Engine Cooling problem
1998 Chevy Astro 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 130000 miles
My astrovan is leaking coolant. The leak appears to be below the thermostat and above the water pump. It doesn't appear to be a hose and I replaced the water pump just one year ago, so I don't think that is it. I have also replaced the heater core and I just replaced the thermostat. I think that the cooling system was clogged. I replaced the thermostat thinking that was it. It was, however, leaking before this, so I knew that wouldn't fix that. I am very low on money right now, and I can't afford to have someone look at it. I am thinking that it is the intake leaking, but I really hope not, b/c I cannot afford to have someone fix it. I have some automotive knowledge, but I have never attempted something like this. Yes, I was using Dex-cool, and I haven't heard very good things about it. Please, if you can, tell me anything that you can think of that could be wrong with it besides the intake manifold or gasket. Also, if this is what is wrong with it, I know that almost everything has to come off the front of the motor, but I don't want to take off anything that I don't have to. I read that the distributor has to come off, but I don't have a scanning tool to put it back in time. Please help me.
Well from the sounds of it the intake gasket is prob. The leak. The best way to do this job is remove dog house, label your wires for there positions on the cap. Remove the dist. Cap and mark the rotor to the housing of the dist. Then make the housing to the plastic plenum remove the dist. Hold down bolt and slowly pull the dist. From the intake. Note the rotor will turn as the dist. Comes out. Thats ok because you marked its position before hand. I usuallly use white out or touch up paint to mark with. You will have to remove the steel fuel line from the top of the plenum there are two 8 mil. Nuts and a bracket. Note the bracket holding the lines for orientation. Follow the steel lines back tward the rear of the motor and you will find another hold down bolt. Once that is removed you can carefully lift the lines from the fuel metering block. Remove as many of the intake bolts as you can see. From the doog house its easier.
There are a few brackets on the pass side of the intake and the coil assy bracket youll have to remove. Drivers side of intake there will be a tube threaded in its a 7 8 hex remove that and its bracket the a/c compressor will need uplugged by the clutch and the pressure sensor at the rear remove the comp. Bolts and easily set aside. Now you have access to the power steering and a/c bracket mount there are I beleve it was three bolt and a nut from the front of the eng. The nut location you will need an inverted torques socket remove the stud. Now behind the power steering pump is a small bracket with a single nut should be a 15 mil. Its slightly below the exh. Manifold. Dont remove the nut completely just loosen it the bracket should be slotted. Just watch the assy is heavy. Lower it down and let it set aside. This should help you gain complete access to the intake. With the aid of a helper remove the intake from the pass. Door entry. Make sure you cover your carpet and seat so you dont drip coolant or oil. Note the plenum [plastic above the allum. Intake doesnt need to be removed. Be sure to bleed the air from the cooling system and change the oil and filter before starting hope this info helps Alan retired but its in my blood. P.S. Let me know how it goes. P.S.S be sure you clean the gasket surfaces of all debris. I ususaly lay a towel in the valley of the engine to catch and gasket material and clean surfaces with brake clean. Also I reccomend switching to green coolant flosh the radiator with your garden hose let the water drain and refill 50/50 mix green coolant and distiled water or use tap water just set out a jug for a day or so with the cap off and that water will be safe to use also. The green coolant wont hurt a thing and carries heat better than dex crap or I mean cool lol have a good day and dont let it overwhelm you. Just step back and look at it in sections. You can do this. Make sure you torque your intake bolts twice at least and use red thread locker on clean bolts.