My problem...I am losing enough coolant to where the low coolant light
comes on about every 500 miles or so. When I drive the car and then
park it, I can smell coolant but cannot tell where it is coming from
and not a one drop has ever fallen on the driveway. The radiator has
only 5,000 miles on it or so and all of the hoses were replaced at the
same time as the radiator. The radiator shop told me that it may be a
head gasket and that the coolant is blowing out of the exhaust pipe??
Any ideas? It is a 94 gt by the way. Thanks
Bruce, I actually just put a Cobra upper and lower intake manifold on
the car about 2 months ago. Could it be that it is just not tight
enough? I never re-torqued the bolts on the lower after it was driven
because I could not get to all of them. But the only thing...There is
not a drop of coolant anywhere to be found on the ground. So it would
seem like this may not be it. I have heard a few other suggestions,
including a heater core going out. Anyone have an opinion on this
Retorque the intake bolts. I know you will have to take the upper off but
this should be done even if you arent leaking form there. I initially
torqued the ARP intake bolts on my 331 over several days until they firmed
up for good. After driving a few hundred miles, every intake bolt was loose
and needed substantial retorquing.
Did you change the heads? If so, did you use head studs? I had a problem
with antifreeze leaking through the threads of the head studs. I sealed
them with ARP sealer yet most leaked. I pulled it apart and resealed the
studs with aviation sealer and 3 studs still leaked. A call to ARP informed
me that this is common and to use Aluma-Seal to fix it. Worked like a champ
in only a few miles.
Doesn't need to be.....about a month ago, my lower intake was leaking at the
heater core return fitting (brass fitting in a plastic manifold? go figure).
Coolant was dripping down onto the engine and evaporating - thus no coolant on
the ground. Take a really hard look around your intake after getting the
engine up to operating temperature....you just may find what you're looking
'01 Dyna Super Glide
'96 Mustang GT Convertible
Keep your powder dry and don't let your meat-loaf. :o)
Dye is not a magic cure..... we add dye when we can see a leak and need to
know where it is coming from (this may be an over-simplification). If we
can't see the leak, the dye is just an experiment. Nothing beats careful
srutiny and a decent knowledge of where fluids are in a car.
A mechanic is a detective, of sorts..... look at the clues, examine the
evidence... that sort of stuff. It's unfortunate that many of the
"detectives" in the states are bereft of any knowledge but hey (snide remark
coming.... stop here or forever hold your tongue) that's free enterprise,
Be it cooling system, ignition system, electronic system.... our best bet is
to become familiar with what we are working on before we pretend to perform
diagnostics. I say 'pretend' simply because we cannot easily diagnose
something if we don't know how it works....
But.... I digress..... to diagnose a coolanrt leak, we need to understand
where the coolant goes in it's travels through the system so that we can
know where to look. We need to understand that coolant leaves a 'tattletale'
behind and we need to look carefully for these. We need to know that coolant
can leak only when things are cold or only when things are hot or only when
things are turning. We need to know that faulty radiator (or degas bottle)
caps are a leading cause of coolant loss concerns. We need to realize that a
head gasket can seal reasonably well under moderate driving conditions only
to open up in hard driving conditions (this will surely change as time goes
by.... the longer we wait, the spendier it will get).
Hope I didn't bore you...
My 94 GT had a tough to find but a similarly annoying antifreeze leak,
the thermostat housing would leak when the car got warm ! But the
waterpump was replaced on the way to finally solve the problem due to
"evidence". =) Shouldn't a blown head gasket have smoke from the
The following information I believe applies to a 4.6l engine.
Burnt antifreeze will generally have a smell of it's own... somewhat
different from just hot anti-freeze (it will be acco0mpanied by lot's of
steam in the exhaust). I have seen these loose coolant through the weep hole
in the water pump only when the motor is warm and the engine is running.
Crawl underneath or use a mirror to check for the tattletale trail from the
bottom weep hole on the pump.
I assume this is a 5.0.... coolant can also weep from the intake manifold
corners.... the corner bolts are prone to corrosion and can stretch or
firstname.lastname@example.org (Ross Ondrusek) wrote in message
I had the car put on a lift and had a pressure test done. The
results...blown left head gasket. It is actually coming out of one of
the head bolts and leaving a little trail on the underside of the car.
I guess I am not a good "detective" after all! Estimate...$850 total
to replace both. Good news- my bro-in-law has a lot of experience with
5.0's and we can fix it ourselves. Also, it's not like it has to be
done by this weekend. Also gives me an excuse to get some gt-40's
since it will all be taken apart! Bad news- Nonetheless, it will still
be a pain to work on and fix. Thanks for the help guys.
Fortunately replacing head gaskets on a 5.0 is not that bad.
Easilly done on a Saturday IF you have all the gaskets and sealers you need.
Be sure to get some kind of a manual with torque specifications and USE a
go to auto zone and get one of their free rentals on a coolant pressure
tester( i put it on my credit card and get full credit when i bring it
back) its probably the rad. cap.. mine was blowing at 4 lbs. of
pressure.. it should have been holding until 16 lbs. of pressure... also
let the engine warm up so the thermostat is open and put the tester on
the radiator and put some pressure on the rad. and look under the water
pump with a mirror( i normally take a small mirror and attach it to a
thin wooden dowel with some duct tape) and check under the water pump...
look for the weep hole(about 1/4 in. hole that lets the coolant out if
the seal is messed up)... i had this and the coolant was dripping on the
exhaust pipe and you could never see it as it evaporated first before
hitting the ground.... the cure for the ultra sensative low coolant
recovery tank sensor is to add about one cup of extra coolant to the
tank as this is a known problem on most ford web sites.. the sensor is
too sensative and the cure it to give it a little over the normal amount
to take care of this problem... if you got the smell of coolant coming
from the engine area you probably have a leak that is small and will
only show up under pressure and is hitting the engine block or exhaust
before hitting the ground... the pressure tester will help you out on
BE VERY CAREFUL with the pressure tester from Autozone.
It's a universal unit and relies on friction to hold it in place.
It easilly slips out under normal pressure!
How do I know? Because my car, my garage, an I were bathed in an EXPLOSION
of antifreeze when that sucker poped out.
Secure it with some bailing wire before you pressurize it!!!
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