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Discussion Starter #1
For the past few weeks the heat in the car has diminished slowly to all but cold air.

Today, my wife tells me she ran out of antifreeze and refilled it. I came home and there was a huge puddle underneath.

It is leaking on the passenger side over the lower control arm. I hopped on here and found out that the coolant bottle leaking is a common problem. I unbolted it and held it up so I could all sides of it with the car running. Nothing was leaking from it. It was sputtering drops from the bottom pulleys as if it were dripping onto them. I cant really see where its coming from though.

Suggestions?

What do I do next?
 

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It it's dripping from around the pulleys like it sounds like, check the hose connection at the water pump. If that's fine, check the water pump, especially the weep hole and the gasket area where it meets the timing cover. If that's OK, it could be the timing cover gasket itself.
 

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Traditionally, there is a "weep hole" on the bottom of the water pump. However, this is designed to let the owner know when the water pump bushing is worn and should not cause a situation that will leave you desperately low on cooling. It just lets you know the pump needs replacing.

While I have never worked on Vulcan engines you may be well served to get a better look at the water pump and it's complementary hoses. There is a real possibility that either your lower radiator hose developed a leak that has even higher pressure on it when the engine is at operating temperature OR the engine is at higher revs. There will also be a smaller return hose attached to it, if it is like most water pumps I have seen in my life.

I was able to diagnose an intermittent leak from my cooling system by revving the engine to around 3,500 rpm (which made the pressure on the leak more evident).

I have never had a freeze plug go bad but this would cause a serious lead as well. Let's pray that isn't the problem.

Hope that helps,
92SHO97SHO
 

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Actually, have you maybe recently had the water pump replaced? That seems to lead to timing cover gasket failure sometimes.

The hose connection 92SHO97SHO is talking about is just ahead of the back of the plastic shield under the bumper - if that junction is leaking, coolant will drip from the shield.

But from where you describe the leak, I'd definitely start at the water pump and then look at the timing cover iof all the hoses and connections look good.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Im trying to find someone locally that has a pressure tester.

We bought the car awhile ago so it may have had that done. We dont know much about its previous state.

I have to go back to work tonight but Ill start looking at the water pump tomorrow.
 

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I had a leak behind the water pump/Timing cover. I would guess you may have a problem there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I used a pressure tester. Its leaking from a square hole on the firewall. I assume that means heater core.

Im going to do a search for a writeup. If anyone has one, please post it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Dash is apart.

OK, some questions...

How do I remove the clamps on the two heater hoses that go into the firewall? They are both point down towards the bottom of the car. What tool would help me do this? If I squeeze them together and the hose is stuck what do I do?

It says to drain all coolant. Where do I drain it from?

How do I get the heater core out of the compartment it is in? Once I remove the hoses on the back will it be freed up to just slide out?
 

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Are you talking about a spring hose clamp like most of the rest of the hose clamps on the car? If so, just squeeze the tabs together with a pair of pliers (channellocks work great for this) and slide it down the hose past the end of the connection.

If the heater hoses are stuck, you'll probably have to cut and peel the hoses off and replace them.

The easiest place to drain the coolant is the lower rad hose junction above the passenger's side of the plastic shield under the bumper - it's the lowest point in the system. It has another of those spring clamps - just release that and pull it apart and dump it all in a bucket.

Here's the how to from the wiki on replacing the heater core. Hope this helps.

Also, FWIW, the NAPA heater cores are lifetime warranty and I've heard they're better quality than the stock part, if you don't have the new one yet.
 

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Use a Dremmel with a cutoff wheel to cut the clamps in half from the top or side. Replace with worm drive hose clamps.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Im soo frustrated right now. I cant get the hoses off the heater core. Lack of proper tools is probably not helping.

Are you talking about a spring hose clamp like most of the rest of the hose clamps on the car? If so, just squeeze the tabs together with a pair of pliers (channellocks work great for this) and slide it down the hose past the end of the connection.

If the heater hoses are stuck, you'll probably have to cut and peel the hoses off and replace them.

The easiest place to drain the coolant is the lower rad hose junction above the passenger's side of the plastic shield under the bumper - it's the lowest point in the system. It has another of those spring clamps - just release that and pull it apart and dump it all in a bucket.

Here's the how to from the wiki on replacing the heater core. Hope this helps.

Also, FWIW, the NAPA heater cores are lifetime warranty and I've heard they're better quality than the stock part, if you don't have the new one yet.
[/b]

The hose clamp is not sliding! Grrrr IF I cut and replace them do I just buy regular hose? These look like a dealer part. I bet they are expensive to replace.

You talking about the three way junction? How the hell do you get a set of pliers in there to grab the slide clamp? its between the body and the hose. I cant fit my pinky in there.

I hate this car. I hate this car. I hate this car.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Broke plastic tab... ****

Now what do I do?


Thanks for all the help thus far btw. The writeup GREATLY helped!
 
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