As enthusiasts, we put a lot of time and effort – and hard-earned cash – into our pride and joy. When it comes to performance, we want the best components we can afford, with the best results: power. But as much as we like to pay attention to the big things, like the block, heads, and intake, we sometimes go out and buy a simple, affordable accessory component without even thinking about performance. One of these items is the water pump.

As Edelbrock explains, there is a lot more to making a water pump work efficiently and functionally than just pressing parts together. Sure, it’s far less expensive to build a basic water pump like those you can get at almost every auto parts store, but that doesn’t mean those pumps are efficient, or that they’re made with performance in mind. That’s why buying something so vital to your engine’s performance – like the water pump – should come from a performance-minded company.

Four finishes are available to meet just about any need: satin, polished, black powdercoat, and Endurashine.

We don’t usually think about performance and water pumps at the same time when we build our musclecars or hot rods. We build the engine with performance in mind, and the only time the water pump is given any serious thought is when the engine overheats and we’re stranded on the side of the road. Then the first thing we do is go to the local auto parts store and buy the same water pump that just failed us. It seems we never learn.

Edelbrock is here to enlighten us and explain why buying a performance water pump is a very important thing to consider. They’ve been in the business of manufacturing performance water pumps for over 20 years, and there’s a lot more that goes into making a water pump than you’d think.

Designed on the computer, cast in aluminum, and CNC machined, these pumps are all business.

They showed us the Victor, Victor Pro, and the Victor Circle Track series of water pumps, and explained why these water pumps are more than just a replacement component. There are four finishes available: traditional aluminum satin, polished, black powdercoated, and the Endurashine.

All Edelbrock water pumps are designed on the computer, and then cast from A356 aluminum heated to T-6 specs. After the design is created and cast, the water pumps are machined on Edelbrock’s CNC machines, then tested on the water pump dyno to test the design. The goal is to increase water flow without increasing parasitic loss.

Parasitic loss is the amount of power that is lost trying to turn a water pump and to get the water flowing. A better designed impeller will keep that power loss to a minimum, and yet still flow coolant sufficiently through your engine. Many of these details aren’t so important when making a standard, off-the-shelf water pump, but for Edelbrock, it’s everything.

Top: The pump is cast aluminum and then CNC machined.
Bottom: Each pump is assembled by hand, and checked for proper tolerances.

When the water pumps are tested, the coolant is heated to simulate accurate situations that you’d encounter with your engine, it’s not merely tested for flow numbers. It’s tested to perform as it would when you take it out of the box and bolt it to your engine.

From left to right: satin Two-piece Victor Pro, polished Victor Series, Victor Series with Endurashine, and black Circle Track Series.

Some of the tell-tale signs of a failed water pump include, but aren’t limited to, overheating (leading to possible head gasket failure), coolant dripping from the seep hole (under the snout of the pump), and noises coming from the water pump shaft (indicating a possible bearing failure).

The water pumps are CNC machined 356 aluminum castings heat treated to T-6 specs. – Troy Hooker

The Victor Series is a high performance street water pump, but it’s much more than just a replacement for your factory style water pump. For starters, looking at the hub and impeller of the standard water pump, you can easily see that not much thought went into the design. The stamped steel impeller doesn’t have any particular flow design, which can actually inhibit flow – exactly what you don’t want from a water pump.

The Victor Series pumps are great for your every day musclecar, but are built better than a standard pump. They have thicker hub flanges for durability, and the impeller is made from powdered metal instead of stamped steel, with large vanes for maximum flow rate. These pumps can also be used for tow vehicles, motorhomes, trucks, and your daily driver.

The Victor Pro Series is designed for high output race engines. These pumps are designed with thicker back plates and a improved inlet and outlet ports for better flow at higher rpms like you’d see in a higher horsepower application. The inlet and outlet ports provide equal distribution for high efficiency. They also include a -2 AN bleeder screw for bleeding coolant quickly.

The Victor Circle Track Series is a competition water pump designed for the circle track market and endurance racing applications. The .100-inch thick back plate offers more durability, as is the hard black anodized finish. The pump is balanced between the two cylinder heads within 1% to prevent hot spots, with available AN or NPT auxiliary fittings for custom applications. They also include a billet steel hub and heavy-duty ball/roller bearings for extreme conditions.

Edelbrock’s new two-piece Victor Pro Series water pumps allow for quick servicing at the track.

The two-piece Victor Pro Series water pump is one of Edelbrock’s newest designs. It allows you to remove the impeller and to replace it or service the pump without having to remove the pump body from the engine. This makes the pump more serviceable after a harsh season of racing. The two-piece water pump also has multiple water outlets for running additional cooling hoses that are necessary for many race applications.

Check out the Edelbrock website for more information and specific applications for your engine or vehicle. Remember: performance parts come in all shapes and sizes, so don’t forget to include a performance water pump when you start planning out your next build.