water pump

I know that rws just posted a thread about engine noise, but this post is a little different. When I got my 03 yz450 a few months ago I didnt hear any odd engine sounds, untill after about 25 hours of ride time. I have isolated the sound to the water pump area. At first a tapping sound was only heard at idle and was overpowered by the exaust note at throtle. It has slowly been getting louder as I have ridden it more. Now I can hear it with my helmet on and over my exaust on throttle with the dr.d pipe! I stopped ridding last weekend due to this super loud tapping. On the way back to my truck I saw people looking over thier shoulders to see if I had sheet metal baseball cards in my spokes. :naughty:

The bike runs great, the clutch works great, and it doesent overheat even here in Florida. My question is ;Once I pull the pump for inspection how do I know if its bad other than by trial and error?

Any sugestions?

I would check under the clutch side case cover. On two wr 450's that I know of were making awful noise and the primary gear nut was loose causing the gear to rattle resulting in rattling the water pump. They took out the water pump and the counter balancer were the water pump shaft slide in was almost worn right out. The water pump shaft could almost turn right around in there it was worn so much. Also the crack shaft is worn now from the rattling primary gear.

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That's where I'd look. If not that, check for broken springs in the clutch basket.

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