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Coolant leak, 00 Ram van 5.2L V8

Discussion in 'Vans' started by NssJ, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. NssJ

    NssJ Member

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    Trying to find a coolant leak. 00 Ram B3500 5.2L V8.

    It's between the block and whatever the water pump mounts to. Looks like it might be part of the timing cover. I'm used to import 4cyl's, so unsure what this bracket thing is. It only leaks after the engine is fully warmed up, then shut off. No leak while cold, or while running. Doesn't appear to drip down from above, just runs in the groove between parts. With a mirror, I can see top of thermostat housing looks rusty, but it looks dry. Pics taken from underneath engine.

    What does the water pump mount onto? What all has to be removed to redo that gasket (beyond the water pump)?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks
     
  2. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
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    Get a detailed (factory) service manual with pictures and procedures for R&R timing cover. There are O-rings between the aluminum cover and iron block that can leak coolant. You also may find corrosion from old coolant and the interaction of the 2 different metals over the years.
    Drain coolant. Remove fan shroud. Remove front engine brackets. Decide whether to replace timing chain and water pump while it's apart.
    Some coolant may enter the oil pan when the cover is removed and the only way to get it all out is to drop and clean the pan.
    Give it about a days work.
     
  3. TWX

    TWX DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
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    Mounted to the front of the engine block is the timing cover. Behind the timing cover you'd find the crank and cam pulleys, as well as the timing chain and possibly a tensioner depending on year.

    I've cleaned out the coolant that got into the oil pan by flushing oil through when the timing cover is off. It seemed to work well enough.

    While the timing cover is off check the slop in the timing chain, and replace with a new timing set if necessary.

    This will be a stupid question before you dig this deep in... There are no pinhole leaks in the radiator hoses or a bypass hose or anything, right? A tiny little hole could spray coolant into another area and make it look like something else is wrong.

    Stupid question, in one of your other threads you've commented on drivability problems, have you considered a cracked head or bad head gasket or bad intake manifold gasket as a possible source of your problems?
     
  4. NssJ

    NssJ Member

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    Timing Cover. Thanks, thought so, but wanted to check.

    Figured I'd ask 1st, might be a common problem in that area that's a cheap or simple fix.. I'm not sure what all is up there, but it seems like a lot to tear into just to inspect on top of the timing cover. It could be where the thermostat housing is. I can see on top of it, but not where mates with the block. I can't really tell if there's any coolant hoses running by that area. Hard to see with a/c & alt still on... I ordered a smaller inspection mirror I should be able to look closer when I get it.
    It doesn't seem to drip down from anywhere, it just starts to show a wet spot in the groove at the top corner. The edges of the heads look dry & clean. The other side of the timing cover is dry, but looks like it may have leaked down there in the past. Its a very slow drip that waits a min after shutting off to start dripping. I'm trying to decide if its worth diving into now or not. Don't plan on keeping the van too much longer after I move with it. Motors at 90k miles, I can tell the water pump has been replaced at least once already (bright orange rtv on pump and everything around it).

    Don't think its a head gasket. Coolant and oil both stay clean and don't appear to be mixing, Neither is really changing fluid level either. I wouldn't have noticed this leak except I was looking for an A/C leak under the van and saw the drip trail. The overflow bottle is still on the line I filled it to a week ago.

    The other issue seems fuel related, not really affecting drivability. Just likes to stall out shortly after adding gas. Possibly fuel pump or its connecter, cause once it stalls, gas gauge reads zero, and won't restart for about 15 min, then starts and runs fine & gas gauge works again. Runs fine most the time, until I add gas... Also might have just been half a tank of really old gas when I got it...
     
  5. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    Your best bet is to borrow a cooling system pressure tester and pressure the system. Especially on the front of the motor with the heat evaporating some and the fan blowing the rest sometimes it may not be leaking from where it looks at first glance.
     
  6. TWX

    TWX DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
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    There's a weep hole on the water pump at the bottom. Normally when failed completely it blows water straight down, no idea if it can seep.

    There is a bypass hose at the top on the LA-engined models, which are the '64-'93 small blocks. The Magnum engines are the next evolution of the LA engines, so it's possible that the bypass hose is still there. That hose blew out on my Cordoba once and I had to fix it.

    Before I finished submitting this, it does appear that there is a bypass tube and a bypass hose on this era Magnum V8. I checked for a '00 Ram 3500 with 5.2L V8. I don't know where they run from/to, nor how they're installed, but it's a possibility.

    As valiant67 stated, rent or buy a test tool to pressure-test the cooling system. A leaky hose should be obvious.
     
  7. NssJ

    NssJ Member

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    It only leaks when off, after running it up to normal temp. So fan isn't blowing anything around.

    I checked the weep holes, but no trace of coolant there. Water pump has been replaced at least once already (new RTV).

    Got a smaller inspection mirror on order that should fit up over timing cover, so I'll look up there when I get it, try to see if I can find that bypass tube if its up between the heads or something. I know Fords like to hide them under the intake manifold there.
    If I still can't see, then rent pressure tester sounds good.

    Thanks
     
  8. TWX

    TWX DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
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    On LA engines, some of the accessory bolts that go through the water pump don't always seal up real well in the water pump. I expect that the Magnum engines could be similar. There could be a weep past the threads in such an area, you might need to pull the accessory bolts, put some thread sealer on them, and reinstall.
     
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  9. NssJ

    NssJ Member

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    I put in a tablespoon of pepper, Didn't seem to leak last time I drove it, going to check again, but temp fix A working so far.


    That will probably be next step if its still leaking. Thanks.

    I just don't feel like going all the way to the timing chain on a van I'm gonna use like a uhaul once, then trade in on something smaller. Though I don't plan on keeping it, I'm not trying to really screw the next owner over, pepper flushes back out, unlike stop leak...
     
  10. TWX

    TWX DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
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    Yeah, I hear you. My guess is that if it's just weeping and if the coolant level isn't appreciably falling, as long as you keep an eye on both the level and on the temperature (bearing in mind that temperature and pressure have a direct relationship) then you'll probably be fine. I've owned worse-leaking vehicles at times.
     
  11. NssJ

    NssJ Member

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    Thank you!!!
    Pulled both bolts near the leak, waited for all coolant to stop. Put rtv on both bolts at distances around where gaskets mate. Also found one bolt head hanging out an inch & barely finger tight on the other side. Whoever put this water pump on, did a horrible job. Re torqued all pump bolts with torque wrench correctly.
    Not a drop has leaked in 2 days. I think its actually fixed.
    Thanks
     
  12. NssJ

    NssJ Member

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    Nope, spoke too soon. Whole left side of timing cover gasket is pissing coolant with engine running.

    So, parts list suggestions please(anything I don't list, but might need):
    Gonna do thermostat & gasket while I'm in there.
    Upper radiator hose, flared end at radiator, and while I can reach engine side.
    New water pump just because my luck with vehicles and overheating.
    Water pump gasket, timing cover gasket. It looks like O-rings ImperialCrown spoke are part of one gasket in timing cover set?
    Water pump stud kit. The 2 bolts I did pull weren't great, and no leaks is my biggest priority.
    Bypass hose.
    Cloyes timing chain set is cheap enough to just do it anyways.
    Oil pan gasket: Front corner of it started leaking oil now anyways.

    Water Pump brand suggestion for these motors? And what/where is a threaded heater port?
    Do the Water Pump Inlet Tube's normally need replaced? Outwardly looks ok. I'm guessing a rubber o-ring on the bottom. Would o-ring come with pump or pump gasket set?
    What is "Sleeve 'N' Seal" on a Fel-pro timing cover gasket set? I've done timing belts, never a chain though, don't quite understand this.
    Thanks
     
  13. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    The crank may be worn where the timing cover seal contacts it. The good kit includes a sleeve that slides over the end of the crank and provides a clean, new surface for the seal to work with. I'd recommend it on a higher mileage older vehicle. I did that on my 1993 Dakota and it eliminated a minor oil seepage issue.

    The water pump should include a new O ring for the inlet tube. I've never seen the tube look bad even on older vehicles so it may be fine.
     
  14. NssJ

    NssJ Member

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    Can I use the sleeve kit even if it doesn't end up being worn down? I'm probably ordering all parts online, would rather not have to make returns halfway into repair... Van is at 90,000 miles, not sure if that's considered high for American vehicles.

    Any specific spots or amounts to RTV on the pump bolts? I know coolant came out on the 2 I pulled, and my guesses along the threads apparently weren't right. Thin coat the whole bolt?
     
  15. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    Yeah you can use the sleeve no matter what. The sleeve just slides over the snout and has an adhesive if I remember correctly.
    At 90k miles you'd probably be OK (but you never know) without the sleeve but it is fine to use it.
    Honestly, I've never had a problem with the bolts and leave then bare, I can't hep you there.
     
  16. TWX

    TWX DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
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    Dumb question, since it's coolant leaking, not oil, and the coolant is theoretically isolated from the crank entirely, would it be more likely a waterpump gasket problem, or a corroded water pump or timing cover?
     
  17. NssJ

    NssJ Member

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    Pump to timing cover area is clean and dry. Its between the timing cover and the block. From the look of the gasket kit, the water port likely blew outward only. There is some rust and junk there, but I'll clean it good and use RTV. Hopefully not too corroded yet. Oil and coolant both recently changed, both clean, not mixing. Oil level not changing at all.
     
  18. NssJ

    NssJ Member

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    I looked up in the back of the harmonic balancer with a flashlight. Its dry and clean. I'm gonna skip ordering the sleeve n seal kit for now.

    The Fel-pro sleeve is only like $0.60 more if ordered out of the kit. If I did end up needing it, I'd need to spend $45 to order and ship the install tool, and I'd be stuck waiting on that to come in anyways.

    National's sleeve kit is $27 shipped, and comes with its own install tool. Since I'd be waiting on the tool either way, I'll just wait and get cheaper sleeve/tool combo if needed later. Unsure about felpro one, but national one states it uses original seal size, so the regular felpro kit one will fit fine with or without this sleeve.

    Worst case scenario, I can always just redo the cover seal with a sleeve later by itself too.I plan on trading this van in after I move with it. The body has been beat to death, and its just too big to wanna drive in downtown Denver. Not trying to be a dick to the person after me with shady repairs, but not worth a lot of extra money or time either.
     
  19. TWX

    TWX DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
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    No wetness above the water pump passages through the timing cover?

    I'm wondering if water is seeping down from a bad intake manifold gasket or bad head gasket or bad water neck...
     
  20. NssJ

    NssJ Member

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    Its right on that top corner of the timing cover. When I took out those 2 pump bolts and put rtv on the threads and retorqued all pump bolts, went from drip to open floodgate. So the leak is definately there, clear as day after retorquing bolts correctly. I had looked all around there with a lighted mirror before, thermostat housing is dry, heads appear dry. Its right at that corner, case the top of the timing cover was dry aside from the tip of that corner, and it only leaked on the one side. Now it pours clearly out the side.
    I'll be redoing bypass hose, thermostat, and everything else once I'm in there, but the leak location is obvious now.
     

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