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Old 10-16-2011, 01:16 PM   #1
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Default 2003 Bonneville coolant leak and interior lights

My last coolant elbow job lasted about 3 months, just noticed a couple weeks ago it was leaking again and sure enough the thing had warped.

Here is new vs. old.


So here is my idea for round 6 with the coolant elbow. Lots of Vaseline and some heat wrap.





As has been suggested I wiggled and wiggled and wiggled that thing, lubed it up as much as possible, and now it'* even got heat wrap. If that doesn't fix the problem, I swear I'll trade her in!

Also did an oil change, then onto the interior lights. They would last a week or two, then a day or two, then it got to the point the fuse just instantly popped. So I started taking everything up front apart because I had heard the front visors are a common cause of this. Removed the front visors, put a fuse in, lights came on = ). Plugged one visor in.. still good. Plugged the other visor in... still good.

Tapped the driver visor *poof* and the fuse blew. So I opened it up and out came this:



So now I've got a rock solid car again. No leaks, and the lights all work.
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Old 10-16-2011, 02:46 PM   #2
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OK, here'* the thing. I've done several elbows, and never had a leak. But yours is doing it over and over. So either your doing something wrong, not likely because it'* really a idiot proof job. Or something is wrong on the car. I look at the top elbow and I see it forced in. That tells me it'* not seating all the way down. So something is stuck in the hole that is preventing it. I've had many old elbows come out and leave the outside ring inside the hole. From the looks of the picture, this is what is going on.
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Old 10-16-2011, 03:12 PM   #3
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I can guarantee there is nothing stuck in either. The tensioner is brand new and I thoroughly inspect it each time. The last time I did this I took the LIM off the engine and inspected it for any possible obstructions or possible issues. I did not see anything. I think I even put some good pictures in the last thread.

I've never had an issue with elbows on the SSEi. I don't know what is up with this elbow.. I can see that it is warping but can't figure out what I'm doing wrong or what is wrong with the car.
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Old 10-16-2011, 03:16 PM   #4
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I assure you, something is forcing the elbow out of alignment, it should come out as straight as it goes in. If not, it'* not sitting right. I inspect each one I remove and none look like that. An option is to use a bit of red RTV on the O ring before you put it in. It slides nice and then seals good. But with it being forced like that, it'* leaning on the inside edge because all the force is on the outside edge.
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Old 10-16-2011, 03:22 PM   #5
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I do see your point though. The only possible place there could be an obstruction is in the LIM, because like I said, the tensioner is brand new and I had this problem with both the new and old tensioner.

Also, the bent section is the one that was in the LIM, which would mean the obstruction would have to be in the tensioner pushing that side down and warping the piece coming out of the LIM.
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Old 10-16-2011, 03:25 PM   #6
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Double check the LIM hole, should be smooth all the way in. Check over the tensioner where it'* bolted to the head. Check the rear elbow to see if that'* out of alignment. I wonder if the tensioner or the LIM is sitting funny. Although the LIM being off would cause other problems. But I can see the tensioner being off a little. Perhaps loosen it and see if you can pull it back a bit.
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Old 10-16-2011, 03:26 PM   #7
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Is it possible that before I bought the car they put an incorrect LIM on it? The guy was a "mechanic", but not a very good one in my opinion. I can see where he replaced the upper plenum and did all kinds of damage to it, and rigged some kind of fuse system for the interior lights so he could just keep swapping fuses instead of actually fixing the problem.

I'm trying to think of what else could be causing the elbow to be misaligned and warp.
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Old 10-16-2011, 03:33 PM   #8
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I was thinking that the LIM might be sitting funny, which is why I redid it last time and that seemed to last quite a bit longer. 3 months compared to 3 weeks. The rear elbow has never warped, perhaps just because of the design of it, or maybe it'* unaffected by the issue.

Luckily these elbow jobs only cost $10 for elbows and coolant, I guess if it leaks again I will try pulling back on the tensioner to see if I can get it to sit differently, although there really isn't any play in the way it bolts in since it'* got three bolts so I don't think that could be it. I will also do another thorough inspection of the LIM hole, but I know I did that the last time and it looked just like it should. If all of that checks out, the next elbow will be put on so I can take it back to the dealership as a trade in. I wouldn't sell a car with that kind of problem to anyone I know...
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Old 10-16-2011, 04:59 PM   #9
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Ya, something is not lined up right.
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Old 10-29-2011, 06:33 AM   #10
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It may be that the lim coolant passage is out of round or over sized. Have seen this before. If you possibly have another lim to compare to I believe you will find that the elbow will slide in a lot tighter in a known good lim.
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