1994 Chrysler Town and Country cooling system leak

Tiny
BADGER58
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 CHRYSLER TOWN AND COUNTRY
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150 MILES
Let me start by saying that I'm sure that I'm not calling things by their proper name. The manual I reviewed didn't seem to cover this and I've been unable to find an exploded diagram of the engine, so bear with me.

While investigating a leak on a friend's 1994 Town and Country 3.8 Liter V6 engine, I discovered that the fitting where the bypass hose connects to the water distribution bracket was completely snapped off. Thinking that it was the water pump, off I went to the parts store to buy a new one. The pump, however, had no hose fittings whatsoever. All of the fittings seem to be part of the same bracket where the water pump and a/c compressor mount. I'm guessing that the bracket serves the dual purpose of water router and mount to save space. I've attached two pics. One is from the underside of the car, showing where the radiator and another unidentified hose connects into the bracket. The other is the top view where there is supposed to be a fitting for the bypass hose (I can only guess that this is a heater bypass, the hose is approx 1" in diameter).

So, the question is, what can I do to fix it? Can you get a new fitting that inserts into that bracket, or is there no alternative but to replace the entire bracket, which is probably beyond my skill and tool level, and most likely not worth the cost to repair the car professionally.
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Monday, July 18th, 2011 AT 1:24 PM

17 Replies

Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
Thermostat housing maybe?
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Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 AT 12:15 AM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
Can you get any better images? I can't really see what you're mentioning in the picture. The second image looks like the bypass hose fitting or the water pump itself is cracked. The first image looks like there is a plug missing from the water pump.
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Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 AT 3:52 AM
Tiny
BADGER58
  • MEMBER
I'll try to get a better image. The first is a view from the top of the engine and it is where the bypass hose connects into (what I've recently found out at the dealer) is the timing cover. The timing cover serves several purposes apparently. It covers the timing belt and serves as a mount for the water pump, a/c compressor and radiator hoses.

The second pic is from the bottom, at the back of the water pump. You can see the temp sensor (unplugged) and a radiator hose along with another 1" hose. I'm not sure where that is routed to currently, the car is not at my house. The best description I can give for the part, based on what I found out at the dealer is, bypass hose fitting on the timing cover side.
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Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 AT 12:16 PM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
The second picture, to me, shows the source of the leak the to be just above where the 3/4 inch heater hose connects. I'm presuming the image with the flashlight in it is the downward looking one. Looking at the image, just below and to the left of the heater hose, there appears to be a plug or hose fitting missing from what I'm guessing is the water pump. The question this thought leads me to is, can you find a 3/4 inch heater hose anywhere that looks like it should go there, or has a fitting of some sort clamped into it but is hanging loose?
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Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 AT 10:18 PM
Tiny
BADGER58
  • MEMBER
Yes, the leak is from the heater bypass hose fitting rusting off. The hose just dangles loosely. The first pic (with the flashlight, that is the top view) shows where the fitting _should_ be. The bottom line question is, can you get/install/rely on a new fitting in there, or is the only way to fix this to buy a $700 timing cover? With the labor cost of installation (job is too big for me), it's not worth fixing the car. I have searched and searched but have not been able to find either a bypass hose fitting or a timing cover online.
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Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 AT 4:31 PM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
Go buy a $19 Haynes or Chilton's manual. These things make almost any job within anyone's reach. Go to a pick it yourself junkyard for the part(s) you need.
But first, see if the old, broken off section in the water pump can be removed. If so, just find a replacement nipple at O'Reilly's/Autozone/etc.
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Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 AT 7:48 PM
Tiny
BADGER58
  • MEMBER
No such part exists. I've tried in vain, and looked at Chilton, to find either the nipple or the entire timing cover and no one carries them.

Well, correction, I went to the dealer and they have ordered a fitting that has an encouraging description. I'm going to go look at the car with it tonite. But, it is threaded and much thicker than the original. If I do it, I will have to get a tap and create threads in that aluminum timing cover. Hopefully it will hold.
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Thursday, July 21st, 2011 AT 6:53 PM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
The nipple that rusted off wasn't threaded into the cover/water pump body? I know that most chains, such as Autozone and Pep Boys carry a line called Help! That has the part I'm thinking about, because I've used them. Also, can you find the whole assembly (timing cover?) At a junkyard, pick yourself or full service? You'll get a much better price if you can.
Chilton and Haynes are repair manuals that will step you through the process of almost completely rebuilding your car. I swear by them.
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Thursday, July 21st, 2011 AT 7:03 PM
Tiny
BADGER58
  • MEMBER
No, the nipple that rusted off was a compressed fitting, no threads. I have attached another pic, this is a pull back view. You'll see the a/c compressor on the right, then just to the left, you can look down into the engine compartment. That's where the topview pic was taken. Looking a little further left, you'll see the nipple where the other end of the bypass hose attaches. That is the part I bought, and that is threaded. But it's fine. So, I have two choices in my mind. I can do as you suggest, and find a junker and pull the part. I really think this may be beyond me, since, if you look at the far left in the new pic, you'll see a motor mount, and it will have to go in order to get the timing cover off (it's definitely called the timing cover, btw). OR, I can find a 1/2 inch pipe tap and try to tap that hole shown in the first pic and hope that it holds. Even if it's just reduced to a minor leak, that will be ok. And, if it doesn't work, than maybe I try the junkyard, but I'm REALLY hoping to avoid that.

BTW, I'm with you on the Chilton stuff, I have one for each car I own, this just isn't my car, so I was avoiding buying one and just thumbed through it at the parts store. I'll browse through the Help! Products, but I believe I'm way beyond the level of those products.
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Friday, July 22nd, 2011 AT 3:24 PM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
Well, if you can down the vehicle for a number of hours, you can tap the cover, screw in the new nipple and then use something like JB Weld to try and ensure that it stays and doesn't leak. Just make sure you use a wire brush to completely clean both surfaces before applying the JB Weld, otherwise it won't hold.

That's the quick and dirty method. The recommended method is going tot he junkyard with a toolbox and a small jack. Support the "front" of the engine with the jack, remove the parts, find a block (they're ubiquitous in most junkyards for this reason and use it to replace the jack.
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Friday, July 22nd, 2011 AT 6:01 PM
Tiny
RBRYANM
  • MEMBER
Ack! I discovered today that i've the same problem. Heater hose fitting rusted out at timing cover. Badger. Did you resolve the problem with yours? How'd you do it?

Desperately seeking an easy and inexpensive remedy. Ha!
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Sunday, January 22nd, 2012 AT 11:02 PM
Tiny
RBRYANM
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Did you resolve the problem? If so, how'd you do it?
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Sunday, January 22nd, 2012 AT 11:03 PM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
Ebryanm, I think you're going to need to pull the timing cover from a junkyard donor vehicle.
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Monday, January 23rd, 2012 AT 4:43 AM
Tiny
RBRYANM
  • MEMBER
Turned out easier than i'd thought. O'reilly's was no help. Purchased a metal hose connector (meant for joining two hoses, 5/8", I believe) and clamps from autozone along with some JB Water Weld. Less than $10. Had to file down the ridges at one end of the connect so as to squeeze it into the timing cover hole. Connected the hose and clamp to the connector. Fit it into the opening as best I could and wrapped some weld around it. Cure in an hour.

No leaks nor overheating since. Whew! Was fearing it was a catastrophic or costly problem when I discovered the rusted out nipple. Thank you, rivermikerat, for the weld suggestion.
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Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 AT 5:20 PM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
My pleasure. Glad you got it fixed. Tell your friends about us.

Closing thread.
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Friday, February 3rd, 2012 AT 1:17 AM
Tiny
BADGER58
  • MEMBER
I apologize for not replying before, I changed my email and forgot about this thread after I fixed it. I did something similar to rbryanm, I bought a pipe tap from Ace Hardware and threaded the hole where the nipple had rusted out. I then bought another nipple from chrysler, only this one was the one that goes on the _other_ end of the heater bypass hose. Obviously matched the thread of that to the tap I bought, coated the threads with some high heat form-a-gasket and haven't had any issues sense. Sorry for the delay in my response, hopefully this will help someone.
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Thursday, February 16th, 2012 AT 1:43 PM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
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Happy to hear all is well with both of you. Please be sure to tell your friends about us.
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Thursday, February 16th, 2012 AT 11:46 PM

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