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Coolant coming out of exhaust pipes... by Cliff Pennock
Started on: 05-19-2020 07:56 AM
Replies: 33 (474 views)
Last post by: Cliff Pennock on 05-23-2020 10:05 AM
Cliff Pennock
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Report this Post05-19-2020 07:56 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I replaced my broken waterpump and started my Fiero up for the first time only to find out it was leaking coolant from somewhere pretty bad. Today I jacked up the car to see where it came form and it was actually leaking coolant from two small holes, one in an exhaust pipe, the other in the catalyst. White smoke was coming from my exhausts.

I let it idle for a few minutes and the engine was actually purring along nicely.

I don't think this is something new. I can remember white smoke coming out of the exhaust for quite some time, and refilling the coolant was also something I had to do regularly (I knew I had a leak somewhere but never found out where).

So could it be a blown head gasket? Intake gasket? How do I troubleshoot this?
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Report this Post05-19-2020 08:22 AM Click Here to See the Profile for wftbClick Here to Email wftbSend a Private Message to wftbEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
White smoke when you first start up is normal. It is condensation that will turn in to water vapour as the engine warms up. Then you won't see any white smoke until the next cold start. Drops of water coming out of the tailpipe or dripping at joints is normal too until the engine warms up. Unless you can actually tell the leaks are antifreeze there is nothing to worry about.

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[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 05-19-2020).]

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Report this Post05-19-2020 08:34 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
It's not a few drops, it's *a lot* that's coming out.

It also explains a few things. First of all, I have two leaks in my exhaust system. Both leaks are at the lowest points of the exhaust system. So where the coolant would collect. Also, before my water pump failed, I had to add coolant every 1-2 months or so.

Also, for the past year or so that I was still driving the car (and when I started the car yesterday and today), whenever I cold started the engine I always had the feeling one cylinder wasn't firing (it sounded like it wasn't). After a few minutes, the engine would run normal. This could easily be explained by a wet spark plug.

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Report this Post05-19-2020 08:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for DimeMachineSend a Private Message to DimeMachineEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Cliff Pennock:

It's not a few drops, it's *a lot* that's coming out.

It also explains a few things. First of all, I have two leaks in my exhaust system. Both leaks are at the lowest points of the exhaust system. So where the coolant would collect. Also, before my water pump failed, I had to add coolant every 1-2 months or so.

Also, for the past year or so that I was still driving the car (and when I started the car yesterday and today), whenever I cold started the engine I always had the feeling one cylinder wasn't firing (it sounded like it wasn't). After a few minutes, the engine would run normal. This could easily be explained by a wet spark plug.


Yes, pull all the plugs and see which one stands out. It should look very different.
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Report this Post05-19-2020 09:04 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
You should also look at the bottom of the oil filler cap. Excessive moisture in the crankcase will show up as a tan or caramel colored muck.
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Report this Post05-19-2020 10:03 AM Click Here to See the Profile for creaky78Click Here to Email creaky78Send a Private Message to creaky78Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Everything you are saying points to a head gasket leak. Take a whiff of the exhaust, it probably smells like antifreeze.
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Report this Post05-19-2020 10:05 AM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Coolant in the oil is very bad, but easy to see.

First step is to inspect the plugs, as noted.

Next is to run a compression test and see if a cylinder shows up low.

Then take off the engine coolant fill cap and remove the thermostat, then put pressurized air into the cylinder that showed low... if it's leaking into the cooling system, then you'll push coolant out the fill.
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Report this Post05-19-2020 12:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by creaky78:

Everything you are saying points to a head gasket leak. Take a whiff of the exhaust, it probably smells like antifreeze.



I agree.
This:
"white smoke coming out of the exhaust for quite some time, and refilling the coolant was also something I had to do regularly"
Not finding an external leak..

..is antifreeze burning in the cylinders with the fuel and air. A head gasket is the usual cause.
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Report this Post05-19-2020 01:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Pull the dipstick and see the oil color. Light brown means water in oil. Next do a pressure check of the cooling system . You use a pressure tester and pump it up to 18 lbs or so. If it doesn't hold the pressure you have a leak somewhere. Likely- You just replaced the water pump and you could have disturbed the engine to timing cover gasket seal. Until you find the leak do not drive the car.
Narrowing things down to all possibilities; the timing cover seal (or maybe unsealed water pump bolts), head gasket or intake manifold gasket leak.
As you just worked there, my guess is a timing cover seal leak.

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Report this Post05-19-2020 01:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Dennis LaGrua:
...
As you just worked there, my guess is a timing cover seal leak.



Based upon the info provided (Steam. Water dripping from the exhaust system. Previous ongoing coolant loss.) I disagree.

If the oil remains clean, and doesn't assume that "mocha milkshake" look, the timing cover seal should be fine. The timing cover would allow water to get into the oil. NOT the cylinders, as appears to be happening.

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Cliff Pennock
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Report this Post05-19-2020 02:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Oil from the dipstick is dark. I don't think it's the timing cover seal that's been broken since it took no effort whatsoever to remove the water pump.
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Report this Post05-19-2020 06:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Cliff Pennock:

Oil from the dipstick is dark. I don't think it's the timing cover seal that's been broken since it took no effort whatsoever to remove the water pump.


That leaves an intake manifold gasket, or more likely, a head gasket.

I found my head gasket leak by pressurizing the cylinders one at a time, with the thermostat cap and thermostat removed. It has to be done in the same order as the firing order, on the engine's compression stroke (i.e. with both valves completely closed.)

I used my air compressor, and the spark plug adapter hose that came with my compression gauge. With the cylinder at top-dead-center (or thereabouts) I applied pressure to the cylinder. When bubbles came out of the thermostat housing, I knew that I had found my leak.

If you don't have access to an air compressor, you might be able to tell by shooting a laser thermometer at the headers, where the pipe comes out of the head. If the cylinder is misfiring, it will be significantly cooler. It might be difficult to tell, if it's one of the "downstream" cylinders (nearer the trans), since the heat from the upstream cylinders will still travel past.
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Report this Post05-20-2020 01:51 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I don't have a garage so I did the water pump at the side of the road. I'm guessing replacing gaskets isn't something I could do at the side of the road...
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Report this Post05-20-2020 04:45 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Dennis LaGrua:

(or maybe unsealed water pump bolts)


Which bolts should be sealed? Only bolt #4, right?

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Report this Post05-20-2020 05:58 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Pffffff... Been reading a lot of threads about replacing the head gasket here on the forum. I don't think that's a job I can do.

As a matter of fact, I doubt there's a workshop here that can actually do it. So many things to screw up if you don't know these engines. Dammit, I was so looking forward driving it again...
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Report this Post05-20-2020 07:48 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Ok, I just started the car and let it idle for a few minutes. Not a drop. Not a single drop leaked from anywhere. No white smoke from the exhaust either. And the engine purred like a kitten. Ok, it idled a bit high (around 1500 RPM) but that could be because the ECM has obviously resetted itself, a cold engine, and because a few of the vaccuum lines have broken off.

I'm utterly confused now. Could it have been simply moist collected during the past 9 months it had been sitting still?

Any theories?
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Report this Post05-20-2020 07:51 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

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Also checked the oil, it wasn't muddy or anything. And coolant level hadn't dropped since yesterday.
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Report this Post05-20-2020 08:45 AM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If you find water leaks, you have to touch the fluid. Can't tell the difference between condensate and coolant in small amounts until you touch it.
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Report this Post05-20-2020 12:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for wftbClick Here to Email wftbSend a Private Message to wftbEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Is it warmer out today over there? Outside temperature makes a difference. If the oil looks good and you are not losing coolant I do not see a problem. I do not have a 2.8 but if you saw the amount of water and condensation that comes out of mine before it warms up you would be amazed.

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[This message has been edited by wftb (edited 05-20-2020).]

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Report this Post05-20-2020 12:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Cliff, I had a little 88 Duke. For a long time, it would pour little streams of water out of the muffler weep holes after starting. I could find no leaks in the system where water could get into the exhaust. It was especially heavy after a rain. Eventually, it stopped.
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Report this Post05-20-2020 01:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Cold engine can push out a lot of water as normal. More so w/ cold or wet days. This water won't smell like coolant. Can "feel" like coolant because can also pick up oil/fuel/etc. on the way to whatever.

If intake manifold has problems... gasket bad or manifold bad...
Can leak coolant in the engine then "burn" by a 1 or more cinders.
If true that will quickly poison the Cat and O2 sensor.
Pull spark plugs near Tstant and temp sensors/senders on V6 should be cleaner then other plugs from "burning" coolant.
If have other plug(s) cleaner then may have bigger problems like bad head gasket or crack head.
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Report this Post05-20-2020 01:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SpadesluckSend a Private Message to SpadesluckEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have seen buckets of water come out of tailpipes before when the car was first started up. Condensation in the exhaust is normal. It will be more noticeable in a high humidity area for sure.
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Report this Post05-20-2020 04:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for creaky78Click Here to Email creaky78Send a Private Message to creaky78Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Pull the spark plugs. If one or more are perfectly free of any kind of deposit, that cylinder(s) is sucking in antifreeze from a bad head gasket.
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Report this Post05-20-2020 04:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Cliff Pennock:

Which bolts should be sealed? Only bolt #4, right?


Both JazzMan and I agree... Yes! We've already covered this a couple of times in your previous thread Here and Here.
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Report this Post05-20-2020 09:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Cliff Pennock:

Ok, I just started the car and let it idle for a few minutes. Not a drop. Not a single drop leaked from anywhere. No white smoke from the exhaust either. And the engine purred like a kitten.
Could it have been simply moist collected during the past 9 months it had been sitting still?



Certainly that could be the case. Your leaking water pump could also be the reason you were loosing coolant, all along.

When my head gasket was leaking, if I hit the gas hard, it would blow coolant out of the engine into (and out of) the overflow bottle.
Try this... let it sit and idle. Once it is up to operating temperature, put the car in drive, and floor the gas for a second or two. No need to hold it for any length of time.
Check the overflow. If it's filling up, and blowing water out, it would tend to point to a blown head gasket. If not, you should be good to go.

Beyond that, just keep an eye on the coolant level, the next couple of times you drive it.

[This message has been edited by Raydar (edited 05-20-2020).]

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Cliff Pennock
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Report this Post05-21-2020 03:36 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Started her up again yesterday and again, not a drop to be seen (well, a few drops from the thermostat cap). So that's good. Drove it for a few yards and I do notice a few problems:

  1. High idle (around 1500 RPM)
  2. Hardly brakes
  3. FR brake sounds "warped"


The high idle could be because the ECM is reset (had the battery disconnected) and because a few vacuum lines are broken. That it hardly brakes is probably because the brake discs have rusted. But not sure where the warped sound comes from.
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Report this Post05-21-2020 12:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Cliff Pennock:

Started her up again yesterday and again, not a drop to be seen (well, a few drops from the thermostat cap). So that's good. Drove it for a few yards and I do notice a few problems:

  1. High idle (around 1500 RPM)
  2. Hardly brakes
  3. FR brake sounds "warped"


The high idle could be because the ECM is reset (had the battery disconnected) and because a few vacuum lines are broken. That it hardly brakes is probably because the brake discs have rusted. But not sure where the warped sound comes from.


I'd say fix the vacuum lines right away.
You also need vacuum to work the brakes.
Check for vacuum at booster (pull the check valve).

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[This message has been edited by fierosound (edited 05-21-2020).]

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Report this Post05-21-2020 03:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WillClick Here to Email WillSend a Private Message to WillEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Rusty rotors are going to be loud until they get cleaned off.
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Report this Post05-22-2020 06:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Will:

Rusty rotors are going to be loud until they get cleaned off.


This. Exactly. Drive it around and make a few stops.
Unless rotors are badly warped, they should wipe off and smooth out, in just a few minutes, or a handful of stops.

High idle might be caused by the ECM needing to be reset by driving.
Or it could be caused by vacuum leaks. Usually by bad plastic lines, or (more likely) by deteriorated rubber fittings at the ends of those plastic lines. Any rubber connector that is easy to twist or move around is suspect.
It won't be nearly as pretty, but I replaced ALL of my hard plastic vacuum lines - and the previously mentioned rubber fittings - with soft rubber lines. Fixed all of my strange intermittent ECM codes and other strange stuff. YMMV.

[This message has been edited by Raydar (edited 05-22-2020).]

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Report this Post05-22-2020 07:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RWDPLZClick Here to visit RWDPLZ's HomePageSend a Private Message to RWDPLZEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Make a project out of just replacing ALL the vacuum lines and check the routing, then check with a vacuum gauge.
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Report this Post05-23-2020 04:00 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
There are two obvious places where there is a problem with the vacuum lines: the elbow that connects the vacuum line to the intake plenum was completely rotted away and the line coming out of the EGR valve wasn't connecting to anything.

Since it's nearly impossible to get the elbow here, I made my own. Haven't tested it yet but will do so today. As for connecting the hose coming out of the EGR Valve, it should be connected to a steel pipe on the firewall, but... there's no steel pipe on the firewall in my car. So I'll jack the car up and see if it was routed differently.
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Report this Post05-23-2020 05:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
My DIY elbow for the intake plenum works like a charm. Got rid of the high idle as well. It now idles (cold) around 900-1000 RPM. Only a few small items left. I'll start new threads for those.
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Report this Post05-23-2020 08:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The hose coming from the EGR valve runs underneath the manifold and goes to the EGR solenoid. The hose from the forward end of the EGR solenoid is the one that goes to the metal hose on the firewall. On the other side, that metal line transitions back to a rubber hose that connects to the air filter canister on the filtered side of the filter.
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Report this Post05-23-2020 10:05 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yes sorry, was talking about the solenoid all along.
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