Where could my slow coolant leak be coming from ? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 33 Old 10-13-2021, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
Rylxmp
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Where could my slow coolant leak be coming from ?

Hi there again guys, I currently am dealing with a coolant leak where I lose around 1/2 a cup of coolant around every month. My vehicle is a 2003 jeep gc with the 4.7L H.O. and has 181k miles on it. I have replaced the rad cap, thermostat, lower and upper radiator hoses, and done a coolant flush 2 months ago. The headgasket was replaced along with the cylinder heads being remachined 4 years ago. It seems as if I only lose coolant when the car is operating or when it is cooling down. The car doesn't overheat at all and the only issue i see is dissapearing coolant on the over flow tank and the lower radiator level. I am thinking that it might be the water pump or radiator but wanted some experts to chime in before I throw money on the vehicle or take it to the mechanic. Thank you

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post #2 of 33 Old 10-13-2021, 02:01 PM
Mr. Bitey
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Mine drops about the same amount, I occasionally even get a whiff of it while driving. Not saying yours is the same issue, but I tracked mine to the weep hole on the water pump. The weep hole keeps strain off a slowly dying seal on the pump's shaft. Never leaves a puddle, only leaks when it runs and the system is up to temp/pressure. If you look behind the pulley and under the shaft, you too might find evidence of the weeper doin' his thang. I am guessing the occasional drip hits the pulley and gets sorta vaporized. I have a new pump in the Jeep's tool kit that goes with me everywhere. I will replace it eventually, but am prepared to do it roadside if I have to. In the meantime, I just top it off every month or 2......

2004 WJ, 4.7 N, daily driver.
1967 Jeep J100 panel truck (a-rusted development)
1970 'Cuda, 340 4bbl (10.952et @ 123mph)
1972 Dart Swinger, Gen III 6.4l Hemi (in progress)
1974 AMC Gremlin X, 440 6bbl (trailer queen, 9.466et @ 144mph)
1975 Jeep Cherokee Sport 2-door (in progress)
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post #3 of 33 Old 10-13-2021, 02:03 PM
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When you stop the vehicle so you see any leaks dropping to the ground? I was having an issue with what I thought was a leaky upper radiator hose turned out to be a crack in the neck. Make sure you check the coolant hoses that head back to your firewall for the heater core. This can be harder to diagnose due to the water leaking into the sound mat that is on the firewall
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post #4 of 33 Old 10-13-2021, 02:19 PM
Mr. Bitey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soem0 View Post
turned out to be a crack in the neck.
I've had the cracked neck on more than one WJ. I am sure they can respond differently, but mine showed visible steam from the grill at red lights. I'd also get the occasional drop of coolant on the windshield while I was driving. Also possible each of mine was further gone, or even the shoddy epoxy/silicone patch job the previous owner(s) made helped my results. I supposed a cracked neck in the early stages of failure could weep and be more difficult to locate.....

2004 WJ, 4.7 N, daily driver.
1967 Jeep J100 panel truck (a-rusted development)
1970 'Cuda, 340 4bbl (10.952et @ 123mph)
1972 Dart Swinger, Gen III 6.4l Hemi (in progress)
1974 AMC Gremlin X, 440 6bbl (trailer queen, 9.466et @ 144mph)
1975 Jeep Cherokee Sport 2-door (in progress)
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post #5 of 33 Old 10-13-2021, 02:31 PM
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There could also be a hole in the actual tubes in the radiator. These ones can be really hard to figure out
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post #6 of 33 Old 10-13-2021, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
Rylxmp
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I dont see any coolant on the floor mainly because its such a slow leak that happens when im driving and on top of that I have skid plates under the jeep so it'll fall there instead. I am thinking the water pump aswell man but what I did notice is that the back of the raidator has a lot of dry coolant streaks.
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post #7 of 33 Old 10-13-2021, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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The streaks are either from the old coolant change being messy or maybe from the leaking coolant hitting the fan and getting thrown everywhere
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post #8 of 33 Old 10-13-2021, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Would the holes in a radiator cause steam ? Because that could be a possibility from the streaks i see on the radiator, I thought it was from the coolant change being a little messy but it could be the leaking coolant hitting the fan and getting tossed everywhere.
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post #9 of 33 Old 10-13-2021, 02:43 PM
Soem0
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Yes a small hole will cause steam when it leaks. If you know someone with a pressure tester you could have the cooling system tested as well
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post #10 of 33 Old 10-13-2021, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soem0 View Post
If you know someone with a pressure tester you could have the cooling system tested as well
^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^

Kits start at $50 on Amazon, or check your local parts hut - they may have loaner kits. Putting pressure on the system without 200 degree coolant in the engine gives you plenty of time to hunt for leaks without getting a thread thin scalding pee stream in your ear hole.
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2004 WJ, 4.7 N, daily driver.
1967 Jeep J100 panel truck (a-rusted development)
1970 'Cuda, 340 4bbl (10.952et @ 123mph)
1972 Dart Swinger, Gen III 6.4l Hemi (in progress)
1974 AMC Gremlin X, 440 6bbl (trailer queen, 9.466et @ 144mph)
1975 Jeep Cherokee Sport 2-door (in progress)
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post #11 of 33 Old 10-13-2021, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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I got an appointment scheduled next week now to check out the problem. Thanks for the help guys
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post #12 of 33 Old 10-14-2021, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
Rylxmp
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I have found the leak ! It is located right under the radiator cap facing towards the driver's side. It is this plug i think that looks like it has an abnormally large allen head size. It is seeping out coolant. Is there anyway I can fix this without replacing the radiator? I was looking at youtube on how to replace the radiator and it seemed like a major PITA to switch out. Thanks yet again guys.
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post #13 of 33 Old 10-14-2021, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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I meant to say engine side not drivers side. It's at the radiator neck right under the cap.
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post #14 of 33 Old 10-14-2021, 06:27 AM
Mr. Bitey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rylxmp View Post
It is this plug i think that looks like it has an abnormally large allen head size. It is seeping out coolant. Is there anyway I can fix this without replacing the radiator?.
Not sure what that plug is. Can't say I've ever noticed it before. I looked on mine, and there isn't one, but then I also replaced this radiator 18mo ago. I don't have any OEM WJ radiators laying around to check either. Maybe someone else can chime in. If it was mine, and it is indeed a threaded plug, I'd pull it and goober it up with some RTV. But again, someone else will probably chime in on that.

Regarding replacement, I've done several and it really isn't that bad. The last one (my current WJ) only took a couple of hours. There is plenty of vids on replacement on YouTube. When you find a vid you like, be sure and review the comments - often folks add even easier tips and tricks....

2004 WJ, 4.7 N, daily driver.
1967 Jeep J100 panel truck (a-rusted development)
1970 'Cuda, 340 4bbl (10.952et @ 123mph)
1972 Dart Swinger, Gen III 6.4l Hemi (in progress)
1974 AMC Gremlin X, 440 6bbl (trailer queen, 9.466et @ 144mph)
1975 Jeep Cherokee Sport 2-door (in progress)
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post #15 of 33 Old 10-14-2021, 08:26 AM
Soem0
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I just did mine. It wasn't too bad and I have the hydraulic fan. It's a little time consuming. I just went and looked at my rad and mine also doesn't have this plug
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