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  #1  
Old 02-15-2015, 12:14 PM
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coolant leak

How hard is it to remove the front skid plate so as to get a better look at the base of the radiator on 2004 WJ Overland? I have a coolant leak that I am not able to find.

Dried up the garage floor, steering leakage and top ledge of skid plate. Started engine and after warm up, leak reoccured with drip coming off skid plate. very hard to see the base of the radiator or any coolant hoses that might run across that area. Both the upper and lower radiator hoses and connections appear to be dry. I may have a leak in the bottom or the radiator, but even a mirror does not give me a good view of the area.

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Old 02-15-2015, 01:54 PM
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Re: coolant leak

Most of the time there is a crack in one of the plastic tanks, mostly at the seam of the tank with the aluminum core.
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Old 02-15-2015, 03:04 PM
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Re: coolant leak

Thanks for the reply. I have started the process of getting the front end off. The skid plate is held on by two bolts on each side. One is easy to get at while the other is very difficult to get on without special tools. If I get the front bumper off, then I can get to those other two bolts.

From looking again with a mirror, I can see some drips on the drain valve tube. There apperas to be some drips along the bottom of the radiator as well which would be higher up than the drain valve tube. So you may be right about a possible split in the plastic radiator bottom.

I may be doing more than I need to to get to the problem, but that is something we sometimes do not knowing the process of getting something out. Other than this forum, I have no one else to ask questions. I could not find anything on you tube about radiator leaks. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 02-15-2015, 03:53 PM
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Re: coolant leak

Start from the highest point and work your way down. I had a leak that I swore was coming from the housing, but was coming out of the overflow tube from the tank to the radiator. When it sprays, it goes everywhere.


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Old 02-15-2015, 04:47 PM
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Re: coolant leak

I appreciate any ideas, especially on getting the radiator out and a new one back in, unless I find the leak is something else. So far it appears that the leak is at the bottom. No evidence around the top. I had driven some yesterday and I think the air flow made it look as though a leak could be just about anywhere, but after today, I feel it is something close to the bottom of the radiator. Looking again with a mirror, I could see the drain valve and a drip on the drain tube part of the valve, but also along the bottom of the radiator at that end like Frank suggested with the ends being plastic and seams between the various parts of the radiator. I will follow up and will also look for any ideas as to getting to the radiator and removel if necessary.
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Old 02-15-2015, 05:46 PM
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Re: coolant leak

Removing the radiator is not that bad, you just take it out with the hydraulic cooling fan as one unit and then separate the two. Its quite some time ago when i did mine, but its straight forward.
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Old 02-15-2015, 06:37 PM
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Re: coolant leak

Another thing to ck is the water pump,on the underside of the pump is a weep hole.When a pump seal starts to go bad it will leak out of that hole.
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Old 02-15-2015, 11:28 PM
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Re: coolant leak

If you replace the radiator, dont buy cheap! I bought thru rock auto some brand and bitch mow leaks in any temperature under 30* pure garbage!
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Old 02-16-2015, 08:19 AM
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Re: coolant leak

I have found that Auto Zone has them for around $150.00. I understand what you are saying about "cheap". I have not called the closest "steelership" yet. Maybe I should at leat ask. I bet they can get me one, but I bet it will be more than $150.00.

I do not want to get one from the wreck. You never know about those! I also think that it would be a good idea to get both new radiator hoses and maybe a new thermostat as well. I bought my Overland used and it had around 120,000 at that time. I now have over 160,000, but I have no idea what is origional. I have gone through and changed all the fluids. The jeep runs great. I had to replace the Overhead Cosole because it sometimes would not come on. Cold weather efected it. Some sort of thermo issue. A different unit was purchased and it works great.

I will check around a little more before I make a purchase. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 02-17-2015, 06:20 AM
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Re: coolant leak

I have a Spectra Premium radiator from Rockauto for three years now and no complaints about it.
Indeed best is to change both coolant hoses, thermostat and radiator cap. The radiator cap is often forgotten, but a quite important part of the cooling system, since it must hold the pressure on the cooling system. The higher pressure, rises the boiling point of the coolant.
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:35 AM
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Re: coolant leak

I am into the job hard and heavy. The front bumper is off. All grill parts are off along with headlight assemblies. Getting the front skid plate off was important just to see the real problem. Broke one of the four bolts and had to drill out and then retap the front threaded nut. I was lucky that it was a front bolt that broke and with the skid plate off, I could drill straight up. That's all ready to go back.

The problem is a crack in the seam like you told me. I have ordered a new OEM radiator and water pump from MoParOnlineParts.com. With the high miles, why not do the water pump too! The issue now is having to wait for shippment.

While waiting, I have time to clean up things, remove and replace the thermostat and inspect things that are hard to see with that skid plate in place. Getting the radiator out with the fan shroud and power steering driven fan motor attached appears to be something other than straight forward. I hope that I can remove the four bolts that hold the shroud to the radiator and slide the radiator up and out. The evaporator and transmition cooler are easy to seperate from the front of the radiator with the grill out. I was amazed at how much drit and or bugs are stuck around the bottom connection rail and then across a support bar that runs across the center of the radiator. So maybe after I am done, the cooling system will be at 100% or like new.

I am going to have to buy some of the body clips or push rivits used to hold the inner fender to the bumper and the issue of coolant. This Jeep was purchased used. The coolant is "pink" but I'm not sure if it is correct or not. With 150,000 plus miles, I think I should not use the old. Do I buy from the "stealership" or is there some other product that can be used?
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:44 AM
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Re: coolant leak

At first i wanted to separate the fan assy from the radiator, but the lower bolts are a real pain to get to. Its just much easier to remove the complete unit and then separate the two. I think that you ment to separate the radiator from the condensor and steering cooler, because the transmission cooler sits inside the the radiator. Or do you have a separate transmission cooler installed?
If it was not changed before, indeed a good idea to change the waterpump as well. With the radiator in place, you will have to remove the alternator to be able to get the waterpump out. Without the radiator it should be a piece of cake.
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