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Coolant Leak on Ground - Passenger side by Brent7088
Started on: 08-31-2021 01:52 PM
Replies: 37 (367 views)
Last post by: Brent7088 on 09-09-2021 02:47 AM
Brent7088
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Report this Post08-31-2021 01:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Brent7088Click Here to Email Brent7088Send a Private Message to Brent7088Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
86GT V6..

I have a coolant leak dripping on the ground, passenger side about a foot or so inline with the back of the tire. As far as I know it's not leaking inside the car on the carpet - just on the outside. It drips more with the front end jacked up (once about every 10-15 seconds or so).

Is it possible the heater core is leaking on the ground without leaking on the carpet? I checked the pipe that runs from the back to the front and that is dry.
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Report this Post08-31-2021 04:17 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 Brent7088:

I have a coolant leak dripping on the ground, passenger side about a foot or so inline with the back of the tire.


"the tire"... the front tire?

If the drip is in the front of the car... obviously check the radiator, overflow tank, and all associated hoses and connections.

A leaking heater core will drip inside the cab... onto the passenger side carpet.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 08-31-2021).]

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Report this Post08-31-2021 10:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Brent7088Click Here to Email Brent7088Send a Private Message to Brent7088Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I should have clarified this.. yes it is inward about a foot from front passenger tire on the rear of it...

It primarily drips more constant when raised up and I can't tell where it's coming from. The passenger side floor is slightly sticky but no puddles or severe dampness and no fogged up windshield or window. I just had a coolant flush, so it seems there would be a lot of water on the carpet if it was a heater core leak.

Is it impossible for a heater core to leak coolant on the ground? I could very well have 2 leaks for all I know.

[This message has been edited by Brent7088 (edited 08-31-2021).]

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Report this Post08-31-2021 10:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for skywurzClick Here to visit skywurz's HomePageSend a Private Message to skywurzEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Water pump weep?
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Report this Post08-31-2021 10:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Brent7088Click Here to Email Brent7088Send a Private Message to Brent7088Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That was my initial thought too, but I wasn't real sure where the water pump is installed on an 86 GT.. I thought it was near the alternator.
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Report this Post08-31-2021 10:19 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 Brent7088:

Is it impossible for a heater core to leak coolant on the ground?


Nothing is "impossible".... but seeing as how the heater core is inside of the cab, I'd say it's pretty unlikely that a heater core leak would get to the outside of the car... unless it's seeping through the floor!

Take the cover off of yours and have a look. Here's the cover off of my '86 with A/C (as non-A/C is a little different) when it was leaking.

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Report this Post08-31-2021 10:22 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

Patrick

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quote
Originally posted by Brent7088:

That was my initial thought too, but I wasn't real sure where the water pump is installed on an 86 GT.


It sure as heck isn't anywhere near the front of the car!
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Report this Post08-31-2021 10:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for skywurzClick Here to visit skywurz's HomePageSend a Private Message to skywurzEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Looking at the photos i now see your gas tank is all wet. The heater lines pass by there to the front.
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Report this Post08-31-2021 10:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Brent7088Click Here to Email Brent7088Send a Private Message to Brent7088Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks Patrick - I'll take a look tomorrow... sure hope that thing isn't what's leaking.. I have AC too and I know how much of a bear it will be to get those inlet/outlet hoses off the tubes.
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Report this Post08-31-2021 10:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Brent7088Click Here to Email Brent7088Send a Private Message to Brent7088Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Brent7088

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quote
Originally posted by skywurz:

Looking at the photos i now see your gas tank is all wet. The heater lines pass by there to the front.


Yea, not sure if that's runoff from the initial coolant leak or what, but it's not gas. I'll just take a look at the core tomorrow and crawl underneath for more hidden leaks.

[This message has been edited by Brent7088 (edited 08-31-2021).]

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Report this Post08-31-2021 11:30 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 Brent7088:

Yea, not sure if that's runoff from the initial coolant leak or what, but it's not gas.


Not suggesting it is, but make sure it's not brake fluid.
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Report this Post08-31-2021 11:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Brent7088Click Here to Email Brent7088Send a Private Message to Brent7088Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That's exactly what I was wondering too, before I caught a puddle of drips earlier today... took a close look and confirmed it is coolant -- same yellow OAT coolant I just added a few weeks ago.
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Report this Post09-01-2021 10:59 AM 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
Later versions splice heater into right rear main pipe. Not sure 86 has this.
Uses Short Standard heater hose w/ 2 "AC" aluminum crimp and crimp gets "rust" and fails and leak some or a lot.

Get new hose and clamp w/ normal clamps. All stainless is best because when they are.
Put clamps on so nothing below the pipe. Anything below is a snag target and snags can make a clamp to fail.

V6 have heater out pass thru near that area too.
Is a "plug" that leaks there.
See my Cave, Heater

------------------
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(Jurassic Park)


The Ogre's Fiero Cave

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Report this Post09-01-2021 11:13 AM 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
Switching Coolant types is often iffy to bad.
Example: Many switched from "standard Green" to DEXCOOL thinking get more life. Wrong. DEXCOOL and some others have a best 3-5 years in cars build w/ Green coolant. And DEXCOOL had other problems even for cars had it as OE.

And if you fill a flush system w/ 50/50 mix, now car has Weak coolant because car had Water trapped inside.
See my Cave, Coolant Fill
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Report this Post09-01-2021 02:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Brent7088Click Here to Email Brent7088Send a Private Message to Brent7088Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I took a closer look in the passenger side under the dash, and to my dismay I did find 2 areas where it is slooowly leaking in - which tells me it is leaking through the floor onto the ground as well (real nice).

Does anyone know which parts store has a 100% exact fit for the 86 GT? I kept reading about some are too short or had to fill in all around with foam -- just preferred to avoid those if possible.

Also copper or aluminum? Or a mix of both? Looks like the Fiero store's cores are copper for the most part but can't tell for sure from their image.

Thank you
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Report this Post09-01-2021 04:37 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
Brass/copper heater cores are made of stamp sheets and soldered.
You likely see the solder in/on the "tubes."
Go to AZ AdvanceAuto etc to see larger pictures. Likely get them locally so no ship charge and often get lower price. Or buy online get lower price and no ship charge and return to local store if damage, warranty, etc.
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Report this Post09-01-2021 05:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Brent7088Click Here to Email Brent7088Send a Private Message to Brent7088Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks for the advice ogre. I read the ones from Rockauto and others didn't quite fit for some reason. I guess it's just the luck of the draw when ordering from different vendors so I may have to try out a few different ones before I land the right one.
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Report this Post09-01-2021 08:46 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

The fact that a lot of the newer heater cores aren't quite as big (by about a quarter inch) as the original really doesn't make any significant difference in either the installation or performance. A tiny fraction of the air being blown through the heater box will go around (rather than through) the heater core. You'll never notice the difference.

Just make sure to get the applicable heater core for an A/C or non-A/C equipped Fiero.
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Report this Post09-01-2021 09:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Brent7088Click Here to Email Brent7088Send a Private Message to Brent7088Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks Patrick.. in the event I get a heater core that's smaller than the OE, would I have to fill the extra space in with anything?

Also I either read or saw in a video how copper cores are better than aluminum. Does it really matter which one I get? Can you recommend one or the other, or a certain brand?
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Report this Post09-01-2021 09:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cvxjetClick Here to Email cvxjetSend a Private Message to cvxjetEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I just checked and O'Reilly auto parts has them for a decent price...Make sure you order the one for your setup; With or Without A/C.....

The Fiero store has them also and they may FIT better...But they are a little more money....I would support the Fiero store but I have a stable income (But an unstable mind)

Changing the Core on my non-A/C Fiero was easy- don't know about the A/C Fieros....
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Report this Post09-01-2021 10:13 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 Brent7088:

... in the event I get a heater core that's smaller than the OE, would I have to fill the extra space in with anything?

Also I either read or saw in a video how copper cores are better than aluminum. Does it really matter which one I get? Can you recommend one or the other, or a certain brand?



IMO, "no" to all.
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Report this Post09-02-2021 03:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Brent7088Click Here to Email Brent7088Send a Private Message to Brent7088Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

IMO, "no" to all.


Ok, I guess if it doesn't leak and it fits ok I'm good to go.... probably just get the one from FS.
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Report this Post09-02-2021 05:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Brent7088Click Here to Email Brent7088Send a Private Message to Brent7088Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Another couple questions that came to mind while taking things apart for this job:

I noticed in the write-up from RWDPLZ that pulling the hoses is more or less the first step. Is it necessary to pull the inlet/outlet hoses from under the hood before dismantling the heater core housing from under the dash? Or is the hose pull done first so that all the coolant doesn't keep coming from the housing under dash?

Also - once the hoses are off the core pipes, how are they supposed to be restricted from coolant continuously spilling out? Just plug them with something?
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Report this Post09-02-2021 06:19 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 Brent7088:

Is it necessary to pull the inlet/outlet hoses from under the hood before dismantling the heater core housing from under the dash? Or is the hose pull done first so that all the coolant doesn't keep coming from the housing under dash?


It doesn't matter if you take the cover off of the heater box to look at the core before the hoses are disconnected, but you'll want the core to still be held in place while you wrestle with getting the hoses off.

 
quote
Originally posted by Brent7088:

Also - once the hoses are off the core pipes, how are they supposed to be restricted from coolant continuously spilling out? Just plug them with something?


Either plug them (or connect them to each other), or bend/hold the hoses up so that the open ends are the highest part of the system.
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Report this Post09-02-2021 06:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Brent7088Click Here to Email Brent7088Send a Private Message to Brent7088Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Ok thanks Pat - will do... I guess it's not a good idea to have the front end of the car jacked up as it is now, so I'll lower it to the floor to prevent coolant from pouring back toward the core.
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Report this Post09-02-2021 06:37 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 Brent7088:

...to prevent coolant from pouring back toward the core.


Keep in mind the system is cold and under no pressure. It's not like the coolant is going to be gushing out when the hoses are removed. Keep the rad and thermostat caps on to slow the (minimal) escape of coolant out the open hoses.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 09-02-2021).]

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Report this Post09-02-2021 06:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Brent7088Click Here to Email Brent7088Send a Private Message to Brent7088Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yes I understand. I have a pan on the passenger floor to catch what does pour out - I just didn't know if the coolant would keep on pouring and pouring out from the housing under the dash if I had the front end in the air (leaning in the direction of the core), so thought I'd lower it in case it did.

[This message has been edited by Brent7088 (edited 09-02-2021).]

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Report this Post09-02-2021 07:25 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 Brent7088:

I just didn't know if the coolant would keep on pouring and pouring out from the housing under the dash...


The ends of the heater core are in the spare tire compartment. That is where a minimal amount of coolant will be leaking when the hoses are disconnected... not under the dash. The coolant in the heater housing is what has oozed out of the core. Just put a big towel down on the floor to catch what escapes when the cover is removed.
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Report this Post09-02-2021 07:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rick VanderpoolClick Here to Email Rick VanderpoolSend a Private Message to Rick VanderpoolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Brent7088:


Also - once the hoses are off the core pipes, how are they supposed to be restricted from coolant continuously spilling out? Just plug them with something?


There are plastic pliers specifically intended to clamp hoses.
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Report this Post09-02-2021 11:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for reinhartClick Here to Email reinhartSend a Private Message to reinhartEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Curious how you didn't notice the coolant on the bottom side of the plastic heater core housing? If there's enough to be dripping out the floor board, the bottom of the plastic housing would have to be at least damp. One wipe of the finger would have answered your question instantly.
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Report this Post09-03-2021 09:04 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ArthurPealeClick Here to Email ArthurPealeSend a Private Message to ArthurPealeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by reinhart:

Curious how you didn't notice the coolant on the bottom side of the plastic heater core housing? If there's enough to be dripping out the floor board, the bottom of the plastic housing would have to be at least damp. One wipe of the finger would have answered your question instantly.


well, how do *you* sometimes not see stuff that's in plain view?

Those things that you're looking for, until..."oh, crap, I've been looking right at it this whole time!"
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Report this Post09-03-2021 02:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Brent7088Click Here to Email Brent7088Send a Private Message to Brent7088Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by reinhart:

Curious how you didn't notice the coolant on the bottom side of the plastic heater core housing? If there's enough to be dripping out the floor board, the bottom of the plastic housing would have to be at least damp. One wipe of the finger would have answered your question instantly.


I noticed the floor mats slightly tacky, but wrongly attributed that to carpet adhesive breaking down (should have known better). At that point I still had not even heard about a heater core leak from inside.

When I went to lift the front end to work on ball joints, that's when the leak was obvious. After taking a closer look at the housing, I did see very small drips on the edges, but no puddles had formed.

The car had been sitting for a long time without being ran; i guess if it had been started more, the coolant would have poured out faster causing actual puddles on the floor.
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Report this Post09-07-2021 10:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Brent7088Click Here to Email Brent7088Send a Private Message to Brent7088Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well I was able to get the hoses off the core pipes and got the core unscrewed and out.

I went and ordered a new core from Advanced Auto online, received it today and noticed it's about a 1/4" shorter on both sides than the original. Should I fool around with sending it back and trying for another elsewhere or should I fill in the surrounding excess space with foam? Any dangers of getting too hot and catching on fire from the heater core itself?

Also around the outer edges of the inner housing, I noticed a couple felt-type gasket strips of some sort and noticed one of them was peeling off from being dowsed with coolant. Should I replace that with something?

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Report this Post09-07-2021 10:42 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 Brent7088:

...it's about a 1/4" shorter on both sides than the original. Should I fool around with sending it back and trying for another elsewhere or should I fill in the surrounding excess space with foam?


If you've got nothing better to do... sure, go through all that trouble!

 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

The fact that a lot of the newer heater cores aren't quite as big (by about a quarter inch) as the original really doesn't make any significant difference in either the installation or performance. A tiny fraction of the air being blown through the heater box will go around (rather than through) the heater core. You'll never notice the difference.

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Report this Post09-07-2021 10:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Brent7088Click Here to Email Brent7088Send a Private Message to Brent7088Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Ok - I just didn't know if it would wobble around from vibration or whatnot.. and didn't know if a foam filler would be a fire hazard from the heat of the core.

[This message has been edited by Brent7088 (edited 09-07-2021).]

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Report this Post09-07-2021 11:08 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 Brent7088:

I just didn't know if it would wobble around from vibration or whatnot...


The heater core needs to be properly secured. It does not need to be sealed airtight around the edges.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 09-07-2021).]

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Report this Post09-08-2021 10:53 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ArthurPealeClick Here to Email ArthurPealeSend a Private Message to ArthurPealeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Brent7088:

Ok - I just didn't know if it would wobble around from vibration or whatnot.. and didn't know if a foam filler would be a fire hazard from the heat of the core.



The hottest the core will get is the temperature of the coolant, which won't be more than around 260 - and, that shouldn't happen if things are properly operational. Just fill in the space with something that won't ignite with a temperature that low.
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Report this Post09-09-2021 02:47 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Brent7088Click Here to Email Brent7088Send a Private Message to Brent7088Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

The heater core needs to be properly secured. It does not need to be sealed airtight around the edges.



Yea that makes sense.. I went ahead and installed the one I have, so I'll be testing it out in the coming days. I have the metal bracket tight enough to secure the core, hooked the hoses back up, clamped them tight so everything should be fine. Thanks for the advice Pat.


 
quote
Originally posted by ArthurPeale:


The hottest the core will get is the temperature of the coolant, which won't be more than around 260 - and, that shouldn't happen if things are properly operational. Just fill in the space with something that won't ignite with a temperature that low.


Thanks for the input - I just stuffed the hole and around the pipes with a piece of that somewhat thick yellow foam. it shouldn't ignite but I'll keep a close eye on it after running the car awhile.
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