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Coolant leak

How to find source of leak ?

Coolant leak

Postby hotrod [OP] » Dec 02 2011, 2:44pm

I have coolant leaking from passenger side of engine down onto starter motor. I can feel coolant at back side of cylinder head (V6) back cannot see back there even using a mirror. Has anybody had the same problem or any tips for finding the source ?
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Re: Coolant leak

Postby jepics » Dec 02 2011, 2:59pm

How bad is the leak? Seeping out, dripping or squirting? As you said, it's hard to see back there - but I'd suspect the head gasket.

First check for any heater hoses in the area that might be leaking, and eliminate any other possibilities before doing the expensive repair.
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Re: Coolant leak

Postby hotrod [OP] » Dec 02 2011, 7:50pm

It is a drip about every ten seconds. It drips onto the starter motor and then onto the ground.
There is no sign of coolant getting into the engine oil from a leaky head gasket and the engine runs great.
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Coolant leak

Postby gmctruckguy » Dec 02 2011, 8:18pm

Is the top of the intake dry? If its dripping every 10 seconds something must be pretty wet from where it is leaking from.
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Re: Coolant leak

Postby wheeler82 » Dec 02 2011, 9:38pm

you could pressure test it, that would find the leak!
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Re: Coolant leak

Postby ASTE25 » Dec 03 2011, 3:37am

hotrod wrote:It is a drip about every ten seconds. It drips onto the starter motor and then onto the ground.
There is no sign of coolant getting into the engine oil from a leaky head gasket and the engine runs great.

From what you described, it does sound like a head gasket leak to me (but it could be something else, like a hose). Just because you do not have coolant in the oil does not mean a head gasket is not leaking. The best way to check is to top the coolant off and pressure test the cooling system. If it is leaking as much as you say, it should be an obvious leak when pressure is applied to the cooling system. The intake mainifold gaskets on those engines are prone to leak as well. It may be leaking from the intake gasket at the rear water crossover and running down the back of the head onto the starter.
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Re: Coolant leak

Postby hotrod [OP] » Dec 03 2011, 11:19am

I do see a slight amount of coolant at the front of the intake manifold area where a coolant hose attaches but all of the hoses and fittings are dry. I have an automotive type coolant pressure tester with adapters that fit directly to radiator necks. The V6 uses a remote plastic bottle. I guess I will have to buy an adapter from Napa to fit the plastic bottle and then try pressure testing the system. The way they build and install these engines any more you just can not see anything. Maybe I will install a 235 straight six in it.
Thanks for your help.
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Re: Coolant leak

Postby ASTE25 » Dec 03 2011, 9:26pm

I think that would be a lot more trouble than it is worth. But, those straight sixes are tough as nails.
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