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Unread 06-09-2013, 02:13 AM   #1
ialatham4
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2001 WJ 
 
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Coolant leak

So I have just put in a new water pump, thermostat , and radiator and my coolant is leaking, it looks like it is coming from under the passenger side light. Does any one know what it could be?

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Unread 06-09-2013, 02:38 AM   #2
ADragg
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You're gonna have to crawl under there and try to figure out where it's coming from, but it's very easy to bang up the radiator installing it since it's such a tight fit on the V8's (if that's what you have). Unless you removed the front bumper/grill, header panel, headlights, and disconnected your air conditioning lines (discharging the freon, or whatever it's technically called), and whatever else in order to cleanly removed the entire radiator and fan assembly all together without anything in your way, you could have easily banged a little pin-hole in the radiator or otherwise damaged it. My V8 has the hydraulic fan and I didn't take everything apart like I mentioned. I just did the old "fight with it for hours try to slip the old radiator out and the new one back in between the big ol fan assembly and air conditioning assembly". I didn't think I banged the radiator much at all, but apparently just a little bit of damage occurred from the struggle and I ended up with a pin-hole in it. I ended up being able to seal it with JB Weld and it's held up for a good while now, fortunately.

Anyway, hopefully this isn't the case. Did you replace your hoses? And whether you did or not, did you re-use the crappy stock clamps? I would replace the hoses unless they're in really good condition and DEFINITELY replace the hose clamps and tighten them very well. I replaced my hose clamps with good traditional ones that you tighten with a screw driver or 8mm socket. I tightened them as much as I could with a screw driver and thought it was good. Well, I thought I had another major radiator leak for the 3rd or 4th time and it turned out I just needed to tighten the clamps more. Don't bother with the screw driver, use the socket and tighten them VERY well. It's very likely that they aren't tight enough and you're getting some coolant forcing it's way out of the hoses.
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Unread 06-09-2013, 06:53 AM   #3
arkieoscar
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First thing I would check is the drain valve. They are known to leak and the location is right.
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Unread 06-09-2013, 08:44 AM   #4
99WJ539918
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Check the clamps and thermostat housing. They're on the passenger side on the V8's. And like said above, the drain valve leaks sometimes.
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Unread 06-09-2013, 10:59 AM   #5
narnwv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arkieoscar View Post
First thing I would check is the drain valve. They are known to leak and the location is right.
The drain (petcock) is on the driver's side, however when I drain mine, it does drain onto the bumper mounting plate and go towards the passenger side.
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Unread 06-09-2013, 12:51 PM   #6
ialatham4
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It doesn't really look like it's coming from the radiator it looks like it's coming from the coolant tank area
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Unread 06-09-2013, 02:34 PM   #7
ialatham4
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It was a lose clamp thanks for the help guys
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Unread 06-09-2013, 10:45 PM   #8
ADragg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ialatham4 View Post
It was a lose clamp thanks for the help guys
Knew it!
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Unread 06-10-2013, 01:35 AM   #9
ialatham4
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Soooo it's still leaking... What's the best way to find a leak?
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Unread 06-10-2013, 02:27 AM   #10
ADragg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ialatham4 View Post
Soooo it's still leaking... What's the best way to find a leak?
Get up under the Jeep with a flashlight! Does it just leak when it's hot and you just got done driving it, or does it just sit there and leak all the time? And does it just drip very slowly or does it have a steady leak/drip for a while after you shut it off when you get done driving it?

Get it hot and drive it around and then immediately get out with a flashlight and some eye protection (if needed) and look up under there. Try to find where it's coming from. And pop the hood and see if you can see where it's escaping from above. The leak/drip is coming from somewhere, so the only way to find it is to follow the wet trail and figure out where it's coming out.

Don't use "stop-leak" products. It will just pollute your cooling system with metal flakes and won't work. You can correctly flush the system 10 or 20 times and STILL see those stupid aluminum or copper flakes floating around in your coolant.

By the way, I assume you correctly flushed your system after installing the new radiator and used the correct HOAT approved coolant and not the regular green or orange antifreeze? Also, after flushing with water several times (until all the old coolant was gone), did you refill with the entire radiator with pure, undiluted coolant? You should have gotten approximately the entire gallon of undiluted coolant in there. When you flush the system by running water through it and letting the engine warm up completely with the heater on for 10 minutes so that the ENTIRE cooling system - including the heater core, which holds half the coolant - is flushed, half of that water is still stuck in the heater core when you drain the radiator again. So when you get done flushing it like that several times, you don't want to finally refill the radiator with half water/half coolant because the system is already half full of water from all of the water that's still in the heater core and other plumbing. If you used a diluted mixture to refill the radiator, you'd actually end up with a 75 percent water/25 percent coolant mixture. As long as you got approximately one gallon of undiluted coolant in there (hopefully HOAT coolant, such as Mopar or Zerex G-05), you should be fine if the rest was just clean water (preferably distilled water).

Sorry if you know all of this, but I think it's probably a common mistake that people flush their system with water and then refill the radiator with 50/50 diluted coolant and end up with only 25 percent coolant in there, not realizing there was already about a gallon of water in the heater core (the whole system is about 2 gallons capacity - one gallon in the radiator and hoses, and the other in the heater core and other plumbing.

There IS a method of flushing that completely drains all 2 gallons after each flush, but you'd know if you used that method because it involves removing plugs on each side of the engine block that are a pain to get to (at least on the V8) and possibly removing the thermostat entirely during flushing.
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Unread 06-10-2013, 10:31 AM   #11
ialatham4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADragg

Get up under the Jeep with a flashlight! Does it just leak when it's hot and you just got done driving it, or does it just sit there and leak all the time? And does it just drip very slowly or does it have a steady leak/drip for a while after you shut it off when you get done driving it?

Get it hot and drive it around and then immediately get out with a flashlight and some eye protection (if needed) and look up under there. Try to find where it's coming from. And pop the hood and see if you can see where it's escaping from above. The leak/drip is coming from somewhere, so the only way to find it is to follow the wet trail and figure out where it's coming out.

Don't use "stop-leak" products. It will just pollute your cooling system with metal flakes and won't work. You can correctly flush the system 10 or 20 times and STILL see those stupid aluminum or copper flakes floating around in your coolant.

By the way, I assume you correctly flushed your system after installing the new radiator and used the correct HOAT approved coolant and not the regular green or orange antifreeze? Also, after flushing with water several times (until all the old coolant was gone), did you refill with the entire radiator with pure, undiluted coolant? You should have gotten approximately the entire gallon of undiluted coolant in there. When you flush the system by running water through it and letting the engine warm up completely with the heater on for 10 minutes so that the ENTIRE cooling system - including the heater core, which holds half the coolant - is flushed, half of that water is still stuck in the heater core when you drain the radiator again. So when you get done flushing it like that several times, you don't want to finally refill the radiator with half water/half coolant because the system is already half full of water from all of the water that's still in the heater core and other plumbing. If you used a diluted mixture to refill the radiator, you'd actually end up with a 75 percent water/25 percent coolant mixture. As long as you got approximately one gallon of undiluted coolant in there (hopefully HOAT coolant, such as Mopar or Zerex G-05), you should be fine if the rest was just clean water (preferably distilled water).

Sorry if you know all of this, but I think it's probably a common mistake that people flush their system with water and then refill the radiator with 50/50 diluted coolant and end up with only 25 percent coolant in there, not realizing there was already about a gallon of water in the heater core (the whole system is about 2 gallons capacity - one gallon in the radiator and hoses, and the other in the heater core and other plumbing.

There IS a method of flushing that completely drains all 2 gallons after each flush, but you'd know if you used that method because it involves removing plugs on each side of the engine block that are a pain to get to (at least on the V8) and possibly removing the thermostat entirely during flushing.
Yeah I flushed it correctly and used the right coolant.
And it drips when I'm driving and after I'm driving
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Unread 06-10-2013, 10:39 AM   #12
Cirruslydakota
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You need to apply pressure to the system and observe where its coming from.
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Unread 06-10-2013, 10:45 AM   #13
madmax
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The cooling system must be 100% sealed. A tiny, hard-to-find, hairline crack or hole WILL leak.

The best way is to drive your Jeep around until it reaches the operating temperature (210 degrees), then pop the hood and look for steaming water from either radiator, hose, etc. Use your flashlight to look. Or you'll have to crawl under the Jeep (under the radiator) to find exact location of leak (steaming water). Be sure to wear your eye protection. It takes only, like, five minutes to find the leak.

Steaming water - it's almost like a tea kettle with boiling water, and the steam comes out of it.

Did you spill the coolant while pouring in the radiator? Maybe it's what you thought it's leaking?
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Unread 06-11-2013, 01:12 AM   #14
ADragg
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I have dealt with LOTS of leaks. Leaks that I couldn't afford to fix right away, or was too lazy to fix or didn't have time to, so I just left them be and topped off the coolant as needed. But I'd deal with it leaking on a daily basis and really, the only time saw any steam was in situations where the leak dripped onto a hot metal engine component and burned off or turned into a spraying stream and produced enough liquid to steam. But most of the time when it was just a drip, even a fast drip, it never steamed in my experience. For instance, when you have a leak coming from the thermostat housing (it's a black plastic piece that the lower radiator hose connects to to connect it to the engine block, and the gasket that seals that housing to the engine block can commonly leak), it just drips from the joint between the housing and the engine block that it bolts to, but doesn't steam. So it's not always as easy as looking for where the steam is coming from, in my experience. By the way, if you ever get a leak from the thermostat housing where it connects to the engine block, make sure to just replace the thermostat with a real Mopar one. They're only like $30 and they are new and improved because that's a common leak on these vehicles. The thermostat itself has a rubber seal that acts as the gasket/seal for the thermostat housing and they usually leak because that seal is too thin on the stock thermostat. The new Mopar ones are great and have a much thicker seal that should never leak again.

Anyway, I refer you back to one of my original ideas. It can be hard to find, but it's very likely you slightly banged your radiator on something trying to install it and got a hairline crack or pin-hole in it. Most of the aftermarket radiators are pretty cheap and are very easy to bang up and get holes in. If I ever need to change mine again, I will probably spring $500 for the Griffin all-metal one. Or at least a real Mopar one.

Have you searched all around the engine bay - high and low - and still not been able to figure out where the leak is???
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Unread 06-11-2013, 02:16 AM   #15
Terminal
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It's most likely that your radiator is simply bad and leaking steam/droplets under pressure because the factory plastic end caps that are crimped to the aluminum have developed a seal failure. Over time this will get worse and eventually be quite obvious where it was coming from all along. Just bite the bullet and buy a new radiator.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310/...hread-1533764/

Make sure to check your fan and relay. Failure of these components could have caused extreme pressure making the radiator fail to begin with. All of those component failed on mine -- including the radiator -- a few years ago and has been fine every since I put new ones on.
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