How to Replace a Suzuki Outboard Water Pump Impeller

Written by mike frees
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A properly functioning cooling system is essential for your Suzuki outboard engine. Anytime you suspect that cooling water is not flowing through the engine (as indicated by lack of a stream of water while running) you should stop the engine immediately. Often the problem is caused by a worn or faulty impeller in the water pump. Replacing the impeller should be done annually or whenever the gear case is opened for any reason. Never reuse a worn impeller.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Suzuki outboard engine
  • Replacement impeller
  • Basic hand tools
  • Water resistant grease

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  1. 1

    Remove the spark plugs and disconnect the battery cables from the engine.

  2. 2

    Remove the propeller by removing the cottar pin or locking tab washer, then unscrewing the propeller nut and pulling the propeller off the shaft.

  3. 3

    Drain the gear case lubricant.

  4. 4

    Place the motor in the full tilt position. Put the gearshift in neutral.

  5. 5

    Loosen the shift linkage retaining nut (on some models, the shift linkage is held in place by a clevis pin, secured by a cottar pin) and pull the linkage from the shaft.

  6. 6

    Remove the bolts (six on most models, three per side) that attach the gear case to the driveshaft housing. Support the gear case and remove the nuts and bolts (the number varies by model) located directly above the propeller shaft. Pull the gear case straight from the driveshaft housing. Set this aside, holding it in a vertical position.

  7. 7

    Remove the water tube, grommets, spacers and seals from the water pump body located on top of the gear case. Remove the bolts retaining the water pump body to the gear case and carefully pry the water pump from the gear case.

  8. 8

    Carefully pry the impeller from the water pump wear plate and slide it straight up from the driveshaft, without contacting the driveshaft. Mark the top side of the wear plate, pry it loose and pull it from the driveshaft. Push the water pump drive key from the driveshaft with a blunt screwdriver.

  9. 9

    Clean all gasket material from the wear plate.

  10. 10

    Place a new gasket or seal on the water pump base, aligned with the mounting bolt holes. Place the wear plate over the driveshaft with the upside oriented correctly and align it with any alignment pins (this varies by model).

  11. 11

    Apply a light coat of water-resistant grease to the water pump housing, the wear plate and the drive key slot. Replace the drive key in the slot.

  12. 12

    Place the new impeller over the driveshaft and slide it down, mating the slot in the impeller with the drive key. Be sure to orient the impeller in the same direction as the old one. Place the water pump body over the driveshaft. Rotate the driveshaft clockwise while pressing down on the water pump body until the impeller completely enters the body and the body seats against the wear plate. Secure the pump body fasteners and reattach the grommets, seals, spacers and water tube.

  13. 13

    Reinstall the gear case by reversing the previous steps. Secure the gear case and reinstall the propeller to complete the job.

Tips and warnings

  • Never rotate the propeller shaft to align the driveshaft and crankshaft splines; this may damage the water pump impeller.

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