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98.5-02 Powertrain Discussion of components that are directly involved in the power production and all that is needed to get and keep the truck moving . Engine , Transmission Ect..NO ADVERTISING .

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Old 01-08-2012, 06:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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intermittent coolant leak

Folks,

Friday, the Ram puked about a quart of antifreeze all over the drive. Relatively short drive, maybe 9 miles, from sitting overnight. Antifreeze was all over the engine bay and dripping out the bottom.

Cleaned things up, and restarted to find like. Did not leak. Drove it 100 miles that day, and did not leak another drop.

Saturday morning it pukes some again - much less - drive was shorter - but still has anti-freeze all over the engine bay.

Today, started it up, no leaking at first. Leaked some later one. Only seems to leak when it's "half-warm" and doesn't leak for a long period of time before "sealing" and being fine the rest of the day.

Waterpump? I can't find anything else. Hoses are new, no visible signs of radiator leakage, and most of the fluid is being blown by the fan up and over the engine, toward the drivers side, coating the upper radiator hose (new) fuse box, and all drivers side battery in coolant spray.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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When did you replace the hoses, did this start about the same time? Have you looked at the hoses where the coolant goes to the cab above the oil filter?
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would put a coolant system pressure tester on it first pump it up to 16 psi and watch, if you don't have one any big parts store(Advance,Autozone,O'reilly) have tool loaner programs, you said new hoses? could have a pinhole in one I had one not too long ago brand spanking new leak on me, turns out it was a hole that the manufatcurer put in the hose to attach the little red plastic hanger under pressure it sprayed like a fountain!!!
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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you need to pressure test the system when cold,as it may be losing the seal at the hoses or water pump. when it gets a little heat like you say it practically stops when warmed up. i've had this situation on gas engines in the past[diesel at this point don't matter]. you may have to just retighten the hoses some more or water pump replacement. borrow the tool needed and bring it home or where the unit is and check pressure when cold , don't drive it to the shop to get pressure tester. then see what you got. good luck jim e.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hmm. Well, new hoses have been on since... the first of November. Truck has been driven about 3000 miles since the new hoses were installed. This started Friday, and resulted in a pretty decent puddle under the truck twice now. I checked all hose connections, and wiped down all hoses, and could not make the hoses leak. I think I'm dealing with something else. Pressurizing the system is a good idea. Still don't know if that will make a water pump leak though... thoughts?
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Oh, and it refuses to leak when dead cold - only seems to do it when it's partially warmed up. Not hot, but not cold. Temp must be over 150*F, but before the thermostat opens and the entire cooling system gets up to temp. Weird - I agree. That's why I'm asking for ideas ;-)
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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it won't leak very much if at all if there is no pressure in the system,once you warm it up they sometimes seal up. if you check it cold with a pressure tester it will show where the seal has been broken. thats why they make these tools, to help in the proper diagnosis. as for the water pump it has a seal inside near the[ weep hole] when you put pressure on it [air]from the tester out it will come[coolant]. believe me on this as i have had to bring my tools to the customers house and test the system cold in the driveway because by the time they drove to the shop it warmed up a little and the leak had sealed. try it ,i could be wrong but it won't cost you an arm and a leg to check these things out. you asked for suggestions i have given them . the rest is up to you. let us know how you made out.``````` ``````````` thanks jim e.
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Last edited by ex04; 01-08-2012 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Feel the weep hole on underneath side of water pump. If finger gets wet then water pump has leaked.
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I had something similar to this happen to me before as well, it would leak prior to the thermostat opening, then once it was up to temp and the thermostat opened it would quit. Its almost like there is more pressure in the rad at half warm due to the tstat restriction and the pressure being created by heat.

As others have said, you need to pressurize the system and hunt for the leak. Before it leaves you on the side of the road somewhere with an overheated engine!
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Mine was doing the same.. Finally located the leak from the weep hole in the water pump. Took about thirty minutes and $50 to replace. All good now
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:41 AM   #11 (permalink)
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yeah it's pressure building up before the t-stats open, coin funny things with fluid pressure. Ive seen a Cummins 400 Blow a heater line coolant hose at the same time the engine ran out of fuel. I have seen my motor leak just like yours, still can find the leak, but it rarely happens. Let her warm up/cool down properly when towing, yet alone all the time.
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