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Random Coolant Leak?


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#76 jj421

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 08:39 PM

Huge bump, and update.

 

So, from all the previous posts, I was 90% sure of a cracked head. Over the past two months, I've been saving up for the parts and whatnot to fix her. Eventually, I had bought everything I needed. Contacted Subruise for help, and he offered a new engine that he had sitting in his garage. I figured it might just be easier to swap in a new motor, versus rebuilding my old one. Plus, the new longblock only had 116K miles on it, which is practically new.

 

Today, he came over and helped install it. Four hours later, I had everything put back together. Subruise said to use RTV on the intake manifold gaskets, but the previous posts said that they were a dry install. I don't have any RTV, so I decided to install the new intake manifold gaskets dry. Also, keep in mind, I'm still using my old intake manifold.

 

Just came back from adding some coolant in the car. At first, everything was going well. No leaks or anything. Then, I started to notice a wet spot near cylinder #4, which if you remember from previous posts, is the reason why I suspected a cracked head. I started paying close attention over there, and noticed it was coming out near the gasket. I tightened down the bolts even more than they were, and started pouring more coolant into the radiator. I noticed that coolant was still coming from that area.

 

First thing that went into my mind: the gasket isn't sealing properly. Time to buy RTV. But then I felt the bottom of the intake manifold. The entire bottom of the intake manifold on the driver's side is wet with coolant. Passenger side is dry. So it looks like the coolant is leaking out of the throttle body area, and it's running down the bottom of the intake manifold. I look over there, and notice there is some coolant on the outside of the throttle body intake. Tighten down the bolts, which were surprisingly loose.

 

Start pouring in more coolant. Same problem. So I decide to pull the spark plug in cylinder #4. Luckily, the spark plug well is empty and dry.

 

So, what are your opinions? Again, I've got a new block, heads, etc., although my intake manifold is still original to my car. I still don't think my intake manifold is cracked, but I may be wrong. I believe I posted it, but I replaced the throttle body intake gasket (the "toilet bowl" gasket) back when I was originally diagnosing this problem. When I replaced that, there wasn't even an old gasket to replace there. So maybe with the gasket there, it provides enough clearance to let coolant out? The bolt in this picture has coolant on it:

 

DSC01595_zps624e2f86.jpg

 

I should note that when I watched the coolant flowing out near the manifold gasket, it was flowing as almost as fast as it was going in the radiator. This leads me to believe that there is a prominent leak, not a hairline crack in the intake manifold. Maybe I'll try removing that toilet bowl gasket to see if it fixes it, but if you guys have any idea, that'd be great.

 

EDIT:

 

Okay, went out and removed the "toilet bowl" gasket. Seems to have fixed it. Wasn't leaking like it was. Coolant level is holding steady in the radiator. I'm going to let is sit for a few minutes and monitor any changes.

 

Is it just me, or is this stupid? WITH a gasket, I leak coolant. WITHOUT a gasket, it works perfectly fine. That just doesn't "click" with me, haha. Oh well, if it works, it works. A previous owner might've messed with it. One of the previous owners disabled the A/C compressor and hill holder, so I wouldn't be surprised if s/he did something with this.

 

EDIT #2:

 

Removing the TBI gasket solved the leak. Coolant level is staying steady. Oil is full on the dipstick and the engine is ready to go.

 

Plug in the battery, turn the key, click click click. Back to the exact same problem as before.... It cranks for a split second, then just clicks. Went to O'Reilly to have them charge my battery, but they were closed. So I bought an automatic charger from Fred Meyer and it's currently charging my battery. I charged it for two hours, tested it, and didn't seem to help much. Gonna try it tomorrow, after it's been sitting overnight on the charger.


Edited by jj421, 20 May 2013 - 01:40 AM.


#77 86 Wonder Wedge

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 02:14 AM

Good to hear the progress! The aluminum on the throttle body and intake can be a royal *%*^( to seal if it's scratched, or if that toilet bowl gasket doesn't seat properly.. what a major PITA.. 

 

Anyway, before you start ripping out starters and cables, take a pair of jumper cables and connect on red to the battery and the other to the large terminal where the battery red comes in to the starter. Now take the black side of the jumper cables and one end on the battery, the other on the ear/bolt where the starter mounts to the trans. Then try to crank again.

 

If it works, take off the positive (red) side of the cables. If it works again, you have a bad ground. If it does not, bad connections at the positive on the battery or the starter or the cable is bad (internally corroded, pinched/severed strands, ect)

 

If the jumper cables do not work, take a test light or DMM and check for 12V at the small wire on the starter solenoid. Dim light or less than 9V, you're not getting enough to keep the solenoid engaged. Bad connection/wire or bad contacts in the ignition starter switch (just behind key/tumbler in the steering column)

 

Keep us posted! almost there!!



#78 jj421

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 02:33 AM

That gasket just confused me, haha. When I put it in, I saw the markings from an old gasket, but there wasn't an old gasket. I guess I just have to live without the gasket, haha.

 

Two months ago, when these problems first showed up, I did replace both battery cables. So I have brand new cables in right now, which decreases the likelihood that the cables are the problem. But, I've been proven wrong before, so I'll try the jumper cable method tomorrow.

 

Also, one thing to say is I checked and tightened (if necessary) all the ground wires I could find.

 

I'm going to let my battery charge overnight. If it doesn't work, I'll try the jumper cable method. If that doesn't work, I'll use the brand new battery (one month old) that we put in the Explorer (if it fits in my battery tray). I kinda have a feeling that the problem is my battery, but my battery isn't that old/corroded.

 

I'll try that other test too. Found out today that my multimeter is broken, so I can only use a test light. I meant to take apart my dash tonight to look at the ignition switch, but I'll do it tomorrow. The clicking noise sounds like it's coming from the ignition switch, not the starter. 

 

The annoying thing is, is when I get her started, I'm gonna have to deal with a bunch of things. Gotta adjust the distributor, bleed the cooling system, solve the problem with the starting, all while combating my cold idle problem (which means I have to rev it at 2000 RPM for 5-10 minutes before it'll idle on its own).


Edited by jj421, 20 May 2013 - 02:38 AM.


#79 jj421

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 11:06 AM

Okay, morning came. Battery got fully charged, so I plugged it in and no luck. Still just a clicking noise. So I decided to try out the jumper cable method. Click click click.

 

I thought, "Let's just double check and move the crank." Got my 7/8" socket on the crank pulley, and went to move it. It moved a fraction of a turn and then just stopped. I could hear what sounded like coolant fizzing on the driver side of the engine. I cannot turn the crank, at all. When I got the new engine, it moved freely. But now....

 

I'm afraid that that stupid, f&!@@#^ toilet bowl gasket allowed coolant into the intake manifold which hydrolocked the engine. So there goes my brand new engine and all the money I put towards it.  :banghead:

 

EDIT:

 

So I pulled the plugs, and found that cylinder #2 (driver; front) was full of coolant. Rotated the crank, and the compression shot/squirted the coolant out of the cylinder. So now the cylinder, as far as I can tell, is empty. The crank rotates fine now with the two driver side plugs out. Not sure how long that coolant was sitting in the cylinder, but hopefully it didn't do significant amounts of damage. I'm going to put the plugs back in, build up pressure, pull the plugs, squirt out any more coolant that appears, and repeat until I can rotate the crank with the plugs in.

 

This makes me wonder, what was wrong with my old engine? Because when I found coolant in cylinder #4 on my old engine, it could've been because the stupid toilet bowl gasket let coolant into the engine. I think I replaced that small hose and the gasket at the same time, so I didn't isolate the hose to see if it was the problem. I could've fixed the problem by installing the new hose, but introduced a new problem by installing the gasket. Then when I pulled the plugs a couple days later, found the cylinder full of coolant and thought it was a cracked cylinder head.

 

So maybe all along, it was just that small hose that was the problem. Granted, I love having a super low mileage engine with a new water pump, but it might've been unnecessary. But what was with the milky, oil-like substance that was on my radiator cap? Man, maybe it's just my early morning mind going crazy, but this problem is messing with my mind.

 

I still don't think thing that the coolant has anything to do with the non-starting problem. But I could be wrong. It's just the clicking I hear sounds like it's coming from the ignition switch, not the starter.

 

EDIT #2:

 

Came back from the machine that hates me. Jeez, I always have bad luck with Subarus in the spring....

 

Put the plugs in (finger tight; only a couple threads down). Built up pressure in the cylinder(s) until the crank would no longer move. Pulled the plugs, and this time cylinder #4 was full of coolant. Squirted out the coolant using the crank, cleaned up, put the plugs in, and turned the crank some more. Compression built up until the crank could no longer move. Pulled the plugs, and this time cylinder #1 was full of coolant. Squirted out the coolant using the crank, put the plugs in, and turned the crank some more.

 

With all four plugs in (again, finger tight, but enough to build pressure), I can now rotate the crank consistently without it seizing up. So I think I flushed all the coolant out of the engine. I pulled the plugs, and I think I'm going to let it air dry while I'm at school today.

 

Yeah, I think coolant just got in through that toilet bowl gasket. I squirted out mass amounts of coolant, but the coolant level did not change under the radiator cap. Because of this, I don't think it's a cracked intake manifold. It only took a couple seconds/turns of the crank before the cylinder was full of coolant. And if it was a cracked intake manifold, the coolant level would go down in the radiator.

 

Correct me if that's wrong. So, do you guys have an opinion on this at all? What should I do from here? Again, I was just going to let it air dry, put the plugs in this evening, rotate the crank, make sure it rotates fine, and try to start her again. What about my no-starting problem? Do you think it's related?

 

EDIT #3:

 

SHE STARTS AND RUNS!

 

I guess I'm impatient, so I put the plugs in before going to school. Rotated the crank to make sure it was turning freely, and it was. Put in the key, and she cranked! Didn't start the first time, as I had to move the distributor around a bit. Eventually, I found a spot where she fired up after about 10 seconds of cranking.  :headbang: I'll probably have to adjust the disty a bit more, but she fired up!

 

First thing I noticed was the solid stream of white smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe. There was smoke coming out of the engine bay too, but not as much.

 

smoke_zpsf41d46e9.png

 

I'm assuming the engine is just burning off all the coolant, since it smelled like coolant. Any idea of how long I should run it for, to burn it all off? I'm not taking the car to school today, but I am going to sit and let it run for 10-15 minutes to let it burn everything off/out.

 

Well, I'm glad to hear my car start up again. It's a nice sound, after it's been sitting for two months! Can't wait to drive it! I'm definitely glad to know that the no-starting problem was because of the coolant in the cylinders. But hopefully it can burn off all the coolant in the engine, so it's not spewing white smoke perpetually.

 

One thing I also noticed is my alternator is charging high (well, higher than it ever has before). The only time I've seen this needle up this high is when my old alternator failed. I hope this one hasn't died during it's time sitting, considering it's practically new. The picture below was with every electronic turned off. When I turn everything on, it sits at about 13 volts.

 

volts_zps46490fad.png

 

I'm glad to see I still have gas in the car too, haha. B) So, anyways, it was amazing to hear my engine start for the first time in a long time!!!

 

:bouncy:


Edited by jj421, 20 May 2013 - 01:51 PM.


#80 jj421

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 09:13 PM

Got home, started her up, and she ran good and smokeless! Turned it off, cleaned up, added coolant, and started it up. She smoked a bit, but it went away. Put it in gear, it moved forward a bit, but then just stalled. I can move her forward a couple inches, but then it feels like something is stopping her from moving. I can't roll the car back to check. Any ideas?

 

EDIT:

 

Managed to get her out of the driveway and got her on the street!  :headbang:

 

I guess my problem was the engine is misfiring, bad. I have very little power. I thought I had a misfire, and this confirmed it. I put in all new spark plug wires and a distributor cap, but I think they're wired wrong. The disty cap has the cylinder numbers on it, and I wired it up according to that. But obviously it's not working. When I put my foot down, it just pops over and over again. Maybe it's the disty timing. I moved the disty around it's brackets until it idled best, but it didn't help much.
 

Besides the power issue, the only other thing I noticed is my power steering. Gonna add some fluid to it, but felt like crap. Good thing I'm converting to manual steering soon! It didn't overheat or blow out tons of smoke. Can't check the coolant level until the engine is cold, but we'll see. It idled, barely, but I think fixing the misfire will help that. 

 

EDIT #2:

 

Here I am writing, officially finished with my first engine swap. The stupid disty cap lied, and mixed up cylinder two and four. A quick search on Google found this image:

 

5535281260_f19d4475ae.jpg

 

Using this, I swapped the two wires for cylinder #2 and #4, and the car ran amazing! She fired right up, smooth idle, FAST acceleration, and no popping or stumbling. My old plugs, wires, and cap were completely shot. My new plugs, wires, and cap make the car feel twice as fast!

 

The exhaust is just as loud as before, since I didn't replace the exhaust gaskets (plus, one of the exhaust stud holes was stripped, so the exhaust couldn't go on right). I added some P/S fluid, as I was really low. Gonna take it out again to see if it helped.

 

Otherwise, it is such a good feeling to be driving my Loyale again. Two months of driving automatics have bored me to death.  B) I'll definitely be checking for fluid loss, and re tightening the bolts over the next few days. But all-in-all, for my first engine swap, I don't think I did too bad. Granted, EA82s aren't the most difficult thing to swap.  :rolleyes: Thanks guys for all your help!

 

Still wondering if my old motor was bad, considering the toilet bowl gasket and whatnot. Oh well, I most likely won't go wrong with a 116K mile motor.

 

:bouncy:


Edited by jj421, 20 May 2013 - 10:18 PM.


#81 86 Wonder Wedge

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 08:32 PM

Excellent news!

 

Yeah, that cap fits others as well (the hitachi distro wasn't subaru specific, IIRC)

 

But just keep an eye on smoke and coolant loss.. running without that gasket just seems insane to me, but if it works.. lol

 

But nice job! :drunk:



#82 jj421

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 08:50 PM

Excellent news!

 

Yeah, that cap fits others as well (the hitachi distro wasn't subaru specific, IIRC)

 

But just keep an eye on smoke and coolant loss.. running without that gasket just seems insane to me, but if it works.. lol

 

But nice job! :drunk:

 

That's what I thought. Running it without that gasket is just weird, but whatever.  :clap:

 

She hasn't smoked since the first day I started her. I did lose some coolant over the second day, but not a lot. I figured it's just bleeding itself out and pumping coolant in every hose. Now, she's holding a steady amount of coolant. Haven't noticed any overheating whatsoever. The temp gauge stays at about 1/4 of the way up, and climbs up to about 1/3 of the way when in traffic or climbing hills. Nothing out of the ordinary.

 

I've put 100 miles on the engine so far, and she's been running great. Revved it up to 4500 RPM a couple of times. No real need to rev it any higher than that, but I might do so later this week. The best part is, she's solved my cold idle issue! Before, during a cold start, I had to rev it at 2000 RPM for 5-10 minutes or else she wouldn't idle. I replaced the IACV and CTS, but it didn't help. I thought it was electrical, but this new engine fixed that issue.  :headbang:

 

Oh, and one thing I wanna say is, remember that wrench I lost inside the engine compartment earlier in this thread? Yeah, I couldn't find it when I had the engine out. I haven't heard it fall out on the road. That wrench is officially gone, and I have no clue where it went.  B) Luckily it was a 5/16" wrench or some other stupid imperial size that I never use. That wrench won't be missed.


Edited by jj421, 22 May 2013 - 10:37 PM.


#83 ticoregon

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 07:15 PM

Click click... no start.   Pull the starter.  Replace the contacts.   I have done this to 3 of my Subarus now.  It fixed every one of them.  Mailed some contacts to my brother in WA, and that fixed his starter.

There are 3 small bolts (8mm head) at the end of the starter that hold a cap on.   Remove this cap, then the plunger, and hopefully, you will see the problem.

The contact on the battery side will be extremely corroded.  Replace both contacts and file down the round copper ring (flat side) just until shiney.

I paid $1.50 for each of my contacts.   Parts stores didn't have them... but found them at a local repair shop.  Subaru dealer might have them.

Whole job takes about 30 minutes.

Note:  Disconnect cables from the battery.  Remove the bolts (and one nut) from the starter.  I believe one of these bolts will release the starter ground cable.  Pull the starter with the positive battery cable still attached.  When you get the starter up around the fender area... then disconnect the positive battery cable.  Makes the job alot easier.

Do you happen to have any pix of this? I'm dealing with this issue and I don't know much about cars...pictures would really help.

 

Thank you.






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