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3.0 v6 water tube problems..? or pump

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11 replies to this topic

#1 2stroke1971 (converted)

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Posted March 7, 2010 at 11:23 pm

Ive got a '95 caravan with the V6. It has 153,000 miles on it. When I first got it a couple years ago, it had a coolant leak from the right side.
It turned out to be the water pipe, where it connects to the tube that runs under the manifold to the pump. I got another pipe from the junkyard, put some permatex on the oring, and never heard from it again.

EDIT: In this post, I was using left and right in the sense that I was stnding in front of the van, with the hood up looking at the motor...so right would be drivers, left =passengers side for purposes of this post,.

But now, Ive got a leak in the coolant system again..3 days ago, the heat started blowing cold, and the coolant level was low. We filled it up, and .it was blowing steam from the left side, near the pump area. It was dark when it was doing this, so yesterday in the daylight I tried to get a good look at where the steam was coming from, I drive the car until it was hot, and then idled it while looking, then tried turning it off. No sign of any steam.

Then, today I happened to look under the van and there was a good puddle, popped the hood and the RIGHT side was wet, it was dribbling from the right side of the water pipe, near where I replaced that pipe 2 years ago.

Soooo..... I thinking the water pump may be going up? I know that when the coolant is full, the heat works fine, no overheating so it seems to be pumping alright. Maybe that pipe on the right needs a new oring like it did 2 years ago? Only once was it blowing from the left, now its leaking from the right like it did two years ago.

Heres one question I have: I know that the tube that runs under the manifold fits into the water pump and there is an oring there as well. Can you remove that tube from the right side, or do you have to pull the intake manifold? I thought maybe the oring on the water pump side might be bad.

My plan is to try and replace the orings on the right and left, but Im not sure how to get to the oring on the left where it goes into the pump.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Edited by 2stroke1971, March 8, 2010 at 07:03 am.

#2 1613wrench

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Posted March 8, 2010 at 12:32 am

It's more likely the water pump itself is leaking, the coolant runnong to the left side and down the bellhousing.

Mine did this too.

Time for a water pump, timing belt and those tube o-rings to be replaced.

Edited by 1613wrench, March 8, 2010 at 12:32 am.

#3 2stroke1971 (converted)

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Posted March 8, 2010 at 07:02 am

It may be time for the scrap yard. I was hoping to try the tube rings....it has alot of other stuff wrong with it, just dont know if Im gonna do the pump and belt.

So, can anybody tell me if the tube is removeable from the drivers side?
PS, in my original post, I kept sayin gleft and right....that is as you are standing in front of the car under the hood.

#4 NYBo


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Posted March 8, 2010 at 12:36 pm

While a PITA, a bad water tube isn't a reason to junk the van if the rest of the vehicle is okay. I haven't owned one of these motors in a long time, but I think you can remove the tube from the driver's side. The bigger problem would be properly reinstalling it blind, IIRC.

Maybe you could drop a Volvo-Penta motor from an '84 Bayliner into it... :rolleyes:

#5 John Wood

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Posted March 8, 2010 at 01:11 pm

Best I remember, there is an ear welded to the end of the tube on the driver's side and a bolt that goes through this ear that bolts into the block. This hold the tube in-place. I can't remember if this bolt is accessible without removing the intake manifold. The O-ring on the driver's side can be removed and replaced, but you need to remove 2 big bolts on the tranny bell housing and probably the cross-over exhaust pipe. I had to replace this O-ring when a replaced the tranny on my 96. A dremmel tool with the mini wire brush works pretty good for cleaning up the groove that the O-ring sits in.

For the passenger side, you will need to remove the water pump (and you might as well replace it and the timing belt). Be sure to throughly flush the engine before replacing the old pump.

Also, check that short rubber section hose on the passenger side water pump housing (bypass hose) for any cracks or leaks.

EDIT: I found this picture from an E-Bay seller. This is about the best picture I have ever seen of these tubes. I seriously doubt you could pull the long tube through from the back because of the the bypass tube (it is not on the water pump housing).

Posted Image

Edited by John Wood, March 8, 2010 at 01:50 pm.

#6 digitalrailroader

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Posted March 8, 2010 at 06:38 pm

While a PITA, a bad water tube isn't a reason to junk the van if the rest of the vehicle is okay. I haven't owned one of these motors in a long time, but I think you can remove the tube from the driver's side. The bigger problem would be properly reinstalling it blind, IIRC.

Maybe you could drop a Volvo-Penta motor from an '84 Bayliner into it... :rolleyes:

I actually Did the replacement for the Water Tube in Our caravan, had to remove the Crossover pipe for the exhaust, the Throttle body, as well as a few other things i don't remember right now.

#7 2stroke1971 (converted)

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Posted March 9, 2010 at 08:26 am

While a PITA, a bad water tube isn't a reason to junk the van if the rest of the vehicle is okay. I haven't owned one of these motors in a long time, but I think you can remove the tube from the driver's side. The bigger problem would be properly reinstalling it blind, IIRC.

Maybe you could drop a Volvo-Penta motor from an '84 Bayliner into it... Posted Image

HEH! small world isnt it? Thats a good one! Not sure about that, I had trouble trying to get the penta to fire up last night.....!
Dang I knew I should pick a different name for different boards! LOL

#8 2stroke1971 (converted)

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Posted March 9, 2010 at 08:34 am

The thing is, this van has ALOT of problems, its a long story. It had been my "work and back" van, while we had a 2000 g.caravan for the family car. THen our 2000 got stolen and totaled. No full coverage, so no replacement. The poor old '95 has had to serve as the everything car these last 5 months, and its hurting. Keeps failing emmissions, slider door is jammed hopelessly shut, boidy is a little rough, etc. I have a 3 mile commute, so it would have lasted me 5 years as far as how I was using it before, but we do alot of driving as a family.

I know the deal with these motors...you lose the pump, you lose the belt, bent valves, etc.....so I know its important to keep up on the pump and belt.....If it is ONLY the tube on the water pump side leaking, Id rather just fix that because that would probably get me thru til Im done with this van.

Ive got another van sitting in my garage that needs some work, but is MUCH nicer...that will be the next family car....meanwhile I bought an old B250 full size van for my "me" car. (And to pull my bayliner)

I thought by looking that I would have to remove the intake manifold perhaps, but from some of your replies maybe not. Thanks everyone!

Im gonna price the pump and belt later today, If its not much, Heck I might just do it.

#9 valiant67


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Posted March 9, 2010 at 08:44 am

You won't bend valves if you lose the timing belt on a 3.0.

#10 jdove33

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Posted March 12, 2010 at 02:22 pm

I just replaced the water pump and timing belt in my 95 Caravan. It was leaking coolant down back side of engine on to the bellhousing and also on the front of the engine, down around the crank dampener. This had led me to believe the water pipe was bad. What had actually happened was the pump was leaking out of the weep hole which filled the valley under the intake causing the leak on the back side of the engine and the front as well.

If you do plan on fixing your van, with the amount of mileage on it, you might as well do the the pump, timing belt and tensioner. The water pipe should probably be checked too and replaced if needed. It will need to be taken out trough the back, although taking off the intake made it a lot easier to do, although it was not necessary. The o-rings do not need sealant, just lubricated with water before you install them.

#11 chuckt

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Posted June 25, 2011 at 08:10 am

I always thought that pipe was the goofiest thing when I replaced the head gaskets on my 3L. But, I guess, it was the cheapest way of getting from the front of the motor to the rear. Instead, it would have been nice forthem to have desinged a remote water pump like the 3.8L in my 98. That Mitsu 3L would be one nice motor.

#12 jblair

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Posted June 26, 2011 at 01:27 pm

What is everyone using for water pumps on the 3.0s? I had an 89 that we put about 211,000 mi on and have a 95 that we gotten about 215,000 mi on so far.

On the 89 I did several water pumps & timing belts. I started with a pump from Advanced Auto Parts, but had 3 bad ones in a row. 1st one the packing was leaking, the second & 3rd ones the bell for the timing belt broke on them, one in 2 days and less than 30 mi, the other one if about 3 months and almost 3,000mi. Then I switched to Autozone. Had better luck but it only lasted 50,000 mi not the 75K min. for belt replacement. :(

These were inexpensive, something on the order of $35 as opposed to the dealer's $150ish. I finally got a pump from the dealer. I hated to spend the money, but that pump lasted for over 75K mi.!!! And at about 8 hr for the job, it's not a job I enjoy doing every few months.

As to Chuckt's comments: "That Mitsu 3L would be one nice motor. " I have to agree!!!!! I love it and the fact that you don't take out the head if the belt (or water pump) fails!!!!


Edited by jblair, June 27, 2011 at 12:10 pm.


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