Two weeks ago I started a topic asking for tips on removing some hoses in a 2007 Mazda 6 I was working on. Original post is here: Please help removing these hoses
My water pump replacement is taking a while because I am busy with work and I can only work at night. The car is parked in the street and its sometimes difficult to work outside with all the wind and cold temperatures. I also had to wait for all the parts to arrive.
I bent the pulley for following the instructions of a Youtuber, who placed a socket in between the pulley and the tool, which was not necessary at all. This was dumb, but I didn’t understand how the tool work so I just following the video. I had trouble finding that same pulley using the model and make of the car, but eventually found out after a lot of google searches that other Mazda and Ford vehicles used the same part. Asked the eBay seller to verify the VIN for part compatibility and voila!
I have followed the suggestions and tips everyone gave me in the original post, bought the Haynes manual and some tools. I would like to thank everyone who replied to my original post.
The Haynes manual was not what I expected. It did not list the part numbers and covers everything in a very “general” manner. Really not for someone like me who has no experience whatsoever fixing cars. I had so much trouble finding the parts at O’Reilley and Autozone.
To replace the whole water pump + housing, I had to disconnect a bunch of things along the way, including thermostat housing, and a bunch of other things that I have no idea what they are called just to get some room to work. Some of those crappy plastic T connectors broke and I had trouble finding the right part.
Tonight I was able to put it all back. Then I realized something… How the heck am I supposed to align the pulley I just installed back to the original position now? I forgot to mark it when I was pulling it out. How important is it to to align this exactly how it was? I tried to eyeball it and tried to make sure the belt was as straight as possible but I am afraid this is not enough.
Someone in the Mazda forums uploaded a picture with the measurements he had on his Mazda 6 using a digital caliper. I am about to order one, but would like to know what do you do if you make a mistake like this?
Not familiar with Mazda 6 pulleys but generally car makers design pulley’s with a shoulder to press to. There is only one way hey are right - pressed on until the pulley bottoms on the stop. Anything else is wrong. If the belt is not straight after this install, something is wrong with the pulley. You bought the wrong one, it isn’t installed correctly, ect.
And the belt needs to be straight or the belt will fail. A long straight-edge across the pulleys right near the rim edge should confirm or deny straightness.
Haynes or Chilton manuals will NEVER give part numbers. Those can change based on later revisions and can vary from year to year and even mid-year. It is impractical to include them. The factory manuals are the best for instructions but they don’t contain part numbers (usually) for the same reason.
YouTube advice is free. Sometimes it isn’t even worth that much, as you’ve found.
The pulley has to be in the same geometry as the old one for the belt path to form a loop confined to a single plane. Think of how a hula-hoop lays flat on the sidewalk, only when the sidewalk is perfectly flat. If all the pulleys for that belt aren’t all in the same plane, the belt will be thrown off after you start the engine, or worse, when you are driving. This isnt something to worry about in most cases, the folks who designed the car designed it so they’d all be in the same plane, as long as they are installed with the correct orientation and snugged up (seated) against what it seat next to. You can usually get a visual idea if they are all lined up in the same plane by looking at them from the side of the car. If the one you’re having trouble with isn’t lined up, either it is the wrong pulley (compare it to the old one), it isn’t fully seated, or is one flip-sided (180 degrees reversed). If all else fails remove it and put it on in the flip-side configuration and see if it lines up then. Make sure all the pulley’s in that path have the same number of ribs btw. In the photo above there are two ribs on that pulley. So all the pulleys on that path must all have two ribs.
Otherwise it sounds like you are well on your way to a new hobby. The problems you are encountering, pretty much all diy’er encounter from time to time. Multiple trips to the parts store to buy something you break while fixing something else is not an uncommon thing. Replacing a water pump isn’t an easy job, so you are taking on a big project for a first timer. One tip, if you have a cell phone camera, good idea to take some quick photos as you remove the parts. Although I doubt many of the people who post here do that , knowing exactly what parts go where takes a lot of the fun out of the job … lol … Reminds me of the story Ray and Tom told on the Car Talk radio show: if you replace the engine in a VW Beetle enough times, pretty soon you’ll have enough parts you don’t know where they go to build an extra engine. Best of luck.