Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

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infinite.chris
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Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by infinite.chris » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:52 am

So not having gotten down to check out the van I'm buying, I'm curious what kind of trouble I'm getting into, here's most of his post, verbatim..

COOLANT LEAK drivers side top corner of intake/head. Not sure if gasket or head???? Just where it leaks..originally thought it was a T stat..after replacing it I saw the real problem...still runs good just can't drive...It is an EXTERNAL LEAK and NOT BURNING COOLANT

I'm mainly curious if he's right that this can't be driven, PERIOD, or if it would be okay for 10, 20, 30... 48 miles? I mainly ask the last b/c that's the distance from him to me. The price I'm getting it for, I really can't lose, he says high miles, but high for me in that vintage Astro is 250k-300k+ The only other tidbit I heard from him was that it doesn't have heat, my best guess is that /could/ be stemming from the gasket issue, but clueless there as well.

I'll have more pics tomorrow, can't wait to hear her turn over :D
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Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by doyoulikeithere » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:20 am

funny. I got my 95 astro for 390 bux, plux 60 to her BF for the trailer ride to my place. Thats why I said earlier it was "Like" 400 bux.
Anyways, on the phone, her BF told me it had a bad head gasket, I kinda forgot about it for a while. A week or two later, I drove over to look at it.
I talked to the daughter, and I used jumper cables to start it up. ten or fifteen minutes of looking it over while it ran, and the mom showed up.
I asked her how she knew the head gasket was bad,and she told me... After it runs for a while, the cab fills up with steam. I smiled because I knew right then that it was a bad heater core.
I fixed that and drove it a lot. Sounds like your probably not gonna be that lucky if he sees the leak and all. Got a friend with a good trailer? a coolant leak will lead to an overheat pretty quick. Depending on how fast it leaks is how far you can get.
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infinite.chris
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Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by infinite.chris » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:27 am

doyoulikeithere wrote:funny. I got my 95 astro for 390 bux, plux 60 to her BF for the trailer ride to my place. Thats why I said earlier it was "Like" 400 bux.
Anyways, on the phone, her BF told me it had a bad head gasket, I kinda forgot about it for a while. A week or two later, I drove over to look at it.
I talked to the daughter, and I used jumper cables to start it up. ten or fifteen minutes of looking it over while it ran, and the mom showed up.
I asked her how she knew the head gasket was bad,and she told me... After it runs for a while, the cab fills up with steam. I smiled because I knew right then that it was a bad heater core.
I fixed that and drove it a lot. Sounds like your probably not gonna be that lucky if he sees the leak and all. Got a friend with a good trailer? a coolant leak will lead to an overheat pretty quick. Depending on how fast it leaks is how far you can get.
That's kinda how I see it. If its not head, me and three jugs of 50/50 will be coming back in her. Put put at 45, eyeballs glued to themo gauge. My subaru I paid 400 for, guy said it had electrical issues, we drove it from north of detroit to delta ohio (two hours and change) at points up to 85. Only glugged in 1st and 2nd. Gotta love cheap: read non-mech finds
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Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by doyoulikeithere » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:46 am

listen for rod knock or other knocks/ticks. If it leaks coolant, it could have been overheated a bunch already.
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Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:00 pm

What if you left the radiator cap loose so it doesn't build any pressure. Less likely to blow the coolant out.
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1995 Astro 2WD conversion 4.11 posi, shift kit, DHC rock rails - sold to Skippy
1998 Astro 4x4 D44, D60, NP231, full hydraulic system with 9k# Milemarker winch and snow plow - sold to Lockdoc
2003 Astro AWD all stock - traded for a 3/4 ton truck
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Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by infinite.chris » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:12 pm

doyoulikeithere wrote:listen for rod knock or other knocks/ticks. If it leaks coolant, it could have been overheated a bunch already.
He /says/ it doesn't have any ticks. He tried to get it to turn over while I was there, but no luck.
LiftedAWDAstro wrote:What if you left the radiator cap loose so it doesn't build any pressure. Less likely to blow the coolant out.
Maybe? I'm not chancing it though, renting a U-Haul plus trailer tonight to get it to my mech. The leak that's in it is pooling / coming from right by the front bolt on the engine itself. (What I would do for a couple extra minutes while I was there)
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Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by astrozam » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:09 pm

possibly a intake gasket leak and/or water pump weap hole

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Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by infinite.chris » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:11 pm

astrozam wrote:possibly a intake gasket leak and/or water pump weap hole
I'm hoping it's the former. A whole whopping $5? thank you very much! :D

How hard is that to get at and change?
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Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by astrozam » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:15 pm

I've got a how to for the 95 somewhere here on the forum, plus several others have documented bits and pieces of a intake gasket replacement, I'm running late for work but will try to post the link up when i can

infinite.chris
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Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by infinite.chris » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:31 pm

astrozam wrote:I've got a how to for the 95 somewhere here on the forum, plus several others have documented bits and pieces of a intake gasket replacement, I'm running late for work but will try to post the link up when i can
Thanks! I'll thumb through search tonight before I start wrenching. I can't wait to see her run ^^

found this: http://d-tips.com/general/articles/article.aspx?id=3

not sure how accurate it is tho
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infinite.chris
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Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by infinite.chris » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:52 pm

Image

Leak pools right by 19mm bolt dead center. Strongly voting intake gasket, the way it gushes once the hose is squeezed. Wouldn't be shocked if it was just a bad hose connection, etc.
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Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by 1Gary » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:14 am

Chris,
I bought the die kit to add to the coolant system and it comes with a led black light.Cleaned off everything and it sure did narrow it down.
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infinite.chris
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Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by infinite.chris » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:58 am

1Gary wrote:Chris,
I bought the die kit to add to the coolant system and it comes with a led black light.Cleaned off everything and it sure did narrow it down.
Sounds good. I honestly think she just needs a few days in the shop to figure out what I got myself into (i suspect front shocks are iffy, and other things)

Never ever hurts to have my mechanic go through with an eye toward improvement, not just repair. :)
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Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:37 pm

When I buy a used vehicle with lots of mileage and an unknown service record, I always go through all the fluids, fuel filter, air filter, wipers, check battery connections, check brakes, grease it up, tires...etc. Takes time and money but it worth it.
Current rides:
2013 Toyota Tundra DC 4x4
2008 Dodge Nitro 4x4
2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

Mileage spreadsheet

Vans owned:
1986 Safari 2.5L 4 speed manual - scrapped
1995 Astro 2WD conversion 4.11 posi, shift kit, DHC rock rails - sold to Skippy
1998 Astro 4x4 D44, D60, NP231, full hydraulic system with 9k# Milemarker winch and snow plow - sold to Lockdoc
2003 Astro AWD all stock - traded for a 3/4 ton truck
2005 AWD, 4.10's - sold to skippy

infinite.chris
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 90
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:46 am
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Location: Holland, Ohio

Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by infinite.chris » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:41 am

LiftedAWDAstro wrote:When I buy a used vehicle with lots of mileage and an unknown service record, I always go through all the fluids, fuel filter, air filter, wipers, check battery connections, check brakes, grease it up, tires...etc. Takes time and money but it worth it.
With time, I'll poke and prod all that, and shocks, springs, fuel pump, and misc electrical stuff. I haven't ever done any of this with my prior vehicles, but I figure some diligence will keep her on the road and the van gods happy for a long long time :)
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