didn't use a sealer because I did a great job removing all remnants of the gasket.
14. Remove all remnants of the gasket.
15. Clean the surface where the gasket was. I used a 120grit sandpaper. Clean any dust off.
16. Inspect the new pump assembly. Will it fit? Dry fit it.
17. Put a new gasket on and mount the new pump.
18. Tighten bolts in an alternating fashion, as you would when changing your flat tire.
19. Do not play around, tighten up those bolts. ( I made the mistake of not tightening the bolts hard as I was scared I'd damage the gasket. Fluid leaked everywhere, and the smell was terrible. I had to redo everything.) Tighten to around 90lbs. If you're like me and don't have a torque wrench, just make sure its tight, and then some.
20. The rest is reverse to these instructions.
21. Ensure you top up your coolant.
All of this took me about an hour. And I am an amateur.
I just completed a water pump replacement on my 2003 Venture and have some comments.
1. The battery does not need to be removed. There is plenty of room to work with it in.
2. Easiest way to slide the serpentine belt off is to use a large rachet with breaker bar to rotate the tensioner forward (it is located toward the rear of the vehicle about half way down).
3. Use some gasket sealer on the new gasket to help seal the fitting. Other sites say to not use excessive force tightening the water pump housing bolts to avoid cracking the housing.
4. The water pump has 5 bolts but they are not evenly spaced around the housing. Make sure that you line up the bolts before you apply the gasket sealer and then try to fit it!
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