330GTC Water Pump

330 GTC Water Pump


We had two GTCs in the shop this week, and I was making good progress on the one we’ve been following for the past several weeks. We even started her up for the first time since she came to the shop. I felt there was just a couple more tweaks needed on the carbs and we would be able to take her out for a test drive, but we spotted a strange oil leak under the car. Pulling the dipstick, we found the really bad caramel color of oil when it mixes with water.
oil pan

Draining the oil pan, I found it overflowing with coolant, along with the light brown mixture of oil and water. Francois and I scratched our heads and thought for while what was happening and what it could be. There are usually two ways coolant gets into the oil on a Ferrari engine, one being a failed head gasket, and the second being a water pump seal. Neither one of us wanted to pull the heads on this engine, so we were both hoping for the latter!
oil pan

We pulled the bottom of the oil pan to not only check and confirm our suspicions, but also to clean up the mess the coolant left in the sump. With all the baffling in a Ferrari oil pan, getting all the water out of the oil pan requires pulling it and thoroughly cleaning it out.

After adding more water to the radiator, we watched and waited under the car to see if we could see any coolant dripping out from the engine. Within 15 minutes, water began dripping from behind the timing chain case, confirming our suspicions of a failed water pump seal.

Francois’ theory was the water pump seal was failing, and when we ran if for the first time last week, the seal completely failed, letting more coolant into the oil while the engine was running for that short time of tuning. As the engine cooled and sat for a few days, all the coolant in the radiator drained through the water pump seal into the engine, draining through the timing chain case and into the bottom of the oil pan.
water pump

With clues leading to a failed water pump seal, I began the process of extracting the water pump assembly which started by removing the alternator and bracket, getting the water pump housing off, and removing the impeller nut.
pump housing

There was some calcification inside the water pump housing that I knocked off, and will clean out later.
water pump seal

With the impeller off, you can see all the corrosion and badly deteriorated water pump seal.
pump seal

I was lucky the allen bolts that hold this assembly on the engine came off so easily. If you’re going to do this job yourself, make sure that water pump shaft stays put when you pull this assembly out. The water pump shaft  is driven off the timing chain, so if you screw this procedure up, you’ll make yourself a bunch of work!

It was a good time to replace the water pump bearing as well.
cleaned up

There are a bunch of parts to clean and gaskets to be made while we wait for a water pump seal in the mail.

Reminder: If you’re looking for a Vintage Ferrari, or have a Vintage Ferrari for sale, please let me know. I would be happy to help you in any way that I can. I am not a broker, but occasionally hear of a good car for sale and can get them to the end user!

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