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coolant problem
01-06-2014, 03:52 AM
Post: #1
coolant problem
Can someone help me identify why coolant would leak from what appears to be a metal elbow below water pump that caaries coolant from lower hose to some hose going to pump? Not sure , cant get a good look from top or from below.passenger side along block just above shroud on lower part of 98 Merc. Sable Le. 256,000 miles but very well maintained. All original parts.
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01-06-2014, 10:47 AM (This post was last modified: 01-06-2014 10:50 AM by Rupe.)
Post: #2
RE: coolant problem
Usually when you see coolant running down that lower pipe it's a sign that the weep hole in the water pump is the source. Years ago they designed this into the pump as an early warning so when the inside seal wears out it doesn't cause the bearing to fail right away. Failure of the bearing usually causes the shaft to break which can be quite messy and sometimes damage other parts. Typically you can get a better look with a small inspection mirror and a flash light. If it's wet behind the pump pulley then it's time for a new pump.

BTW, if that pipe is made of steel it could also be it has rotted through right at that point with a pin hole. Anything is possible on a 16 year old car. Closer inspection is the key to solving the mystery.
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01-06-2014, 11:20 AM (This post was last modified: 01-06-2014 11:26 AM by 23anddoc.)
Post: #3
RE: coolant problem
Thanks Rupe, I was grasping for an easy answer and your's is probably as good as it's gonna get?
I noticed a ringing in and or near the pump pulley several months back. My wife drives the car 10 miles to work and back each day and it seemed to stop after engine warmed. I was thinking I may need one then, an H20 pump that is . I am guessing you are prob. correct as I was expecting it at some point.
I have and continue to do most repairs on all my vehicles and keep them clean and change all fluids as recommended. All my vehicles are late 90 models and they are still running strong and look good , other than my sable now of course. I am wondering ? I have heard there are two different types of pump on these Sable's ? Is this engine the hard one do you know? My pump is right there top passenger front engine and looks to be somewhat un-horrible to do in this Minnesota -) negative 100 degrees this week. Thanks for any and all your input and advice Rupe it is very much appreciated .I have a 3 car and heating it up as I am typing with Contractor propane forced heat. I will check that fitting I think I am seeing, under all that equipment, and inspect and get back to ya with results. I wonder if I am going to have to go through H$ll and back to change that elbow ? should a guy just go ahead and replace the pump at this time? Car has 260,000 miles now.Original parts all on engine. tranny and cooling system. Undercarriage has new strutts and all that good stuff. I have found with some repairs and vehicles , less is better !!
Again it is still a good running and solid vehicle. IMO. "Peace" weep hole hugh?

(01-06-2014 10:47 AM)Rupe Wrote:  Usually when you see coolant running down that lower pipe it's a sign that the weep hole in the water pump is the source. Years ago they designed this into the pump as an early warning so when the inside seal wears out it doesn't cause the bearing to fail right away. Failure of the bearing usually causes the shaft to break which can be quite messy and sometimes damage other parts. Typically you can get a better look with a small inspection mirror and a flash light. If it's wet behind the pump pulley then it's time for a new pump.

BTW, if that pipe is made of steel it could also be it has rotted through right at that point with a pin hole. Anything is possible on a 16 year old car. Closer inspection is the key to solving the mystery.

I was thinking that was exactly what I am seeing? But, dont you think I would be hearing considerable noises or noise from pump if it indeed is shot?Thanks Rupe. Awaiting reply. [23anddoc]
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01-06-2014, 12:33 PM
Post: #4
RE: coolant problem
Sounds like you can handle the job and getting out of the cold is certainly the way to do it. Been near zero over in Ct this past week too so I can relate.

Yes, the pump can make noise but the idea behind that weep hole is to let the coolant out after a failed seal without causing the front bearing to fail right away. IOW, it's an early warning of sorts. Back in the old days the bearing might fail and the fan would take out the radiator, which would leave you stranded. This small leak just buys you a bit of extra time before a major failure.

Soooo, the best way to attack this is to do a pressure test and verify the exact location of the leak. Follow the fluid trail and go from there. Not being a Ford man in particular I can't give you any specifics but it sounds like you have the easy one. Good luck and let us know how you make out.
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01-06-2014, 10:01 PM
Post: #5
RE: coolant problem
Thanks Rupe, Again. I appreciate the vote of confidence and I'll try to live up to it. Yes I watch the satellite weather and I know you all did not escape this winter either. I have been all around this great country but unfortunately , never made it to Connecticut. I and my wife are planning a vac. in a couple years with motor-home and your home-state is on the list. I have seen Mass. New york and jersey in summer but I have always wanted to get there. I have friends who have been out there for long periods and loved it. Say is it pronounced R"OO' P-EE Rupe or Rupp like my old sno machines and motor bikes as a kid in northern Wisc. And appreciate the assist. "PEACE" I WILL LET YA KNOW THE END IF I DON'T COME BACK WITH ANOTHER COUPLE QUESTN'S. FIRST?
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01-06-2014, 10:25 PM
Post: #6
RE: coolant problem
It's short for Rupert so it sounds just like you left off the "rt" part.

BTW, Rupp also made mini bikes when I was a kid.
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01-06-2014, 10:27 PM (This post was last modified: 01-06-2014 11:05 PM by 23anddoc.)
Post: #7
RE: coolant problem
(01-06-2014 12:33 PM)Rupe Wrote:  Sounds like you can handle the job and getting out of the cold is certainly the way to do it. Been near zero over in Ct this past week too so I can relate.

Yes, the pump can make noise but the idea behind that weep hole is to let the coolant out after a failed seal without causing the front bearing to fail right away. IOW, it's an early warning of sorts. Back in the old days the bearing might fail and the fan would take out the radiator, which would leave you stranded. This small leak just buys you a bit of extra time before a major failure.

Soooo, the best way to attack this is to do a pressure test and verify the exact location of the leak. Follow the fluid trail and go from there. Not being a Ford man in particular I can't give you any specifics but it sounds like you have the easy one. Good luck and let us know how you make out.

Rupe, I had a couple as a kid in the early 70's a Rupp Roadster which was an off road model and the Scrambler which was more of a street model Roadster was a 70cc other was90cc. If I am remembering correctly or it may have been the other way around ? They were much bigger machines than say a FOX minibike or a Honda 50CC. They were a load of fun for a kid on the farm with all dirt roads. Miss those days.Now my wife and I ride as often as time allows last two bikes 96 Fat Boy , AND STILL HAVE AN 86 ELECTRA-GLIDE .FULL DRESSER, RUNS LIKE THE WIND . Had to part with the fat-boy to pay vet bill to save my dog from Parvo-virus. 10,000$ bill after 14 days but he is still with me 14 years old and hunts like a champ. Dont regret that sale. Hey Rupe ! Thanks for the help man I have found these auto forums very helpful. I came down with a bad case of pneumonia back in 2008. Spent a couple weeks in a coma on life support . Ever since I struggle with my old carreer as a home builder then my last couple years I was running with a racing and promotions crew out of St. Cloud Mn. We raced Can-Am Quads and All BRP. SLEDS SKI-DOO WHICH I GREW UP ON. HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF JOHN NATALIE? HE IS FROM YOUR AREA OR THE EAST ANYWAY. HE WAS ONE OF OUR BETTER RIDERS ON THE DS. 450X CAN -am.We did some events eastern Mass. Altoona PA. PHILLY AND PITTSBRG. Anyway, I can't work like I used to so any repairs I can do on my auto's sure saves the $$. So I really do appreciate the knowledge and advice . I hope maybe I can assist you on something but it sounds like you are in your zone with the vehicle repair. iF YOU GOOGLE WARNERT RACING AND PROMOTIOND SAUK-CENTER, Mn. You will find my old employers . Ron and Mark Warnert.
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01-06-2014, 11:37 PM
Post: #8
RE: coolant problem
Have heard some of those names but never got into bikes or snow machines. Around here it's semi-rural and at one time it was good for bikes but now just enough idiots to make riding fairly dangerous unless you can head away on a weekend. I'm sure you understand how a soccer mom with a cell phone in one hand, Starbucks in the other, and an SUV can ruin someone's day in a hurry.... and that's only the half of it.
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01-07-2014, 01:21 PM (This post was last modified: 01-07-2014 01:28 PM by 23anddoc.)
Post: #9
RE: coolant problem
I have to say unfortunately I do Rupe. That was a great graphic . I haven't laughed like that out loud for a while . Thanks for that !! I have been blessed I guess I have had my share of close calls with those" attentive "drivers on my Bikes over the years .Now I ride with eyes wide open and two hands on the brakes. I think about the good old days when I lived back in small town Wisconsin and had endless wood lined empty dirt roads to travel. You all have some nice country in the northern part of Conn. don't you? or where is the open country out there? I have seen some beautiful photos and video of your state.

Say Rupe, This may seem like a stupid question , my teachers always told me there were no stupid questions. I don't know if I believe that or not Ive heard some dandies. I was wondering your thoughts on? I have a late model GMC Jimmy I use to plow my 1/2 mile driveway and some others locally. I keep it out all year and if it gets to cold I just throw a boost to it and she pops. I wonder if you think it would be a good idea or not to bring it in a heated area once and a while ? or just do what Im doing as long as it sems to run when I need it.I do have some issue with the 4wheel . I just dissconnect the power for a few minutes and then it seems to re-engage.
Any thoughts or advice. I think there is a switch on the tranny that I should prob. replace???
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01-07-2014, 08:12 PM
Post: #10
RE: coolant problem
Yes, we do have some open roads but not the ones you would drive on for a daily commute. I am close to the I-95 / Rt 84 area so plenty of traffic with people in a hurry on their way to NYC. Go 30 miles inland and you are starting to be in open country.

In a hurry at the moment so let me make a longer post on the Jimmy later tonight or in the morning. Maybe you can put that half of your question in the chevy section so others can find it when they need it.
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