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Radiator fluid all over engine

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by The_Dude, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. Nov 21, 2010 at 11:24 PM
    #1
    The_Dude

    The_Dude [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys,

    I popped my hood open in preparation for an oil change. As I opened it, I noticed there was radiator fluid getting ready to drip down the hood. I looked at the reservoir and sure enough it was empty. I took off the radiator cap; empty. I can see signs of radiator fluid splattered throughout the engine compartment, mainly behind the hose connecting the radiator to the engine. I don't see any cracks on the radiator nor do I see any tears in the hose. I haven't experienced any symptoms of over-heating and am completely blown away as to why this has happened.

    Pics to come shortly and I would really appreciate any help.

    Gonna go swap the oil......

    EDIT: Pics

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Nov 21, 2010 at 11:51 PM
    #2
    scocar

    scocar Scouting the perimeter for weakness

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    My guess from that pattern is that your top hose clamp is weak and/or the hose is weak, it was spraying out (forward) and then being blown back by air coming through the grill/front of the truck. Those clamps are original, so they may be fatigued. Try a new top hose with new screw-type hose clamps and then observe.

    Also, hard to tell if that is the Toyota pink coolant or if it is really rusty. When is the last time the coolant was flushed and replaced? Or even the hoses repalced? Ever?
     
  3. Nov 21, 2010 at 11:58 PM
    #3
    The_Dude

    The_Dude [OP] Well-Known Member

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    To my knowledge, the hoses have not been replaced. It's been a while since I have changed the fluid; not exactly sure on how many miles ago...I know the last time radiator work was done, it was replaced with orange fluid - to answer the "rusty" question.

    Edit: Appreciate the tip...I'm really curious to find out if there is something wrong with the radiator now in order to replace it or have the system professionally flushed and get the OEM coolant back in there.

    Edit: I inspected the hose and clamp. It's on there tight.
     
  4. Nov 22, 2010 at 8:30 AM
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    mikracer

    mikracer Well-Known Member

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    Might want to do a test for a blown head gasket. Napa sells the kits for about $50. It tests for emissions coming through the radiator. I had the horrible V6 in a 1994 Toyota pickup and it would spew coolant, but not overheat. I know these motors are much better, but its worth a look.
     
  5. Nov 22, 2010 at 8:35 AM
    #5
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    Fill it up with water, and run it in the garage with the hood open. Easiest way to find a leak.
     
  6. Nov 22, 2010 at 8:47 AM
    #6
    The_Dude

    The_Dude [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate the help guys. Luckily, I was able to snag my brothers car for the drive to work today.

    Bump for any more insight.
     
  7. Nov 22, 2010 at 9:02 AM
    #7
    Mod

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    Yup, refill with water, rad cap on and run it up to temp.

    My WAG is the Jap clamps on the hoses.

    you might want to rinse all the orange off, then air hose it dry, then run it.

    The radiator upper and lower tank alum clamps might have failed, those see alot of heat cycles, and with age do flex and crack the plastic tanks.

    but we are just shooting in the wind here,,first diagnose, then repair.

    There is a rad/hose/pump seal tester, that some rad shop shop use for leaks. (thermostat open).
    http://www.amazon.com/Stant-Radiator-Tester-Assortment-10020/dp/B000F2EPJK
     
  8. Nov 22, 2010 at 9:02 AM
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    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    The best thing you can do, is clean everything up and put fluid back in (flush,etc), run the engine and wait and watch.

    In one of the pictures, I see 'wet' stains where the plastic meets the metal at the top. That would concern me and could be the problem. Over the years of the metal expanding/contracting - can cause failure to whatever it is that the fuse the two materials together with. My mother-in-laws Grand Cherokee had that same problem just last year.
     
  9. Nov 22, 2010 at 9:06 AM
    #9
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    I've also seen it on my bro-in-laws 97(?) jeep wrangler.
     
  10. Nov 22, 2010 at 9:09 AM
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    kingston73

    kingston73 Well-Known Member

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    I had something similar happen to mine last year. With mine it was a series of events, first my rad developed a small crack that I couldn't see and leaked rad fluid out. I was stupid and just refilled it and let it sit, when it didn't leak out again I figured everything was fine. Well, turns out my thermostat was old and had become stuck, which built up pressure in the system and caused the leak. My rad cap didn't release the pressure like it should, and driving it with the stuck thermostat caused it to overheat and also caused one of the ignition coils to fail. Oh yeah, and somewhere in the whole mess my water pump failed and started leaking also. I ended up having to get a new rad, new thermostat, new water pump, and new ignition coil, total was something like $1200 or so.
    -
    Point of the story is your leak could be a lot of things. If you have never replaced any of the coolant system components, it might be a good idea to go ahead and min. replace the hoses, rad cap, and thermostat. Test your radiator and see if it's leaking or not. I don't see how many miles are on yours, but if its a lot you might want to just go ahead and replace the water pump also. If it leaked enough to cause it to go dry, its worth the expense in parts to make sure everything gets fixed.
     
  11. Nov 22, 2010 at 9:11 AM
    #11
    cinch

    cinch Member Extraordinaire

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    You can always add fluid (water since you will be draining it anyway to fix the lealk) and use a pressure tester to find the leak. Any garage or auto store will have a tester.
     
  12. Nov 22, 2010 at 9:14 AM
    #12
    The_Dude

    The_Dude [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I think you are talking about the ridge where the fan shroud meets the radiator; I was somewhat concerned about that myself.

    I'll stop by the store and pick up some distilled water on my way home, clean off the spots, and run it in-garage. Thanks for all the help boys and girls.
     
  13. Nov 22, 2010 at 9:24 AM
    #13
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    Keep us posted..............:popcorn:
     
  14. Nov 22, 2010 at 9:25 AM
    #14
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    Oh, and you can use just tap water for this. Chances are you may have to drain it to fix the leak anyway.
     
  15. Nov 22, 2010 at 9:40 AM
    #15
    The_Dude

    The_Dude [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I went ahead with the oil change last night and the oil looked normal (not milky). Is that enough information to rule out the head gasket?
     
  16. Nov 22, 2010 at 9:47 AM
    #16
    Reaver

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    No, it doesn't rule out a blown head gasket. There are "sniffers" you can rent that will test the coolant for traces of certain chemicals, this is supposedly the surest and easiest way.
     
  17. Nov 22, 2010 at 10:06 AM
    #17
    Mod

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    My 85 Iroc had the alum clamped side tank,,which failed. Also sisters ford f-150 had the same deal which was a replace on the whole rad.

    Rad shop was able to reuse the alum clamps on the Iroc, and just replace the side tanks which were cracked, but it was a one shot deal, and sometimes they still fail.

    Harrison cheaped up when they redesigned radiators years back, cheaper for them, more money for us.
     
  18. Nov 22, 2010 at 1:00 PM
    #18
    scocar

    scocar Scouting the perimeter for weakness

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    What is your mileage, and have you ever had the T belt done (due at 90k miles)? I ask because in the event you do go through a chain of issues (replace some stuff, which causes other weak points in the cooling system to fail, etc.) and you do end up having to change the water pump, you should do the T-belt at the same time if it is due. I am not suggesting anything you have told us indicates water pump failure at this time, just looking down the possible path of events and actions.
     
  19. Nov 22, 2010 at 7:11 PM
    #19
    The_Dude

    The_Dude [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the concern.

    The truck has 186k miles. The water pump and timing belt were done roughly 60k miles ago.

    I'm about to go outside and mess around with it right now so I will keep you all posted =/
     
  20. Nov 22, 2010 at 7:16 PM
    #20
    NelsonTacoma

    NelsonTacoma This is my derpawayinator!!!!!

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    My bet is on the radiator. As stated above the seam where the top tank meets the fins looks to be the culprit.

    :popcorn:
     
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