Coolant help

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Dec 7, 2004
NW of Denver
Moved my 88 from the driveway to the garage and it spit out a maybe 1/2 cup of coolant onto the floor from the front somewhere. Took off the skid plate above tie rods and could not find anything around the bottom hoses or radiator. Overflow bottle was at 50%. Cap is in great shape, full of fluid, new water pump and thermostat, hoses and radiator etc all within the last 25k.

Wiped her down and started back up. Shut her down. Nothing. Drove around for 10 minutes. Nothing. Ran fine for the next 100 miles or so. Still no idea where fluid came from. Even checked our other LC that was in the same spot. Dry..

Week later- today-driving to work and sitting at stop light, I start smelling that sweet smell just a little and temp goes up for the first time in years above the 1/4 mark to the 1/2 way mark and holds steady for the last 5 minutes of my drive.
Park at work, pop the hood. Nothing, dry as can be around the block and hoses. Plenty of coolant- overflow is at 1/2 still. 75 outside.

Also have had the check engine light come on for 10 minutes then off twice in the last 300 miles
any ideas?

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Was the first incident of coolant loss when the motor was cold and sitting? I'm thinking it's posible the water pump seal is going. That would explain the absence of coolant loss as it warms up and seals itself.

The other coolant incident, elevated temps, sweet smell but normal levels could be a low coolant level condition from the leaking water pump. Your truck may have an air pocket now and will be unreliable for maintaining temp if there's an air pocket due to leakage.

I recommend a pressure test of the cooling system both with the engine warm and cold. Find and repair any leaks. Be sure to carefully eliminate any air pockets from the cooling system and all should be well.

Since the waterpump is newish, lets assume the seal is OK. I'd check all the hose clamps to make sure they are tight enough. It's amazing how often I leave one too loose...
Another option is a rad leak. Isn't there a pressure test you can have done on a cooling system?
i would pressure test the system to get a good answer. I think they sell the kits at Napa for not that many $$.

Chasing leaks sucks, Good luck.
The first time it spit fluid it was cold. It never did it in the last few drives. I am going to take it in and do that pressure test on monday and take a few hits of the tailpipe and make sure I don't smell the coolant back there either.
don't forget to burp the system while you are at it. thermostat good????
Don't worry about it... just marking its territory...

Seriously though, might sound dumb, but have you checked your freeze plugs? I have seen them fail catastphically and slowly.

Good luck
In the last 150 miles- nothing but 50.00 worth of gas. No leaks, temp changes or anything. Next time I fire it up it will burn to the ground because I just jinxed myself
The first instance could have been a pool of fluid that moved off of a concave horizontal surface when you moved the truck - there are lots of them. Not sure how the fluid would have gotten there though. For the other symptom, I would look for a very small radiator leak or a hose that is not perfectly seated.

Just to be clear - your temp gauge does not normally move or does not normally go above the 1/4 mark?

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