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1995 Chevy Camaro LT1 Water Pumps - We're Going To Pump. . .You Up

With a Meziere Electric Water Pump

Dakota Wentz Aug 1, 2006
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If I can get away with something else doing the job I'm suppose to be doing, have at it hoss! Some may call it lazy, but I say it's a cost-efficient way to live. Think of all the minutes and energy you've spent doing something that could have easily been solved by using a machine to do it all. It may not seem like much now, but in the end those minutes add up. Each one of those minutes could have easily been turned into stored energy, which then could have been channeled into doing something much more productive . . . like eating Cheetos and watching My Name Is Earl.

In case some of you are a bit lost, try these examples out. Would you rather push around a push mower to mow the lawn, or hop on a riding mower? Now switch gears for a second and think about your car. How do you think your engine feels?

When mapping out our vehicles, most people strategically plan out their powerplant and try to squeeze out every last drop of horsepower only to turn around and add more accessories than you'd find hanging off Mr. T's neck! Each one of those add-ons begins to bog down the engine. With every item bolted up, it ultimately means the engine has to use more energy, which results in a loss of horsepower. It's a recurring trend-the more energy the engine has to put out, the less horsepower or strength it has. Believe it or not, once you add power steering, A/C, an alternator, and a water pump to your engine, it immediately starts working harder. A few of those items are must-haves for the engine to run, and others are just there to keep you happy. So what do you do?

One way to take some stress off the engine and still get the job done is to swap out the mechanical water pump for an electric one.

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Before we got started, we drained the radiator. On a '95 LT1 Camaro, the radiator drain is on the lower passenger corner of the radiator. A helpful hint when draining a radiator is to use what we call the "shotgunning a beer technique." Once the drain is open, remove the radiator cap, and watch it fall.

Although you still see a majority of mechanical pumps, electric ones definitely have their place and benefits. By simply switching over, you're instantly picking up free horsepower. By relieving the engine of one less duty of spinning the water pump, you can pick up anywhere from 10-15 more hp! It almost makes you want to say "mechanical schmanical." Running all those accessories does rob the engine of power, and not just a little bit-a relatively significant amount, actually, hence 10-15 more hp.

Another advantage is cooling. Every car out there needs it, especially if you plan on hittin' the dragstrip. It's not an uncommon sight to see someone's car overheat after a few passes. With an electric water pump, things are a little different. On the one hand, with a mechanical pump, the only way to circulate water and cool the engine is to have the engine running. But if you're at the track and you're overheating, the last thing you're going to do is leave your car parked with the engine running in hopes that the water will cool the engine.

With an electric water pump, you can simply circulate water with the flip of a switch. Because the pump is completely independent from the engine and runs off the battery, the engine doesn't need to be running in order to turn the pump and circulate water. As long as you don't drain the battery, you can run the pump until you see a drop in temperature. One more bonus is that the water pump will constantly turn at the same speed, no matter what rpm the engine is running at. This means whether you're balls to the walls or stuck counting the white lines in traffic, the pump will cool the engine just the same.

Meziere Enterprises in Escondido, California, is one company that has electric water pumps down to an art. Not only has it engineered its products to perform beyond efficient, it has taken the time to build the products with a cool appearance. Not that appearance matters in terms of performance, but it's always rad to have a nice-looking piece resting under your hood instead of some Mickey Mouse getup. Over the years, Meziere has enhanced its product line to cover the better part of the Chevrolet engine realm. From small-blocks to big-blocks, LT1s to LS1s, and even the new LS2s, they carry a full lineup. In our case, we only needed one application-an LT1 pump.

The Meziere electric pumps for the LT1 engine are built with every bit of quality and ingenuity as the rest of its lineup. The pumps are manufactured from a fully CNC-machined one-piece main body. Inside the machined housing, Meziere stuffs a direct-drive electric engine that only draws 8 amps. The pump is capable of flowing 42 gpm of water, and its heavy-duty version can flow 50 gpm. In case you're worried about touching that prima donna known as the Optispark, Meziere utilizes an integral bearing and seal housing design that is Optispark safe, and by that we mean you won't have to worry about any leakage dripping down onto the Optispark and causing a major malfunction.

The entire black anodized unit weighs just 3 1/2 pounds, and comes with a two-year unlimited-mileage warranty. The life expectancy of these Meziere pumps is rated at a street-ready, 2,400-plus hours. Unfortunately, we're not math experts, but with our simple calculations averaging about 15 mph multiplied by 2,400 hours equals about 36,000 miles; we don't think you'll have to worry about wearing one out any time soon. But if for some reason you do, you have a few options.

One is to order a new unit; second is to send the pump back, and Meziere can repair it. Depending on what went wrong, the price range for a repair runs between $50-$100, and comes with a one-year warranty.

As far as installation goes, for the most part it's like changing a new water pump. Once the factory pump is pulled from the engine, it is gutted. The cam-driven components in the pump need to be removed. The back hole in the housing is then plugged. Once that is done, it's simply a matter of bolting the Meziere pump to the housing and reinstalling the entire unit. Once installed, the pump needs to be tapped into an ignition wire to ensure the pump turns on at start-up. It's a pretty simple install, and should take just half a day to complete. But in the end, it does yield some promising results.


Meziere Enterprises
Escondido, CA 92029



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