Strange coolant leak from engine block - help!

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martinholmesuk
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Post by martinholmesuk » Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:08 pm

Your never solder that and make it stick since it needs to be 101% clean surface. Sorry mate I don't want to keep sounding negative.


:-(
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eEm
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Post by eEm » Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:26 pm

You are 101% correct of course,its been a while since I did any plumbing. Welding should still be a cheap option if you don't want to remove the head.
Why won't God heal amputees?

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Macaroon
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Post by Macaroon » Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:47 pm

No welding or hot soldering is gonna happen - it's just too risky a business on a basically sound head made from aluminium. Differential expansion of the two metals is bound to lead to trouble even if it were possible to get it clean enough in the first place.

So I'm gonna try the putty and radweld in that order (on the basis that radweld won't seal a big leak but heat-hardening putty might make the leak small enough for radweld to do the job). And I'm gonna try it with everything in place - manifold and all.

If that doesn't work, or doesn't last, the manifold will have to come off anyway and I will do it properly by removing and replacing all the plugs by the book, whatever that entails.

I love low-tech solutions. :D
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Post by shimon340 » Fri Aug 15, 2008 4:15 pm

hello

sorry I didnt manage to post the pics of the 1.7 head last night. Looks like the pics you are looking for have been posted by eEm.

I hope the repairs go ok for you, good luck and keep us posted here

best regards

Shimon

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Macaroon
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Post by Macaroon » Fri Aug 15, 2008 4:27 pm

@Shimon: No worries, thanks for your earlier pics and the excellent VADIS diagram. I'll certainly let you know how it goes. At the moment the car is parked 30 miles outside London and I'll get back to it some time next week.

I'm gonna get a quote for replacing the core plugs anyway as they will clearly need doing soon even if my kludge holds for a few months - and at 150k the cambelt is due for renewal so it makes sense to do both together.

- I'd be interested to know what your friend would quote for the core plugs to give me a good baseline figure.

Cheers

Rich
Tonee: '93 Two Tone. High mileage but nice 'n' tidy.
Sheba: '91 ES Paris Special. Love that leather, baby. Scrapped and used as a spares car.

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eEm
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Post by eEm » Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:15 am

So is it patched up and rolling?
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Post by Macaroon » Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:09 pm

eEm wrote:So is it patched up and rolling?
I'll know this evening...!
Tonee: '93 Two Tone. High mileage but nice 'n' tidy.
Sheba: '91 ES Paris Special. Love that leather, baby. Scrapped and used as a spares car.

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Macaroon
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Post by Macaroon » Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:36 am

:hopping: :hopping: :hopping: :hopping: :hopping: :hopping: :hopping: :hopping: :hopping: :hopping: :hopping: :hopping:

It worked! :D :D :D

Chemical Metallic is the business. (Thanks, Pol)

Gun Gum was a non-starter as there was too much coolant in and around the core plug and it is a right bugger to apply when access is so limited (I did this with the manifold in situ). Next I tried it with the engine running using Radweld plus a thin cane covered in Gungum pushed into the recess to reduce the cooant flow but this didn't help either as the flow of coolant from the corroded plug was too strong for it.

However, running the engine fully to temperature for the radweld had the benefit of evaporating all the escaped coolant from the important area till it was dry as a bone once I switched off and released the pressure via the bleed valve. I think I got a bit high breathing all that coolant and radweld as it hit the hot exhaust manifold and turned to steam. But it did the trick.
:sick:

So next I tried Chemical Metal in the form of Leak Stop (or something like that) which is meant for pipes etc and resists up to 160ËšC but still needs to applied to a dry area. I pressed a small amount into the recess in the plug with the end of a piece of cane threaded between the pipes, manifold etc like some sort of gross keyhole surgery. It set pretty quickly with the heat from the engine and seemed to do the trick nicely.

After a quick run round the block the bond was holding well so I bunged a bit more in, topped up the coolant with more radweld for good measure and set off for London.

35 miles later and all is well. There are no more leaks, the coolant temp remained within limits and the radweld even sealed a small leak from my auxiliary cooling pump. Now I'm a happy chappy. :D

I'll treat her to an oil change and general service and adjust the antifreeze levels (I only topped up with water as it was mostly pissing out before) then we're ready for a week in Cornwall. I'm taking the Chemical metal and radweld with me to be on the safe side but I think it'll hold until I get the manifold off and do the core plugs properly.
:hopping:

Thanks for all the help. you're the best!
Last edited by Macaroon on Tue Aug 26, 2008 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
Tonee: '93 Two Tone. High mileage but nice 'n' tidy.
Sheba: '91 ES Paris Special. Love that leather, baby. Scrapped and used as a spares car.

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martinholmesuk
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Post by martinholmesuk » Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:28 am

:hopping: great! Nice one Doc!
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Re: Strange coolant leak from engine block - help!

Post by heavend » Mon Jan 06, 2020 4:26 am

I know this thread is old, but so is the car!
I've got a 1990 n/a car piddling coolant out of the head in the manner described above.
It's had a poor maintenance history and I think if it had good antifreeze/corrosion inhibitor it wouldn't be an issue.
After removing the inlet doodah and the fuel injector rail it's easy to see that one of the four 'plugs' has rusted through.
I've got a great digital photo. If anyone is interested I'm happy to email it.
As the thermostat is right there my plan is to remove the thermostat and have water gently running into the block while I drill and tap out the plug. The flow of water will flush the swarf away. Finally I'll thread in a grub screw and job done!
I might even do all four plugs while there....

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Re: Strange coolant leak from engine block - help!

Post by Martin Mc » Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:02 am

Lol :D - the lengths we will go to in order to keep our beloved motors going! It is almost as extreme as the work they do in Cuba to re-vamp old cars.

Anyway, I remember having to do something similar to one of my first ever cars - a 1975 MG Midget (GEN232N - probably long since gone to the great rust-bowl in the sky). Mind you, I was forever under or over that little monster, tinkering with the next bit to have fallen / rusted off!

Do post some pics - it might help others on the forum, particularly if we run into some cold weather soon!

All the best!
Martin
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Previous 480 pedigree: 1992 ES (1.7 White) 1993 ES (2.0 Red) 1994 S (1.7 White) 1995 S (1.7 Black) #467 / 480 Celebration (flame red metallic) 1993 ES (2.0 Paris Blue)

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Re: Strange coolant leak from engine block - help!

Post by jifflemon » Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:46 am

heavend wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 4:26 am
I know this thread is old, but so is the car!
I've got a 1990 n/a car piddling coolant out of the head in the manner described above.
It's had a poor maintenance history and I think if it had good antifreeze/corrosion inhibitor it wouldn't be an issue.
After removing the inlet doodah and the fuel injector rail it's easy to see that one of the four 'plugs' has rusted through.
I've got a great digital photo. If anyone is interested I'm happy to email it.
As the thermostat is right there my plan is to remove the thermostat and have water gently running into the block while I drill and tap out the plug. The flow of water will flush the swarf away. Finally I'll thread in a grub screw and job done!
I might even do all four plugs while there....
Send the email to me (you use the contact admin email address) and I'll post it up.

I'd definitely replace all 4 - Rust works equally. If one has gone, the rest won't be far behind and you'd probably find that once you've got pressure back in the system from fixing one leak, another will appear!

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Re: Strange coolant leak from engine block - help!

Post by heavend » Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:52 am

Update on my frost plug repair.
I found a local supplier of 10mm frost plugs, so I bought those as that's the size of the original plug.
I stuck with the idea of using water going into the head to push out swarf etc. and that worked perfectly.
To get the old plugs out I first drilled off the peins retaining the old plugs with a 10mm drill and then drilled the plugs out using a 9.5mm drill (undersize by 0.5mm),
To my delight the remains of the plugs came out on the end of the drill :-).

In my pictures - which I'll send shortly - I've used hot melt glue sticks to block the injector ports.
The pink around the new plug is uncured anaerobic sealant and the white goo is marine grease I used to stick the plugs to the end of the drift I used to tap the plugs in to place.

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Re: Strange coolant leak from engine block - help!

Post by heavend » Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:14 am

Update on the update.

Reassembled the engine, filled with water and ran the engine.
Frost plugs holding great, but now there's water hosing out between the head and block near #1....
Hoping that it's just a rotten gasket and that the previous owner hasn't cooked it and warped the head.
I think I was gifted a lemon!

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Re: Strange coolant leak from engine block - help!

Post by jamescarruthers » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:18 pm

Oh dear. This is exactly what happened to me, with the core plugs rotting out from the inside. I had to be trailered home from one of our meets on my car's only second outing after getting back on the road. Engine came out, all plugs replaced and now running on waterless coolant to avoid any future corrosion. I hope the other plugs hold up for you. 
1987 Volvo 480 ES, 507274, 217 - Red (Ness)
2001 Volvo C70 2.4T convertible (Olivolvo)
2008 Mini Cooper convertible (Mau)

Previous 480's:
J123 CFU -- ES
J449 MNL -- ES auto
D864 CPV -- ES
L691 JFC -- Turbo
F70 MNR -- ES
H858 FGV -- Turbo auto
E981 KHM -- ES (509849)

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