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Old 04-29-2009, 07:48 AM   #1
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Mysterious leaking coolant

So, I'm trying to figure out what's up with this mysterious cooling system of mine.

'97, 4 cyl, 5 spd.

Car runs fine.

When not running, coolant will leak from the lowest point of the lower radiator hose (well, not "leak", but since that's the lowest point the leak drainage encounters, that's where it drips from).

When running the system will not leak. The more full the cooling system is, the more it leaks. Fill it to the top, it's coming out the bottom the next time it stops.

Some times its a few ounces, some times it's many ounces (but not pouring out by any means).

Most often it will leak a few drops right after driving, then nothing. If left to sit for several hours, at a much later time (say, after 4 - 8 hours) it will begin to stream out much more quickly until the engine is ran again. It's like an odd delayed reaction.

I figured it was just a bad/loose lower radiator hose and replaced it last weekend and put on some new clamps (those factory clamps are a PITA when you're not near a proper tool box).

Same thing still happens with the exactly same pattern and frequency.

When I look at it, it looks like its forming right from where the lower radiator hose meets the bottom of the engine. It's like it's being forced out of that connection but I can't imagine how. Both the old and new hose is firm and connections were solid. Not sure if it's actually forming somewhere else and that's just where it's manifesting itself.

I'm in the middle of converting my 7 series BMW to a 5 speed from an automatic, so something as simple as a coolant leak that I'm too stoopid to solve is driving me nuts

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Old 04-29-2009, 07:56 AM   #2
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Sounds like you may have a leak in the plastic end caps.. It's a common problem. Might be time for a replacement.

Welcome to WF by the way!

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Old 04-29-2009, 08:35 AM   #3
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I had the exact problem with my 97 and went through the same steps...replaced the bottom radiator hose and clamps and it started leaking again. I them retightened the hose clamps after driving it for awhile (engine was still hot) and it hasn't done it since.

I hear ya on your frustration as I do all of my own work on my BMW, which can be very difficult to work on and I have spent as much as 7 hours to find an engine squeal on my 97 Wrangler which is simple to work on.
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:15 PM   #4
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your making a seven series a manual.. thats awesome.. what trans are you using?
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Old 04-29-2009, 06:29 PM   #5
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Update for today . . .

When I opened the radiator cap when cold it began to stream out instead of drip.

Leak is significantly worse and streams out once the engine is stopped.

I'll re-tighten it in a minute and see if that fixes it, I'm usually on the 'too loose' side of tightening coolant hoses

The tranny going in is a Getrag 265/5. If I can ever get back to it, it'll be a fabulous car again. 285K miles and runs like new. Rebuilt the engine at 225K and slushbox finally went kaput.
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Old 04-29-2009, 06:34 PM   #6
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since it looks like
Quote:
its forming where the lower radiator hose meets the engine
thats the water pump. very common, they all go bad eventually.
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:33 PM   #7
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well, it looks like there are actually two leaks.

It does leak where the hose meets the block. (tightened the clamp, we'll see).

When I opened the rad cap it again leaked 4 - 6 ounces but its actually coming from the base of the front center of where the oil pan meets up with the engine. It didn't appear to be streaming to this 'lowest point' from anywhere else (water pump, etc. although it prob is due for a replacement anyway).

No signs of a blown head gasket anywhere (smoke, coolant mixing with oil, has run fine for months while the leak has waned/gotten worse, etc). Just that where I expect to see an oil pan leak, instead see a coolant leak.

Hmm.
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:17 AM   #8
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could be a water pump fooling you.
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:34 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by jpdocdave View Post
could be a water pump fooling you.
I'm sure hoping, can't imagine how coolant would be pooling up at the bottom of the engine any other way.
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Old 05-26-2009, 03:24 AM   #10
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Water pump gasket?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpdocdave View Post
could be a water pump fooling you.
I believe I have the same problem with my 2000 Wrangler Sahara Edition..

In fact, prior to joining this forum tonight, I was reading a Haynes guide, and saw a section on the water pump. It says "if a failure occurs in the pump seal, coolant will leak from the hole."

Does this mean that you just replace the seal, or the entire pump?

Thank you so much for your help!

Chris
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:49 AM   #11
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Angry coolant demon

I have a 97 wrangler with the 2.5 L, I noticed some coolant under the vehicle and started looking. I found a pinhole looking leak right behind the exhaust manifold at the frontmost part. Im hoping its a freeze plug or drain plug but cant wsee it good. ANYONE had a similiar problem if so what is it. Dont think its the head, no smoke and oil is perfect, just changes 2weeks ago and still clear.......Any help would be awesome........Thanks again

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