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Thread: Weird coolant leak

  1. #1
    Member 91merc's Avatar
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    Default Weird coolant leak

    On my 85 it seems to be seeping a little bit of coolant around the top edge of the timing cover, I put a pressure tester on it and it held the pressure good for about 30 minutes, but whenever I drive somewhere and park there's a couple drops of coolant on the ground and a little bit on the top of the timing cover
    Last edited by 91merc; 08-14-2022 at 03:30 PM. Reason: Grammar

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    Check the thermostat housing for leaks. My 87 has a little leak there as well.

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    Member 91merc's Avatar
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    I looked and when I've been driving for a while, there's tiny bubbles on the top edge of where the timing cover mounts to the block, but it only happens after I shut the engine off

    Edit: no water getting in the oil, and could that top right water pump bolts cause it if it's not tight enough? We just replaced the water pump about 300 miles ago

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    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Did you do the timing cover to block gasket? If not, that's likely your culprit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodachrome Wolf View Post
    Did you do the timing cover to block gasket? If not, that's likely your culprit.

    Haven't done that gasket because this car's kinda just a budget beater for now until I can get the engine pulled out of my 91 and reseal it

  6. #6
    Still Wrenchin'! friskyfrankie's Avatar
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    Did you have the leak prior to doing the water pump? Appears others have alluded to this question. If not, you then have your answer.
    What I Own: 1993 Mercury Grand Marquis GS
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    I'd don't know, I bought the car with a radiator leak so I didn't drive it at all before replacing the water pump, radiator, etc

  8. #8
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    There is a seal between the pump and cover and another between the cover and block, so it could be leaking at either. The trouble with the block to cover seal, if it leaks inside the engine it dumps coolant into the oil. Keep an eye on that.

    if you do pull the timing cover to replace that gasket, just do yourself a favor and replace the timing chain and the crank seal while you're in there. 85 chains are crap, and the seal is like 4 bucks.

    If you want a really half-ass non-fix, if you take a loop of wire and put it under the dime-size bit of metal on the bottom of the radiator cap that will prevent it from building any pressure. Probably won't leak anywhere but if it runs over 212 at all its going to boil over.

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    20220814_183052.mp4

    Top right corner of the timing cover, only does it after driving for a while and shutting off

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    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    Yup. Timing cover gasket. That sucks.

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by sly View Post
    Yup. Timing cover gasket. That sucks.

    And we just replaced the water pump about 500 miles ago so everything's gotta come back off

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    Probably need to replace the timing cover anyways, we had to JB WELD a hole in it from the PO

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    Still Wrenchin'! friskyfrankie's Avatar
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    It's not the right way but wonder if you can jamb some thick gasket maker into the area and let it cure properly before using. Could then leak from another weak spot but maybe worth a shot? I understand this is blasphemy but merely trying to save you a lot of work unless you need to do it all for another reason.
    What I Own: 1993 Mercury Grand Marquis GS
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  15. #15
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    probably would just push the goop out. My bigger fear would be that its going to start mixing coolant in the oil, from there its a short trip to milkshake station with a siding of no main bearings.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

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    Idk what to do with this car, replaced the entire cooling system but yet I'm sitting on the side of the road overheating

    Only thing we did different was a single core plastic tank radiator out of a 91 instead of the factory thick brass one, and an aluminum water pump instead of the factory cast iron

  17. #17
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    none of that will cause overheating unless the radiator is half clogged. A bad fan clutch will though. So will low coolant from a leak.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  18. #18
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    Well I'm looking it over and that top right bolt for the water pump is loose so hopefully that's all the problem

    Edit: the one that runs through the timing cover leak area was loose, and the rest took a good bump, so hopefully it's fixed
    Last edited by 91merc; 08-15-2022 at 11:03 PM.

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    I had persistent issues with my Cutlass running hot until I replaced the fan clutch (and installed a high-flow thermostat, but I put the old t-stat in a beaker of water on a hot plate with a temperature probe and it opened when it was supposed to).

    Quote Originally Posted by 91merc View Post
    ...and an aluminum water pump instead of the factory cast iron
    I didn't think they were interchangeable, but...

    These cars had two different water pumps available - one standard, and one for the heavy-duty cooling option. To buy one now, the standard pump is aluminum, the heavy-duty is cast iron. I don't know if the standard pump was cast iron in the past.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stocker View Post
    I didn't think they were interchangeable, but...

    These cars had two different water pumps available - one standard, and one for the heavy-duty cooling option. To buy one now, the standard pump is aluminum, the heavy-duty is cast iron. I don't know if the standard pump was cast iron in the past.
    They can be swapped around. The cast iron pumps utilize an additional bolt where the aluminum ones don't, so you'd need a bolt that would fit (and probably a thread chaser to clean up the hole) if you tossed a cast iron pump on where an aluminum pump was. Obviously if you reverse that deal, you just have a bolt left over.

    As far as reliability goes, I can't really comment. I know my '87 has a cast iron unit, and when Nick was doing his Explorer swap, it got an aluminum pump. Both have been working fine. Guess it just boils down to the quality of the manufacturer.

    My Cars:
    -1964 Comet 202 (116K Miles) - Long Term Project
    -1986 Dodge D-150 Royale SE (112K Miles) - Slowly Getting Put Back Together
    -1987 Grand Marquis Colony Park LS (325K Miles) - April 2017 + September 2019 POTM Winner
    -1997 Grand Marquis LS (240K Miles) - The Daily Workhorse & March 2015 + January 2019 POTM Winner

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