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The manual will show three of the GM coolant supplement pellets for the Northstar. The 4.x engines were recommended for six of them due to the greater chance of an internal leak of coolant directly into the oil. I always recommend six of the GM coolant supplement pellets / two tubes of the BarsLeaks golden seal powder for either engine. It just provides extra protection against leakage and will not hurt a thing.

A good time to drain and refill the system with fresh 50/50 DexCool/distilled water is when the 5-year/100K life of the DexCool from the OEM fill is near....

The water pump will be the easiest one you have ever changed...hard to believe the dealers can somehow justify charging $570 to change one - which is about $450 profit, I would say... With the special tool it's a snap. Remember that the water pump cartridge is removed by turning it clockwise as viewed from over the left front fender looking into the water pump cavity from the backside after removing the cover. It is installed by turning the special tool counterclockwise...a "left handed thread" install. When the old pump is out remember the o-ring seal that is in a groove in the water crossover casting. Look inside the housing when the water pump is out and you will see it. Put a new o-ring in the groove (should be in the kit with the pump) and make sure it is seated and lubed with antifreeze when installing the new pump.

Check the water pump drive belt and tensioner. The tensioner may need to be exercised and the pivot lubed to keep it moving freely.