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Polished Aluminum vs Chrome Water Pump??

91-Vetteman

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Dec 26, 2002
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105
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Richmond, VA
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1991 Blue Coupe
I am lining up my winter projects, this winter is dedicated to the engine compartment which is slightly modified already. I need to replace my radiator on my 81 so I am going with the Dewitts aluminum. While I have it out, I am going to replace my belt pulleys with chrome ones and my water pump as well. I have seen chromed water pumps & polished aluminum pumps. My question is, are there any difference in performance, looks, quality lasting time ??? I currently have edlebrock air cleaner and valve covers. I would appreciate anyone's opinion!! Looking forward to some dirty knuckles this winter !! Thanx !!
 

srs244

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Apr 1, 2005
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the deep south
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1978 pace car, 04 CE convert
there is a definite reason that billet aluminum is used on most high end street rods (as opposed to chrome) and that is that it holds up better in general, and in higher heat situations in particular. chrome will burn or in some cases "blue" out while billet will hold up without those problems. you will find if you price both, that the billet aluminum part will almost always be 1 1/2 to almost 2 times a chrome part for good reason. in my opinion, go with the billet part, you won't regret it in the long run, from an appearance standpoint. i agree totally that there is no difference from a functional standpoint.

steve
 

Vettehead Mikey

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Not that far from Ottawa
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1973 Coupe
From a functional point of view, neither offers an advantage over the stock component.

Water pumps are not the weak point of a Corvette cooling system, clogged radiators and poor air flow are.
 

Evolution1980

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Cleveland, Ohio
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ZZ4, 700R4, Steeroids rack & pinion, VB&P Brakes
Chroming is nice, but my mechanic(s) have me somewhat gun-shy about certain parts being chromed, namely the quality of what's under the chrome. It's probably a bit harder to go wrong with polished aluminum.
For my water pump, I purchased a high quality, performance pump. I shot the blue paint on it, then clear-coated it.

As for pulley's, I like my March underdrive pulleys. They look good, are super easy to clean, and I have no overheating issues with the 'underdrive' factor.

You might note something 'different' about my pulley setup... I'm running redundant belts to my water pump (via the March kit designed for cars with AC)
301062636_76243eb36e_o.jpg
 

Tom Bryant

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The aluminum will save you a few pounds off of the front end and most claim to be a better internal design. I can't see that you would need any more than a stock pump in your car but for looks I'd go with the aluminum pump. Most chrome pumps are just rebuilt stockers and I've heard some bad things about quality on these at times.

I'm sure you are putting on new radiator hoses too. Now is the time to replace that lower one for sure. I did my wifes a few years ago without taking out the radiator. What a PIA
 

Jack

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Florence, SC (Timmonsville SC)
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71 War Bonnet Yellow VERT 71 BH Blue CPE (SOLD)
I am going to replace my belt pulleys with chrome ones and my water pump as well.
Most of the aftermarket chromed pulleys are very poor quality; very thin & weak asian stampings of poor grade steel ... wobble/warp/crack/ break. Best to have good OE stampings chromed.

I like an Al wp ... but many of those are truly rated for racing rpms ... and many of those don't flow so well at the much lower revs street cars routinely operate at.

Keep in mind there are short pumps ... long pumps ... and corvette pumps (71-up C3 pumps appear virtually same as a short pump but many have slightly different dimension from block to hub face). Lotsa uninformed folks've gotten it wrong & ended up scratching their heads when their pulleys didn't align. Fit a correctly-dimensioned pump or be prepared to shim between hub face & wp pulley.

Flash is nice ... but I'd be more concerned with form, fit & function.

Stewart makes VERY good Al pumps ... and they make a few that're correct fit for all C3.
 

91-Vetteman

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Joined
Dec 26, 2002
Messages
105
Location
Richmond, VA
Corvette
1991 Blue Coupe
Chrome vs Polished Aluminum Water Pump

Thanx to all !! You convinced me to go with the polished aluminum on the water pump. This site also convinced me to go with the Dewitt alum radiator. Got the hood off this weekend, drained the radaitor and removed hoses. Winter project fun is about to begin !! Thanx again !!
 

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