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Old 08-08-2008, 02:24 PM   #1
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Wrangler water cooler problem?

Hi guys Im new here, Im wondering if you can help me out.
I have a TJ Jeep Wrangler 2.5 lt.
When I start the engine something drips from under the glove compartment.
A mechanic told me the water cooler might have a problem.
First of all when I took my car to be serviced a mechanic put water in the water cooler instead of engine coolant, so that corroded the water cooler.
While I was driving the car smoke started coming out of the AC vents without even having switched on the AC (the car temperature was normal but that smoke smelt really bad). Any ideas? Has it happended to anyone?
Im trying to find the best way to fix the problem (obviously cost-effective).

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Old 08-08-2008, 02:32 PM   #2
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You have a water cooler in your jeep ? you have me lost. The only general reason you can have water dripping out on the floor is either a leaky heater core inside the heater box, if you have air conditioning a plugged drain pipe [it's on the firewall passenger side, a rubber tube, that drains condensation from the AC evaporator in the heater box.
As far as the mechanic putting the wrong stuff in your radiator, thats possible, some water is very acidic and can eat the heater core over time.
If it smells sticky sweet thats usually coolant, if it has no smell or maybe a bit mouldy then I would say plugged drain pipe, you can blow that out with air.

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Old 08-08-2008, 02:46 PM   #3
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Hi richp dont get me wrong, Im not really familiar with the correct mechanical terms :-)
Im not sure if its called a water cooler but its that thing where you put the coolant in. The smell of the smoke that comes out of the AC vents is something like "fish". Weird?
When the guy put his fingers in the "tank" where the cooler goes his fingers were filled with rust...I assume thats bad?
Should the tank be filled with water coolant? or can you also put water in it to top it up?
By the way that liquid also drips in the car, next to the driver's and passenger's feet. When I open the bonnet I see something dripping from the little AC hoses going into the passenger "dashboard".
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Old 08-08-2008, 03:54 PM   #4
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You need to flush that system, the radiator is in the front and has a pressure cap on it, that holds coolant. You need to go buy 2 gallons of ethylene glycol [antifreeze] and two gallons of distilled water.
Under the radiator is a valve, looks like a little butterly, put a pan under it while it's cold and drain it, refill with normal water and run the engine, drain it again but be careful, now it will be hot, repeat this a few times then refill with water and add a half quart of white vinegar, run it for about 20 minutes then drain it, refill with water, run it again and drain it, you want to get the vinegar out. Then dump in a gallon of 100% anti-freeze, then pour in a gallon of DISTILLED water, using the remaining gallon of antifreeze and DISTILLED water make up two jugs of 50/50 mix of antifreeze and DISTILLED water, use that to top off the system.
There will also be a plastic jug with a SQUARE yellow plastic cap on it that says 'engine coolant only' don't confuse it with the one with the ROUND yellow cap that is for windshield washer fluid. Remove that tank at some point and clean it out then put it back in, refill that tank to between the hot and cold mark. You should be good to go after that.
The reason for DISTILLED water is it has no minerals in it and will not cause the rust you are seeing in the system now. I think thats about it.
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Old 08-08-2008, 04:18 PM   #5
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cheers man, Ill try it and Ill keep you posted.
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:31 AM   #6
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Hi richp
I went to a mechanic last week and he put a special liquid into my heater core in order to ceal the hole wherever it may be to stop the leakage. I drove the car for about 2 days and the problem seamed to have vanished until today when it started to leak again.
Do you think it is time for me to change my heater core? or should I try something else? I was thinking maybe I should take it for a second round of that liquid, maybe trying that liquid again might ceal the hole once and for all.
Obviously the reason I dont want to change the heater core is because it is expensive (new heater core and labour)
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Old 10-20-2008, 05:35 AM   #7
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If you are getting coolant into the cab itself it's time to change the heater core, no other option unless you bypass the core and then you won't have any heat.
It is a PIA job though. Dash has to come out and I mean OUT, you have to remove it to get at the heater box to remove that and the core comes with it. If you have a/c you have to have that evacuated first, have them disconnect it too, then go from there.

I don't know if someone here has a procedure, there is one over on naxja.org and the TJ and XJ are pretty close and the procedure is almost the same, his tutorial has pics and steps. If I get time I'll hunt it down, it involves quite a few steps and plan on 5 hours to get it out and 5 to get it back in.
I'm in the middle of a major refresh at an investment company in allentown and this is day2, completion is day 4 so its tight.

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