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328 mystery collant leak

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by GrigioGuy, Aug 1, 2004.

  1. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
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    Nov 26, 2001
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    Chris P. Bakon
    Hi there.

    I'm posting via wireless from the garage :)

    The past few days I've been smelling a slight coolant smell when shutting down after a drive. Yesterday while filling up, I actually saw a coolant leak. From the rear of the car, it looked like it was coming from the water pump area. The car has been running normal temps and the water level is fine.

    So I figured that I have a leaking water pump, but wanted to verify that. I've had the car jacked up and running for over an hour, watching the motor through the removed passenger wheelwell. It's up to temp, and thus far I see absolutely nothing leaking. The AC is on, the radiator fans are running, and the coolant is circulating.

    Any ideas? I've been all over the motor and just don't see anything, and there's no water on the floor.

    Thanks
     
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  3. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Sep 25, 2002
    11,512
    MO
    I had a similar issue I could not fully ID. I was trying to find it in my garage, and let the car run for a while, with no results. Then back it up a few feet. (like out of the garage) and let it idle again. That caused the "leak" to show up again with a drip under the car.

    That said when I did this although I could see the coolant on the ground, I could not find where it came from to this day. And as of yet have not found the leak.
     
  4. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

    Nov 1, 2003
    34,891
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    HUBBSTER
    I had a mystery leak once on my 512TR, check all the cooling system hose clamps. I found a loose one on mine
     
  5. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
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    May 29, 2001
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    Hugh G. Rection
  6. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
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    It's an 87, but apparently some previous owner has already corrected the problem, as there was plenty of room.

    Still no leaks, so I'll just keep an eye on it and see if it shows itself. Wascally wabbit...

    Thanks for the suggestions
     
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  8. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
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    Sep 25, 2002
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    TIllman, doesnt coolant shine under UV light? See if you can borrow a UV lamp from someone and see if you can find it.
     
  9. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
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    Good idea. There's tracer dyes that can be added to coolant, I'll see what that does for me
     
  10. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    27,086
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    Brian Crall
    To ck. the waterpump get a mirror with a telescopic handle (avail. at most parts houses) and a flash light and look at the bottom of the pump about 4 inches behind the pulley. There you will see one or two holes. The hole is designed to allow water that gets past the seal to escape without being forced through the bearings. You will see traces of water or rust there, running down over the lower 6mm nut that holds the pump to the housing. In the early stages of pump failure water can leak at different times depending on pressure, running/not running etc. Don't do this with the engine running, just look for the traces that it has been going on. If its not that, the comment that it could be a loose clamp is a good one, doesn't always show up with a pressure test.
     
  11. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
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    May 29, 2001
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    I could smell coolant from my 328...but could not definitely see drips from the waterpump....it was suggested that I periodically touch under the pump where the "weep holes" are...(I think it was Peter Rychel that suggested it, when I visited him in the 328). Every so often (when I would remember, engine hot, or cold) I would pop the lid and feel around down there....sure enough...after a few checks I detected drips!

    Had it rebuilt shortly after....

    Dave
     
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  13. GTO84

    GTO84 Formula Junior

    Dec 13, 2003
    562
    Yes, do this with a black light. The coolant will glow, and the mirror will always find the leak.
     
  14. F328

    F328 Karting

    Jul 7, 2004
    65
    Midlands UK
    Full Name:
    Graham
    This is an interesting post - I have had my 328 for 4 weeks and last week it went in for work on the air con (re-gas etc). Used it a couple of times since with no problems then last night noticed a coolant leak . I thought mine was just an oveflow from the expansion tank but will have another look now.
     
  15. hardtop

    hardtop F1 World Champ

    Jan 31, 2002
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    Dave
    I once cured a leak by tightening hoses in the water pump area. Gotta love free fixes!

    If coolant is coming out the overflow, you probably have a bad cap. Ferrari caps are crap (and expensive). Go to NAPA, spend $5, and your problems go away.

    Dave
     
  16. Lawrence Coppari

    Lawrence Coppari Formula 3

    Apr 29, 2002
    1,964
    Kingsport, TN
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    Lawrence A. Coppari
    Like previous lister indicated, there are a number of hoses in the water pump area. Two are behind it. Check the clamps that hold them. If they are leaking, the evaporating coolant will leave residue.
     
  17. Dale

    Dale F1 Veteran

    Oct 7, 2003
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    Dale Juan
    Have a look for leak's with cold engine,if nothing is spotted fire her up for a few minites and while its on bypass the leak may rear itself,shut down while coolish and have a good look round,no luck pressure test it cold,

    cheers
    Dale.
     
  18. Doc

    Doc Formula Junior

    Sep 13, 2001
    886
    Latham, New York
    Full Name:
    Bill Van Dyne
    For the past year I'd gotten an episodic whiff of coolant whenever sitting at a light. Could never find a leak anywhere--UNTIL Grand Prix weekend in Montreal. After a night of partying downtown, I went to the car to find all of my coolant on the ground. It turned out to be that a hole wore through the aluminum pipe which runs from the thermostat past the gas tank. It was mounted directly against the gastank mounting strap guide and the vibration eventually caused the erosion. Since fixing that, the elusive coolant smell has disappered. So, check all of your hoses, clamps AND pipes. Good luck!
     
  19. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
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    Thanks again for all the suggestions. I'm going to look at it again Thursday night. I have a 300 mile road trip thie weekend, so if I can't find anything I guess I'll just load up on bottled water and hope for the best :D
     
  20. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
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    Well, the post-trip summary is that it never leaked at all. When I had opened up I went ahead and tightened all the hose clamps, but they seemed OK anyway.

    Took the car several hundred miles from home, participated in a 2-day driving class, and brought it back with no issues. Never overheated, no fluids, nothing.

    :confused:
     
  21. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
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    Sep 25, 2002
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    Haha, now you are in my shoes. Welcome to being lost and confused. :)
     
  22. Glen_Lloyd

    Glen_Lloyd Formula Junior
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    Dec 13, 2003
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    Lloydminster AB
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    Glen
    Are you sure you don't have my 328??? LOL
     
  23. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
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    Well, the leak has reappeared. It seems to only manifest itself after a long run.

    Guess it's time for a water pump rebuild and hoses.

    Where would I get a water pump rebuild kit, and is that something a DIY can do?
     
  24. jwise

    jwise Formula Junior

    Apr 2, 2003
    781
    Portland Maine
    WP rebuild kits- I just bought mine from T. Rutlans (a sponsor) and I think it was like $80. The pump on my car is off anyway- so we are just doing it.
    In the kit is a couple of bearings, a seal, o-ring, wp gasket, retaining ring, beveled ring for behind retaining ring, etc.

    You really need a press to do it, but I would think a big vice and a bunch of socket sizes would do the job. FWIW, and good luck.


    John
     
  25. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
    Consultant Owner

    May 5, 2001
    7,001
    Groton, MA
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    Verell Boaen
    See Techtip #6:
    http://www.r-design.net/308/techtips.htm

    Matt Boyd's WP rebuild procedure:
    http://www.camerafilters.com/ec/water.htm

    Things these procedures don 't tell you:

    0. Two things to watch out for: The pumps used two different bearing sizes, and also 2 different size rubber/ceramic disc seals. I recommend pulling the pump shaft & measuring the seal diameter as well as the bearings before you order the rebuilding kit. (Guess who didn't & had to wait for the right size seal to arrive).

    The T.Rutlands salesperson tried to talk me out of trying to rebuild the pump "Because almost always the pump failed because the housing was cracked, or else you'll crack the housing when installing the bearings."

    My housing looked good on the car, & I figured I could return the kit if I hadn't opened it & the housing got cracked removing the bearings.

    1. Bearing Removal:
    After removing the impeller, old seal, & the shaft, the bearings can be removed.

    My bearings were both pretty badly corroded/rusted into place, had to tap them pretty hard to get them to start moving. Slide the cylindrical spacer between inner & outer the bearings a bit to one side, until it's about 50% off-center. Slide a small socket thru the inner race of the inner bearing (the one that was behind the seal) & use the socket/spacer combination to drive out the outer bearing.


    2. THIS STEP IS IMPORTANT:
    I believe that what breaks most housings is someone attempting to drive the inner bearing out over a large corrosion buildup on the inside of the housing.

    Clean as much corrosion as you can out of the housing before removing the inner bearing. After you've got the outer bearing out, use a ~1" dia brass (preferred) or fine steel wire brush in an electric drill to polish out any corrosion in the space between the inner & outer bearings. Usually there's a surprising amount of crud to be removed.


    3.remove the C-clip and conical spring washer that retains the inner bearing & use a socket that just fits on the bearing's inner race to drive the inner bearing out. This may destroy the bearing, but so what.

    4. Repeat step 2. This time clean as much corrosion as you can out of the c-clip groove and area where the inner bearing was installed.

    The bearings are supposed to be a very snug fit to ensure the outer race can't rotate.

    You just want to clean things up, but not remove enough aluminum so that the bearings will rotate in the housing.

    5 Also clean out the 2 holes that drain the bearing area. Both were plugged up.

    6. Install the inner bearing, conical washer & circlip:

    Lube the bearings with some radio shack teflon lube, or white lithium grease. Install & seat the inner bearing 1st, use a large socket to press on the outer race so you don't damage the bearing. The bearing will slide right in, At most It'll just need a couple of taps w/a plastic hammer to seat it.

    The large, narrow conical washer between the circlip & the rear bearing is angled to act as a spring, presumably to tightly retain the bearing.

    My old conical washer was so badly rusted that I couldn't tell which way it was facing. With help from FerrariList members I determined that the conical washer's inside edge presses against the rear bearing's outerrace, and the washer's outside edge presses against the circlip. Otherwise, the inner edge may extend inside the circlip where the clip's width narrows, thus reducing the spring tension.

    6.Insert the bearing-bearing spacer & outer bearing.

    7.Sealing the seals:
    Use and RTV to seal the seal ring into place in the housing. (Permatex makes a grey RTV recommended for water pump applications, but any of the 'Super Blue', Super Black', etc. RTVs should be OK).

    Be very careful to NOT get any RTV (or oil, grease, etc.)on the sliding ceramic seal or the mating part. The seal depends on the ceramic surfaces being fully wetted by coolant. Surface tension does the actual sealing. Anything that repels water on the ceramic surface can cause the seal to leak.

    8. Install the seal on the water pump shaft, along with the impeller, bend the retaining tab over the impeller nut after tightening the nut.

    9. Pre-Lube the rotating joint between the ceramic seal & mating part with coolant then re-install the water pump shaft thru the housing half of the seal.

    10. Apply a thin film of RTV or Hylomar to the inner water pump case, & install the gasket. Then put another film on the gasket & install the water pump housing.

    Don't put RTV on the pump housing, you'll just scrape it off when you try to fit the pump over the studs(ask me how I know)...

    Some people like to use Hylomar for the outside of the gasket. Since Hylomar never sets up, if ever you have to pull the pump apart again, the water pump will cleanly separate from the gasket which will stay on the pump case. In my case since the gasket stayed on the inside of the pump in one piece, I just smeared a thin film of the RTV on the gasket as a dressing.

    Oh, yes, while you've got things apart, you may want to polish the housing & spray it with 3-4 coats of clear coat, or clear powder coat it.
    Also clean up the pulley & paint it chassis black.

    Your pump will look brand new!!!
     

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