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Rebuilding Bugsby’s Water Pump
Jan.-Mar. 2009

Jerry Washburn
Jerry Washburn in his shop holding Bugsby's water pump (Jan. 2009)..

Bugsby has been running hot and Lynn is taking steps to try and solve the problem. His first step was to have the radiator "boiled" to clean out the mud and crude that have accumulated through the years. While he has the radiator out he decides to have the water pump rebuilt and to install modern bearings and seals.

Jerry Washburn's Skinned Knuckles ad
Jerry's ad in Skinned Knuckles.

At a 2008 December holiday party at the Dogpatch Garage hosted by George Teebay (owner of several beautiful collector cars including a beautiful 1934 Pierce-Arrow 840A Silver Arrow coupe that he calls "Archie"), Lynn meets Jerry Washburn, a master automotive machinist with a shop in San Pablo, California. Jerry's specialty is rebuilding water pumps of antique cars, installing modern seals and bearings.

new bearings and seals
Examples of the new bearings (left, center) and seals (right) that Jerry installs.
Waterpump as received from Jerry Waterpump ready for reinstallation in Bugsby
Bugsby's water pump as received from Jerry (left) and ready for reinstallation in Bugsby (right).

Lynn delivers the pump to Jerry in late January and it's ready in early March, 2009. Elapsed time about six weeks. Jerry says that his work has a lifetime warranty and that no one has ever returned one of his pumps for a warranty repair.

As Jerry promised Lynn, there's no visual external clue of the modern seals and bearings that have been installed. From the outside, the pump appears to be original, but the new seals will alleviate an aggravating weep of water from the pump. Lynn paints the pump, and he cleans and reinstalls the grease cups but now they're just for show.

Lynn hopes that the clean radiator and rebuilt water pump have fixed Bugsby's problem with overheating. If not, there must be some more serious internal problem with the engine that Lynn has not yet discovered.

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Copyright © 2015 Lynn Kissel
Last updated: Jan. 29, 2010