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Electric motor to run water pump in event of drive belt failure

Old 09-28-2018, 11:45 PM
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Default Electric motor to run water pump in event of drive belt failure

I've been throwing around the idea of switching my ZJ (4.) to an electric water pump. Lots of benefits, a few downsides, but in the end I couldn't find a solution that offered performance and reliability at at price I'd be willing to pay for a water pump. This thing for $800+ would be interesting if it were less than a quarter that price.

So, I've moved on for now. One of my biggest reasons for wanting the electric pump is to get the pump off the drive belt. I've had to limp home a couple times now because of a power steering pulley failure and an idler pulley failure. If the power steering pump, alternator, AC, any of the pulleys, or the belt itself has an issue, I'd easily be able to go 100+ miles more if it weren't for overheating from a non-operative water pump.

All that said, I'm now thinking of a small electric motor that is normally disengaged, but can easily be setup to run the existing water pump in the case of a failure on the drive belt. Using the mechanical fan would mean this motor would have to be off to the side and probably drive the pump with a small pulley. But with this sort of mod, an electric fan seems like a good pair. Assuming that is the case, it would be possible to mount the motor to the water pump pulley or rotor plate directly.

Seems like all you need is the right pump in terms of physical size, voltage, and RPMs at whatever torque needs to be applied. A frame would be pretty easy to make and could attach to any of the nearby mounting bolts.


Any thoughts for all this? I get it - not all all necessary - but it's something that would be interesting to work on and might be useful.
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Old 09-29-2018, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Hatsuwr View Post
I've been throwing around the idea of switching my ZJ (4.) to an electric water pump. Lots of benefits, a few downsides, but in the end I couldn't find a solution that offered performance and reliability at at price I'd be willing to pay for a water pump. This thing for $800+ would be interesting if it were less than a quarter that price.

So, I've moved on for now. One of my biggest reasons for wanting the electric pump is to get the pump off the drive belt. I've had to limp home a couple times now because of a power steering pulley failure and an idler pulley failure. If the power steering pump, alternator, AC, any of the pulleys, or the belt itself has an issue, I'd easily be able to go 100+ miles more if it weren't for overheating from a non-operative water pump.

All that said, I'm now thinking of a small electric motor that is normally disengaged, but can easily be setup to run the existing water pump in the case of a failure on the drive belt. Using the mechanical fan would mean this motor would have to be off to the side and probably drive the pump with a small pulley. But with this sort of mod, an electric fan seems like a good pair. Assuming that is the case, it would be possible to mount the motor to the water pump pulley or rotor plate directly.

Seems like all you need is the right pump in terms of physical size, voltage, and RPMs at whatever torque needs to be applied. A frame would be pretty easy to make and could attach to any of the nearby mounting bolts.


Any thoughts for all this? I get it - not all all necessary - but it's something that would be interesting to work on and might be useful.
Easiest way would be to adapt a pump into the lower radiator hose. Cut and clamp install.
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Old 09-29-2018, 01:47 PM
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Not a bad idea! You probably wouldn't get much circulation through the heater core that way, but it is definitely a much simpler way to keep the engine going.
Any concerns about it interfering with normal operation when not in use?
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Old 09-29-2018, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Hatsuwr View Post
Not a bad idea! You probably wouldn't get much circulation through the heater core that way, but it is definitely a much simpler way to keep the engine going.
Any concerns about it interfering with normal operation when not in use?
I don't think so, The water would just flow through the circuit as normal until the pump is turned on to boost the flow when needed. You would have to do some homework on what type of pump and routing.
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