View Full Version : 1990 All-Trac - Coolant Leak Help

07-12-2015, 12:02 PM
Hi. My son just picked up a 1990 All-Trac from Arizona. Car is in amazing shape - all original, all the options from that year. Not perfect, but that will be my hobby to get it close for him.

One of the items I saw when I inspected it was low coolant level. I had to add about 2 quarts between the radiator & overflow bottle. Without running the engine, I noticed a very small coolant leak the next day, with a trail ending at the oil pan lip (where the gasket is). I followed that as far as I could, and know it is dripping down from a source between the A/C compressor at the bottom and the alternator at the top. I could see & feel the coolant inlet housing/thermostat housing, and the radiator hose, and that all was dry.

To leak with no pressure causing by a running engine getting the coolant warm is concerning to me.

I've heard there are certain coolant hoses on the 3S-GTE that are called "Hose from Hell" and "Hose from Hell on Earth". The HFHOE is in the vincinity of where I think the source could be (a hose that runs from hear the water pump to a connection on the oil cooler).

Does this hose have a frequency of failure that would want me to consider taking things apart to see it better? How does one inspect this hose for leaks w/o taking a lot of stuff off to see that hose or area around it better?

Any help here would be welcome.

07-12-2015, 03:00 PM
From the description and the location it sounds like one of these hoses are leaking. The one you can kind of see. Looking at the front of the car it is to the right of the oil filter. The other one comes off the oil cooler and goes to the water pump. If you don't know the history of the car, I'd change them. It's not a horrible job but it is easier if you do some disassembly. Remove the alternator and the AC compressor to get to the one going to the water pump. The other one is easier with the turbo off. I've got some pictures of doing the one to the water pump in my project thread I think. I know I've got a thread about a water leak. I did mine last year sometime.

Hopefully this helps some.

07-12-2015, 05:16 PM
I found your thread, I think - here is is:


I'm hoping if I remove the alternator, maybe the radiator hose and thermostat housing, that will open up enough room to at least verify that HFHOE (passenger side of oil cooler) is the source of the leak, then order a replacement house w/clamps and make the change. I don't think it is the HFH hose (driver side of oil cooler), as I think the evidence I see points more to the HFHOE hose. I guess this will be a good opportunity to do a coolant fluid flush and put in fresh coolant at the same time.

I'll let you know what I find when I get to it (may be later this fall though).

07-12-2015, 05:43 PM
When mine was leaking I was getting coolant puddles under the engine on that corner. It took me a little bit to figure out that was the problem. I thought at first it was coming from under the timing cover and that it might be the water pump. I was finally able to see that it was coming from that house area.

These hoses aren't that bad to change but the issue is that you do have to do some disassembly to change them. There's no really easy way to do it otherwise. In the end, you'll save yourself some time by taking off the necessary parts rather than trying to find an "easy" way to do it.

07-15-2015, 12:46 PM
Yup, sounds like the hose from the pump to the cooler.
You're probably going to want to remove the AC compressor too. Don't pop the lines, just undo the 3 bolts and hang the compressor with a heavy wire.

FYI the coolant setup is pretty much the same as your 93 [assuming it has an oil cooler].

07-15-2015, 12:53 PM
And BTW, depending on the condition of the other hoses ect you might want to do the other one and possibly timing belt/water pump while you're in there.

Post some pics.

07-17-2015, 09:15 AM
I agree with Jeremy. Definitely easier to do both while you have the majot parts off and the timing assembly and water pump as well. That way you know the basics are covered and you can focus on "fun stuff" afterward. :)

I still need to redo my timing assembly on the 91. I have a bad idler bearing.