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  #1  
Old 01-07-2020, 02:14 AM
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Sporadic Coolant Leak on 2003 4.6is

So this leak just happened recently. It's strange because the coolant seems to leak only after i've parked the car for awhile. Judging from the location of the coolant on the garage floor it seems the leak is somewhere from the front to the middle of the engine bay, although I have yet to track down the exact location of the leak.

It's strange because the leak doesn't happen every time I've driven the car. I could be driving the car for an entire morning and it wouldn't leave a drop. Nor would it leak over night. But after the car sat for a day or two there would be a puddle of coolant.

I've had to top off the expansion tank twice over the last few weeks. The engine temperature is remaining steadily slightly below 210.

I will continue to search for the source of the leak and report back.

Has anyone experienced this phenomenon as well?

It's almost like a phantom leak.
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  #2  
Old 01-07-2020, 02:55 AM
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Yes.

I had bad o-rings on transmission cooler and after some days of driving it would leak (flex maybe) but other times not at all.

Once I pulled the cooler the leak was pretty evident on the hidden side of the cooler.

Reposting the picture.

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Old 01-07-2020, 03:07 AM
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That's interesting. I was thinking maybe I should check on the weep hole on the timing cover tomorrow morning when the sun is up to see if there's any evidence of leaks.

But you've given me another direction to investigate as well.

Thanks!!
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:43 AM
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I haven't used it yet, But I have just ordered a UV light, sunglasses and UV dye to diagnose a slow coolant leak. People seem to like this method to find small leaks.
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:34 AM
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Yeah, I've got the e83... I just order a cooler too (sardine can) it's the seams or the rings, not a bad job in replacing...but aggravating.

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Old 01-07-2020, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getty150 View Post
Yeah, I've got the e83... I just order a cooler too (sardine can) it's the seams or the rings, not a bad job in replacing...but aggravating.

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+1
Very aggravating, I went with o-rings and I'll just say that out of the almost Costco size package I only have 1 remaining...

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Old 01-07-2020, 02:45 PM
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The transmission cooler seems ok, no visible coolant around the 2 hoses. One of them is gunked up a bit by the engine oil leaks possibly from valve cover gasket.

Also checked the weep hole by the water pump, looks ok too. No visible fresh coolants.

Looked into the valley pan through the intake manifold, there's definitely signs of leak and rust, but hard to determine if that's where the leak originated.

I will do the valley pan gasket along with the timing chain guide when the time comes, but not right now.

Will remove the big dirt cover under the engine to see if I can locate the path of the coolant leak.

It's dripping onto the plastic guard piece and then the garage floor.

The origin could be anywhere the guard piece covers.

Also while I attempted to remove the air intake, I had problem unplugging the hard plastic tube on the bottom of the intake tube. So I left it alone, since the connection felt really hard and possibly brittle.

There's another tiny hole covered by some hardened insulation that broke off.

Can anyone tell me what this tinyhole connects to? And if it's an important part to connect back?

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Old 01-07-2020, 04:06 PM
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After removing the dirt cover beneath the engine, we traced the leak back to 2 spots on the water pump gasket.

The leak is slow and gradual, I suppose that might be why I don't see them right away after turning off the engine.

But the leak is fresh and slowing continuing, and the bolts on the pump looks slightly rusted.

I will be buying a brand new water pump and gasket and replace it asap.

Will report back if this solves the coolant leak!
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:24 PM
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Not the case here but a FYI for the thread: I had a leak that dropped the float over about a week or so. It slowly got worse until a 40 mile drive dropped the float. Once I got into my indy it turned out to be the blue drain plug on the radiator. The head of the plug was gone by this time leaving the threaded section in the hole. A quick $6 and a 20 minute fiddle up on the lift and all was well again.
I now have two blue plugs in the spares box. (One for each vehicle.)
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:50 PM
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I broke my blue plug when I was trying to drain the coolant for an alternator job. The plug shattered into half when I tried to remove it with a philips flat head screw driver.

Since I still had half of the plug deep inside the thread, I just glued up the entire drain hole with shoe goo.

It's been holding fine. I'll have to get it replaced one of these days.

Back on the water pump, there's a cross bar in front of the pump with 2 10mm bolt on either side. Once removed you can get access to the pump.

There's o-rings on either side of the cross bar. Does anyone have a part number for these 2 o-rings?
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