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Would an intake gasket leak pool on bellhousing

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by phoebeisis, May 10, 2009.

  1. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Quick question.I have a coolant leak. I've found coolant just behind the motor pooled on top of the bellhousing.
    Where does the intake manifold gasket leak-and does it pool up there?
    I can't actually see back there of course, but I felt touched the fluid-it is coolant.It drips all the way down the edge of the bellhousing.At first I thought it was trans fluid- it isn't

    I lost about 2 quarts of coolant per 500-1000 miles or so. It is the light red orange thin coolant- not the darker red really stinkier trans fluid.Even new trans fluid has a nasty sort of odor to me.Coolant-DEXCOOL has a smell, but it isn't bad.

    Thanks,
    Charlie
    PS 1998 Suburban 1500 2wd 209,700 miles-runs great-few leaks-gets great hy mpg(21 mpg on 3000 mile trips) .I want to keep it,since it is a winner-When finances permit,I would love to get a 2004, but not now.This vehicle seems to get better than average FE, and it is a spectacular long trip vehicle.We(2 adults and a greyhound) sleep at rest stops on long trips, so the Suburban is great.A double mattress fits in the back,so it is like sleeping on a bed at home-no motel bill either.Did I mention we are broke/debt etc. It is a great do everything vehicle-even with $8 gas I would keep it, or another Suburban.We have a very fuel efficient vehicle for most city driving.We also need big because of evacuations- 1or 2 biggish dogs, 4-5 cats + 3 adult humans.Plus a friends 56 lb beagle frequently stays with us-yes, he-Deuce- is very fat.He would have to come along on an evac. We need a big box on wheels. I don't care for Excursions-the other big , long vehicle - I'm not against vans, but the Suburban is easier to work on.
  2. Dr_Zero

    Dr_Zero Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    It could very well be mine was leaking out the back right hand side of the intake manifold.

    When you do get it changed do yourself a favor and go green on the antifreeze they make the extended life green also if that is the selling point for you and dex cool.

    Do a search for dex cool on here and you can see why I dislike it so much.
  3. grimreapersshadow

    grimreapersshadow Rockstar 100 Posts

    yeah they tend to leak at the back on the left side (as your looking at motor) or up front on either side between the valve covers and lower intake i don't recommend going green until you fully drain your system tho you don't want any of the dex- cool mixing with the green because it will turn into mud and plug up every thing from your water pump to your water passages in the block then poof your motor is toast and nothing short of an replacement motor is effective
  4. Dr_Zero

    Dr_Zero Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    I think they have fixed that issue with the new antifreeze they are making

    http://www.cartalk.com/content/columns/Archive/2000/August/08.html

    Dear Tom and Ray:


    I have a question about antifreeze. Many months ago, my trusted mechanic was making repairs to my 1995 Chevy Lumina. He told me he had to flush the radiator because I had added a different color antifreeze to my cooling system. He stated that one cannot mix colors of antifreeze (pink and green, in my case). Since then, he informed me that my head gaskets needed replacing. Could it be due to the little bit of pink antifreeze I added to the green? -- Jeffrey
    Tom: Well, we checked with our interior decorator, Franc. And he said that under no circumstances should you ever mix pink and green. Unless you live in Florida.

    Ray: From an automotive point of view, however, it's a more complicated question. The color in antifreeze is like food coloring. It's added by the manufacturer as an identifier. Prestone has always used fluorescent yellow, Texaco and Shell have always used green. So it gives you a hint as to the identity of the coolant's manufacturer, but it doesn't tell you what type of coolant it is, and that's the more important question.

    Tom: There are basically two types of coolant in the world. There's "traditional" coolant, which is what we've been using forever. And then there's the newer, "organic" coolant -- also known as OAT, or Organic Acid Technology.

    Ray: The difference is that the OAT coolant has rust inhibitors that last 100,000 miles or more, whereas traditional coolants have rust inhibitors that only last 50,000 miles or so. And if you mix the two types of coolant, nothing terrible is going to happen -- nothing is going to blow up or melt -- but a mixture of the two types of coolants won't have as much rust protection as either one individually.

    Tom: General Motors has been using an orange-colored OAT coolant since about 1994. So that's what was probably in your car, Jeffrey. (There's usually a decal under the hood that tells you if your car came equipped with long-life coolant.) Your mechanic may have noticed that the color was diluted with something else, and he may have assumed you mixed a traditional coolant with your OAT coolant.

    Ray: The experts we spoke to at SAE (the Society of Automotive Engineers) said that you can mix up to about 15 percent traditional coolant in your OAT coolant before you have any real effect on the corrosion inhibitors. So if, for example, you just top up your OAT coolant with a few cups of traditional stuff, nothing's going to happen. But if you go beyond that 15 percent threshold, then it makes sense to EVENTUALLY drain out the coolant and fill it up with all one or all the other.

    Tom: It's certainly not an emergency. As we said, nothing is going to break, burn up or melt. And even if the rust-inhibition properties were compromised, you could still go a year or even several years without any negative effects. But it would be prudent, during your next service, to drain out a mixed batch of coolant and go with one type or the other.

    Ray: So that's the story on coolant color, Jeffrey. Color doesn't tell you what you really need to know. You can mix two different colors of the same kind of coolant without any problem whatsoever. But if you mix a significant amount of one type in with the other type, you're weakening your corrosion inhibitors (it happened to my brother, and look at the condition he's in now).
  5. skinner

    skinner Rockstar

    The coolant crossovers from one head to the other are through the intake manifold at the front and back. Its not uncommon for the intake gasget to leak at the rear passage into the rear ports or in your case, to the atmosphere and onto the belhousing. Pressure test may find it but it may only leak during warm-up or when hot so testing may be difficult unless you over pressure it inturn possibly causing damage elswhere.
    Try a normal pressure/leak test to maybe 4 or 5 lbs above the cap releif pressure. If that shows no leaks, cap the system and start the engine cold, lye uner with atiquate lighting and watch for the leak while it heats up. Slow process but it should find it.
    Myself, i'd try pressure test to try to get a visual, then, replace the intake set.
    It is unlikely that the leak is from the head gasget but if the engine has been overheated or frozen with poor strength coolant in the system, its more possible, but the pressure/leak test should find this type of leak.
  6. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Thanks guys,

    I used a mirror yesterday-from the engine bay-and could actually see the little orange/pink pool of coolant.

    It is sorta on the bellhousing of just forward of it on the block or that little shelf where the bell housing attaches to the block.

    I would bet it is the intake manifold gasket. The motor runs great-good mpg no stumbles- so the leak now is just to the outside-no steam smoke in the exhaust etc.

    Another question-what is that coolant line that comes from the driver's side exhaust manifold??? It is a single line, so where does it get the coolant? Does the coolant come from the head, and go into the exhaust manifold?? Some sort of hookup to speed warm up? Seems odd to constantly run coolant thru thru a hot exhaust manifold? Is there some valve in there that prevents coolant flow into the exhaust once it is warm??

    So best bet-but not 100%- is that it is the intake manifold gasket?
    Thanks all,
    Charlie
  7. grimreapersshadow

    grimreapersshadow Rockstar 100 Posts

    it your egr system line it takes exhaust gas in and puts a little in your intake charge during driving be very carefull with this line its made of thin metal and fiberglass braid as a heat protector somewhat cheep to replace but it can be a pain in the arse to get off the exhaust manifold

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