Coolant Loss, sticky did not help pinpoint [Archive] - Forum


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12-12-2006, 11:12 PM
Okay I did a search on here under many topic names and could not find the exact problem that I could relate to mine. I am going to make the post as simple as possible with still being detailed.

First a few months ago at work my Low coolant light went on and off randomly every so often. I checked the coolant level which didn't seem too low so I topped it off. What I did notice was this brown sludge crap in the coolant tank. I couldn't tell if it was oil or not but it was caked on one of the walls of the coolant resevoir and on the bottom of the cap. It honestly looked like nasty wet turds.

I checked my coolant a week later and it was still at a good level, but since the brown sludge was there I got pissed about it and decided I was going to change the coolant. I purchased green 50/50 antifreeze i think it was prestone brand.

Took off the hose going to the radiator and drained all the coolant out of the resevoir. I filled the tank with water and ran the car with the cap off and the heater on full blast. I drained the water out and refilled about 3 or 4 times. Then after this I took the coolant and filled the resevoir with the green coolant.

Things seemed to be fine, till a few days later. The low coolant light came on again and I checked the coolant tank and it was almost empty. I decided to refill once again and ran out of coolant on the second fill. The next morning the tank was empty again.

GOD DAMNIT! yea so I started to get pissed and didnt want to go and buy more coolant just to waste money so I filled the resevoir with normal water and put red dye in it. I checked under the car and the space between the oil pan and the radiator there is a droplet that falls down every 7-10 seconds. I don't know if this is just normal drippage from the heater being on or something but its there. I also noticed that area where the drippign is coming from seems to be wet with something. Also looking down on the right side of the upper intake manifold it looks like very tiny puddle that looks like the water with dye i put in. I also noticed it was burning up and smelled like coolant.

Then I noticed there was wetness all underneath that area inside of the enginebay of the car...driver side.

I dont know what it is...I checked my oil cap and dipstick for milky substance and the oil looks fine to me. Is this still definately the LIM gasket problem?

If so Im broke and I guess I wont be driving this car until I can afford it...or take a big risk doing the job myself.

12-13-2006, 01:29 AM
Hmm...but either way. If nobody can pinpoint a different problem, or know its the LIM gasket...then has there been a guide on how to properly replace the LIM gaskets as well as all the parts you will need.

Preferably a How to with pictures.


12-17-2006, 11:34 AM
Hi there, it sounds like the same problem I had. The crap in your resevoir is oil, so a LIM gasket will be needed for that. My leaked oil into the cooling system early this year. Sorry to be the bringer of bad news.

12-17-2006, 12:59 PM
^your avatar is quite fitting.

12-17-2006, 02:33 PM
The original brown coolant was probably dexcool and its suppose to be good for roughly 160,000km. its thicker so that it lasts longer, someone correct me if im wrong.

12-17-2006, 03:14 PM
Hi there, it sounds like the same problem I had. The crap in your resevoir is oil, so a LIM gasket will be needed for that. My leaked oil into the cooling system early this year. Sorry to be the bringer of bad news.

Oil does not leak in to the cooling system with a gasket failure. Coolant to oil is common. Oil to coolant is not.

12-17-2006, 03:24 PM
You said you checked the oil but it didnt look milky, but was your oil level abnormally low? With a LIM/UIM your coolant wouldnt leak as quickly as it is unless its been like that for a very long time, I think this would take a little longer than a few months for it to get so bad that your whole resivour would empty in a day. Sounds like maybe you resivour or a hose or something has a crack in it causing it to leak.

12-17-2006, 05:51 PM
I checked the oil and there doesnt seem to be any "milkyness" to it and its not low. The coolant however have that nasty brown crap caked up on the wall and it gets on the bottom of the rad cap.

Also, on the driver side of the engine right under the throttle body basically theres this little pool of what i think is coolant that keeps reappearing next to this little ledge coming off the Upper intake manifold. then underneath there all the parts are soaked with the same crap im guessing. under the car the oil pan was all wet and droplets kept falling from in front of the oilpan on the side closest to the front bumper. theres like a space that goes up into the engine bay in front of the oil pan and its dripping from there.

But also i do not see any leakage on the passanger side of the car its all on the drivers my resevoir is fine as well as the water pump. I can see it visibally leaking from the seam on the UIM right underneath the throttle body

12-17-2006, 05:55 PM
I still dont think it has to do with the lim gaskets. It just seems to be leaking to rapidly. Try to pinpoint the leak better.

12-17-2006, 06:03 PM
It's your gasket. The tell tale sign of the leakage under the TB gives it away.

12-17-2006, 07:32 PM
yah gasket also could be that his water neck for the thermostat came unbolted somehow, seems to be comming out too fast for the gasket alone. also look at the place by your heater core. it will be back on the middle of the firewall. you will see a small rubber hose b the a/c lines that are close to the heater core lines(just follow the plastic bracket to the pass side)

that is the drain for the a/c system. if there is water being continuously pumped out of there with just the car on, then you have a leaking heater core.

any update yet?

12-17-2006, 08:52 PM
It can drain quick when it's under pressure.

12-17-2006, 10:09 PM
Ill try to get pics..

basically i can see it coming from the seam which is where the gaskets are so...i dunno looks like im screwed

i do not have the money to pay for it and i never got a detailed answer as to the part numbers I would need to replace it. I hear different things from different users and some say part numbers others say they are wrong numbers..i just need a list of exactly what youll need the the part number and best place to buy them, and ill get this thing started. i havent driven my car since.

PLUS the car never overheated not even runs at a steady 200...excpet the last time i took it out it was freezing outside so it took awhil eto heat up to 200...i just had regular water in the resevoir and the heat got warm after awhile...then out of nowhere turned cold and the temp shot down to like 185-190...i dunno it was wierd.

12-17-2006, 10:15 PM
You might have a bad LIM because of the leaking areas. I noticed leaking on the bottom of my oil pan (and also around my TB which my mechanic found) and it turned out to be the LIM.

The sludge could be from mixing regular antifreeze with the dexcool. I noticed this problem on my bro's car. I had topped off his coolant with the greenstuff and when checking it one day noticed a layer of brown sludge sitting on top of the coolant in his resivour. He took it to the mechanic and they said no LIM leak just crap from the two coolants mixing.

12-17-2006, 10:19 PM
The part numbers are available here. Please search for them. If that doesn't work please go to Felpro's site for their gasket set. Both the Felpro and revised GM gaskets are good.

The sludge in the reservoir tank is from Dexcool mixing with air. Since the reservoir tank always has an air cap, you get sludge. The only way to get rid of it is to switch coolant.

12-18-2006, 07:30 AM
Does the felpro kit include everything you need? as in both gaskets and the o rings or whatnot...basically the lists of parts you need on here dont seem to be in you dont need a new thermostat therefor no thermostat gasket either...some people say to take off the fuel injectors or something...its all different. I just want to replace the gaskets and fix the leak...

Do i only need the UIM and LIM gaskets and the bolts with threadlock on it to do so?

i want to do this as cheap as possible but get the best gaskets. im selling this car soon because of the problems ive been having

12-18-2006, 09:43 AM
If you use the GM kit it includes just the UIM and LIM gaskets. I believe the felpro one does as well, but I think it also includes the EGR and TB gaskets. You will need the EGR gasket. Quality wise both are the same.

You can reuse the original bolts. Just clean then real good and use 1-2 drops of red threadlocker on each bolt.

12-18-2006, 05:35 PM
So with the UIM, LIM, and EGR gaskets I can complete the job succesfully?

That is of course not including a torque wrench, tools, and the sealants. But I mean mechanical wise those are the only parts I should need?

12-18-2006, 05:42 PM
i would include a new set of rocker arm cover gaskets also and maybe the o ring for the heater core pipe that runs out of the lim, but if you get the felpro kit, itll have all that. and if you have the contamination still in ur syst. then i would change the tstat gasket as well, for good measure

it all comes in the top end kit from felpro. make sure you have plenty of RTV for the intake ends and to put around the water ports on the heads

12-18-2006, 10:58 PM
can you direct me to the topend gasket kit from felpro? a link would be good. i plan on tackling this job this weekend.

12-18-2006, 11:07 PM
i have the box with the p/n but its in my shop, ill get it tomorrow. make sure to have a grip load of carb cleaner cuz youll need it. i used it and about 2 gals of chemtool to clean my upper and lower intake manifolds out. they looked like the carsbad caverns. and blow off the tb also, just for good measure.

i left the fuel injectors in the lim and just took off the FPR and the other fuel line off the fuel rail, so i didnt have to worry about the o rings leaking. also before you remove anything, take an air hose and blow all the dirt and debris off that you can, then when you get the uim off, blow out around the injectors and the vert bolts.(make sure to put something in the runners like rags or paper to keep stuff out). i just laid my uim in chemtool and let it soak for an hour, then washed it off and blew it out. id rinse it a few times and soak it good, they get nasty. also when you are working on the outside bolts(diagonal) make sure you have a good short 10mm wrench to work with, it helps.

if you need anymore tips or the walkthrough doesnt cover something, just ask, ill post the pn for the felpro kit tomorrow.

12-18-2006, 11:25 PM
Awesome. Before I start the whole deal I have to flush out my coolant really well. Any tips for getting the entire coolant system flushed out and clean.

My part list so far is:
Felpro Kit
RTV Sealant
Thread Lock
Prestone Extended Life Antifreeze/Coolant
5 Quarts of Engine Oil

I am not positive if I have a torque wrench so I might have to purchase one. Otherwise I think I pretty much have everything I need tool wise. Supposedly I read you need a U-Joint and you have to remove a engine mount bolt and jack the engine up.. I had to do that to change the serpentine belt i really hope thats not necessary cuz that sucked!

12-18-2006, 11:41 PM
no, umm i think that has to do with taking off the p/s pump, because it is in the way, you will have to take the belt off, and also the p/s pump and alternator removal is helpful also, for the rear cover bolts. make sure to disconnect the batt first. if you need to, just take it out so u dont cause a stray spark

ps pump removal, just rotate the p/s pulley to get at the 3 bolts that hold it to the block/bracket. then lay it aside, dont disconnect any lines.

alternator, remove bolt and nut from alt bracket(back side of engine), take off electric conn and lead wire from batt +. take the whole alt out.

if you get those off, then everything else is ok. you can use a universal joint to try and get to the diag bolts, but just dont round them off, i had better luck with a short 10mm wrench, ratcheting wrench would have been nice.

also there is a heater core inlet/outlet tube on the trottle body side that goes into the lim right by the tstat, make sure to take it out, i think the 99's were threaded and the 00 and up were pressed in, but i could be wrong. there is a nut on a stud that holds the bracket for the tube, you need something to get at that, maybe where the u joint could come in handy also, i think that nut is a 13,14,or15 just to narrow it down.

i dont think you need to remove the engine mount on the pass side, but if you do then you will need to support the engine underneath so it doesnt sag too much to get teh p/s pump out of the way.

i also took the entire coilpack, ignition module, and bracket off just to get it out of the way also, just leave the screws in the coils on the module and take the 2 nuts/bolts out of the uim and the 2 nuts off the bottom by the exhaust. if you dont know the firing order on the coils, make sure to mark the coils and wires, doesnt matter with what number as long as the corresponding coil terminal and wire have the same #s

you shouldnt have to buy a torque wrench, but i do advise it. you can rent one from autozone or oreillys. you might also need a torque to yield gauge for the rocker arm bolts.

thats all i can think of, if you want to know more, ill see if i can remember anything else

12-18-2006, 11:53 PM
Well as of now it seems like I'm confident to tackle the job, but Im sure once im in the middle of it Ill have a crap load of questions just to be cautious.

This is very important that I pull this off and do it succesfully because I am not in the position to spend upwards of $800 getting it done in a shop, plus im already due for new tires which is around another $400.

We shall see. I will try to start the job before or during this weekend.

12-20-2006, 04:31 PM
ok felpro pn for the gasket set is MS 98003 T, and dont forget the throttle body gasket also

12-20-2006, 10:45 PM
Awesome...okay at rockauto I found it.

Fuel/Air : Throttle Body Gasket
FEL-PRO Part # 60983
OHV engine; w/MFI $2.13 $0.00 $2.13 Remove Item

Engine : Intake Manifold Gasket Set
FEL-PRO Part # MS98003T
OHV engine; Complete set; Valve cover gskts. & Upper set incl.; PermaDryPlus® int. manifold gskts. incl. $68.79 $0.00 $68.79 Remove Item

Total comes to $76.83 with shipping included.

Not bad. So this is EVERYTHING?

12-20-2006, 10:55 PM
and a tube of rtv sealant. and some cans of carb cleaner...if you can soak the upper intake in it to get it all out, then blast the lower with the aerisol can stuff and the intake tracks and clean the tb good.

i took the fuel press reg off the fuel rail and the other fuel line and left the injectors in the lim. but use vaseline to lube and orings that u the fuel line o rings and the water line on the lim that goes to heater.

as long as u are draining the water, take off the water line from the top of the water pump to the heater hose, it makes it easier. it goes in front of front valve cover