Should have kept my mouth shut and not incurred the wrath of the gods of things mechanical....
Yesterday, Thursday, May 12
I'd just taken Thing One to work with the Sammy and had returned home noting that the engine seemed to be overheating a bit.
Once I got out of the car, it was obvious why. There was a noticeable amount of coolant coming out of the water pump area, to include the weep hole. I believe this means that the seal keeping coolant out of the front part of the pump had failed at the very least! Dammit.
I'd been, for quite a while now, been carrying a new spare water pump. I forget to original reason I bought it as a spare, but now was happy to have it on hand. Not too expensive, somewhere around $50 I dimly recall.
So there it was, 3:30 PM in the afternoon and I started tearing things down to get at the failed water pump.
As expected, its quite the PITA to get a 10 mm wrench on the four nuts holding the fan onto the fan pulley though its removal along with the radiator shroud is pretty much straightforward with some careful positioning.
The shroud and fan out of the way, there was room to get at the crankshaft pulley. But first, had to loosen the bolts (upper and lower) on the alternator in order to lever it closer to the crankshaft and lessen the tension on the fan belt. (As the fan is off, just pull the fan pulley off once you've loosened tension, the fan belt comes off easy after that)
Fan pulley removed, along with the fan belt, I tried for a quite a while to loosen the big nut on the front of the crankshaft. Turns out, you don't have to do this! After consulting both MikeW and RichardM, my "go to gurus" on things mechanical, I decided to also consult the Factory Service Manual. (duh....)