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  #1  
Old 12th February 2019
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Default Plastic vs metal

well it was cold outside and the water pump on my tow truck started leaking so to nip a trouble looming, i opted to change the entire pump even though the o-ring gasket were probably failing.
i ordered the pump and when i got it, it had a plastic impeller, the stock was metal. i know they made both but, hummmmm, like an oil thread, is there any war stories here. of course, i would prefer metal but it is done. the big issue is i pull 11,200# fifth wheel in all kinds of terrain and never had issue but wondering if the plastic will hold up as times i am in the boonies.
i guess, i could throw a spare in the tool box.
so what say ye in forum land???

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  #2  
Old 12th February 2019
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Toejam503 Toejam503 is offline
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That "plastic" impellar is actually a composite resin that looks plastic. It should last just as long, if not longer, than a metal one.
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Old 12th February 2019
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It definitely doesn't surprise me.
I've never had a plastic propeller so I have no opinion on how it will fair.
Let's me know what I'm in for later though.
I guess I need to buy up a couple for spares while I can.
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  #4  
Old 12th February 2019
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I've seen plastic impellers chewed up pretty badly and still functioning. Those were in crudely "filtered" water pumps though, not a vehicle coolant pump. If you have solids in the system that will cause that type damage, you have bigger problems. I'm sure it's engineered for the temps it must run in. As long as the interface to the impeller shaft doesn't strip out, what else could fail?

I'd prefer metal to, but we live in a plastic (composite) world. A lot cheaper to squirt out a molded part than to machine it.
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Default

like i said in the past, i do not throw away anything till i understand it. it is a bear to take apart. i was of the mind to repair it but parts out way what you can get it for.
it had a nice stainless impeller but near impossible to press off the shaft, would require making a special tool because any other way would bend the impeller. the mechanical seal is a no brainer and the hub/pulley possible with heat and 3 jaw puller but a tool made from m30 x 1.5 nut would be better. the shaft bearing is all one piece, roller/ball.
i always keep my junk up maintenance wise.
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Old 12th February 2019
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I have had bad luck with steel and plastic. my favorite is the old cast iron ones but nobody makes them anymore.
When I worked for Honda back in the late 80's the motorcycles had special plastic resin water pumps in them which used a conical ceramic seal the seals would leak a small amount when the temps changed dramatically but the water pumps would last forever as long as you used the correct coolant.

That being said Honda provided engines for some Saturns which had issues with water pumps impellers falling apart. The impellers were light steel and would wear away causing no water to pump at slow speeds. Honda sued GM for the use of Dexcool in their engines, which eats away at the impellers and housings due to Dexcool's coarse molecular composition. Thus giving Honda a bad reputation.
GM said it would have been too costly to refit the plants to use a different coolant and was cheaper to pay out the warranty claims instead.
The engineers designed a replacement pump with a plastic impeller after the lawsuit.

I would just use recommended coolant and not worry about it.
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Old 13th February 2019
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All the pumps on our bottles are plastic. They will get chewed up and broke off but are surprisingly durable in comparison.
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If its easy to change, carry a spare one.
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Old 13th February 2019
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yep, chevy uses dexcool. i guess i could cut it back to 50/50 but i usually run 70/30, was not aware it had a diff molecular composition.
my honda vtx 1100 ace had the plastic water pump but never any issues. if i remember right, they also had a plastic fuel pump also. the deal did not stock them like you said, hardly any troubles.
very correct mr. river, biggest issue is gm wanted to save money so they did not put drain plugs on their plastic radiator tanks. i guess a flush "T" inline would solve that issue for on the road repair, a dragging wagon is a very expensive option.
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Old 13th February 2019
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yep, chevy uses dexcool. i guess i could cut it back to 50/50 but i usually run 70/30, was not aware it had a diff molecular composition.
my honda vtx 1100 ace had the plastic water pump but never any issues. if i remember right, they also had a plastic fuel pump also. the dealer did not stock them like you said, hardly any troubles.
very correct mr. river, biggest issue is gm wanted to save money so they did not put drain plugs on their plastic radiator tanks. i guess a flush "T" inline would solve that issue for on the road repair, a dragging wagon is a very expensive option.

Last edited by bustert; 13th February 2019 at 21:23..
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