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Old 08-20-2011, 08:49 AM   #1
SkagitHunter
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Default loosing coolant

Hello all, Was a member a long time ago with a 2001.
Now I have a 2000 with a 3.1
I have replaced the radiator, water pump. But still loosing coolant. I think it comming out the overflow because of the marks on the hood flung by alternator.
The temp runs between 3/8 to just over half in city traffic. The LIM gasket was changed before I got it.
The stock waterpump had a huge impeller, The after market has alot smaller impeller?
At what temp should the fan come on ?
It runs like a top. at stop lights it hard to tell it's even running.
No water in the oil. was tested at overflow with head gasket tester.
The temp guage works....has been to 3/4 when waterpump went out.
Was pressure tested...no leaks

Last edited by SkagitHunter; 08-20-2011 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 08-20-2011, 11:54 AM   #2
MalibuKen
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Default Re: loosing coolant

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Originally Posted by SkagitHunter View Post
I have replaced the radiator, water pump. But still loosing coolant. I think it comming out the overflow because of the marks on the hood flung by alternator.
What exactly leads you to believe that you are losing coolant.......below the level that it should be, that is ??

On that model, where is the pressure cap ??

From your description, it sounds like that........or the hose between the radiator and overflow bottle or maybe even a cracked bottle. If the pressure cap is on the radiator, a pressure leak-down test does not check those components.

I'd go for a new pressure cap first.....and then make REALLY serious effort to see where the coolant is coming out.

P.S. Those marks on the hood might be from something else.......like the belt and/or the alternator bearings.

Last edited by DrivenDaily; 08-20-2011 at 12:11 PM. Reason: Unnecessary cutting remark
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: loosing coolant

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkagitHunter View Post
I have replaced the radiator, water pump. But still loosing coolant. I think it comming out the overflow because of the marks on the hood flung by alternator.
The temp runs between 3/8 to just over half in city traffic. The LIM gasket was changed before I got it.
The stock waterpump had a huge impeller, The after market has alot smaller impeller?
At what temp should the fan come on ?


Fans come on at 223 degrees, probably go off 208 to 212. You replaced the radiator and water pump because they were actually leaking or are you throwing parts at it? If you're getting fresh spray off the belt, what makes you think it's the overflow tank? You can see this engine, we can't, so you need to hose off the front of the engine to rinse away existing coolant and see if you can locate the source then. The LIM gasket was done how long ago and with what brand of gasket? New water pump. Remember new doesn't mean good. It isn't a remanufactured pump is it? The rear cylinder head gasket has a habit of leaking right at the corner under the alternator and is sometimes mistaken for a LIM gasket leak. So, head gasket, LIM gasket, water pump, water pump bypass pipe, lower rad hose with a pin hole that sprays the belt, probably more, just a quick list.

Answering MK's question, radiator cap is on the overflow bottle. If the overflow bottle is leaking you should be able to see it fairly easy. Probably I'd rinse the engine down ,let it air dry and start the engine, let it run and keep watching.

Dumb question, but MK has a point, is the coolant level dropping? If it just dropped once or twice after filling the system, then stabilizes and doesn't drop anymore, you may have worked air out of the system. Good luck.
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:29 PM   #4
SkagitHunter
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Default Re: loosing coolant

The LIM gasket was done 6 months ago. replaced with the expensive metal one.
I know it is being pushed out the overflow tube.I can see it by the motor mount. I have to add coolant daily
I replaced the water pump with a reman because that was all I could get when I needed it.
It has a new cap. I got the radiator when I did the water pump because the petcock was broken off and in pulling the lower hose some real nasty looking stuff came out.
I get all my parts at wholesale so it was cheap to replace.
The only thing that hasn't been replace it thermostat and temp sending unit?
I use a snap-on vac pump to fill it, so I know there isn't a air pocket.
I can let it idle for hrs and it wont go to half on the temp guage or leak out.
It only happens while driving. But I can see it on that spot below overflow tube and the tube is wet
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: loosing coolant

Okay, now I see how you got where you are. Thermostat and temp sending unit won't fix the coolant loss but I won't argue the thermostat might be bad, gauge should go half way idling. Good that you used a vac -n-fill setup. By what you're describing, I wonder if you don't have a warped/cracked head or block. Not what you want to hear but it sounds like under load pressure is getting way too high and spewing coolant. You aren't filling the overflow tank completely full are you? That would spew coolant because the coolant has nowhere else to go. No water in the oil you said but I'm unclear on the combustion gas test. Did you do one or not? Pressure is getting way out of line to blow past the cap and out the top of the overflow. Realize, I can't see what you see but based on what you say, I'm going with internal engine issues right now. Sorry. Hope I'm wrong this time.
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:19 AM   #6
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Default Re: loosing coolant

So the only time you get coolant to leak is out of the overflow and nowhere else, and it happens only during or after driving, but at idle it's dry as a bone?

My '97 3.1 had two bleed screws for the coolant. It's not impossible that you still have air in the system unless you've already bled it out with those screws. I'm not sure how well a vac-n-fill device works, but I don't think you can pull air under water even when it's trapped. But then again I've never used one and it could be a wonderful tool that dislodges all air pockets, even at high points.
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Old 08-21-2011, 05:24 AM   #7
SkagitHunter
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Default Re: loosing coolant

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Okay, now I see how you got where you are. Thermostat and temp sending unit won't fix the coolant loss but I won't argue the thermostat might be bad, gauge should go half way idling. Good that you used a vac -n-fill setup. By what you're describing, I wonder if you don't have a warped/cracked head or block. Not what you want to hear but it sounds like under load pressure is getting way too high and spewing coolant. You aren't filling the overflow tank completely full are you? That would spew coolant because the coolant has nowhere else to go. No water in the oil you said but I'm unclear on the combustion gas test. Did you do one or not? Pressure is getting way out of line to blow past the cap and out the top of the overflow. Realize, I can't see what you see but based on what you say, I'm going with internal engine issues right now. Sorry. Hope I'm wrong this time.
I have done a combustion gas test. 3 diff times, from the time the water pump went out to present.
The reman water pump? when warm and I take the cap off...bleed pressure off then remove cap, Should I be able to see the coolant moving like in a regular radiator cap set up? I bring the rpm's up and it trys to overflow the tank.
I have had it on a lift running nothing leaking anywhere.
If the themostat isn't opening all the way, wont that cause back pressure enough to blow it out the overflow?
Im doing all the work at a buddys car lot. He doesn't think its a blown head gasket because of the combustion tests. Plus it holds pressure and vac. If you try and use a vac-fill and it has a blown head gasket or cracked head it wont hold vac.
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Old 08-21-2011, 05:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: loosing coolant

A t-stat not opening fully will keep some of the coolant from reaching the radiator. The more it prevents the hotter the coolant (and engine) will get. The radiator cap is like the weight on a pressure cooker - it allows the system to get to a certain pressure and then starts venting excess pressure. If the coolant gets hot enough to cause the pressure to reach that point then it can no longer keep the gases in solution and it boils them out, causing what you see as an overflow.

So the cap is doing its job but something else isn't. A t-stat is cheap. Have you tried (for testing purposes only) to run without a t-stat? If that solves the problem then you know what to do. If not then that is not an issue. Have you removed the t-stat and tested it in a pan with a candy thermometer? When does it begin to open? When is it fully open? Does it open fully?
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Old 08-21-2011, 05:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: loosing coolant

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Originally Posted by SkagitHunter View Post
. He doesn't think its a blown head gasket because of the combustion tests. Plus it holds pressure and vac. If you try and use a vac-fill and it has a blown head gasket or cracked head it wont hold vac.
And I think he is right.

Problem NOW is that you still haven't really answered THE critical question that two of us have asked, so let's try it a third time, in a different way:

How full do you fill the overflow bottle ??
And if you run it until it overflows and then let it sit until it cools off (overnight), how full is the bottle then ??
You do know that it is supposed to settle out after a few hot/cold engine cycles to slightly less than half full, right ??

If that is not the problem, then you have a pressure cap that is the wrong pressure (or is defective) or you have a bad thermostat or a plugged radiator core or other blockage. What happens if you force a fast idle for several minutes.......like about 2,500 RPMs or so ??

At this point, my guess is that you have too much faith in your vac method and it's ability to "suck" out all the air.......and a couple of thermal cycles without adding coolant will solve the "problem".
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:29 AM   #10
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Default Re: loosing coolant

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Originally Posted by MalibuKen View Post
And I think he is right.

Problem NOW is that you still haven't really answered THE critical question that two of us have asked, so let's try it a third time, in a different way:

How full do you fill the overflow bottle ??
And if you run it until it overflows and then let it sit until it cools off (overnight), how full is the bottle then ??
You do know that it is supposed to settle out after a few hot/cold engine cycles to slightly less than half full, right ??

If that is not the problem, then you have a pressure cap that is the wrong pressure (or is defective) or you have a bad thermostat or a plugged radiator core or other blockage. What happens if you force a fast idle for several minutes.......like about 2,500 RPMs or so ??


At this point, my guess is that you have too much faith in your vac method and it's ability to "suck" out all the air.......and a couple of thermal cycles without adding coolant will solve the "problem".
I fill it slightly over the full cold mark. when I drive it 25 miles home and let it sit over night in the driveway..backed in because it slopes down hill. so front of car is higher than rear. I crack bleed at water pump and just coolant comes out(overnight)the coolant is slightly lower than full cold mark if I park it on level ground.
but in two days it will purge enough for the low rad light to come on if I dont add coolant.
The cap is marked 15psi?

Last edited by SkagitHunter; 08-21-2011 at 06:38 AM.
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