Sable water pump questions

Hi everyone,
Whether I liked it or not (and definitely not because of sub freezing weather), the water pump on my 2000 Mercury Sable, which has Vulcan 3.0
V6 OHV engine, went bad earlier this week. After viewing a variety of different procedure videos and some written material, I removed the pump yesterday and I am awaiting the new pump and thermostat to arrive today.
As I replaced the intake manifold gasket several years back due to a failed PCV valve (which I couldn't get to without manifold disassembly), I had not run into either of the issues I'm about to ask about.
So, I have some questions. With snow on the ground today, it's unlikely I'm going to be able to complete the job until tomorrow so that give me some time:
1) What is a decent way to clean the gasket area on the engine? I looked at a variety of videos and read some posts, but can't make up my mind. One gentleman takes a hose and washes the entire area down, but not sure I'd want to do that. On the other hand, there is coolant residue all around the area that will have to be removed. What I am thinking, which I also read, was using a moist Scotch Brite non-scratching pad to gently scrub the gasket area to both remove gasket remains and the residue. Thoughts would be welcome.
2) I was going to clean up the gasket bolts and apply both anti seize and thread sealant to the fresh bolts, but upon removal many of the bolts are oily or sludgy. Hard to find a proper solution, but the mess is obviously coming from the mounting holes. Should I just reinstall as-is and, if not, how do I go about cleaning those holes?
3) I am doing this procedure with the car on 9" car ramps to get better access of course, but I am concerned that not all coolant was drained. I'm thinking that, during the flushing process (where I'll drive for a few hours with a cleaner and water fill), that I will drain most of the water with the car on the ramps first, then follow up with the car on the ground with a pan to catch the rest. Is this really necessary, or was the coolant drain sufficient on the ramps? (EDIT: I don't think this will work because I won't be able to back the car off of the ramps with most of the coolant drained! Looks like I'll have to do it all with the car flat on the ground.)
Thank you in advance!
Jon
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Get some spray on gasket remover (Permatex makes a decent product) and a hardwood scraper (make it out of a smallpiece of hardwood lumber) to remove as much gasket as possible, then finish up with some scotchbrite and more gasket remover (wear rubber (nytrile) gloves)

Clean the bolts. Clean the holes with brake cleaner and a tube brush

Flush the system with a hose, drain as much as possible, then after consulting the specs in the manual, add 1/2 the stated coolant capacity of the system of pure concentrated antifreeze, then top up with water. When flushing, "back-flush" through the heater hose to get as much of the old antifreeze out as possible. (google it - look at your favorite YouTuber)

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On 3/1/19 4:47 PM, Clare Snyder wrote:

Thanks. I tried the Permatex and, despite using an entire can and waiting 20-30 min between sessions, I still wasn't able to remove all the material. Unfortunately, when I read about the Scotchbrite, I thought folks were talking about the souring pad you find in stores. I guess this wasn't the case and it is an actual wheel for a drill. Wish I had known that sooner. In any case, I did find a set of 4 small wheels that appeared to have similar material as the Scotchbrite pad I had. I used one of the finest plastic material and went to work on the block. Unfortunately, I think I made the surface uneven.

Tried this. It seemed to work fine. That was one good thing at least.

Unfortunately, I never even got past the first gallon filling stage. Upon refilling, I could hear water hitting the ground and coming from the pump area. It wasn't just a drip, but leaking as much as when the radiator stopcock is open. My guess is that my buffing caused an uneven areas on the engine.
Not sure what else I can do. The car has 160K and I believe this was a first time pump failure, but after what happened and my steps to get it going again, not sure it's worth keeping anymore. I guess I should ask if there's any way I can compensate with some sort of special gasket or sealant between the gasket-engine surface? If not, I think it's time for the junk yard.

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Form-a-gasket? Let it set up well before adding coolant.You must have REALLY gone nuts with the conditioning disc - and I WAS talking about normal scotchbrite pads - not the conditioning discs - although THEY do work well in the hands of an experienced operator. Might have been cheaper to pay a mechanic, eh???????
What's that saying - something like "biting off more than you can chew"? or "signing a cheque your brain can't pay"?
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On 3/3/19 5:36 PM, Clare Snyder wrote:

I understand. The reason I was trying it as a DIY was because currently I'm out of work with limited income. I've done other DIY vehicle things, but this was, by far, the most difficult I've ever encountered. I actually DID try the normal scotchbrite pads that you use by hand from the store, but they weren't doing anything.
Now I think my only choice is going to be to sell it as a parts car and keep my only vehicle that remains, a stationwagon with the same engine. I think to try using a mechanic now would cost more than the car's worth to repair it.
Just out of curiosity, any idea why the gasket material was so hard to remove? I tried basically everything I read about and was at my disposal, but nothing ridded it completely. I wonder how other amateurs do this job because I just made limited progress myself.
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Heat and age and pressure turn carbon to diamond - yours just didn't get that far. If you left any gasket material on it is more likely to be the problem than you removing metal with the disc. Take the pump off again and with a single edge razor blade CAREFULLY peel any remaining gasket off. Don't leave ANYTHING behind, and don't gouge the metal. When it is all cleaned, smear a thin layer of "right stuff" gasket maker (a permatex product) on both sides of the new dry gasket and bolt it back together. I really doubt you have removed enough metal with a scotchbrite disk to cause it to be unrepairable.
Been doing this since the sixties. Did it for a living for a couple decades, and taught kids how to do it in both secondary and post-secondary institutes of learning.
Some people "have it" and some don't - It's not "rocket science" but there is a pretty steep learning curve when it's close to freezing out and you don't have all the right tools and training
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