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Old 06-16-2013, 08:08 PM   #1
GrannyShifta
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Default 2002 WRX coolant on top of block

I have a 2002 WRX with 206 thousand miles, on the body that recently got new heads 6k miles ago.

Within the last two weeks I noticed a small bit of steam when I would pull up to stoplights, I searched and checked the common spots, turbo oil lines, torn CV boot, PS lines, those sorts of things. I held my glasses over it and determined it was coolant and not oil(condensation on the lenses), so knowing that valve cover seals were out of the picture I thought id get a better look at the turbo lines when I had the oil drained at the next change. But within the last few days its massive amounts of smoke and the coolant system is loosing about 8oz of coolant on my morning commute, and has heavy steam when I park. Ive also noticed a "pssh" sound like a blow off valve hit, but it happens completely randomly while driving.

Today I took everything apart to find that there was a bunch of bright green coolant on top of the passenger head, mostly concentrated around where the coolant crossover connects to the engine. I'm talking puddles, with green crust around the edges. On the same place on the drivers side there is a slight residue but no standing coolant.

Anything I'm missing? It seems to be screaming that its the coolant crossover pipe, but it concerns me that
a) both sides started leaking at roughly the same time
b) theres no green/white crust on the crossover pipe/engine mating surface

Any other rubber hoses running under the intake manifold that come to mind?

I have pictures to post if anyone thinks that'd be beneficial.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:05 AM   #2
DannyLerch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrannyShifta View Post
I have a 2002 WRX with 206 thousand miles, on the body that recently got new heads 6k miles ago.

Within the last two weeks I noticed a small bit of steam when I would pull up to stoplights, I searched and checked the common spots, turbo oil lines, torn CV boot, PS lines, those sorts of things. I held my glasses over it and determined it was coolant and not oil(condensation on the lenses), so knowing that valve cover seals were out of the picture I thought id get a better look at the turbo lines when I had the oil drained at the next change. But within the last few days its massive amounts of smoke and the coolant system is loosing about 8oz of coolant on my morning commute, and has heavy steam when I park. Ive also noticed a "pssh" sound like a blow off valve hit, but it happens completely randomly while driving.

Today I took everything apart to find that there was a bunch of bright green coolant on top of the passenger head, mostly concentrated around where the coolant crossover connects to the engine. I'm talking puddles, with green crust around the edges. On the same place on the drivers side there is a slight residue but no standing coolant.

Anything I'm missing? It seems to be screaming that its the coolant crossover pipe, but it concerns me that
a) both sides started leaking at roughly the same time
b) theres no green/white crust on the crossover pipe/engine mating surface

Any other rubber hoses running under the intake manifold that come to mind?

I have pictures to post if anyone thinks that'd be beneficial.
Could be the head gasket. Most rebuilds are under warranty for like 15-30k mikes aren't they?
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:55 AM   #3
kellygnsd
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Where are the grean crusties building up?
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:06 PM   #4
GrannyShifta
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I dont think its the head gasket, because the coolant it just pooled there, and its not really where the block meets the head. I think it the HG were bad it would fly out of there with some force wouldn't it? not to mention i would thing itd be hot enough it wouldn't stick around for too long.

and the green crusts are building up at the edges of the puddles, and also at the coolant crossover pipe-engine mating surface.

Ive talked around and everyone is stressing the importance of coolant conditioner...so i picked up some holtz rad-weld, because I feel like previous owner wasn't the type of guy to do things by the subaru book
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:06 PM   #5
GrannyShifta
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Its also worth mentioning that the car doesn't overheat
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:11 PM   #6
Gamble_WRX
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If you have a stock radiator, check the plastic caps. when i had the same issue, the coolant was spraying from a small gap between the radiator cap and the rad, all over the engine. i noticed it on the heads as well, because it wasnt spraying at idle. i did a test and thats where it sprayed from. just a thought. if that is the issue, get a CX Racing Rad, theyre under 150$ on ebay, and they're awesome quality. plus you never have to worry about the caps separating again.
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:13 PM   #7
art@grimmspeed
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Check the coolant lines running off the coolant reservoir. If one is dripping it will cause a puddle. I would go to a local auto parts store and rent a coolant tester. This will allow you to pressurize the system and check for leaks without the car being running or blazing hot!
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:38 PM   #8
GrannyShifta
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Love all the advice.
It could be the cap, but I was also thinking it could be the seam between the plastic and metal portions of the radiator. I'm just confused on how that would pool on the head but not have any residue on the timing cover or intake manifold. Crazier things have happened I'm sure
Ive also gone over most every line in there, but I'll rent that pressure tester and see if any splits open up under pressure.
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:41 PM   #9
Gamble_WRX
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^+1 for the pressure tester, its your best bet at finding a leak. i ussually clean everything off, use UV dye and Pressure test it with a blacklight to see if its seeping. not all leaks will jump out at you. also a good chance its the cap.
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:50 PM   #10
mexicanzero
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My bet is the crossover pipe o rings, they go often enough.
There are a couple hoses coming off the coolant reservoir and I think another one that run under the intake that can drip around there but either way intake manifold has to come off...
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:52 PM   #11
GrannyShifta
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I'm sure this one will jump out at me. The car steams steadily out of the front grill, scoop, and passenger fender. Less steam when the coolant system is less full
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:57 PM   #12
Gamble_WRX
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because of the amount of steam, id bet my bottom dollar on Rad end caps. also because i was just talking to my brother, his wifes fozzy was doing the same thing last week. ended up being the rad.
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:59 PM   #13
GrannyShifta
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I will definitely post the fix and mods can change title when that happens hopefully.
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:57 PM   #14
DannyLerch
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I have an 02 Wrx and my OEM rad split on the top seam where the black plastic meets the aluminum. It sprayed all over the motor but my car never over heated. Swapped the rad and it stopped. Get a mishimoto or something all aluminum. It'll be more efficient and some have a lifetime warranty.
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:30 PM   #15
GrannyShifta
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I washed all the coolant off of the engine and bought a pressure tester. I'll hook it up to both the radiator cap and the turbo reservoir cap and look for the green. thanks again all, I'll post back with what I find
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:45 PM   #16
wrx1392
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im betting on the coolant crossover pipe "o"-rings
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:27 AM   #17
GrannyShifta
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Moral of the story is just because coolant pools one place doesn't mean it leaked there...or even on that side of the engine bay. I pressure tested with the TMIC on and couldn't find anything so I took it off and did it again.

Turns out, there was a split on one of the throttle body warming hoses that would only show up at above 10-12psi. Coolant would run down that hose, onto the throttle body, dribble down onto the coolant crossover pipe, about 5% would go to the passenger side and the rest to the driver side where it would puddle where the crossover tube met the block....new hose and worm clamps should fix it. I'll know for sure in a few days I guess

thanks again guys! pressure tester made the difference!

Last edited by GrannyShifta; 06-19-2013 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:04 AM   #18
Gamble_WRX
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no problem man, glad you found the leak!
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