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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

I need a little help.

I have been loosing coolant at the rate of about 1 overflow bottle per week. I see evidence of the leak around my upper radiator hose, but I have not been able to actually see the leak. I see coolant puddling on flat surfaces below the upper inlet, but never a drip or a stream. I've looked when the engine was cold, hot, and in-between. I have wiped the area clean, and the evidence returns. There is no evidence whatsoever of coolant in the oil.

The upper hose seems very stiff, even when warm and de-pressurized, and the end of the hose is not cut square, so it will not snug up against the radiator. It appears to be fitting properly otherwise. I suspect the leak is around the hose.

I am hesitant to sung up the clamp further, for fear of cracking the plastic inlet. I thought about putting a small amount of silicone sealant around the inside of the hose, but that would make it difficult to remove the next time I change hoses.

This all started after I has the intake manifold gasket replaced because it was leaking coolant. I think they put a cheap upper hose on it. Taking it back to the mechanic that worked on it is not an option.

Silicone, or go get a new, good quality hose? Or maybe something else?

:confused:

Doug Menke
 

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New hose is cheap. Replace it AND the clamps. Make sure the contact area on the radiator is clean and crud-free. Forget the overflow bottle, all of the 3.8s I've seen lose coolant there. If you lose any in the radiator, that's a problem. Check in again after you've tried this.

PJ
 

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Can you explain that to me. I always thought that i had a major problem. How is is that it loses coolant through the tank when the tank looks good. I would appreciate any help that you could give me.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
PJ-4.2L said:
New hose is cheap. Replace it AND the clamps. Make sure the contact area on the radiator is clean and crud-free. Forget the overflow bottle, all of the 3.8s I've seen lose coolant there. If you lose any in the radiator, that's a problem. Check in again after you've tried this.

PJ
I'm confused. I didn't loose a drop for 5 years (other than flushing) until the manifold gasket change.

The coolant level will change in the overflow bottle depending on the operating temperature of the engine, but it should never escape out onto the ground.
:confused:
Can you clarify this a little?

Doug
 

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some times when engines and hoses are cold if you have an old hose or an old hose clamps some times you will get a leak i had the same problem i changed the hose and clamps cleaned werer the hose connects and problem was gone also when the car is cold after a week after that has been done recheck the tightness of the hose clamp:)
 

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I'm not really sure why it happens, but it seems pretty common among 3.8 owners (up to '95) for the overflow bottle to lose coolant over time even though there is no real problem. Maybe it has something to do with using a colder t-stat and stock-style radiator cap.

PJ
 

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The over flow tank is also called an expansion tank when the coolant heats up it expands with out the over flow tank the cap would open and it would just vent onto the ground. When it cools off it contracts meaning it gets "sucked" back into the rad so if you are losing coolant from the overflow tank you are also losing it from the rad and the whole system. Do a cooling system pressure testif you are not sure where the coolant is escaping from. This will show you where your leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
PJ-4.2L said:
I'm not really sure why it happens, but it seems pretty common among 3.8 owners (up to '95) for the overflow bottle to lose coolant over time even though there is no real problem. Maybe it has something to do with using a colder t-stat and stock-style radiator cap.

PJ
Hmmmm,

Since mine is a 97, I guess they fixed it.

Thanks for all the input, I'm headed to NAPA tomorrow for a whole new set of hoses, clamps, and a new belt. I figure if I'm gonna be cold, I may as well fix it all.

Doug
 
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