1988 Toyota Pickup Water Pump



I was told that my 1988 Toyota pickup (V6, SR5, no ac, no cruise) needs a new water pump. I’m also going to replace the timing belt while I’m in there. I’ve got a friend who is going to do it for me. Is there anything special I need to tell him about this repair? Or anything unexpected that I should expect? Any advice? Thanks!


Why do you need a new water pump? Are you losing coolant? Is the engine overheating?

OR, is the timing belt due for change?
In this case, a water pump change may be a smart move.

Ensure your friend marks the crankshaft gears (you can use a pencil or felt pen) to make sure the timing remains the same after the belt is changed.

Use new gaskets too.


Replace the tensioner and idlers pulleys also. Considering the age, and unless it has been done recently, I would also replace the thermostat.

They’re cheap and can cause a lot of grief when they stick closed; as in roast an engine.
I consider thermostats a maintenance item like a filter or brakes and change them every couple or 3 years anyway. It’s cheap insurance and could save you from being stranded on a lonely highway at night.

JMHO, but I believe they should always be part of a water pump, head gasket, or radiator repair.


When changing the timing belt the harmonic balancer has to be removed. Removing the crankshaft bolt can sometimes be a significant challenge. There are special tools available from Toyota to hold the balancer steady while you break the bolt loose with a breaker bar but it might not be economical to buy one for just one job. That said, I actually have a few of these holders for different Toyota engines. Maybe you can find one to borrow or rent, otherwise you can buy them directly online from Toyota special tools. Air impact wrenches can work but you will have greater success with one that is more powerful than average. But try what you have and see.

One alternative is to pay a professional mechanic to loosen it with his impact wrench and retighten it enough to get you back home. The thing is, though, you should attempt to loosen the crankshaft bolt as the first order of business so that if you need professional help, you don’t have a big reassembly job just to drive it to the mechanic. Also, you will have to figure out a way to torque it down after the job is done.