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Old 02-24-2010, 01:40 PM   #1
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Another Radiator/Coolant Question

Hey guys..

Bought my TJ from a buddy back in June. Noticed coolant was low, drove it a bit here and there. Fixed a clogged heater core back at the beginning of January with the pull the hoses and flush it with a garden hose trick.

For some reason I am losing coolant, and am seeing it drop in the burp tank. It's going from about the full line of the burp tank halfway down towards fill in about a month.

I would assume it is a headgasket issue, but the engine was rebuilt only 7000 miles ago. Could I already be seeing an issue?

I filled the coolant level up today in both the radiator to 1/4 below and the burp tank. Curious to see how long it takes to drop. After driving it for about 20 minutes I popped the hood and saw it leaking around the top area just like in the other thread.

Changed the oil a few weeks ago and didn't appear milky. There was some "junk" in the bottom of the burp tank. Does oil make its way into the coolant system like coolant makes it way into the oil system?

Thoughts? How hard is it to install a new radiator if needed? Any suggestions on an upgraded radiator?

Should I have the rest of the coolant system flushed if I am seeing some contaminants in the burp tank?

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Old 02-24-2010, 02:11 PM   #2
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Don't assume that you have a bad head gasket, fix the liquid/pressure leak present and go from there. It is important that the cooling system pressure is properly regulated by the cap. I also say that if you have been adding to the system then it must be going somewhere, but don't assume the worst. If combustion gasses were entering the cooling system then typically one would see other signs- Steamy, "sweet" smelling exhaust and possible overheating/boilover. Engine oil typically wouldn't "settle", I would think that it would either be mix in or floating but who knows. Coolant leaking into the engine ofcourse would show up in the oil. May want to inspect the current leak issue-inspect the cap and the sealing surface, then perform a pressure test. I have seen oil get in the radiator in the past, but not very often.

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Old 02-24-2010, 04:01 PM   #3
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good to hear about it being rare for oil to get into the radiator.

I sometimes get the scent of "burnt coolant" like it is hitting something hot inside the engine bay, but not the usual sickly sweet smell of it in the exhaust or the white smoke I associate with a gasket leak.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:49 PM   #4
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Every Jeep 4.0 I've had was known to lose some coolant over time. I read something on a Jeep forum years ago that that wasn't uncommon and it's slowly evaporating from the head or some such. It was deemed non-life threatening. I just keep my eye on the overflow tank and add when I need. I had a '93, '01 and now an '04. My '04 Wrangler doesn't lose much but it needs some added about every oil change. It never reaches the low mark. If you overfill the overflow tank like you did it will leak out of the top because there's no space for expansion as it gets hot. I never smell any funkyness or see any anti freeze anywhere it shouldn't be. Maybe most folks don't have this issue but it's par for the course in my experiences with the 4.0. I must say that I love the Jeep 4.0 even more than my old AMC 304s. I put over 250,000 miles on my first two.
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Old 06-04-2010, 05:19 PM   #5
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I am looking for some help and hope that i am doing this right, if not, I am very sorry and will with direction post in the right area.
I have a 97 Jeep 4.0, Just rolled my first 100,000 miles, and have not had any major issues till last weekend when i noticed a puddle under my jeep. I had just got back from driving it. when i got under the engine, i saw a drip/leak comming from the bottom radiator hose at the engine block. i thought the hose might be bad, so i replaced the radiator hose and clamps and i am still having the same issue, the hose is leaking at about the 5 o'clock position. any help would be greatly appriciated. and thanks for all help in advance.
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