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Old 08-22-2010, 12:21 PM   #1
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Coolant problem

I have been having a problem keeping coolant in my 97 TJ for a few months now. Every so often I have to keep replacing it because it leaks out. The problem is I can not tell where the leak is coming from, or really what to check. All I know is that if I fill the radiator up I'll have to do it again maybe a couple weeks later. I know this is not normal, and any help would be greatly appreciated

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Old 08-22-2010, 12:47 PM   #2
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If it's not leaking out, it has to be going out your exhaust system. That is caused by either a blown head gasket (easily changed/not expensive) or a cracked engine head or block. One way to confirm that the coolant is getting into the engine is by "sniffing" the coolant with an exhaust sniffer strip that you can get at an auto parts store which will detect any exhaust gasses that may be present in the coolant.

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Old 08-22-2010, 12:51 PM   #3
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I should also have said that the leak appears to be coming from somewhere in the fan belt area, but just cant see where. Where is the location of the water pump?
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Old 08-22-2010, 01:17 PM   #4
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In that case, the leak could be coming from the water pump's weep hole on the front which indicates the water pump needs to be replaced. The water pump is located under the fan that is bolted to it. Follow the lower radiator hose, it connects to the water pump. If it is leaking, replace it with the OE pump and not one of those cheap "lifetime" warranty water pumps like AutoZone sells.

That lower aluminum-colored object in the second photo is the water pump.
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Old 08-22-2010, 03:37 PM   #5
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is that the 4.0L or the 2.5? I have the 2.5 and it looks completely different
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Old 08-22-2010, 03:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inscore77 View Post
is that the 4.0L or the 2.5? I have the 2.5 and it looks completely different
That's the 4.0L but it's in the same general area with your 2.5L.

Again, just follow the lower radiator hose from the radiator up to your water pump.
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:55 PM   #7
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I followed the lower radiator hose and it was bolted right behind the fan like you said, but I seem to be having problems getting the bolt that is on the very top left side out. The bolt is connected to some kind of hose, so I cant take my ratchet to it and my wrench and vice grips just keep sliding around it. Are there any tips to getting it off?
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:05 PM   #8
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What diameter hose? If it's small, that's one of the two heater hoses. If it's large, it's the top radiator hose. Either hose can be removed so you have access to that bolt.

If you are installing a new water pump, make sure to get EVERY LAST SMIDGEN of old radiator gasket off the block's gasket surface for the water pump before installing the new gasket and water pump. Even the smallest piece of anything left on the gasket surface on the block will make the new gasket leak. Even if you can barely see it, it needs to come off. Get that surface CLEAN, like you were going to perform surgery on it.

Also, make sure to only use distilled water to mix with the coolant if it isn't already premixed. Mix it to 50:50 with distilled (ONLY!) water, don't use tap water which will cause mineral buildups in your radiator. You can buy distilled water in the water aisle in your local grocery store, it is sold to be used for irons used for ironing clothes.
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:08 PM   #9
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It's the heater hose, I followed it into the cab of the Jeep. The problem is I've already taken the hose off, but the metal part that bolts into the water pump is the problem. I cant wiggle the water pump out with this hose still attached and I cant take the bolt off cuz everything keeps slipping off of it
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:13 PM   #10
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Can you take a good close well-lighted photo showing the problem area and post it or email it to me at jerrypb (at) cox dot net? If that problem bolt can be installed, it can be removed.
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:19 PM   #11
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email sent
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:51 AM   #12
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Hey Jerry, I started a thread thinking I was leaking some oil, but someone suggested that the fluid is actually radiator fluid. It is dripping down the front of the oil pan, and I only notice it after it has been parked in the garage all night. I tried to see if it is coming from the weep hole but I'm unsure where its located.

I took some pictures and here is a link to that thread-
http://www.wranglerforum.com/f5/oil-...ons-59606.html

Also, if I do need to replace my water pump, I was reading a write up on Stu's offroad site and he mentioned a buddy of his replaced the factory water pump and thermostat with high-flow versions. Any advice as to whether that is a wise move?
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:59 AM   #13
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That certainly could be coolant from the pics. If it is, I would suspect the water pump. Water pumps have a "weep hole" on the front which when the internal seal goes bad, allows coolant to drop through.

Personally, so far as those so-called high-flow pumps are concerned, I will only install an OE water pump. Their quality is top-notch and will outlast anything else. In particular, avoid those cheapy water pumps from places like Autozone that include that laughable "lifetime" warranty. That lifetime warranty only indicates they'll give you a replacement when it fails... and they are so shoddily made that they will fail far more frequently than the OE pump will. And their lifetime warranty doesn't include labor.
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Old 08-27-2010, 06:37 PM   #14
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Drove an hour out of town to hike a small mountain today and no problems over-heating, but I really can't stand vehicles that leak anything, and I have some time coming up to swap out the water pump- where is the best deal to be had on OE parts?

Should I replace the both the thermostat and the thermostat housing at the same time? Also, the parts all come with their respective gaskets as pictured above right?

Thanks for the info!
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Old 08-27-2010, 06:39 PM   #15
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Replacing the thermostat with a new one (stick with the factory specified 195 degree heat range) is never a bad idea but you don't need to replace its housing too. Try RockAuto Auto Parts for the water pump and thermostat. Rock Auto is about the cheapest/best/fastest shipping source of parts I have found.
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:21 PM   #16
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Jerry, think I sent you an email already saying this, but thank you Could have probably done it without your help, but you made it a hell of a lot easier on me lol. Couldnt get the original pipe going into the heater hoses off, so I ended up just buying a new part for it. Once again, thanks a ton
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:01 PM   #17
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Hey Jerry I looked on that site and they had some other brand water pumps but no Mopar parts- I've looked elsewhere as well and have only been able to find the aftermarket types.

Cardone and Gates seem to be the most prevalent. Without ordering it through the dealer I'm unsure of where else I could pick up a new Mopar part?
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:18 PM   #18
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jerry you said something about a sniff test where can you get that and how do you do it
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:50 AM   #19
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You can get them online, basically what it does is draws the air from the radiator up through this blue liquid. When there are hydrocarbons present it turns the liquid a different color. They work really well if done right.

Here is an example of one..
Amazon.com: Combustion Leak Detector: Automotive
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:38 PM   #20
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Hey Jerry thanks for the help/advice. My leak kept increasing so I swapped out my water pump and t-stat and then replaced all the coolant and my rig is running great! My garage floor is dry too, can't stand a leaky vehicle.

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