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Coolant problem update w/pics

3804 Views 51 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  slikirish
Ok so went out and looked at the car this morning and didn't find any coolant on the ground. Popped the hood and this is what I found.

Oil doesn't seem milky but the coolant overflow is empty again. So it would seem to be losing the coolant before it gets to the engine. I'm not going to run the engine anymore until I get this figured out.

You guys have any idea where this is coming from? There is orange "powder" all the way down one side of the heads, other side is clean. Any ideas?
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Looks like the intake manifold gasket. Reason I say that is you have the intake mainfold with aluminum crossover -- known to have a less chance of cracking etc, if it was the thermostat gasket it would be leaking from farther up top/around where the thermostat housing and intake manifold come together. You can pick up a set of gaskets for $35 bucks or so and swap them out in less than an hour if you have a general idea of what youre doing....This is based off of your second picture. I couldnt see a whole lot from the first other than where the coolant has leaked.
Blue arrow points to your intake manifold gasket. Red arrow points to where your thermostat gasket is going to be. If you remove the thermostat housing (cap looking thing your upper rad hose goes to) the thermostat gasket will be sitting ontop of the thermostat in the intake manifold.

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No, nothing else needed. For the thermostat gasket you just remove the 2 bolts, the housing pulls off, the gasket (looks like a big oring) pulls out, you drop your new one in, put the housing back on and install the bolts torquing to spec.

For your intake manifold gaskets its the same "general" process such as no other sealants etc needed.
For the most part this is what you need to do.

Drain coolant
remove upper radiator hose
remove belt and "remove" alternator...reason I say "remove" is because you can just unbolt it and shove it off to the side rather than disconnecting the wire and plug and pulling it all the way out
remove coils
remove fuel rails & injectors
remove intake,plenum,tb & related vacuum lines
remove coolant hose towards rear
remove the bolts holding the intake manifold down (14 if I remember right, been about 6mo since ive done one)
lift the intake manifold off
pop your old gaskets off (they have alignment pins)
blow out the ports on your heads with compressed air or similar since coolant can/will drain down into them
clean the heads up with some gasket remover (bout 5 bucks a can at parts store)
set your new gaskets in place
drop the intake manifold back on and torque all the bolts to spec/sequence
reinstall tb,plenum,injectors,coils,vacuum lines, etc etc.

Its sounds like a lot but its a very simple process.
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Its not really that involved. 90% of the job is just remove misc bs in order to remove the intake manifold. Once all the bs is removed and out of the way the gaskets can be changed in less than 5-10 min.
How many miles are on the car, original owner (or know when everything was changed last) or used and you just recently got it?
Id do some ngk plugs (good and cheap), fuel filter (10-14 bucks for an oem at parts store), flush coolant (looks awful from pics), belt (looks bad from pics), check brakes, add some stuff in the fuel such as lucas and call it good.
Fuel filter is in the rear. Kinda hard to explain where you can find guides online that point it out directly. Easy to get to though.
Sounds good. Fuel filter would be good too.
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