By Tom Benford
I could tell by the high-pitched squealing noise that the water pump on my 1976 Corvette was at death's door. This water pump was a chromed unit to add some eye candy to the engine compartment and, although it looked spiffy, it didn't have a very long life. Since I hadn't had much luck with chromed mechanical components in the past, I opted to go with a standard water pump as a replacement unit instead of another chromed one. While the project car here is a Corvette, the prep and installation is virtually the same for any small-block carbureted Chevy. Here's what's involved in getting it ready for installation.
The first task is to prep and paint the new water pump. Use masking tape to mask off the shaft seal and bearing, since you don't want to get paint on these parts.
Next, block off all the openings in the water pump. Paper towels or an old shop rag does the trick nicely.
Normally, the water pump would be painted with "Chevy Orange" engine paint available from the local auto parts store. However, since many of my engine components were silver powder-coated or chromed, I opted for silver paint. Eastwood's Reflective Aluminum is the best silver paint I've come across.