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Unread 02-18-2013, 09:17 AM   #1
JustN11
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Coolant leak- No Puddles

Hey folks!

I have a question for you guys, since Google seems to be of no real help to me.

Here's what's going on:

I've got a coolant leak, that requires me to fill the reservoir about once every 1-1/2 to 2 weeks, depending on how much driving I'm doing.
-It doesn't puddle when it sits.
-The radiator holds at about 18 psi for 60 seconds, before slowly losing pressure.
-The reservoir itself doesn't have any cracks in it, and there is no coolant pooled anywhere in the bay.
-Carpet on the passenger side is dry.
-The exhaust runs clean of any coolant, as far as I can see.
- There are drips of coolant along bottom of fan shroud and front axle, as if it is running from somewhere.
-Weep hole seems dry (though I couldn't get a real good look at it, to be honest) and the water pump doesn't make any unusual noises.

Any one have any ideas on where else I should check?

Thanks!

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Unread 02-18-2013, 09:41 AM   #2
LouC
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Look at the lower corners of the rad, where the side tanks are crimped on, they often leak there. Shine a bright LED flashlight down there I bet you'll see it then.
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Unread 02-18-2013, 09:56 AM   #3
JustN11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouC View Post
Look at the lower corners of the rad, where the side tanks are crimped on, they often leak there. Shine a bright LED flashlight down there I bet you'll see it then.
Awesome, I'll check when I leave work for lunch. Thanks for the tip! Side note, if it is the corner of the radiator, would it still hold pressure or would it be a slow enough leak that it would pass a pressure test?
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Unread 02-18-2013, 10:07 AM   #4
PolkaPower
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My rad had a crack in the top right that I couldn't see until I took the metal piece off. Very slow small leak and it was dripping down to the petcock valve so it took a bit of looking to find it.
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Unread 02-18-2013, 11:32 AM   #5
JustN11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolkaPower View Post
My rad had a crack in the top right that I couldn't see until I took the metal piece off. Very slow small leak and it was dripping down to the petcock valve so it took a bit of looking to find it.
I'll check there as well. Thanks for the help.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 08:13 AM   #6
JustN11
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Just wanted to update you guys. I removed the fan shroud and the radiator support to give the radiator a once over, and found that the bottom of it has started to corrode away and coolant is seeping out of it. It's odd, seeing as the radiator is only 1-1/2 years old. Anyways, I guess I was just thrown off by the pressure test. I'll replace it this weekend. It will be the first time to replace it on my own. It was last replaced by the PO who did it himself. I have the receipt for the radiator so I'm going to take it in to AutoZone and see what "lifetime limited warranty" means. Thanks for the help guys. Anyone have any tips for replacing the radiator? I have a FSM, but I know that there are sometimes easier ways of doing things than what's found in the FSM.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 08:26 AM   #7
PolkaPower
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Nope just pull the old one out and out the new one in. Replace any hoses that need replacing then fill it up and burp it. Get a new cap.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 11:44 AM   #8
LouC
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If you have a rad corroding that is only a year and a half old, something is wrong. It is possible for corrosion to be caused by two things: stray current that is grounding through the rad, and if the coolant starts getting more acidic. There is a procedure for checking the coolant for stray current using a multimeter, and there are test strips to measure the PH of the coolant. This is not well known but important to check. Some places that make rads have this info on their websites.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 02:10 PM   #9
AVR2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustN11 View Post
I have a FSM, but I know that there are sometimes easier ways of doing things than what's found in the FSM.
The FSM will probably tell you to fully drain the coolant, including opening the block drain plugs. In the real world, it's usually recommended that you *don't* touch the drain plugs on an older engine unless they're actually leaking or you've pulled the engine and are doing a rebuild anyway. Simply disconnecting the lower rad hose is all you need to do as far as draining goes.

Also take careful note of the fittings on the old rad you need to remove and swap over onto the new one. When I replaced my rad I completely forgot to pull the rubber grommets off the lower mounting pegs of the old one... by the time I remembered, I'd already dumped the old one irretrievably into the trash. Nobody makes them for the aftermarket and dealership price for replacements was over $40 (just for two rubber grommets!), but thankfully I found them on eBay for half that.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 02:20 PM   #10
PolkaPower
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVR2 View Post
The FSM will probably tell you to fully drain the coolant, including opening the block drain plugs. In the real world, it's usually recommended that you *don't* touch the drain plugs on an older engine unless they're actually leaking or you've pulled the engine and are doing a rebuild anyway. Simply disconnecting the lower rad hose is all you need to do as far as draining goes.

Also take careful note of the fittings on the old rad you need to remove and swap over onto the new one. When I replaced my rad I completely forgot to pull the rubber grommets off the lower mounting pegs of the old one... by the time I remembered, I'd already dumped the old one irretrievably into the trash. Nobody makes them for the aftermarket and dealership price for replacements was over $40 (just for two rubber grommets!), but thankfully I found them on eBay for half that.
Mine fell out. I think I still have one. Zip ties
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Unread 02-19-2013, 02:59 PM   #11
Spanovich008
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Couple smalls tips for replacing the radiator............when tightening the lower hose clamp, make sure you use a socket wrench and not just a flat-head screw driver. I tightened mine with just a screw driver at first, and a week later, I woke up and noticed there was a slight area of coolant that had leaked out over night. Eventually, the leak got worse and I had to remove the fan and shroud and re-tighten the clamp. The leak stopped, and has not leaked a drop since. Believe me, you'll swear it is tight as tight as it can get with just the flat-head screwdriver, but it can get WAY tighter if using a socket wrench.

More importantly (if your Jeep has them) make sure that you tighten the transmission line connections enough. This includes the two clamps on the rubber hose as well as the two connectors on the new radiator. If they are not tight enough, you will be in for a rude awakening when a large puddle of transmission fluid sits right below your lower radiator hose.

Just my two $0.02. Good luck!
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Unread 02-19-2013, 03:00 PM   #12
Spanovich008
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***you'll swear it is as tight as it can get
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Unread 02-19-2013, 03:01 PM   #13
Spanovich008
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*** Just my $0.02. Grrr, I can't type very well
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Unread 02-19-2013, 03:23 PM   #14
PolkaPower
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You should tighten the hose clamps until you see the hose bulge a little. No need to over-tighten. You can damage the worm gear and have it come loose or it can dig into the hose. A screw driver is all you need. The placement of the clamps should be right behind the ridge where you press the hose on.
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