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View Full Version : I think I finally found the mysterious coolant leak



Nitro_Alltrac
02-03-2016, 01:10 AM
So as some of may remember, I've been chasing a mysterious, periodic coolant leak. Off and on, I lose a quarter to half a gallon every two weeks or so.

So without going through the complete history (I've got other threads out there) I've notice coolant spots on the ground lately. I've got the dye in the cooling system so it shows up easy. I've been checking with a UV light periodically but not finding much. I've seen a little on the block behind the turbo just below the water bypass pipe. I started thinking that could be the culprit.

Not so lucky. After we dug the car out of it's snowy tomb I found several spots on the snow. Night before last I checked with light again. It appears that I've got a blow head gasket or a cracked head. I've got a trail of coolant on the block going from the front, by the timing cover, going toward the back that is coming out to the crack between the block and the head.

I've wondered if I had a blown gasket but I've never gotten any coolant in the oil and I've done the exhaust gas in the coolant test twice. Nothing.

So that's where I'm at. With no garage and it being winter I checked with the shop I normally use. We've been customers for years, their work is outstanding and their prices are very far. $1400 to do the head gasket, if that is even it. I can get a 3rd gen engine for around that price with the tranny. I can a 4th gen w/o the tranny for about the same price or less. But that's going to require having the harness done and the is around $600 if I remember correctly.

So, for the time being, since I'm flat ass broke with the kids living with us and the wife out of work right, I've going to run it as is and keep an eye on the coolant and the oil. It still runs good. I just hate that it's messed up.

That's my vent for this evening. Carry on.

METDeath
02-03-2016, 03:52 AM
A bad HG could possibly just leak out the front and not mix into the oil?

Nitro_Alltrac
02-03-2016, 11:06 AM
I'm not sure Marshall. Just a guess at this point. The way the water passages are cast into the, there is a quarter inch space or so between the outer edge of the passage and the edge of the block. I'm thinking that is where my leak is coming from. The dye is all over that section of the block. With the light, you can see where it's coming out of the line between the head and the block.

I'm thinking of maybe retorquing the head bolts. Probably won't make any difference but it wouldn't hurt anything.

I think I had posted about it at the time but the summer before we moved back from Texas the damn thermostat stuck and it overheated pretty good. At the time I checked the oil and it looked good and changed the thermostat. No problems while we were there after that. I did have find the loss after we moved back and I started driving it more. At that time I found that the bypass hose going from the oil cooler to the water pump was leaking, the hose from hell on earth I believe it is more commonly called. Anyway, replaced that it and everything seemed fine for a while.

Murgatroy
02-03-2016, 03:09 PM
I have a garage... And a spare bedroom.

I bet we could do it in a weekend. I know that there should be a spare 2nd Gen 3SGTE head floating around in the communal parts pool we are involved in.

Nitro_Alltrac
02-03-2016, 10:07 PM
I may take you up on that Bob. I still have to get the back tires and I've got new vibration in the front now after the ice and snow. I'm hoping that it's a missing wheel weight but the way my luck has been it's probably a bearing.

I'll keep that offer in mind though. If I did the head gasket I'm leary of using my head as is due to the overheating in Texas. I'm sure that's where this whole issue came from.

With the kids living with/off of us right now and my wife between jobs, cash is in short supply right now. I'm working on getting the money together for the rear tires and check the front end. Next after that will be doing something about the head.

Nitro_Alltrac
02-05-2016, 07:38 PM
Here's what I'm seeing under the car after sitting overnight. The lower spot is coming from the front of the engine where it's seeping between the block and the head. The other spot, not really sure.

http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/6/7/9/1/coolant_leak_thumb.jpg (http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=24414)

Luni
02-05-2016, 11:45 PM
Pretty sure mr220v will do your harness for less than 600 if you did a 4th gen.

I love Tweak but he is very very proud of his work. Id rather do my own wiring for what he charges. But for me its a matter of being worth my time. If it was 200-300 bucks to have it done, not worth my time. 600? Thats worth my time.

Shadowlife25
02-06-2016, 12:17 AM
I threw out the harness tweak did for me. Waste of money that was but whatev.

Personally, I would just go to Murgs because Murg. Also swap head and call it a weekend. ;)

Nitro_Alltrac
02-07-2016, 12:43 AM
So, I backed the car up into the driveway yesterday so it wasn't sitting on the street. At that point I was doing it till I could get tires on the rear and the front tires balance. It ran for no more than 15 minutes or so. Didn't get close to warming up.

This is what I found last night when I came back in.

http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/6/7/9/1/coolant_leak_2.jpg (http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=24416)

Not particularly fun find.

Today I pop the hood and I've got coolant all over the front of the block. It's coming from between the head and the block. Here's a no so great picture.

http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/files/6/7/9/1/block-head_1.jpg (http://www.celicatech.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=24415)

It's hard to see in picture but it's got a major leak between the block and head now. It's going from the front of the block to well behind the turbo. I've never seen this before. I'm still not seeing any coolant in the oil though.

Nitro_Alltrac
02-07-2016, 12:52 AM
Pretty sure mr220v will do your harness for less than 600 if you did a 4th gen.

I love Tweak but he is very very proud of his work. Id rather do my own wiring for what he charges. But for me its a matter of being worth my time. If it was 200-300 bucks to have it done, not worth my time. 600? Thats worth my time.

Luni, is his business PrimeMR2.com? I thought someone on MR2OC had put that name up. I've checked that site and they're showing $500 now to do the harness. I'm not intimidated in trying to do it myself but I'm not sure what's out there for the 4th Gen 3S. They've got what appears to be a pinout manual for the 4th gen. I'm not sure if that would be enough or not. The 2nd to 3rd gen conversion wasn't bad. the worst part was getting the intercooler codes to clear where I've got the 205 ECU.

I'm wondering how a big of mess I have now with this new leak manifesting itself to the extent that it appears now. Couple that with the oil pressure, while being in the OK range, not being where I'd like to be and I'm leaning a little more toward just trying to come up with the money to do the swap.

I know what you mean about Tweak's prices. I had checked there a few months ago and I'm thinking he was like $800-900. And I've seen a lot better reviews of mr220V's work on this conversion.

jdm_celica_gts
02-07-2016, 04:01 PM
I called Dr tweak a few months ago and they no longer cover the 3s platform.

Nitro_Alltrac
02-08-2016, 12:55 AM
^Interesting. I had checked his page several months ago and there was something on there about the 3S harnesses. Just looked out of curiosity and you're right, nothing but the jumper 165/185/205 jumper harness.

METDeath
02-08-2016, 03:30 AM
Holy cow that's a lotta juice...

Nitro_Alltrac
02-08-2016, 10:13 PM
Oh, it puked more out after that. I haven't checked the radiator to see just how low it is now.

ChrisD
02-14-2016, 03:04 PM
Yikes. I would rent/borrow a coolant pressure tester. That way you can pressurize the system and get in there and watch where it comes out. Check your oil filler cap to see if it's getting milky in there. Is this an original HG Mike?

A swap might be a viable option. Also remember you should be able to part out your motor and recoup a lot of the money.

Nitro_Alltrac
02-15-2016, 10:54 PM
I'm really leaning toward the swap route. I've been wanting to a 4th gen swap. This gives me a good reason.

The engine probably has around 140K or so. I've got the papers from the Japanese wrecker and it only had 19K on it when they pulled it. It's been a good engine but I'm not sure how bad this problem is going to be and I know that it has some more wear.

I've got a little while. I've got to put the funds together either way.

The Captain
02-16-2016, 02:23 AM
I threw out the harness tweak did for me. Waste of money that was but whatev.

Personally, I would just go to Murgs because Murg. Also swap head and call it a weekend. ;)
Just don't say "you can't drift it" if beer is involved. That mr220v guy lives near me. FYI.

Nitro_Alltrac
02-16-2016, 03:03 AM
I'm researching how bad it would be to do it myself but I'm really leaning toward having him do it. From what I've found so far everybody says he's the man for this.

bloodMoney
02-26-2016, 02:43 AM
I thought mr220v was an independent. Unless this is a new thing, hooking up with prime.

CollapsedNut
02-26-2016, 03:38 AM
I've got Bruce's head still. I keep saying Ima drop it off at my machinist to check it out, cause we all saw how badly it was over heated. But I haven't. I can though.

Nitro_Alltrac
02-27-2016, 07:51 PM
I thought mr220v was an independent. Unless this is a new thing, hooking up with prime.

When you go a little further into the Prime site, they say they send the harness to a company called Wiregap. There is also talk of Wiregap in the 215 swaps on MR2OC. I don't know for sure, but it looks like Wiregap maybe mr220v's company. Wiregap shows the same price as Prime, which I found odd. If I have the harness done I'm going to go straight to Wiregap. At the least it will count down the weight time.

Nitro_Alltrac
02-27-2016, 07:52 PM
I've got Bruce's head still. I keep saying Ima drop it off at my machinist to check it out, cause we all saw how badly it was over heated. But I haven't. I can though.

For some reason when I think about that head the scene from the Green Mile and the convict singing "Barbeque, Barbeque...." comes to mind.