Back to square one: cooling system - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 35 Old 08-20-2017, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
BorderWalker
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Back to square one: cooling system

So despite having redone my entire coolant system, it seems I'm STILL losing Coolant somewhere. I can't find any leaks from the freeze plugs, and there doesn't appear to be coolant running down the back for rear plug. As such I'm gonna try fixing heater core next.

I'll also need modify the lower hose, as it protrudes too much outwards and presses against the steering rack.

My question is this: if I drain coolant via the drain petcock on the radiator, followed by pulling out the radiator hose, how much fluid will I need to replace on average? I'm not doing a flush, just draining the fluid so I can pull out and trim the lower hose, then remove and repair the heater core. So how much will I need to replace for full? A general estimate works, I just need to know ahead of time so I can buy enough coolant and/or distilled water

Thanks!


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post #2 of 35 Old 08-21-2017, 04:53 AM
jeepjeepster
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Are you needing to know how much you should buy to replace what you remove? B/c otherwise Im going to be a smarta$$ and say you need to put back the same amount that you drain out.... Just drained mine the other day via the petcock and I dont think it amounted to more then 2 gallons.

Are you seeing antifreeze on the ground?

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post #3 of 35 Old 08-21-2017, 07:09 AM Thread Starter
BorderWalker
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Hahahahaha no.

I'm looking for more a general estimate. I know "Put back what drains out" is obvious but I'm already low on Coolant to start. So I'm looking more for people with knowledge to give me an avg of how much I should buy AHEAD of time, so that I don't have to force a roommate to drive me to a parts store. I also dont want to overbuy either.

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Originally Posted by jeepjeepster View Post
Are you seeing antifreeze on the ground?
No, and that's what is weirding me out.

I've replaced everything in the engine bay relating to coolant circulation minus the Freeze plugs on the block. I didn't replace the Heater Core at the time because I didn't want to rip apart my dash for one part, but it's the last thing in the system which might be the cause. I don't see weeping coolant on the side of the engines, nothing on the ground, nothing on the bottom, and it's not mixing with my transfluid or my oil, as both remain uncontaminated. The traditional white smoke and cinnamon smell of coolant burning in engine isn't there either. I'm assuming somehow I'm losing coolant via the Heater Core unless someone can give me a better idea. Plus I'm just gonna finally bite the bullet and replace it. It's right now the weakest part of the system.

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post #4 of 35 Old 08-21-2017, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BorderWalker View Post
A general estimate works
A very general estimate? Between 2 and 3 gallons.

Edit:
How fast are you losing coolant. I've had tiny leaks that were impossible to see because the coolant evaporated as soon as it leaked out. It would slowly drain coolant to the point I was adding a quart or so a month. Rented one of the coolant pressure tester kits from the local auto parts place and found three or four small leaks. Tightened up those clamps and it was fixed. That kit really helps spot leaks.
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post #5 of 35 Old 08-21-2017, 07:16 AM
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If the heater core was leaking then the smell in the cabin would be very evident. There is also an oily windshield fogging that is common w/ that failure.

+1 on replacing what is drained, showing I also have a firm grasp of the obvious.


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post #6 of 35 Old 08-21-2017, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
BorderWalker
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That works. I'll pick up a gallon of Coolant and a Gallon of Distilled friday. If I get lucky and actually find pre-mix I'll get 3 gallons of that.

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If the heater core was leaking then the smell in the cabin would be very evident. There is also an oily windshield fogging that is common w/ that failure.
I don't have either of those symptoms, but I also haven't had to run the heat in the jeep for a few months now. However I do remember getting headaches all the time whenever I first ran the heat during winter.

Again, I don't know for a FACT it's the heater core, but short of a wormhole in the Delta Quadrant into Captain Janeway's coffee mug, I've no clue where this coolant is going. Right now I'm considering this preventative maintenance. With everything else replaced in the Jeep related to coolant, I'm expecting the weak links to fail sooner or later. plus, I've had a Heater Core sitting waiting ever since I fixed my AC system last year, I just never ripped into my Dash to replace the Evap Core like I planned too. So better to just do it than let it sit around.

if anyone else can give me a good place to look for the leak I'll gladly rake a peek! But based on Freeze plugs and engine bay I see nothing.

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post #7 of 35 Old 08-21-2017, 07:22 AM
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The gallon of each is a much more cost-effective product than the premixed.


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post #8 of 35 Old 08-21-2017, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingless View Post
The gallon of each is a much more cost-effective product than the premixed.
Well Aware. I just like doing the mixing myself unless I'm pouring into a more or less empty system where I can drain a full gallon of each. Always afraid I'll not get quite 50/50

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post #9 of 35 Old 08-21-2017, 07:31 AM
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My process is to dump half a gallon into an empty antifreeze container, then dump a half gallon of distilled into each antifreeze container, put the caps on and give each a good shake.


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post #10 of 35 Old 08-21-2017, 07:39 AM
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The smell from a leaking heater core would be evident, even w/o using the cabin heat.

If Tom Paris can fix a 36 Ford pickup they snagged from deep space, then he could use his tricorder to locate your coolant leak.




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post #11 of 35 Old 08-21-2017, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
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Youtube is unfortunately blocked at work but I know the scene you speak of x3 Sometimes I wish I could have a tricoder.

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post #12 of 35 Old 08-21-2017, 09:22 AM
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It's not super critical to get it right at 50/50. Depending on the temperature range you expect to be operating the Jeep anywhere from 30/70 to 70/30 is okay. Here in Texas you can get away with a little less coolant. Up north you'd probably want more. I usually just guess to get it close but like I said it's not that big a deal in Texas.
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post #13 of 35 Old 08-21-2017, 10:55 AM
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Seems I've always got a spare antifreeze bottle laying around so I mix it up in that. Ive never trusted the whole pour some in the rad and hope its somewhat 50/50.

I missed that last line in your first post about needing to buy some ahead of time.

How have you ruled out the head gasket slowly leaking?

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post #14 of 35 Old 08-21-2017, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepjeepster View Post
How have you ruled out the head gasket slowly leaking?
I haven't. But if it's leaking via that, it's slow, cause I dont see smoke or smell coolant burning from exhaust. If heater core doesn't fix I'll do a compression test to see if it's headgasket.

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post #15 of 35 Old 08-21-2017, 11:20 AM
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Im not sure if a compression check would show a slow antifreeze leak. How much are you loosing over a certain period of time?

1994 ZJ-I6 w/216,000 mi
1998 ZJ 5.9 w/65,155 mi Slate Black
2004 KJ w/90,300 mi
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