Technical Articles

Installing an Edelbrock Victor Series Water Pump

By Paul Eschenbach 8/20/00

One of the most common modifications made to all Ford Broncos is the installation of a higher capacity cooling system. The stock cooling systems in most Ford trucks leaves a lot to be desired. Many Bronco owners complain of their trucks running too hot while towing or while sitting in traffic on very hot days. One of the main causes of this problem is the inefficient open-impeller water pumps (see Fig. 3 bellow) that most of us are running on our trucks. I am not sure if Ford  installed these kinds of pumps from the factory, but I do know that every replacement water pump I have ever seen from auto parts houses such as Advance, Autozone, and Pepboys are of the open-impeller design.

My Bronco was no different. So while I was rebuilding the engine, I decided to try a new closed-impeller Victor Series water pump from Edelbrock. As soon as I opened the box, the difference between my water pump and the Edelbrock was apparent (see Fig. 1)

Click on each thumb nail to enlarge
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Fig. 1

Pump Comparison

Fig. 2

Edelbrock Pump

Fig. 3

Standard Pump

It was also nice to see a product from the aftermarket industry that was made with this kind of quality. The casting and the machining on the Edelbrock pump seemed flawless. A close look at the impeller (Fig. 2) shows the unique computer-designed cast iron impeller that Edelbrock claims is 20% more efficient that the open-impeller design (Fig. 3). Actually, this type of impeller is not all that unique. It is almost identical to the factory impellers installed on the old Oldsmobile Rocket V8 engines. In fact, Oldsmobile is just about the only automotive manufacture who uses this kind of impeller on their water pumps (at least in the old days).

All right. So it looks great, but what really matters is how well it performs and how well it fits. So our first priority is getting the pump installed. When installing the pump, be sure to follow these steps:

First, make sure you buy the correct RTV sealant when installing the pump. I recommend Mega Black O.E.M. Hi-Temp Silicone, Type 998 gasket sealer.
You will need to round up a 3/8" pipe plug to put in the second heater hose outlet in the Edelbrock pump. Make sure you use Teflon tape or plumber's dope on the plug so it doesn't leek. The pipe plug in your stock pump has different threads, so it will not work.
Once you have gathered the parts and sealant, make sure the timing cover where the water pump goes is thoroughly clean and free of oil and grease so the new pump will seal properly. I like to use a putty knife to scrape off the old gasket sealer and then go over the gasket area with paint thinner to remove any oil or dirt that may still remain.
Spread a thin, even coat of RTV sealant on the gasket area on the back of the pump. Allow it to dry for 5 to 10 minutes until it feels "tacky".
Gently place the gasket that comes with the pump on the back of the pump over the sealant you just applied. Make sure the holes on the gasket and the pump line up.
Now spread a thin, even coat on the back of the gasket. Allow it to dry for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Now take the bolts out of your original pump and place them through the appropriate holes on the new pump.
Place the water pump on the engine and hand tighten all the bolts. 
Torque the bolts to 12-18 ft-lbs of torque in a "star" type pattern so you do not warp the pump. By "star pattern" I mean start with the bolts on the left, then move to the bolts on the right, then the top, and finally the bottom. Repeat this pattern, tightening each bolt little-by-little, until all bolts are torqued to 12-18 ft-lbs.
It's also a good idea to replace the thermostat while you have the coolant out of the engine. A sticking thermostat can "blow" the seal on the water pump. Make sure to buy a high-flow thermostat since your new Edelbrock pump will flow more coolant than your old one.

Well now that the pump is installed I can honestly say that the installation of the pump was flawless. All of the original water pump bolts slipped right it with no problem. The AC, PS pump, and Alternator brackets bolted right up to the pump without a hitch. Anyone who has ever bought and installed any aftermarket parts knows that this kind of installation is very, very rare. So how does it work? GREAT! I have not had the engine running very long since I installed this pump, but so far it can handle my high horse power 406 in 90 degree heat with no problem. It defiantly runs cooler than the old pump.

I strongly recommend this pump, not only for applications where the engine is running hot, but anytime a water pump needs to be replaced on a Ford product. It looks great, it fits well, it weighs less than the old iron pump, and most of all it really works. The price is a little high (it cost me $156.00) but it is well worth the price. g

Paul's Product Score: I give this product a 9.5. It could have easily scored a perfect 10, but I had to deduct points because it didn't include a 3/8" pipe plug for vehicles that only use one heater hose outlet on the pump. This meant I had to make a trip to the hardware store during the installation, and I HATE going to hardware and auto parts stores in the middle of a project!