Author Topic: WTF mystery coolant leaks.  (Read 5517 times)

Meatywand

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WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« on: January 30, 2012, 01:40:29 PM »
So Saturday I was supposed to be in a Mardi Gras parade with my Jeep club, but when I get to the staging area, my Jeep suddenly decided to start pissing coolant everywhere. So I filled it up with water (I'll flush and refill with anti-freeze once I figure this out) and limped it home. It was a good 30 minute drive for me to get home, temperature stayed around normal. I parked it, no dripping or leaking. Came outside Sunday morning to find a small puddle under it, but I stood there for a few minutes and didn't see it dripping. So yesterday after noon I went and got more coolant and some stop leak. When I opened the radiator...it was still full, and there was still fluid in the over flow tank. I ran it with the heater off, hood down at about 2500 RPMs and no leaks. I have no idea WTF is going on, anyone have any ideas? Its the 4.0 Inline 6, 2001 Wrangler.
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87Warrior

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Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2012, 01:47:00 PM »
I would start by checking your hose clamps and water pump weep hole. Could also be a bad cap letting the overflow tank to, well, overflow, then when it cools down draws coolant back into the radiator.

Can you tell where the coolant was coming from? Where was the puddle?

Kalgorn

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Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2012, 01:52:27 PM »
Bad cap is very possible. Might also have a hairline crack somewhere that prevents the system from pressurizing and expelling too much coolant into the overflow tank.

Rent a pressure tester kit from Advance Auto or Autozone.

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Meatywand

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Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2012, 01:52:44 PM »
Thats the confusing part...the puddles are appearing under the water pump, but I can't find an obvious leak (MAYBE the weep hole) and its either running down my oil pan from up front or something more disturbing is going on because I'm finding a puddle under the oil pan. Also, its worth mentioning that my "cap" for my overflow tank is currently a shop rag with a zip tie around it :lol: A buddy of mine said it might be the thermostat not opening and causing shit to boil over....but I'm not sure, I'm just praying its not the water pump, because I don't have the time to deal with that myself and I really don't want to spend the money on getting that fixed right now. Thermostat or overflow cap are much preferred :lol:
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MiniVanMan

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Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2012, 01:54:40 PM »
0331 head? Don't know if they used the same heads on the Wrangers... but if it is, they're prone to cracking. Usually internally, though.

87Warrior

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Re: Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2012, 02:56:17 PM »
0331 head? Don't know if they used the same heads on the Wrangers... but if it is, they're prone to cracking. Usually internally, though.
00 and 01 Wranglers could have the dreaded 0331 head.

Come on Meaty, radiator caps are cheap! What does your oil look like?

The overflow tank does have an overflow tube built into it.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 02:58:41 PM by 87Warrior »

Meatywand

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Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2012, 03:10:55 PM »
Oil is still black and oily, not milky like theres coolant getting into it. And yeah I know, the radiator cap thing just sorta happened one day. Also, my exhaust isn't smoking like its burning coolant or oil or anything.
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MiniVanMan

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Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2012, 03:52:07 PM »
I'm not sure how the water passages run through these, but it's not out of the question that the head developed an external crack and it's leaking coolant from there... is it?

The guys on cherokeeforum always seem to say the crack is usually found around the #3 cylinder, and if I'm not mistaken I remember someone posting about coolant leaking from that area on the OUTSIDE of the motor. I'm not positive on that, though.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 03:53:10 PM by 00XJ »

Meatywand

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Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2012, 08:12:04 PM »
I'm starting to think its the over flow or the thermostat....It hasn't acted funny on the 15 minute drive to or from work. I'll have to run it more extensively this weekend...I'll probably be going over to my girlfriend's house in Texas, which is about 45 minutes away, so I'll notice if anything is funny then. Luckily her brother in law is a fairly capable mechanic, so if something weird happens again, I'll have help figuring it out!
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Kalgorn

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Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2012, 10:47:34 PM »
Honestly, a pressure tester should locate the problem immediately unless it's something super obscure. If the system doesn't hold pressure, then you know there's something wrong.

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Meatywand

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Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2012, 12:48:44 PM »
After repeated experiments it's only leaking when it's not running, so it leaks when the system is not under pressure....any ideas where to start checking for leaks?
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Kalgorn

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Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2012, 12:56:07 PM »
I'm assuming you haven't tried a cooling system pressure tester yet?

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Meatywand

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Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2012, 01:01:49 PM »
My buddy is going to jack one from his shop on base this weekend. But if it's leaking only with the engine OFF that leads me to believe its probably a pressure issue.....right?
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87Warrior

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Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2012, 01:06:43 PM »
When running, the coolant could evaporate before it hits the ground.

Meatywand

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Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2012, 01:15:40 PM »
Hmmm but I've started it cold and run it for like 30 minutes, no drip, killed it, drips for a while then tapers off and stops.
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87Warrior

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Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2012, 01:31:34 PM »
Interesting. Mine did something similar and was a bad upper hose clamp at the radiator. Would leave a 6" puddle under it after driving. I initially thought my new Griffin radiator was leaking.

Let us know what you find out this weekend.

Meatywand

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Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2012, 01:36:05 PM »
Will do. It's strange as hell.
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Kalgorn

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Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2012, 01:45:12 PM »
My buddy is going to jack one from his shop on base this weekend. But if it's leaking only with the engine OFF that leads me to believe its probably a pressure issue.....right?

If it's a pressure issue, you'll know with the pressure tester. You can mimic the way the car would work if you were driving it. You can pressurize and depressurize the system a few times and see if it produces any leaks.

Just rent one from Advance Auto or Autozone. All you have to do is pay a deposit and you get it back when you return it.

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ling427ttvette

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Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2012, 02:55:17 PM »
I have a feeling this is all related to the shop rag being zip tied in place for a radiator cap.

I had a case one day, where my bosses mechanic forgot to put my radiator cap back on when he was doing the routine check on the truck. I was going through my day, smelling a little coolant every now and then.. and at one stop my truck sat for a brief period of time and was able to cool down a little, it pissed all of the radiator fluid straight out of the overflow tank out of where the cap should have been. A shop rag zip tied to it wouldn't have stopped it..

Meatywand

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Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2012, 09:23:59 PM »
In place of an over flow cap, not the actual Radiator cap :lol:

After running it up and down the interstate and getting it fairly hot we were able to narrow it down to either the water pump or head gasket...but based on the no coolant in the oil factor, we're thinking its the water pump, so we're going to tear into it this weekend...at least a water pump is only gonna run me 40 bucks :lol:
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Kalgorn

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Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2012, 10:01:21 PM »
Probably the weep hole on the water pump. Pretty common. I would think you'd be able to find it a little easier though.

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Meatywand

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Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2012, 10:04:03 PM »
Its blown all over the block and dripping in all kinds of funny places....shit is the weirdest thing I've ever seen!
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MiniVanMan

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Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2012, 10:29:27 PM »
Its blown all over the block and dripping in all kinds of funny places....shit is the weirdest thing I've ever seen!

Could be a pin hole leak in a hose or the rad itself. The spray from pin holes can be hard to see... but then again i suppose you'd notice it if you just got done driving, so maybe not.

Meatywand

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Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2012, 11:56:21 AM »
It's not leaking at all today, and is still full from when I topped off the fluid last night :lol: this shit is so weird :lol:
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Meatywand

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Re: WTF mystery coolant leaks.
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2012, 11:35:42 PM »
Replaced the water pump and thermostat (which was FUCKED UP)....fingers crossed. I actually have 4 shocks on my Jeep for the first time in 5 months.
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I gazed through the open window upon a full moon.
His name was Meatywand.