Coolant issues

Tiny
MARINOPERNA
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 CHRYSLER
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150,000 MILES
2001 Pt Cruiser: New water pump, timing belts, thermostat, head gasket (light surface and check for any cracks non found), new valve seals and radiator cap.
Got a heat exchanger leak so bypassed the heater core with a simple looped hose. A few thousand miles started dumping coolant so much so as to overflow the reservoir. It did get hot before my wife called me but never into the red, but real close. Changed cap with one from Autozone. Same issue. Finally changed out reservoir tank as I broke the stub trying to change the hose, thinking of an air leak. I also bled the system through the small nipple below the thermostat for a few seconds. Drove for over an hour with no increase in the reservoir coolant. Shut it off to see if heat soak would make any difference. Coolant level went up about a 1/2". Started, drove for another hour. Coolant is now up 1-1/2". Thought once cold it would condense back into the radiator. This morning, no such luck.
Engine does not burn oil, no water in oil, no oil in the coolant. Engine does not smoke at all, no white, no black, nothing ever. Coolant nice and yellow (not clouding from combustion leaks or oil contamination).
Hard to understand that it could be the usual head gasket leak but I am stumped. I did not try torquing?
Do you happen to see anything else I could try before taking this thing apart again. Not on easy job I might say.
Thanks
Marino
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Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 AT 7:02 AM

5 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Pressure check system for a head gasket leak or chemically check either way is okay. Auto parts sells chemical. Was head gasket put on up side down? Is radiator same temperature all over if any cold spots it is bad. Is head warped or was checked?
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Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 AT 7:16 AM
Tiny
MARINOPERNA
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I have worked on vintage motorcycles for forty years so have the basics of the engine workings (or so I thought). Old and anal. Somethings just does not make sense to me. If the head gasket is actually blown wouldn't there be any other symptoms such as waster in the oil or oil in the radiator or some kind of smoking? The system when hot is under pressure. Once the engine shuts down would not that water be forced into the combustion chamber through the leak? Even the smallest head gasket leak should occur well before an hour of driving (first hour no raise in reservoir coolant level). Do you know if there are issues with aftermarket radiator caps? It has been suggested to try an OEM one. Make sense to get one?
The engine never overheats until it run out of water. Needle once hot never moves from the mid travel position To me this eliminates a sticking thermostat, bad radiator, fans not coming on, collapsed hoses etc.
I have heard that there could be air stuck some where and air expands more than water thus pushing out the coolant. Any way to get that air out? Seems to me that once running with the thermostat open and circulating under pressure it would make it way out by itself. Is this true.

Thanks for the comments. Never heard of a chemical to check for a head gasket leak but will as the parts house. Sure are all sorts of stop leaks but just does not sound like a permanent solution. Old and anal!
Marino
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Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 AT 8:13 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
The radiator caps are probably made to supply the oem's stant has been a name brand one for years. However you say it never overheats until it is out of water. Where is it going? That is why a pressure check. To see if there is an internal leak. Yes there could be air as well you are supposed to bleed it once it is warm until liquid comes out. Head gaskets do not need to leak into cylinder they can leak outside to the exhaust manifold and unless it is a large leak you will not see it. Was head tightened in four steps like it is supposed to be? Was torque sequence followed? I do not know any of that just that it is overheating.
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Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 AT 9:36 AM
Tiny
MARINOPERNA
  • MEMBER
Thanks for your responses.
Hard to find stant around here. Auto parts houses carry their own brand. I will try to find one. What do you think of using the turbo cat at 18 lbs instead of the original 16 lbs? A band-aid?
All of the water is going intermittently into the reservoir bottle. Surprisingly it is intermittent. One would think a blown gasket would be a consistent amount. First hour running stop and start of Suburban driving no additional coolant was added to the bottle. Stopped to check heat soak added 1/2" to the bottle. Last hour running no change in temperature gauge reading there was an increase of 1-1/2" of coolant added to the reservoir. During the test, the engine was only shut down for about fifteen minutes. The duration of the test was two hour fifteen minute. Coolant is still the original color with no oil droplets, carbon particles.
Torquing sequence was as per your attachment.
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Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 AT 11:02 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Keep the cap with what is supposed to be poundage you can have that tested as well to see if it is good or not if it gets to 16 then lets off it should still stay at 16 if it leaks it is trash.
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Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 AT 11:58 AM

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