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Heating & Cooling 2nd Gen Dodge Ram Heating & Cooling Problems and Questions.


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  #1  
Old 04-19-2014, 12:30 PM
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Question Leaking coolant (possibly from water pump? pics inside)

Hi, I'm new the the forums and new to RAM ownership as well. Recently bought a 2001 1500 5.2l for next to nothing and while I thought it seemed too cheap to be true, I inspected the engine carefully, no signs of leaks, compression in every cylinder, etc. It seemed mechanically sound. Bought it, drove it for a few weeks and began to notice a spot on the driveway under the truck (I have a company vehicle and a bike so I don't drive the truck all that often).
Looking closer, its a coolant leak...

Lucky it isn't an oil leak, still, its upsetting.
Anyway, the leak seems to be coming from the mating surface of the water pump and the engine block. What would you guys suggest I do first?

I'm thinking remove the water pump and check/replace the gasket. Should I go ahead and order a new water pump for good measure? ($40 on rock auto)
From the pictures, can anyone suggest another possible culprit location for the leak?

Any help is greatly appreciated! I work all afternoon so can't really get started until tomorrow morning but I'll be checking back here regularly.

Thanks!


Video:
http://youtu.be/b0koay7iUIg

Pictures:
http://imgur.com/a/q29Aq
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Last edited by numb1zero; 04-19-2014 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:19 PM
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$40 it's a no brainer to replace. Look around the thermostat housing as well.
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Old 04-20-2014, 04:33 AM
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It's definitely coolant. Where it's coming from? A simple pressure test will let you know. But, since it is only $40, I think hydrex said it best. It's a no brainer. Good luck with the fix and keep us updated.
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:53 AM
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I have done a couple of those myself. Pretty easy removal and install. Just make sure all your mating surfaces are nice and clean and flat before you put it back together. If you need any help, you know where to find us.
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:59 AM
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thanks guys, probably gonna be tuesday before I can get to it, just driving the company vehicle for now. I'll let you know what I learn when I get into it. I'm going to drain the oil first to see if there's any coolant mixed in with the oil... dreading and procrastinating doing that for fear of bad news. If the oil is free of water/coolant, and all I need is a water pump (and might as well change the timing belt while I've got it off) then I'm happy. If the truck is going to need a new motor a month after I bought it, I'll be a little butthurt. Will update! thanks for all the help so far everyone!
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:33 PM
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Well, I drained the oil and its clean as can be- no milky residue at all- so I feel good about it just being the water pump/gasket.
I have the service manual pulled up but haven't looked into the procedure in detail yet.
  • Is the timing belt going to have to come off to pull the water pump or can I create enough slack to work around it?
  • If the belt needs to come off, should I consider replacing it while I've got it off? The truck does have 180k miles on the odo (belt looks alright but certainly not new)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrex View Post
$40 it's a no brainer to replace. Look around the thermostat housing as well.
I'm not sure where exactly the thermostat is on this engine, hate to show my ignorance but can anyone provide a picture or description?

Thanks for everything so far, what a helpful forum. I'm glad I picked this one



EDIT:
another quick question, could I consider taking a die grinder to the mating surface on the block to get it smooth for the new water pump? I wouldn't want bits of old gasket and dirt getting into places it shouldn't so I don't want to do that without getting a few opinions on the risk. Thanks!
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Last edited by numb1zero; 04-21-2014 at 10:44 PM. Reason: adding another question
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:39 PM
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I'm a tad concerned. There does seem to be some leaking from the water-outlets in the timing-cover-to-block seal. This is a popular leak spot. I just did this repair. I hope I am wrong. Please insure that you don't have this before you put it all back together. Continued leaks a this spot lead to erosion of the aluminum timing cover. If caught early, it can be fixed with some JB weld to repair the eroded parts of the sealing surface.
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Last edited by Lazarus Truck; 04-22-2014 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by numb1zero View Post
EDIT:
another quick question, could I consider taking a die grinder to the mating surface on the block to get it smooth for the new water pump? I wouldn't want bits of old gasket and dirt getting into places it shouldn't so I don't want to do that without getting a few opinions on the risk. Thanks!
Don't use a die grinder unless you have a hard rubber pad on it. Usually just some brake clean and a good scraper will take care of the old gasket.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarus Truck View Post
I'm a tad concerned. There does seem to be some leaking from the water-outlets in the timing-cover-to-block seal. This is a popular leak spot. I just did this repair. I hope I am wrong. Please insure that you don't have this before you put it all back together. Continued leaks a this spot lead to erosion of the aluminum timing cover. If caught early, it can be fixed with some JB weld to repair the eroded parts of the sealing surface.

I may need more information on this...
I found what seemed to be the culprit, the thermostat/housing






I replaced the thermostat, thermostat housing, and both radiator hoses for good measure.

It doesn't leak coolant now unless its running, so that must've been part of the problem, but when the motor is running, coolant drips out as fast as it did before (see video).

I'm suspecting a cracked block at this point but if you think it could be saved with JB weld, I'm very interested in details.

Anything to keep me from having just wasted this money. I don't even have the truck registered yet :/
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Old 04-26-2014, 05:26 PM
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Relax. Nobody said "cracked block" yet. The JB weld repair I mentioned was on the aluminum timing chain cover that serves as the water-pump base. You can see the area I'm referring to in photos 5 and 6. Clean and dry this area, then rent a radiator pressure tester from one of the auto stores. Pressurize your system to 16psi and inspect these areas closer for seepage or drips. Its alot easier doing it this way, than on a hot, running engine.
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