Engine coolant mostly gone

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75evo
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Engine coolant mostly gone

Post by 75evo » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:03 pm

Damn it! I let the 3.2 24V sit around for 2 weeks and the coolant disappeared!

But the good news is, stone cold engine, compression with JK 10mm cams are 220-230 psi.

I'm hoping it's not the damn liner seals. It ran pretty well at the track with no overheating, how the heck can the coolant just vanish. Pretty sure it's in the sump, because the oil color is now murky. Argh!!!!

Where's my E46 M3!!!
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Re: Engine coolant mostly gone

Post by MD » Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:04 am

Sheit milky oil is not a good sign. Obviously if the majority of the coolant is gone, it would be a problem with a low part of the engine. On the other hand if some oil has got into the oil and you are experiencing a "steaming" exhaust with a hot engine and the leak down test on you radiator is not holding pressure, you probably have a leaking head gasket or a casting failure in the coolant galleries of the head.Not an uncommon problem with Jap engine and a failure to use distilled water as the coolant.

Apart from that you got no worries at all. :shock:
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Re: Engine coolant mostly gone

Post by 75evo » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:06 am

Didn't have any steam in the pipes, and no over pressurizing of the coolant bottle. My guess is a leaky liner seal. I'm gonna remove my radiator and make the coolant piping direct from one end of the thermostat to the other and put some alumaseal in there. I had good luck using that in my 12V. But I won't risk alumaseal clogging up the radiator. It works, but I won't trust it using it where there are very tiny passages like in the rad.

A real bummer, like having the doctor saying "mate, overall you're in good health, great blood pressure, and cholesterol numbers......but watch out for the hole in your heart"
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Re: Engine coolant mostly gone

Post by MD » Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:14 pm

Just to clarify. A radiator leak down test (as opposed to a cylinder leak down) is where you place a pressure gauge on the radiator. It is fitted onto it in place of the cap. It is a composite device that incorporates an air pump and gauge. Normal operating pressure is applied to the system and allowed to rest without the motor running. If the system maintains pressure, it is sound. If the pressure falls in a relatively short time, there is an internal system leak.

I have never used the product that you refer to. Cannot comment but the process seems sound if it works. I do wonder if there are any potential risks to small galleries in terms of reduced or blocked flows.
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Re: Engine coolant mostly gone

Post by 105gta. » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:58 pm

If you've lost that much coolant you would see a rise in the oil level on the dipstick, an extra liter or two in the sump will surely show up on the dipstick. Check the carpet isn't wet. With A leaky heater core or tap, the carpet will soak up quite a bit of liquid.
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Re: Engine coolant mostly gone

Post by 75evo » Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:33 am

Pretty sure it's a liner seal problem as I had no overheating problems 2 weeks ago at the track.

I think I can summarize it as follows:
  • Over-pressurized coolant bottle when engine is warm: leaking head gasket at the fire ring. Combustion gas getting into the coolant.
  • Coolant in oil but not oil in coolant and no overheating or over pressurized coolant bottle: Most likely liner seal.
  • Oil in coolant and coolant in oil: bad headgasket close to where the oil and water passage are. Oil gets into the coolant when oil pressure is high when engine is running, and coolant gets into the water passage after engine is shut down
What I'm going to do is to remove the radiator and put a pipe instead, then dilute K-Seal in warm water. Change the contaminated oil with some cheap and cheerful 20w50 . Pour regular water in the engine, warm it up and slowly pour in the diluted K-Seal. I have no heater core, and the radiator is going to be pulled out, so the K-Seal won't be able to mess up the radiator. Let the engine run for a few minutes and let it sit for a few hours. Then let it run again. Once I've completed a few cycles I will drain all the water out of the engine and refill it with water then drain it again. After that, I'll observe for any coolant seepage into the sump. If there is none, then I will re-fill it with coolant.
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Re: Engine coolant mostly gone

Post by KevinR » Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:31 pm

Z , how’s your coolant issue coming on ? Whats your next plans ?
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Re: Engine coolant mostly gone

Post by 75evo » Sat Dec 29, 2018 3:54 pm

I've put the K-Seal in. Before putting it in, I mixed it thoroughly with warm water. Ran the car till about 85C and shut it off. Radiator is not in the car and I will drain the fluid and remove all the K-Seal stuff that's in the engine. Once it's all gone and only the part needed to seal the small leak is all that is left, I will put the radiator back in.

Video of the car with adjusted idle mixture. Still lots of final touches and cleanup to do in the engine bay.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oy3SxGG29zk
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Re: Engine coolant mostly gone

Post by KevinR » Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:50 pm

So ..Z, is it still leaking or did it seal up the liner leak ?
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Re: Engine coolant mostly gone

Post by 75evo » Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:06 pm

I’m still monitoring it, a few days now and no loss of coolant. I think if this holds up for the next few days, then I can say the leak problem has been solved.
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Re: Engine coolant mostly gone

Post by 75evo » Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:09 pm

I'm actually monitoring the oil and coolant level. My leak dye didn't arrive, but at this rate I don't think I need it anymore. I think if it's all ok by the end of today, it's pretty much solved. I will drain the water and sealant solution out and pour in new coolant.
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Re: Engine coolant mostly gone

Post by KevinR » Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:47 am

That sounds positive. After block has gone through down heat cycles of expansion and contraction and it all holds under pressure you should be fine !
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Re: Engine coolant mostly gone

Post by 75evo » Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:24 pm

To update everyone, there was still some minor seepage after putting in the k-seal. But nothing as bad as it was originally. I think the brass plugs in the cylinder heads were the cause. There were no copper crush washers and I found coolant in that area.

Putting in some high temp thread sealant and copper crush washers.
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