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Old 11-19-2012, 04:16 PM
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Leaking Coolant... spewing... wtf?!? For gods sake, help!

99 WJ, 4.7

OK, so here's some background... i've had coolant leaking issues ever since i had my radiator and hoses replaced more than a year ago. I would have and still do have to refill the coolant every few weeks or so. I had a shitload of mechanics look at it, and they all said was the clamp on this belt was loose, we tightened it, blah, blah... NOTHING seemed to fix it.

I have always thought it was a very slow leak from the lower radiator hose, as I could never see any leaks elsewhere... well today I finally figured out where the leak is coming from....

The car had been sitting for about 2 days, I started it up and drove it about a block and stopped to drop some mail in a mailbox... then I noticed it was leaking heavily under the car. I popped the hood and coolant was dripping HEAVILY out of the upper radiator hose... almost gushing/spewing out.

So I drove about another mile to a gas station, pulled over, opend the hood, and like magic it wasn't leaking anymore at all... so it seems what I thought was a small leak at the bottom was actually a big leak at the top dripping down and getting everywhere and giving me the illusion it was leaking from the bottom, when it fact, it has been the top dripping down.

Now the stupid crazy thing is all the belts and clamps look tight and they don't drain normally.... It seems to be just on cold startup that it starts spewing heavily... its like the hoses are almost under air pressure and its pushing the coolant out... then the engine warms, and no more leaking.

So my slow leak seems to actually be 1 big leak during cold startup.

WTF is causing this!?!?! This has been a pain in my ass forever! God I would be so happy if I can fix this.

Any advice is welcome!
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:20 PM
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Re: Leaking Coolant... spewing... wtf?!? For gods sake, help!

I'm just guessing here:

Was it coming out of the hose or a connection? Thinking possibly a bad seal somewhere, when cold allows fluid to leak out, but after warming up, begins to expand and fills said leak.

I had an exhaust pipe that would do the same thing. It would vibrate like mad when it was cold but once it warmed up, it expanded and sealed the leak and no more vibration. Finally discovered it when it was -7 outside (in the mountains) and saw no exahust coming from the pipe and all from underneath my car.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:44 PM
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Re: Leaking Coolant... spewing... wtf?!? For gods sake, help!

Its coming from the upper radiator hose... right where it connects to the coolant bleed valve....but the hose and clamp seem fine. It is very tight, that's why I mentioned it seemed like air inside the system is forcing it out.

Could it be a problem with air in the system? Could it have something to do with the bleed valve? Should I mess around with that?

I also have never filled the radiator directly, I always just fill the overflow tank... I assumed that flows into the radiator itself.

Ugh this is frustrating.... why would it leak like crazy during startup, and then run perfectly fine with no issues after it gets warm?
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:59 PM
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Before startup replace your clamps on a cold motor. Worm clamps blow.period.
Everything is cold and shrunk once heated up it expands and seals.


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Old 11-19-2012, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by hoffmanestates View Post
Before startup replace your clamps on a cold motor. Worm clamps blow.period.
Everything is cold and shrunk once heated up it expands and seals.


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What clamps do you recommend besides worm clamps?

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Old 11-19-2012, 07:18 PM
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Re: Leaking Coolant... spewing... wtf?!? For gods sake, help!

When the engine heats up, the coolant expands. This will cause a pressure buildup in the system and that is necessary to raise the boiling point of the coolant. The radiator cap has a pressure relief valve of about 18 PSI, when the pressure goes higher, it will force the coolant to the overflow tank. That is the reason that the level in there is higher with a hot engine compared to cold.
So as soon as the engine is at operating temperature, there will be no expansion of the coolant anymore, so if you have a leaking hose, the coolant will be forced out during the heatup cycle and then it stops when the expansion of the coolant stopped. During the cooldown cycle the coolant will shrink again and the coolant will be drawn back from the overflow tank. If there is a leak, it could suck in air instead of coolant and your cooling system could get low without the level going too low in the overflow tank. I would buy a new upper hose and maybe even a good idea to buy a lower hose as well. I presume that there is a leak from the hose itself. The clamps are called constant tension clamps and normally do their job very well. Some people donīt like them, because you canīt regulate the clamping pressure from them, but with a normal clamp you could easily overtighten them and damage the hose.
In a good coolant system, you can try to squeeze the upper radiator hose, but it will feel hard. With a leak in the system or a bad radiator cap, there will be no pressure buildup and you can squeeze the hose ( the hose will be hot, so use a glove or rag). With no pressure buildup in the system, the coolant will start boiling much sooner and it will form bubbles in the coolant, reducing the cooling capacity of the system and can cause overheating.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frango100 View Post
When the engine heats up, the coolant expands. This will cause a pressure buildup in the system and that is necessary to raise the boiling point of the coolant. The radiator cap has a pressure relief valve of about 18 PSI, when the pressure goes higher, it will force the coolant to the overflow tank. That is the reason that the level in there is higher with a hot engine compared to cold.
So as soon as the engine is at operating temperature, there will be no expansion of the coolant anymore, so if you have a leaking hose, the coolant will be forced out during the heatup cycle and then it stops when the expansion of the coolant stopped. During the cooldown cycle the coolant will shrink again and the coolant will be drawn back from the overflow tank. If there is a leak, it could suck in air instead of coolant and your cooling system could get low without the level going too low in the overflow tank. I would buy a new upper hose and maybe even a good idea to buy a lower hose as well. I presume that there is a leak from the hose itself. The clamps are called constant tension clamps and normally do their job very well. Some people donīt like them, because you canīt regulate the clamping pressure from them, but with a normal clamp you could easily overtighten them and damage the hose.
In a good coolant system, you can try to squeeze the upper radiator hose, but it will feel hard. With a leak in the system or a bad radiator cap, there will be no pressure buildup and you can squeeze the hose ( the hose will be hot, so use a glove or rag). With no pressure buildup in the system, the coolant will start boiling much sooner and it will form bubbles in the coolant, reducing the cooling capacity of the system and can cause overheating.
Thanks can you tell me where to buy these "constant tension clamps"?

Also would you suggest I replace the radiator cap? Could that be a problem?

I would rather wait to replace the hoses as that is a bit more involved, as I have never drained coolant before.

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Old 11-19-2012, 11:36 PM
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Re: Leaking Coolant... spewing... wtf?!? For gods sake, help!

I bought my constant tension clamps at the dealer after a worm clamp loosened up on me, the lower hose fell off and dumped all my coolant down the highway. You can use a pliers to install them, but they sell a nice locking plier tool specifically to help reduce the risk of sending the clamps flying across the garage. The cap could be a problem, although that would be more likely when it gets hot and doesn't open. I would pop off the clamp, top off the radiator, then open up the bleed screw and fill the coolant to the top there as well.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01grand View Post
I bought my constant tension clamps at the dealer after a worm clamp loosened up on me, the lower hose fell off and dumped all my coolant down the highway. You can use a pliers to install them, but they sell a nice locking plier tool specifically to help reduce the risk of sending the clamps flying across the garage. The cap could be a problem, although that would be more likely when it gets hot and doesn't open. I would pop off the clamp, top off the radiator, then open up the bleed screw and fill the coolant to the top there as well.
So pour directly into the bleed screw? Am I able to put the new tension clamp on without removing the hose?

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Old 11-20-2012, 01:28 AM
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Re: Leaking Coolant... spewing... wtf?!? For gods sake, help!

no constant clamps are basicially a spring so you will have to remove at least one end of the hose like said you should consider doing the hose also you wont loose the entire coolant amount so you can just replace what leaks out make sure you replace with whatever chrysler recommended for that year coolant wise, should be found online or in youre manual if you have one

also was just reading something where it was suggested to use this type of funnel for error free refilling, might have been frango that suggested it in another thread

http://www.google.com/search?q=spill...1&bih=584&bs=1
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:03 AM
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Ok so sounds like Im gonna have to drain, replace hoses and clamps, and refill... any links to writeups on this? Never done it before...

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Old 11-20-2012, 06:37 AM
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Re: Leaking Coolant... spewing... wtf?!? For gods sake, help!

Donīt know what the color of the coolant is at the moment (rusty brown for example), but its always a good idea to flush the system to get any debris out of it. Do this on a cold engine. Just use a garden hose and clean water and just let it run through the engine and the radiator. I know its more work, but when replacing the hoses its also a good practice to replace the thermostat at the same time, you have to remove it to flush as well. if you only want to stick with the hoses, its you who decides. For the lower hose, there is a spring inside the hose, you can remove it and put it into the new hose ( mine at least didnīt have it in the new hose). The spring is in there to prevent colapsing of the hose when the system cools down and an underpressure is created. This underpressure should draw coolant from the overflow tank.
When the hoses are connected again, just remove the bleeder plug and poor coolant into the radiator. It should go into the engine by itself and you just continue pooring until it overflows from the bleeder plug. Then install the plug and fill the radiator to the top. Also a good idea to change the radiator cap as well. They tend to start leaking internally towards the overflow tank and prevent the pressure buildup, eventhough that doesnīt seem to be a problem with yours at the moment.
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