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Old 12-02-2007, 03:29 PM   #1
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Default coolant in exhaust

In August I replaced my UIM and LIM gaskets along with the UIM (including reduced stovepipe with heat shield) and the LIM itself (with the help of many people here). Not long after I started noticing a coolant smell as the engine came up to temperature, then it would go away. I couldn't find a leak under the hood and so I've been operating under the idea that my heater core had a pinhole leak and that was how I was smelling it.

This weekend (after replacing my fourth window regulator ) I found signs of the leak. Small wisps of smoke coming up from the exhaust crossover pipe- at the joint of the front header.

I believe now that the smell goes away because eventually the pipes heat up enough and seal themselves up?

From my understanding that means I have coolant getting into the combustion chamber. I can think of two ways:

1.) Blown head gasket
2.) LIM gasket not sealing

How can I diagnose this further? I used the GM aluminum framed LIM gaskets and torqued it all in sequence? I don't think I can do a head gasket by myself. I'm not sure if it'* the LIM gasket if I should do it myself since I did once and here I am again for round two.

Is there any sort of leak down or pressure check that I (or a dealer) can do to find the source of the leak? The car drives fine - no noticeable loss of power. Possibly somewhat lower gas mileage though - hard to say. I'm pushing 140k on her. (2000 SE)

Any suggestions?
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Old 12-02-2007, 10:40 PM   #2
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Could the coolant possibly be dripping down from the throttle body gasket?
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Old 12-03-2007, 12:29 PM   #3
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Or dripping from the thermostat housing or hose?
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Old 12-24-2007, 12:40 AM   #4
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Default follow up to coolant leak

I always assume the worst. Great suggestions guys. Turns out it was just the upper radiator hose dripping from the thermostat housing. I should known better- any time you put hose clamps on you have to retighten them at least once as the rubber settles. Glad it was a simple fix. Thanks!
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