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Unread 02-20-2012, 04:22 PM   #1
grantr
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1995 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: MN
Posts: 61
95 grand cherokee leaking radiator fluid

i have been very slowly leaking radiator fluid over the winter but only recently has it been nice enough outside to locate where the leak was coming from. the leak is coming from somewhere i cant physically see, but it appears to be from the gasket/seal nearest to the lower radiator hose/outlet. the fluid is running down the outlet hose but is coming from the underside of the seal between the outlet and engine block directly behind the fan.

basically it looks like a giant pain to remove and repair the gasket properly. it is a pretty slow leak so i am wondering if any kind of stop leak or similar product could be used. or really any other advice. im ok with taking a gamble and using something, but id really like to know any opinions. its a beater car that i am starting to have to depend on so i am fixing it up as best i can.

thanks!

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Unread 02-20-2012, 04:34 PM   #2
grantr
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i just found out that it is a leak somewhere from the water pump. im assuming that it is still the seal between the pump and the engine block. also i have read that there is a weap hole on the waterpump? im not sure if the waterpump is going bad or the gasket is.
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Unread 02-20-2012, 04:43 PM   #3
SAR-Swimmer
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Sure is, but I'd bet your water pump seal (internal) is whats going out. There's a weep hole on the bottom of the pump that will leak when the internal seal goes bad. You're probably looking at replacing the pump, but as a bonus, you'll get to change the seal behind it too.
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Unread 02-20-2012, 04:47 PM   #4
SAR-Swimmer
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Oh, and please fill out your profile, so we can give you better advice in the future, ie year, engine etc.
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Unread 02-20-2012, 04:53 PM   #5
L0G1K
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1995 ZJ 
 
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Location: Montreal, Canada, Québec
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I' have a similar problem, I see prestone on the oil pan on the passenger side, however I can't see were it's leaking . It doesn't seem to be the water pump, as it's leaking closer to the engine than the pump. However I don't know how tick it is and how deep it connects to the engine so It might be my problem...
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Unread 02-20-2012, 05:14 PM   #6
SAR-Swimmer
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@ LOG1K, your leak could be almost anywhere, as when running, the fan will put coolant all over the place. Check your rad hoses and clamps are good, frost plugs aren't leaking, check water pump and the short bypass hose right behind the water pump, on top of the engine. Your rad could be leaking, also check heater core hoses and clamps, as well as coolant over-flow tank and hose.
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Unread 02-20-2012, 08:17 PM   #7
L0G1K
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Except for the oil pan, we don't see coolant anywere else so It's defenetly not the rad or anything in the front. It looks to be located precisely on the passenger site of the engine since it leaks from there for about 5 minutes when the engine is turned off.
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Unread 02-23-2012, 09:48 AM   #8
grantr
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hey, thanks. after a closer look, the liquid is coming out of the weep hole. i bought a new water pump and am going to replace it soon. i haven't ever dealt with the serpentine belt or any of this stuff before, any advise?

cheers!
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Unread 02-23-2012, 11:52 AM   #9
zjosh93
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If you are ever trying to track down a small coolant leak I highly recommend renting (for free!) a coolant system pressure tester at any auto parts store. It lets you pressurize the system without the coolant getting hot. I was losing about a quart of coolant every three months but I couldn't see any leaks. I used the tester and found that a bunch of my hoses were seeping at the clamp and the water pump gasket was leaking a little bit. Turns out the PO had dropped the pump when they installed it and there was a divot in the sealing surface that kept the pump from seating. The same tester identified a marginal radiator cap. Now I don't lose a drop of coolant.
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Unread 02-23-2012, 11:56 AM   #10
zjosh93
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Changing the water pump on the 4.0 is a breeze. Take of the fan and shroud. Remove lower radiator hose and heater hose. Loosen the serpentine belt. Remove the four bolts to the block and the two to the PS bracket. Maneuver the pump around to get it out from behind the PS bracket while getting the heater hose pipe around the thermostat housing. Reverse to install. It's easier to do if you also remove the thermostat housing (replacing the thermostat is recommended) but not required.
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Unread 02-23-2012, 12:18 PM   #11
elkski
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ITS a Breeze...
Yes if you like coolant all over the place it is not to bad of a fix.. I owned a 97 4.0 for 200k miles and did a couple pumps... Seems to me there is a spike in coolant pressure after you shut off the engine and that weep hole is a tricky thing to see.
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Unread 03-05-2012, 06:19 PM   #12
grantr
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so now i am in the process of draining the radiator to change the pump right now and i thought it would be a good idea to flush the system while im at it, but i cant even physically see the engine block drain bolt. its cold out and going to be snowing again, so id like to get it done soon if possible.

-do i need to drain the engine block just to change the water pump? (or rather will draining from the bottom of the radiator remove enough coolant to change the water pump without spilling more?)

-can i do a full flush just using the radiator valve? (i would think so as long as i fill while its draining and let the engine run)

if i did flush it this way, would i fill the water into the reservoir or in through the radiator cap?

advise? thanks!
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Unread 03-05-2012, 08:11 PM   #13
hdrocknroll
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fill the coolant directly into the radiator.
If coolant looks fairly clean ,probably don't need to flush.
Just replacing the w pump you don't need to drain block.
Just be thankful that your blinker fluid is not leaking
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Unread 03-17-2012, 11:48 PM   #14
grantr
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i replaced the water pump and all is well. the only thing is i was unsure how tight to tighten the belt. also now i am hearing a squeaking sound coming from somewhere along the belt. i dont think it could be the new pump but id like to quiet it down as well as make sure belt tension is good.
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Unread 03-18-2012, 06:46 AM   #15
AVR2
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Squeaking could be one of your idler pulleys. As for belt tension, I've always used the "twist test" - tighten the belt until you can twist it 90 degrees (no more and no less) with finger and thumb at the tension test point.

The first time I did any work involving removing and replacing the belt I asked my local independent 4x4 garage if they could check the tension using their proper gauge, and they said they didn't have one, they just used the twist test themselves.
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