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Strange coolant leak

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by atijerino, Aug 5, 2005.

  1. atijerino

    atijerino

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    I noticed a strange leak which looks like coolant coming from the front of the truck, it looks like is coming from under the frame rail cross member under the radiator. The strange thing is the it does not hapen when driving, but when the truck is parked, it almost looke like condensation. The coolant reservoir and the radiator are always hsowing the proper amount of fluid, I never have to replenish, the tmeprature guage is always on the cold side. I tried looking under there I can not figure our where the fluid is coming from. I don't think is coming from the water pump since this one is located on the passenger side (me thinks?) and the leak is noticeable only on the driver's side. Is is possible that one of the hoses is seeping fluid out? Do I need to remove the protective plate under the radiator to figure out the leak?

    Thanks,
     
  2. elmariachi

    elmariachi

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    Remove the protective cover and look around. As with all leaks, the best thing is to do a good cleanup job and then try and find it. It could be your drain valve o-ring, which is a white thumbscrew/petcock on the drivers' inside of the radiator.
     
  3. tucker74

    tucker74 Moderator

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    My radiator was leaking at the seam where the plastic top is crimped to the metal frame ... and coolant showed up where you described. I couldn't tell where it was coming from at first because it would evaporate on the radiator and only show up on this cross member ... but then it got worse.

    Fix for me was a new OEM radiator from Cdan ;)

    Tucker
     
  4. turbocruiser

    turbocruiser SILVER Star

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    All the above comments are sage advise. One thing to point out is that it is indeed leaking when you are driving, you just cannot see or sense it; the coolant dripping while driving will blow backwards and/or evaporate evenly off of whatever it hits that's hot and/or simple evaporate evenly into the atmosphere if the system is simply slightly sweating as opposed to actually leaking . Taking off the things that block the view will help, then as mentioned above, rinse everything off really well, start er up, let the temp rise to normal temp, and start watching for something that is sweating or something that is leaking. If that wont work then pressurize the system with a cooling system leak tool and see what shows. HTH. :cheers:
     
  5. atijerino

    atijerino

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    What is interesting to me is that I have not lost a whole lot of coolant, I have not toped the reservoir or the radiator, I do check them both daily just to make sure. I am hoping worst case it just needs a new o-ring or a lower hose. I will spend some time tomorrow removing the lower protecting plate and follow your recommendations to clean everything and find the leak and a fix for it.

    Thanks,
     
  6. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    could it be ATF fluid? That is the common area where the PS cooler springs a leak. Ceck the tubes where they bend under the radiator. They typically get real corroded there. If need be you can bypass that cooler with a union and 2 hose clamps bought at a Lowes or other hardware store.
     
  7. atijerino

    atijerino

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    I took the cover out as recommended and you were right it is leaking from the drain valve at the bottom of the radiator on the drivers side. As a matter of fact the radiator cross member support has two holes lined up under that valve for draining purposes.
    Can I buy the whole valve assembly instead of just the o-ring?
    I tried tighten it and it would not go anymore and still continued to drip, but just a bit less, Im afraid that if I try to tighten more I may break it and make things worse.

    Thanks for pointing me in the right direction...
     
  8. elmariachi

    elmariachi

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    I am sure you can buy the drain plug and the o-ring. Naturally, this might be a good time to flush and clean your cooling system. Hoses are awfully inexpensive as well and are relatively easy to change, withstanding the PHH.

    There are plenty of excellent threads here about all these issues and how to get them done properly.

    Jim