Coolant leak... - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 05-01-2003, 09:32 PM   #1
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Default Coolant leak...

First off, I know this isn't the notorius leaking upper intake. (just gettin that out of the way)

I have had a small problem with leaking coolant for a while now. I originally thought it was the T-stat houseing but I just found out different.

The coolant level would drop about 2 inches in the resevoir and then stop leaking. I could fill it up and a few days later it would be back to the same low level, but never below it. I got home today and parked in the driveway for about 20 minutes. When I came back out I noticed a small puddle of coolant under the front drivers side corner. I popped the hood and found a small stream of coolant flowing down the front side of the radiator starting about an inch from the top and 2 inches from the side. I wasn't able to see the exact starting location of the leak but I can get a real good idea.

So am I due for a new radiator or is there some way I can repair a tiny leak such as this? I don't want to use one of those "quick fix" additives. I just don't trust them.
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Old 05-02-2003, 12:12 PM   #2
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Does anyone have a P/N for a radiator for a '95 SSEi?
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Old 05-02-2003, 12:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr's3800
I think this will be the P/N you are looking for... GM P/N 52462630 This is for the SSEi with the oil cooler in the radiator... You should have lines on both sides of the radiator.. Sometimes some of the autoparts stores might be able to cross reference a part for you.. I checked the P/N on GM parts direct, and the radiator came out to 212 bucks... without *&H....
Thanx
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Old 05-04-2003, 01:13 AM   #4
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If you are a little short on cash, by all means try the radiator stop leak. It will harm nothing.

I have used that for years with very satisfactory results. If one can won't do the trick (but it usually does for pin-size leaks), go the new radiator route.
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Old 05-04-2003, 08:52 PM   #5
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is it hard to change the intake gasket,or is it the entire intake that needs to be changed
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Old 05-04-2003, 10:15 PM   #6
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Stopping an intake gasket leak is not hard but it is a little tedious. Okay, the rest of you, lets here what I left out if there are any significant omissions.

The basic steps are (this is NOT complete and not necessarily in order...off the top of my head):

1. Disconnect +
2. Remove serpentine belt.
3. DO THIS STEP LIKE YOUR FLESH DEPENDS ON IT!!! Disconnect fuel lines (hang 'um high or they will leak once removed); book says to "release built-up fuel pressure. I have never discovered what in the heck they are talking about here. Just make sure you use a shop safety light when working around fuel. I usually just pop the hoses off per the book. I have never "spewed" fuel yet. I do have some rags placed under the line to catch what little fuel does leak out.
4. Disconnect spark plug wires at plugs and move aside.
5. Disconnect air filter box-to-throttle body intake duct, throttle body, misc. vacuum hoses, etc.
6. Disconnect injector rail with injectors attached (no other choice); plan on replacing injector o-rings while you are at it.
7. Remove a couple of 3/8" thick round braces supporting 1.) alternator and 2.) Power Steering Pump
8. Remove alternator
9. Remove upper intake plenum. There will be no gasket between this and the intake manifold.
10. Remove intake manifold and the old crap gaskets (2 fiber gaskets and 2 neoprene end gaskets).
11. Protect topside (lifters, pushrods, etc) valley of engine with clean rags.
12. Remove all traces of gasket material from all surfaces. Get this SQUEEKY CLEAN AND ABSOLUTELY DRY before you apply the new gaskets. Follow mfg instructions to the letter or you will have leaks!
13. Reassemble in opposite order. This is harder than it seems. I video'd the process the first time I attempted this.
14. Before you wrap this up check all vacuum hoses for cracks and/or deterioration before you put them back on. Replace as necessary.

FINAL NOTE: In my shop manual I could find nothing about an upper to lower intake manifold gasket, seal, etc. I noticed that oil had been working its way from the PCV valve port and between the two halves and into the intake air system. It made sense to me to seal this up, so I ran a very small bead silicone (supplied with the Fel-Pro gasket set) along all mating surfaces of the two manifolds. Upon later research I discovered that GM DOES recommend sealing this area!!!!!!
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Old 05-05-2003, 10:07 AM   #7
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Well here you go for Parts needed:
http://www.bonnevilleattitude.com/fo...191d94d2938dc8
As for instructions....Well those are pretty close BUT you don't have to disconnect the fuel lines though. Just pop them out of the lower intake & move them aside. That and a SSEi has a SC not an upper intake btw...so there IS a gasket between the SC & the lower intake.
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Old 05-05-2003, 12:45 PM   #8
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I would definely try the radiator stop leak. Usually it is a bottle of small aluminum flakes that you just pour in you radiator. Make sure you follow the instructions I think you are suppost to pour it in when the car is cool.

My wife had a 85' Buick Century that she ran up on the curb. Needless to say she knocked the radator into the engine and electric fan made a nice impression in the radiator. I think there were about 25-30 holes. I put a can of radiator leak stop in it a turn started the car. It was quite amazing I just sat there and watched all the holes stop one by one right before my eyes. I sure did save lots of money and time. We gave the car to her Grandma and she is still driving it and she hasn't had any problem with the coolant system so I know that stuff works. It has been almost two years now.
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Old 05-20-2003, 10:56 AM   #9
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Well, I bought some Stop Leak and put it in. I haven't noteiced any leaks since. I was looking at the Rad and I can see where it was leaking from. There seems to be a hairline fracture (short one) going verticaly thru the end cap of the Rad. In fact, both sides of it show signs of "tweaking" which cused the hairline crack. That said, I started to wonder how that could happen....then it hit me I think my Rad leak is the result of an inattentive ricer Here is the story I think caused this all...
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Old 07-23-2003, 12:48 PM   #10
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Well, the stop leak worked for a while. Then the car was down for a month and a half with tranny probs. Now that I have it back I can tell the leak is returning. So I just ordered a new radiator for it. Anyone ever done one in an SSEi before? I believe there are other lines going into it as well (oil and tranny coolers as well?). It doesn't look to hard but advice is apprecitaed.
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