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Would you use a waterpump w/plastic imp?

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1 hour ago, bottomwatcher said:

Bought a duralast waterpump for my highlander and the impeller is plastic.  Never seen a plastic impeller before.All I have is old shit. This may be normal nowadays. Should I look for one with a metal impeller? Thanks.

If I had a choice between the two I’d go metal. Ask Bmw owners about plastic impellers. Then ask them how much their replacement engine cost.


my recommendation, check rock auto for a metal one if they exist. If they don’t then mark your calendar when you plan on replacing it again... or buy oem.

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My choice....Timing belts , and water pumps on newer rigs = Genuine OEM (close second choice is AISIN stuff for japanese ) Realistically Genuine partsot much more money for the last 5 ? Rigs I've done belts/pumps on...


Other than that metal is my choice.... I'm just simply resistant to some change and know metal works.....


Duralast is not really my first choice.....may the force be with you... young Skywalker....

Edited by I'm BLUE
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Ok well I ordered an aisin pump and timing belt replacement kit. Brand new aisin pump had, wait for it. A frigging plastic impeller! Anyways I will trust aisin over everlast. Bearings in kit were Japanese and belt was Mitsubishi with a made in USA label. So hell with it the waterpump goes in. I guess it is normal now to have plastic impellers. Probably been that way for a while, newer vehicles suck for repair. I have changed my Datsuns waterpump in a rest stop before and maybe took a half hour. 1 full day so far and I hope I'm halfway done. Sorry for the rant but a simple waterpump change shouldn't take dismantling the entire front of the engine.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I appreciate the strength of metal, but weight and corrosion are things to be reckoned with.  I have plenty of lab equipment that uses plastic for critical cooling system parts and find it to work well.   In theory, you could make the longest-lasting, most fuel-efficient, and best cooling impeller out of plastic but somehow cars do seem difficult..  A friend spent a couple grand to deal with the interference damage when her Audi TT had it's plastic impeller fail, but of course the Datsun isn't using a timing belt in common with the water pump and perhaps whoever is making the Datsun ones used a better plastic than the Audi ones.

Your original pump can have it's seal and bearing replaced.  If it has a cast-iron impeller it really should outlast all of us. The sheet-metal impellers are prone to rot away if anti-rust is not used (and replenished periodically) in the system.

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Keep your antifreeze level at or slightly above 50% and you should not have a blade corrosion problem.  Given that, I vote for cast steel impellers !  You are at the mercy of the maker as to just how sharp a bend is put in when forming the blades in a sheet metal impeller, too small a bend radius and you invite stress corrosion.

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