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-   -   '02 Leak or NOT '02 Leak? (https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310/02-leak-not-02-leak-4371895/)

Mattyjm 09-21-2019 03:59 PM

'02 Leak or NOT '02 Leak?
 
THAT is the question...

I was making some stops around town tonight and the first time I got out of my 2002 WJ, 4.0L i6/42RE, I smelled antifreeze. I looked underneath the engine, and, sure enough, I see antifreeze dripping on the ground under my water pump.

I popped the hood(with the engine shut off) and could see the area around my thermostat housing was all wet with coolant. Top rad hose wasn't stiff at all, and engine temp was totally normal. I just figured I had a leaking gasket. I went to AdvanceAuto and picked up a new 195 T-Stat and a gasket and a gallon of coolant. As I was getting back in the WJ, I noticed it had leaked quite a bit while I was in the store, and it was still dripping pretty aggressively.


I drove it 14 miles home with zero problems. Shut the engine off, popped the hood to have a look, and now the T-Stat housing is bone dry and there's no leaking whatsoever going on. Coolant tank is a little low but far from empty....

What the hell just happened?

jtec 09-21-2019 04:24 PM

get a cooling system pressure tester, makes finding coolant leak trails easy and safe, no moving parts or HOT parts, no air to blow away traces of coolant...

I think you ASSUMED the area that was wet was the leak - overlooked hoses, radiator, weep hole, cooling fan blows coolant around, the coolant under pressure it 'squirts' .

Pressure cap may have opened, fan failed. .

99wjtx 09-21-2019 04:39 PM

I'm not sayin' it was aliens but it was aliens!

Mattyjm 09-22-2019 02:59 PM

I topped off the coolant reservoir and we took it for a 7 mile ride. No coolant leaking anywhere and the level in the coolant jug stayed the same. We went hiking for about an hour and returned home. Jeep was running at full operating temp and not a degree warmer or cooler. Checked it after the trip home. Still, no leaks or coolant anywhere and no antifreeze smell at all.

99wjtx 09-22-2019 04:52 PM

I've heard stories and have had personal experience with seals only leaking intermittently. I think it's especially true under lower pressure applications like the coolant. The thing is, you probably can't rely on it to never leak again even if it has mysteriously stopped for a while. Some tiny "port" or pathway for the coolant may have gotten plugged by some debris in there, for instance, or if you had ever used a stop-leak product in the coolant at some point in the past then it may have finally done its job. Who knows.

Mattyjm 09-22-2019 08:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 99wjtx (Post 40747381)
I've heard stories and have had personal experience with seals only leaking intermittently. I think it's especially true under lower pressure applications like the coolant. The thing is, you probably can't rely on it to never leak again even if it has mysteriously stopped for a while. Some tiny "port" or pathway for the coolant may have gotten plugged by some debris in there, for instance, or if you had ever used a stop-leak product in the coolant at some point in the past then it may have finally done its job. Who knows.

It's a mystery to me. I've never used stop-leak type products in any of my WJs. I have a 32 mile run to work tomorrow morning, so we'll see what happens. I always carry a jug of coolant in each of my WJs, just in case. It's gotten me home on more than one occasion, that's for sure.

I did replace the T-stat and gasket in my '02 WJ earlier this year. I torqued the housing bolts down properly, but never retightened them. Maybe that's the problem here. I don't know. I just know it was leaking quite a bit of coolant, and now it's not...


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