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 How to replace the WPump & Opti Seals - with pics!
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level 5

5448 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2005 :  03:45:28  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
OK .. I JUST finished doing this a few hours ago and took some pics
while I did it. I made a tool to allow the install of the seal onto
the Water Pump drive shaft and keep the "lip" inward. It seemed to
work beautifully and was MUCH smoother then the socket method that I
posted a while back.

I need to take pics of the tool and post the dimensions and the "how
to", to make it. I will follow up in this thread.

The pictures start at removing the opti, but I took two pics of the
process of removing the WP drive shaft seal, after I had the new one
in (notice the yellow O-ring). The process of removing the WP is
pretty straight forward, a few tips if you are cheap like me (and want
to reuse the coolant) : Remove the lower heater hose from the WP and
put a funnel under it, drain the coolant into a plastic 4 inch deep
pan thats about 20 x 16 or so. After that stops, then remove the
drivers side lowest WP bolt and that will drain the block - again use
a funnel to direct the coolant into the pan. Remove the pan from
under the car and put something over it so your neighborhood animals
dont stop by for a drink.

Removing the Water Pump seal requires a small blade screw driver and
a hammer.

Here is that Opti everyone hates - I don't I LOVE it.

Here is the WP seal removed

And a closeup:

Another angle:

Remove the three bolts, 4 drivers side spark plug wires, the main
opti plug, the pulley (three bolts and it can be pulled off by hand)
and the opti can be swung out of the way. There is the opti seal.

Another angle:

1995 9C1 LT1 Impala SS clone, 225,667 miles, home made intake, Flowmaster American Thunder CAT back, complete Impala SS interior w/woodgrain inserts, Impala SS steering column w/ steering wheel, 94 Firebird rearview mirror with map lights, Impala SS grille w/ red bowtie, Impala SS front springs, 9C1 rear springs, Bilstein shocks, Hotchkis engine bay brace, Taller rear spoiler, Impala SS rear axle, Impala SS rims, 275/40 EVO-1's, Impala SS rim for full size spare, Camaro spare holder, Impala SS trunk kit, Moog upper/lower ball joints, Moog Idler Arm, F-body EGR, NEW Radiator, Class III Hidden Hitch, adding cruise control too. Looks more like a real Impala then many real Impalas.

Here is a "BEFORE" pic, taken by the previous owner, I had him keep the rims, the drop spindles and the airbag suspension.

Here is a "BACK" pic and a "FRONT" pic taken 5/02/04

1993 Camaro Z28 LT1, 251,735 miles, Jet Performance Stage II Chip, 1998 Camaro front clip (to repair hit and run damage), 2002 Camaro SS 17 inch rims with 275/40 EVO-Z tires, SubFrame Connectors, NEW Edelbrock CAT back exhaust - its my "beater", even carried lumber in it!

1963 Studebaker Avanti, 102,000 miles, 03 Cobra brakes/PBR 2 piston calipers/13" rotors/owner designed brackets, GT rear discs, '03 Cobra wheels, GM altenator, 97 Camaro Z28 tan leather seats, TKO 5-speed trans. Someday: Ported 'R3' style Avanti heads with stainless full flow valves, 'R3' 276 duration cam w/chrysler solid lifters, shortened push rods, aluminum cam gear, Edelbrock AFB Carb, GM HEI distributor, 8.8mm plug wires.

Edited by - FakeBacon on 11/28/2008 15:14:45

level 5

5448 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2005 :  03:55:56  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Here is where the o-rings go on the opti, the "old" ones (25k) were
hard as a rock. You can see them in the picture above. They were
also flattened. I cut them off carefully with an exacto knife (sharp
edge AWAY from shaft):

Another view:

Use a seal puller to hook the inside edge of the seal, I got this
at Harbor Freight for chump change, its already removed the pinion
seal and my wifes 1995 Camaro Z28's front seal - nice tool!

Here is the seal removed:

A close up:

To install the new seal, I just lined up the seal, and CAREFULLY
tapped around the outside edge until the seal "grabbed" the hole
and then pounded the seal into the cover by hitting around and
around the metal edge. New seal installed:

Now the FUN part. The dreaded Water Pump seal!! Dont fret! I
have the tool I made. Slide the seal onto the tool, with a light
film of engine oil and then line up the tool with the shaft.

Tool lined up:

And we are OFF!! Next couple show it going on (exciting huh?):

Tool removed from the shaft edge, seal is on the shaft:

Edited by - FakeBacon on 11/28/2008 15:17:01
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level 5

5448 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2005 :  04:08:36  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Now to hammer the seal into the timing cover, I used a 15/16 socket
from a 1/2 drive set. In case you are wondering - YES I CAN levitate!

New seal in timing cover:

Better views of the socket:

Where the WP drive O-ring goes!

Put the opti back on, torque bolts to 100 inch pounds.

Back of the water pump:

Close up of where the OTHER O-ring goes!

I put the gaskets on in this proceedure : Use Permetex no2 "Form-
A-Gasket" on the water pump, light coat, then put the gasket on
the WP, then put another light coat of Permatex no2 on the gasket.
Now you can carefully negotiate the WP onto the dowel pins and
not have to worry about the gaskets. You might have to rotate
the shaft of the water pump just a tad to get it to line up with
the WP drive shaft on the engine (dont forget the union tube!)

All back together ... I hope its not leaking anymore!!


Edited by - FakeBacon on 11/28/2008 15:19:03
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level 2

135 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2005 :  15:08:27  Show Profile  Email Poster  Send Esandiego a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Wow, about a 1000 times better than the Haynes manual. I really appreciate you doing this for all of us here.


95 DCM IMP....
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level 4

1678 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2005 :  16:02:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Whoa!! Thanks Tom!! You answered a few questions for me just by taking those pics and walking us thru.


96 Impala SS BBB #8,844, 60,000 miles, Falken tires, chrome factory rims, kyb shocks, f-body egr valve and solenoid, Power Stop cross drilled rotors, 50 series flowmasters/resonator delete, xpipe, K&N fipk intake system, air pump disable, Goodyear Hi-miler hoses, 160 deg. stat, Vette fuel rail covers, 61 Impala cross flags, red bow tie, Body bushing mod, PCMforless programming, tint.

Smok'in your tires is good for your health......
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level 5

5448 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2005 :  16:59:48  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by 96dggm57

who took the pics?

Oh yah ... well I forgot to add that besides being able to leviate
over the engine - I also have a third arm. This allows me to be
able to take pictures while using my other two arms. It also has
some OTHER advantages ....

(actually the wife took the Opti seal pics)

Welcome guys ... it seemed like good timing, and I have a digital
camera that takes pretty low res pics, so I can take more and it
wont kill the dial up guys.

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3868 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2005 :  09:41:27  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Wow! Excellent write up and description pics!Great job,this article should defintley be in the the Impala SS handbook.

1996 SS BBB,Comp 502 cam,ported heads,1.6 rr's,Hooker ceramic shorties,ported/descreened maf,ported Lt4 intake,52mm tb,vette dual air intake kit,TB Bypass,Airfoil,LT4 KNM,160t-Stat,Hypertech Programming(pcm4less soon),3.73 Gears,Flowmaster catback w/Z28 tips behind rear wheels,Magnecore wires,AC Delco platinum plugs,clear corners,9C1 windshield wipers,tinted windows,SS brake light mod,polished stock rims,Hankook Ventus tires,red calipers,62'ss trunk emblem,lt1 emblem,x-flag fender emblems,65'SS grill emblem,ventshades,black outs (window trim),red/blk impala headrest ss/logo s*****ching,niteshaded tailights,custom trunk kit,black carpet,tripod w/ Autometer gauges.Pheonix Gold 6.5" R component speakers in doors and deck,Audiobahn 12" sub in bandpass plexglass box,Orion Amp,3.5" monitor/ in dash dvd radio
Mods Coming:10" flipdown monitor,rearview camera, Edge 2800 stall t/c, custom 3 piece floormats,ton of suspension work and more.
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level 2

463 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2005 :  10:00:31  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Nice...shoulda done the front main while you had it tore appart.

95 9C1, 154k, Flomasters -resonators, K&N CAI, 160 T-stat, Eaton and 3.73s, PCMforless tuning, Rustic front end, Bilsteins and Hotchkis springs.
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level 5

6184 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2005 :  10:50:27  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Very informative Tom. And BTW I like the new tool

RIP -SStropper
RIP - Wayne Beaman http://www.vimeo.com/6728716

Edited by - 96ssBBB on 07/04/2005 10:51:30
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Ape Wagon
level 3

540 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2005 :  16:32:57  Show Profile  Email Poster  Visit Ape Wagon's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Glad to see all went well. :)

My Past Love:

The Ape Wagon
The Show:Custom Tags,Gold Simulated HID,Road Boy Fogs,Custom Grill by Fabcon,Wagon SS Sidescripts,3rd Brakelight "SS",15" chrome smoothies,SunPro Tach,Pioneer Head Unit, Sony Tweeters, JBL Mids, 2 JBL 12" Subs, Boss Amp
The Go:383 LT1 Built by Chad Golen/Lloyd Elliot/Me!,BH PCM,Hooker MaxFlo Mufflers with Turndowns,Resonator Deletes,Ram Air,TB Bypass,Mechanical Fan Delete, Inland Empire Aluminum DriveShaft, 3.73's, Eaton Posi, 3000 Edge TC, Pro-Built Tranny
The Plan:Get my tranny in and start smokin tires
The Goal: I need a new goal!

Fun while it lasted, can't wait for the next project. Maybe a new camaro?
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level 4

1433 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2005 :  04:04:11  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Awesome pics and descriptions!! This could'a helped me greatly 6 months ago! Great job!

1995 Impala SS.. 120,000 Miles and still going strong! Ricers Beware!!!
New Opti, Shocks, Rad, Brake pads, rotors and calipers, Water pump, Temp Sensor, Thermostat, coolant Temp Sensor, Black out Trim, Black out Trunk Emblem, Rear 1/4 Impala Logo's Removed----

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level 5

5448 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2005 :  04:13:53  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by MetalHead9C1

Nice...shoulda done the front main while you had it tore apart.

Well ... the front main wasnt leaking, I had done that seal
not too long ago. None of the upper parts need to be removed
to do the front main seal, other then the pulley/balencer.
The hub stays on during the opti removal. I had planned on
doing the front main seal IF it showed signs of leaking after
the main problem was cured. So far its dry, I plan to drive
it tomorrow, and see whats up. I took the car to the local
car wash that allows engine cleaning, and jacked the car up
with my aluminum floor jack. Its all CLEAN now.

Thanks for coming through on the seals for me Ape Wagon(Josh)!!

Originally posted by 96dggm57

pics of teh wife?

She hasnt been in the mood to be in front of the camera ....


Edited by - SBCA96 on 07/05/2005 04:16:22
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level 2

378 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2005 :  02:31:40  Show Profile  Send BabyL99 an ICQ Message  Send BabyL99 a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I very timely post, as I had just replaced my waterpump, and if the Optispark doesn't stop acting up, that will be next.

Now how about a list of part numbers to really finish it off.

1995 Caprice Classic B4U. 100K miles. Team Canada hockey puck to intake elbow / homeplate delete. Door pin stops delete. PCV condenser.

New OEM PCV valve every year or 12,000 miles to save your engine.

Edited by - BabyL99 on 07/07/2005 02:34:26
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level 5

5448 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2005 :  03:53:13  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by BabyL99
Now how about a list of part numbers to really finish it off.

Either Dal or the Dealer can answer those questions, only the
front main seal is available elsewhere. I actually prefer the
Chicago Rawhide seal (CR 17286) over the GM one.


Edited by - SBCA96 on 07/07/2005 04:09:38
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level 5

5448 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2005 :  04:03:04  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Here is the "tool" that I made to install the WP driveshaft
seal into the timing cover keeping the "lip" inward:

If you have a pair of calipers to measure then that would
work the best but you could also cut it there and it should
work. Make sure that the edge is flat, I just slid the
cut part back and forth on a fine file. The rounded edge
on the "cap" end helps to expand out the seal gently. The
important dimension is the .695 diameter.

I should start selling modified ones for 10 bucks a pop!


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level 2

288 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2005 :  08:36:33  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Great post i know i'll be using this one someday thanks

95 BBB 55k Racetronix fuel pump kit, 3.42 gears (not installed yet), TRI Y's W/Cat Delete, K&N FIPK, Gary's Battery & headlight Cables, SpinTech Pro Street cat back.

96 9c1 88k K&N FIPK, Hooker catback
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level 2

144 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2005 :  08:40:45  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Great post, ironic that you did so now. I just mailed Dal a check for the Opti, Opti Seal, Vacuum Harness, Water Pump, Water Pump Seal, Spark Plug Wire Set, Oil Cooler lines, and Oil Adapter Seal.

After I get my 4.9L, Inline Six back together, I'll be tackeling this project and was looking to this site for tips on how to do so. As I type, the printer is printing your post.

Thanks again for the detailed work.


Sold the '71 FuryIII
'96 Buick Roadmaster Station Wagon LTD/CE w/ tow package, 2.93 non LS go figure!!!
'06 F250XLT Super Duty, Crew Cab, V10, 6spd manual, 4.10 LS, 8' bed, 4X2
'05 Fleetwood Niagara
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level 5

5448 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2005 :  14:20:48  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote

Drove the car today the 55 miles to work ... no leaks,
looks like everything went together great. Last night
I noticed a leak after driving over to put gas in the
car, so I put the car up and crawled under. Turns out
that the sensor on the side of the pan was leaking. I
loosened it, and then tightened it back up, so far so
good it - that seemed to solve that leak.

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level 1

37 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2005 :  00:21:59  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
great description, but which way does the union tube go on the water pump

1997 Nissan Patrol four wheel drive with 1996 LT1 F-Body engine, 1994 OBD1 pcm,tunercat, LT4 knock sensor, block huggers ceramic coated
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level 5

5448 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2005 :  01:57:42  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by legsx1

great description, but which way does the union tube go on the water pump

Thats a good question, to be honest after I took it apart, I wasnt
sure either. I DONT think that it really matters, but the Clilton
manual that I have for my Camaro (LT1 also) shows the machined in
"groove" or "band" on the outside of the "Union" or "Coupling" as
being on the engine side. Smooth side toward the water pump.

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level 5

2940 Posts

Posted - 01/28/2006 :  08:11:52  Show Profile  Email Poster  Visit RJI's Homepage  Reply with Quote
That's a great wirte up. I'll add some part numbers.

Waterpump Drive seal: 10217886
Water pump O rings: 12553792
Water pump to block: 10128343
Opti O rings: 10474278
Opti seal: 12552428

The tool for installing the waterpump drive seal is made by Kent Moore part # J39087. It's a little pricey for a piece of plastic but it allows perfect instalation of the seal. Which brings me to the instructions to use a light coat of oil for installing the water pump drive seal. Granted that sometimes you can get away with this, but it is a teflon coated seal that is made to be put on DRY. Same goes for the Opti seal.
The last thing you want to do is start your car and find
that the seal is leaking. I've use the Sharpie pen cover to make the tool and now I own the Kent Moore tool. The correct tool makes a big difference and allows for perfect instalation without using oil. If you plan to do this job more than once it may be worth buying. Some dealerships carry this tool in there tool bin and if you are on good terms with them, may let you borrow it.

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