Date registered: Oct 2002
Vehicle: SLK32, ML430
Location: Atlanta, GA
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SLK32 Intercooler Pump Replacement
I did not come up with this idea but thought it should be recorded here. 1FAST has discovered that the Ford Lightning Intercooler pump is the same as used on the C32 (thus our car). Funny thing is the Lightning guys seem to view the pump as bullet proof and in a search (granted I have not spent much time on it) I have not found any talk of upgrading the pump.
Here is the info:
So, 1FASTC32 came up with the idea that the C32 intercooler pump (which routinely fails at 40-50k miles, or just after your warranty expires, to the tune of $600.00 in parts) is the same as the Ford Lightning pump which is currently available on eBay for $100.00 or so. I received mine today, and installed it this evening. Here is the skinny:
Pump is $89.00 shipped from Diversified Products (734) 459-0130.
Pump is the same Bosch unit used on the C32, with the following two exceptions: The wiring plug is different, and the water outlet and inlet tubes are slightly smaller on the replacement pump. Both of these issues are easily resolved, as described in the following installation steps:
1. Jack up front passenger side wheel, and remove.
2. Remove the roughly 1' x 1' plastic piece that is towards the front of the car in the passenger-side front wheel-well. This entails removing three 10mm bolts in the wheel well, one plastic plug in the wheel well, and two or three plastic plugs under the passenger side of the front bumper. Remove the plastic piece completely (do not try to just bend it to access the I/C pump).
3. You will now be able to see the P.O.S. intercooler pump. It is mounted to the car with a couple of nuts on studs below, and a small bolt in the same region. It has an inlet and an outlet hose, with those stupid spring-loaded hose clamps that are impossible to remove. Try pliers and a flat screwdriver.
4. Once you remove the hoses and the mounting bolts (and the 12v plug), you will now be able to remove the pump and mounting bracket.
5. Remove the metal mounting bracket and rubber sleeve from the old pump (you may need to pry between the sleeve and the pump to loosen the rubber sleeve from the metal) and save them.
6. Now you need to swap the plastic housing piece with the inlet and outlet tubes from the old pump to the new pump, as the new pump has tubes which are slightly smaller (the idea is to move the old inlet/outlet tube piece to the new pump). Unscrew the six star screws holding the outlet and inlet tube housing on the old pump. Remove the plastic piece with the inlet/outlet tubes. Now remove the similar piece from the new pump (gold Phillips screws). Take care, as those gold Phillips screws strip very easily. Now, carefully place the inlet/outlet tube piece from the old pump onto the new pump, taking care to assure that the orange o-ring is properly positioned. Secure the old inlet/outlet housing with the gold Phillips screws.
6. Using two appropriately-sized hose clamps (I tossed those spring-loaded things, and used traditional "screw-adjust" clamps), re-connect the plumbing to the new pump. Tighten the clamps.
7. Use the old mounting hardware (rubber sleeve and metal bracket) and mount the pump just like the old one.
8. Now for the electrical. You will note that the C32 electrical plug to the old pump is completely non-usable with the new pump. The new pump has small spades protruding, where the C32 plug is for very small posts. I cut the plug off of the existing C32 wiring coming to the pump, stripped a 1/4" piece of wire, and used two small female spade connectors, which slid right over the male spades coming out of the pump. I then slathered on some West Marine Liquid Electrical Tape to waterproof the whole thing. Not the prettiest solution, but it works.
9. Refill your liquid source for the pump, and voila. Check (before replacing plastic cover and wheel) by starting car, letting it run for a minute or so, and then turning off. Go over to the right front wheel. You should hear the pump running for 5-20 seconds after turning the car off. Check for leaks.
Hope this helps those of you who (like me) are out of warranty and do not want to pad the pockets of the Stealership.
Thanks to 1FAST for coming up with this idea. Hopefully will save us all some $$$