Coolant Leak - Head gasket or Intake Manifold? (w/pics and video) - JeepForum.com
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Unread 06-16-2013, 10:16 AM   #1
dcocch
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Coolant Leak - Head gasket or Intake Manifold? (w/pics and video)

I had a previous thread on my coolant leak here. After replacing the temp sensor (and tearing the TBI apart and rebuild it while I was at it), I have concluded that my coolant leak (which now only happens when the YJ is running or right after) is coming from the head gasket or intake manifold. I'm having trouble figuring out which is which...this is my first time deal with a head/intake manifold.

It's an 89 YJ 2.5L. I have replaced the radiator, hoses, and water pump 3 weeks ago. Temp sensor is brand new and tight. I'm going to go rent a compression gauge and check the cylinders this afternoon.

Here's what is going on with pics. Any insight is appreciated!


There appears to be a gap here and you can see a little bit of green coolant in that gap. Is this gap normal? I know the coolant isn't supposed to be there...









And lastly...the green arrow is pointing to the Intake/Exhaust manifold, correct? The head is located under the valve cover, right? I know this is kind of a dumb question but I've never worked on either so I'm not 100% sure what is where. Yes...noob, I know. The red arrows point to the gasket that appears to be leaking.



So...any ideas?? I'm thinking I need to replace the intake manifold gasket...

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Unread 06-16-2013, 10:24 AM   #2
dcocch
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Video is causing all sorts of crazy formatting.

This is video of the coolant steaming from the exhaust manifold(?) after the engine was ran for 5 minutes and shut down.
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Unread 06-16-2013, 01:43 PM   #3
dcocch
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Does coolant run to the intake manifold or is this a blown head gasket leaking onto the manifold?
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Unread 06-16-2013, 07:40 PM   #4
dcocch
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Bump. No one interested in schooling me on the possible cause of this leak today?
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Unread 06-16-2013, 07:47 PM   #5
50rck
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No coolant in intake manifold. So probably in your head gasket.
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1991 YJ, rebuilt 4.0L in spring 2009 at 234,000 miles, no lift yet, slightly offset wheels, 235/75/15 tires for now, rag top, sold the hard top. Over 35,000 miles on the rebuild and counting.


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Unread 06-16-2013, 10:05 PM   #6
jred
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcocch View Post
Video is causing all sorts of crazy formatting.

This is video of the coolant steaming from the exhaust manifold(?) after the engine was ran for 5 minutes and shut down. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK5HWyzZ4WQ
I'm not overly familiar with the 2.5, but I believe your arrow was pointing at the exhaust manifold. If the coolant is steaming when it hits it, it almost definitely is.

The following is me talking out my butt, but hopefully it will get you thinking and help you find the problem.
It's my understanding that the head gasket that blows is between the block & the head. So it should be valve cover > head > block. Where that coolant is pooling (from what I can tell from the pics), I'd expect it to come from the valve cover gasket, unless you have a cracked head.
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Unread 06-17-2013, 06:28 AM   #7
Siva283
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I cant see your pics at work so I am just going to add what seems to be relivant. The 2.5 does not flow coolant through the intake manifold. The valve cover will not leak coolant as coolant doesnt run through it. A compression test is a good idea but not definitive in this case since the head gasket could leak coolant without it leaking cylinder pressure. While not likely it is possible. In the front of the engine I think it is the top front manifold bolt goes into a water jacket and therefore needs silicone. This could be your issue. It would drip from there onto your exhaust manifold and create the steam.
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1995 YJ. 2 inch BDS Spring lift. 1 inch shackle lift. 1.25 inch JKS Body Lift 33x12.5x15's. Engo 10,000 pound winch.

[QUOTE=Magnum;14117863] I gave the Jeep the required offering of $$, sweat, and blood, and everything works fine now. -- Jim[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=ldso;16498409]. It started with a $200 axle, and a few thousand dollars later I was done :)[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Luuca;16122017]diagnose the real issue before you start going all Obama on it - spending mad cash you'll need for other important things.

Ask me how I know...[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Overhead;17658665]this is also my second set of RC springs this year. I'd rather spend the money again and get something that will last.[/QUOTE]
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Unread 06-17-2013, 09:58 AM   #8
dcocch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siva283 View Post
In the front of the engine I think it is the top front manifold bolt goes into a water jacket and therefore needs silicone. This could be your issue. It would drip from there onto your exhaust manifold and create the steam.
I'm read that also. I'm going to start pulling the valve cover and see if the PO over-torqued the bolt that goes through the water jacket. Hopefully that is the case!
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Unread 06-23-2013, 08:22 AM   #9
dcocch
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I finally got around to doing a compression test. Not thrilled since the PO had this engine rebuilt in 2006 by a engine rebuilding company (I have the receipt) and it has only gotten 15k miles since the rebuild. I might call the company and ask about a mileage warranty on the rebuild but since it's been 7 years I doubt it...

Results by cylinder...
1: 135psi
2: 125psi (145psi wet)
3: 100psi (120psi wet)
4: 135psi

I'm going to go get a compression leak down tester and confirm it's the head, head gasket, or block before I start tearing the engine apart. The PSI numbers in #2 and #3 go up when oil is added so it doesn't signify a head issue...but I'm still leaking coolant on to the exhaust manifold. Also, when I got the engine up to operating temp before the compression test I had a lot of white exhaust...however, the YJ had not been ran in over a week so it might be condensation. Anyway, going to get a leak down tester and praying to the Jeep God that I don't have a cracked head or block.
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Unread 06-23-2013, 12:22 PM   #10
dcocch
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Correction... Combustion Leak Test AKA Block Test (seen here:
)

My little fluid sample stayed blue after running for 30 min. And strangely, my coolant wasn't leaking on to the exhaust manifold while it was running. I'm going to test again tonight or tomorrow to double check. I'm getting more and more confused the more I test...
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Unread 06-23-2013, 09:37 PM   #11
Inzano
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In the 2.5 there are 5 mini water jackets on cylinder head which are hidden by intake and exhaust manifold. Did an exhaust manifold on a customer jeep at work and never noticed before but they are small water jackets size of nickels, explains your leak just remove intake and exhaust manifold and you will find your mini freeze plug leaking
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Unread 06-24-2013, 05:20 AM   #12
Siva283
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcocch View Post
I finally got around to doing a compression test. Not thrilled since the PO had this engine rebuilt in 2006 by a engine rebuilding company (I have the receipt) and it has only gotten 15k miles since the rebuild. I might call the company and ask about a mileage warranty on the rebuild but since it's been 7 years I doubt it...

Results by cylinder...
1: 135psi
2: 125psi (145psi wet)
3: 100psi (120psi wet)
4: 135psi

I'm going to go get a compression leak down tester and confirm it's the head, head gasket, or block before I start tearing the engine apart. The PSI numbers in #2 and #3 go up when oil is added so it doesn't signify a head issue...but I'm still leaking coolant on to the exhaust manifold. Also, when I got the engine up to operating temp before the compression test I had a lot of white exhaust...however, the YJ had not been ran in over a week so it might be condensation. Anyway, going to get a leak down tester and praying to the Jeep God that I don't have a cracked head or block.
Just leave the compression gauge hooked up with the pressure and see how long it holds. Thays all the leakdown test is

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__________________
1995 YJ. 2 inch BDS Spring lift. 1 inch shackle lift. 1.25 inch JKS Body Lift 33x12.5x15's. Engo 10,000 pound winch.

[QUOTE=Magnum;14117863] I gave the Jeep the required offering of $$, sweat, and blood, and everything works fine now. -- Jim[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=ldso;16498409]. It started with a $200 axle, and a few thousand dollars later I was done :)[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Luuca;16122017]diagnose the real issue before you start going all Obama on it - spending mad cash you'll need for other important things.

Ask me how I know...[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Overhead;17658665]this is also my second set of RC springs this year. I'd rather spend the money again and get something that will last.[/QUOTE]
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Unread 06-24-2013, 12:46 PM   #13
dcocch
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inzano View Post
In the 2.5 there are 5 mini water jackets on cylinder head which are hidden by intake and exhaust manifold. Did an exhaust manifold on a customer jeep at work and never noticed before but they are small water jackets size of nickels, explains your leak just remove intake and exhaust manifold and you will find your mini freeze plug leaking
That is my plan now. I'm going to pull the valve cover and take a look around in there too.
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Unread 06-29-2013, 01:27 PM   #14
dcocch
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I found a thread and WranglerForum with the same issue as me. Turns out it IS the intake/exhaust manifold gasket. Coolant runs through the intake manifold in the 2.5L TBI. I feel like a dummy because it obviously runs through it...the heat hose connects to the back and there's a hose going from the front to the thermostat housing. Doh!

Got it all removed today, but I didn't order a new gasket until yesterday so it's going to sit for a while. I think I found a whole new issue with my engine/tranny but that's another thread.
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Unread 07-14-2013, 07:32 AM   #15
dcocch
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Well I'll update this for any future searchers trying to figure this problem out...

I pulled everything, replaced the exhaust manifold (found a crack) and put a new gasket on. Bolted her all back up and started filling up the coolant. Next thing I know there's a steady stream of coolant coming out as I poor it in. I pulled everything back off and low and behold, it was the damn freeze plug on the head.

There are four 7/8" freeze plugs on the side of the head by the manifolds. Mine LOOKED great, but I guess when I was poking them with a screwdriver to see if they were good, I must have made the tiny hole a little bigger which allowed it to leak immediately. I pulled all 4 of them and 2 were badly corroded. Unfortunately NO ONE stocks these things locally so I'm ordering them. I'm happy to know what the problem is for sure now, but I wish I could have been smart enough to figure it out about a month ago and saved around $150... Oh well, she's close to being ready to drive again!
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