So I have the dreaded waterfall - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 15 Old 08-18-2017, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
BDW
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So I have the dreaded waterfall

Sounds like a waterfall under the dash, lots of gurgling when starting cold in the AM. Doesn't do it again all day. Seems to be no coolant loss yet, this has been going on about five days now and it's been driven a lot. Judging from the coolant overflow tank, when it cools it sucks in air someplace rather than sucking coolant out of the tank.

So what's the chances this is anything other than the heater core? EVERTHING in the cooling system is NEW. And the new heater core's in warranty. But the warranty is a Florida shop, and I'm in Colorado.

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post #2 of 15 Old 08-18-2017, 08:53 AM
ChrisHager
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Have you needed to add coolant or do you just notice the noise? Any windshield fogging or wet passenger floorboard? When was it serviced?

It could be as simple as needing to burp the air out of the system, especially if it recently had any cooling system maintenance done on it.
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Weird, I didn't realize you could use vomit as coolant.
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-18-2017, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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No fogging, the cooling system work was all done a few months ago. Last time I opened it up was loosening the top rad hose to replace the alternator a month ago or more, and the noise just started this week.

And the floorboard was wet, but the kicker is I had some rain leak in from the top of the windshield and down into the same corner. SMH. The liquid on the carpet appears to be just rain not coolant. I wonder if the heater core can leak and go out the ac drain?

I'll let it cool and burp it again tonight.

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post #4 of 15 Old 08-18-2017, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm... Just checked my memory against the FSM, and the 4.0 doesn't require bleeding the air out like the 4.7. It's self purging and so this is even more discouraging. Best guess right now is a minor weep in the heater core that's too small to be an obvious leak, yet big enough to admit air under vacuum. May have to go find some dye and a UV light.

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post #5 of 15 Old 08-18-2017, 09:30 PM
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What you are describing was the first symptom I got when my head gasket started to fail (didn't know it then). The leak was so minor at first all it did was let just a little bit of air in the coolant and I'd get the waterfall sound on the first start of the day. Over time it started doing it more often and the the overflow tank started filling up with coolant.

If you cant find anywhere that coolant is leaking/air getting in, I'd use a combustion leak detector to see if you have exhaust gasses in your coolant. If so, then your head gasket is bad.
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post #6 of 15 Old 08-19-2017, 12:18 AM
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The waterfall seems to be a symptom on 4.7 HG's going out. I haven't heard of it happening to a 4.0, but i guess its not impossible.

Pressure test your cooling system and see if it holds pressure to spec. Send an oil analysis in a few thousands miles to Blackstone lab and they'll tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt if there is sodium or potassium in your engine oil.
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-19-2017, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Found it! At least I think so. Tried a different approach this morning. Previously I've been looking for leaks when hot and under pressure- nada. Today I started checking connections while cold and there's a damp spot weeping out where the top rad hose meets the thermostat housing nipple. The very same connection I removed to install the alternator.

Took it apart, cleaned, and reseated the clamp. I'll update in a few days if this fixed it or not. Great ideas on used oil analysis and checking for combustion gasses and pressure testing. I'll do UOA next oil change for sure, just to get a report on what's happening internally with this engine.

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post #8 of 15 Old 08-19-2017, 05:32 PM
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If that doesn't work try replacing the radiator cap. Read in another thread here how it can allow coolant to escape and let air in when it doesn't seal right, and that turned out to be the problem on my 4.7. Waterfall gone.
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-20-2017, 01:06 PM
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You should be able to squeeze the upper rad hose cold and hear the coolant push through the cap.
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-22-2017, 12:27 PM
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Based on another thread on this subject: clean up the radiator drain and then keep an eye on it looking for any sign of weeping.
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post #11 of 15 Old 08-22-2017, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Today all is quiet, fingers crossed. The heartburn I have over this is the entire cooling system is new. Except the engine. Hoping it's not the head gasket going. Next oil change I'm sending it out for analysis, and if the noise continues I'll test the coolant for combustion gasses.

Doesn't help being 3k miles from my shop, so if anything major comes up I've got to pay for repairs. It's not really the money that bugs me, I am seldom satisfied with the quality of the work done. And I'll probably be far away from any repair shop by the time problems surface with their work.

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post #12 of 15 Old 08-22-2017, 09:29 PM
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I have the u-view combustion gas tester and it didn't help much. There has to be a decent size headgasket leak for it to turn yellow. Since the u-view has the fail safe double chamber, they should both turn yellow from blue if there is a leak. The best I got was the lower chamber got a bit green, which I attribute to sucking up some coolant. Still had a small, slow headgasket leak.
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post #13 of 15 Old 08-22-2017, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BDW
Today all is quiet, fingers crossed. The heartburn I have over this is the entire cooling system is new. Except the engine. Hoping it's not the head gasket going. Next oil change I'm sending it out for analysis, and if the noise continues I'll test the coolant for combustion gasses. Doesn't help being 3k miles from my shop, so if anything major comes up I've got to pay for repairs. It's not really the money that bugs me, I am seldom satisfied with the quality of the work done. And I'll probably be far away from any repair shop by the time problems surface with their work.
it took a few days of driving to and from work and a few 3/4 to WOT accelerations for me to push all the air into the radiator and get it vented out of the rad. The book says 3 heat cycles. My vent valve on the rad cap is pretty tight. Sometimes (cold) I could squeeze the upper hose and push coolant or air out the cap and other times it was sealed tight with a cold system.
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post #14 of 15 Old 08-23-2017, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by BDW View Post
Hmmm... Just checked my memory against the FSM, and the 4.0 doesn't require bleeding the air out like the 4.7. It's self purging and so this is even more discouraging. Best guess right now is a minor weep in the heater core that's too small to be an obvious leak, yet big enough to admit air under vacuum. May have to go find some dye and a UV light.
FSM or not, you may well find that it is much better after doing some bleeding. The high radiator hose often holds a bubble.

If your cap has a very small vacuum leak, you will gradually pull in some air over time.

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post #15 of 15 Old 08-24-2017, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jay-h
FSM or not, you may well find that it is much better after doing some bleeding. The high radiator hose often holds a bubble. If your cap has a very small vacuum leak, you will gradually pull in some air over time.
for the 4.2 and 4.0 I always loosened the hose on top of the t-stat housing during filling till the coolant comes out to make sure no air is in the T-Stat housing.
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