Water Pump Top Hole?

Got a new (not reman.) water pump for a '96 Intrepid, 3.3L engine, was surprised to see that the replacement part, a Master CP7140, had the water pump weep hole at the top.
The OEM part (with an asymmetric mounting flange) has the weep hole at the bottom. First time I've seen this. Is this now common? Might the reason be to avoid paying a royalty on the original patented design?
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Woodie wrote:

I've heard that hole referred to as either a weep hole or a hole necessary to allow pressure relief when pressing seals/bearings into the bump casting.
A hole in the top would be useless as a weep hole, but would work for the latter reason.
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Despite being on top, I think it could still function as a stopgap safeguard against the introduction of coolant (caused by a leaking seal) into and resulting in a catastrophic failure of a pump shaft bearing, should that even be the purpose of that hole.
I did however wrap a piece of tape over the hole, not as any type of seal, but for the sole purpose of preventing the accidental entry of foreign chemical, clogging or abrasive material dropping into the hole.
I remain curious as to whether others have observed such a possibly non-standard placement of that hole.
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On 04/09/2010 08:34 PM, Woodie wrote:

it's a mistake. if you look at the same part supplied by most manufacturers, they have the hole at the bottom in the normal way. that this one has it at the top is a design error by that particular manufacturer. you'll see this is you search online and look at the pics.
as to top vs. bottom location, top is a very bad idea. in fact, if you wanted to /deliberately/ mess up someone's car, you should make this mod. why? because it allows coolant to pool against the bearing seal [there are usually two sets of seals on a shaft - one for the pump, one for the bearing. the weep hole should be connected between so the inevitable seepage from coolant can run out before it accumulates], let that coolant seep in, and ruin the bearings. top location is a /very/ bad idea. but i supposes it's a great idea if you want to sell someone a new pump again in a few months.
bottom line - it's not worth trying to save a few bucks with an aftermarket component - buy the 100k mile warranteed oem that has the weep hole where it should be. don't wait - do it now before you get stranded by that piece of garbage.
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I largely agree with your analysis but its having failed on a Sunday, leaving no option to acquire the OEM part, the two nearby parts stores having a sum total of one replacement item between them combined with an immediate need for the vehicle, meant that there was little choice but to accept what was available.
An interesting side note though, the gasketless aforementioned is very quickly and easily removed and reinstalled (a total of 5 mounting and 3 pulley bolts plus one o-ring) and carries a lifetime, free replacement warranty.
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On 4/9/2010 10:33 AM, Woodie wrote:

I've never seen that before. Are you sure you don't have your engine mounted upside down? :-)
Anyway, it sounds like a good idea to me - you might be able to see if the bearing is leaking. I always have to stick my hand under the bearing housing and feel for coolant. Not having to do this would suit me fine. Hopefully, nobody's paying any royalties on a weep hole. :-)
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Good one.

I think you mean seal.

Good point.

I was thinking any deviation from the overall design might suffice.
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Woodie wrote:

First of all you are talking about a 14 yr. old car with a part that has been around for decades. There isn't anything in the law preventing an after-market supplier from copying the original part except competence. An after-market part may vary from the original because it was copied badly.
-jim
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I was only hazarding a guess as to the reason it might deviate from the original design. Perhaps you're correct, although I can hardly fathom the staggering incompetence required to manufacture and continue to produce a device that poorly copied lo these many years. I wonder if a defective product class action suit might be in order ;-)
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wrote:

I concur that at incipient seal failure, coolant will commence to pool and subsequently spill from the hole. Being an old car though, I'm hoping that it might survive the remaining service life of the vehicle. In any case I'll keep an eye on it. Unlike in days of old there's fortunately no chance that a failed shaft bearing can put an attached fan into the radiator ;-)
Thank you all for your considerate responses.
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