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Old 04-05-2011, 08:56 PM   #1
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Default AAAGHH! coolant leak

Pretty frustrated right now, got my turbo up and running/somewhat tuned this weekend and now I can't drive it. Drove it saturday with no problems and some Sunday morning. Sunday night I drove from Springfield, MO to Russellville, AR with no problems at all. So last night my roomate and I were driving around, did a couple pulls to tune some higher cells in tunerstudio but nothing major, about 10 minutes after the last pull we noticed the water temp rising so we pulled over and checked it out. I popped the hood and one of my coolant lines for the turbo had come off (the one that goes to the mixing manifold) so I put it back on and let it cool down. Checked the resivoir and it was full so after it cooled down to about normal op temp we started it up and turned the heater on but only made it about a half mile and temp went back up so I parked it and let it cool for a while and had my other roomate pick us up and take us back to get the first roomates car. We went and grabbed a bite to eat and let it cool for about an hour. Went back and pulled the rad cap and radiator was low even though reservoir was full. So I emptied the reservoir into the radiator but was still low so went and got some more 50/50 coolant, took a whole gallon to fill it up. So I turned it on to bleed the air out and realized it was leaking out the bottom. Well didn't want to leave it there so jumped in and drove home watching coolant temp like a hawk, warmed up to 205 like normal and stayed there. Made it home fine and it wasn't leaking after I shut it off, just a couple drips but I figured it was from spilling while filling the radiator. At this point it was like 2am so I just let it cool down and I'd check it in the morning.

Checked it today and there wasn't any coolant on the ground. I pulled the rad cap and checked it, the rad was about an inch low but could still see coolant above the fins. Problem is as soon as I opened the cap it started leaking coolant on the ground. Can't figure out were it's coming from. It's coming out from the front of the motor by the crank pulley. It's hard to see but coming down the driver side. I'm hoping I didn't fry my waterpump but since it was cooling fine last night I doubt that's it, can't figure it out. Oh and all the turbo lines are dry now. I thought it might be the oring on the hard pipe that runs under the manifold to the heater but that's not it either. Any ideas what it could be? I'm really hoping I don't have to do a timing belt/water pump job in my driveway. Oh and if I put the cap back on it stops leaking, and if its running with the cap on it still leaks but significantly less. Cap off, motor off is almost a constant stream. Cap on, motor on is maybe a drip every other second. Um lets see what else... when car is warmed up both the top and bottom radiator hoses are hot so at least I know coolant is flowing through the system. Can't really tell any difference in leak with heater on/heater off. I've checked all the hoses, only thing I can maybe think of is the mixing manifold gasket? Anybody have any ideas what it could be?
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:21 PM   #2
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With the cap on your creating a vacuum of sorts and it'll slow the drip. Check the bottom of the radiator for a leak, make sure all your hoses are tight and have no tears. You can pull the cam cover off the front of the motor to get a better look at the wp. Check the radiator petcock too.

Best bet is to rent a coolant pressure tester from autozone or the like and pump it up. If it's as large as you make it out to be, should be easy to spot.

Don't drive it again until you fix it.

If you did by chance blow a head gasket and plan on using the pressure tester, pull the spark plugs and look to see the cylinders are filling up with coolant before you attempt to start it back up.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:21 PM   #3
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Is there any way to take the timing belt covers off without removing the valve cover? Thanks. I'll try renting one. Also I've been watching the coolant and it's still nice and green, no oil that I can see so there's still hope for no blown headgasket.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:31 PM   #4
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Yeah, sorry I meant the cam sprocket cover. Pretty sure you can take it off without removing the valve cover.
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:49 AM   #5
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There's nothing directly near the crank that would leak coolant. It's probably running down somewhere and showing at the crank. Could be leaking from the water pump - maybe a bad gasket.
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:59 AM   #6
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The water pump has a weep hole that coolant can drip from once the internal seal goes bad. On an OTM, the dripping intensified when the radiator cap was removed.
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Old 04-06-2011, 01:23 AM   #7
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Yes, you can take the timing belt covers off without taking the VC off. I just did it a couple weekends ago since I didn't want to replace the VC gasket. Take the pulley off first and the rest is pretty easy.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:25 AM   #8
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My guess would be water pump.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:31 AM   #9
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Oh so if I can take the cover off what are the chances I could replace the gasket without having to redo the timing?
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:52 PM   #10
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So... Couldn't get the covers off, ended up just pulling the valve cover but it's definately the water pump that's leaking. Guess I get to do a timing belt after all.
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golferluke View Post
So... Couldn't get the covers off, ended up just pulling the valve cover but it's definately the water pump that's leaking. Guess I get to do a timing belt after all.
That sucks, but at least the timing belt job is pretty easy. It's been a few years since I did one but if I recall right, removing the radiator gives you easier access to the crank pulley (can put an impact wrench extension right through)
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:47 PM   #12
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My car always spills a little coolant when it's warming up, even when i installed the wp. I guess you get what you pay for when you buy ebay parts.
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:05 PM   #13
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For the effort required to replace it, the water pump isn't something I'd cheap out on.
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dustinb View Post
That sucks, but at least the timing belt job is pretty easy. It's been a few years since I did one but if I recall right, removing the radiator gives you easier access to the crank pulley (can put an impact wrench extension right through)
Ya I was gonna pull it out if needed, its pretty simple but havn't really run into a problem with it yet. What I have run into a problem with is the sway bar, wtf? Its like right in the middle of the pulley and only have a couple inches clearance, can't even get a socket wrench on it. And I think all the crecents I have go 17,19,22

EDIT: actually I have impact sockets and impact bendy bits (lol don't remember the name, 1/2" drive flex adapters) maybe I can get it with that.

EDIT pt2: I'm assuming you can't take that pulley off without taking that bolt off right? Any way to do the belt without taking the pulley off?

Last edited by Golferluke; 04-07-2011 at 03:12 AM.
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:47 AM   #15
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The first thing I do for any timing belt job is unbolt the swaybar from the frame. You can push it down enough to allow for clearance of any socket.
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:13 AM   #16
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Ok thanks, was just trying to do this with taking the least stuff apart lol, ya if I can't get it i'll have to do that.
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:56 PM   #17
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I used a good impact gun, swivel and a shorty 21mm to remove the crank bolt without removing the swaybar. It really helps to have a powerful gun and at least 100psi of line pressure to break it loose.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I used a good impact gun, swivel and a shorty 21mm to remove the crank bolt without removing the swaybar. It really helps to have a powerful gun and at least 100psi of line pressure to break it loose.
Ya that would be nice but unfortunately I don't have access to an impact down here at college. I'm currently trying to get my sway loosened up but I can't get one bolt off. Probabbly going to have to take my charge piping off. This is turning into a nightmare and I don't even have the crank pulley off yet lol
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:11 PM   #19
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Careful with removing those swaybar bolts, I've broken many of them in my day and once you do, your screwed. Drilling and tapping anyone?

Don't force them if it won't turn. If you have access to some map gas, you can try heat.

I think some members have used a breaker bar with a short 21mm socket against the frame while bumping the starter to loosen the crank bolt. You shouldn't even have to pull the radiator unless you plan on using an impact gun. Maybe it's different on the na's though?

I have never used the starter to break the bolt loose but I would pull the injector fuse just in case it fires up on you with the bar attached.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Careful with removing those swaybar bolts, I've broken many of them in my day and once you do, your screwed. Drilling and tapping anyone?

Don't force them if it won't turn. If you have access to some map gas, you can try heat.

I think some members have used a breaker bar with a short 21mm socket against the frame while bumping the starter to loosen the crank bolt. You shouldn't even have to pull the radiator unless you plan on using an impact gun. Maybe it's different on the na's though?

I have never used the starter to break the bolt loose but I would pull the injector fuse just in case it fires up on you with the bar attached.
You sir are my hero. I got sway loose enough to get the wrench on but couldn't break the stupid thing loose. Tried the starter thing and it worked like a freaking charm. Like my own personal impact for the crank bolt.
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