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Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

FROM RADIATORS TO THERMOSTATS TO HEATER CORES, IT GOES HERE.

Topic author
infinite.chris
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Location: Holland, Ohio

Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by infinite.chris »

So not having gotten down to check out the van I'm buying, I'm curious what kind of trouble I'm getting into, here's most of his post, verbatim..

COOLANT LEAK drivers side top corner of intake/head. Not sure if gasket or head???? Just where it leaks..originally thought it was a T stat..after replacing it I saw the real problem...still runs good just can't drive...It is an EXTERNAL LEAK and NOT BURNING COOLANT

I'm mainly curious if he's right that this can't be driven, PERIOD, or if it would be okay for 10, 20, 30... 48 miles? I mainly ask the last b/c that's the distance from him to me. The price I'm getting it for, I really can't lose, he says high miles, but high for me in that vintage Astro is 250k-300k+ The only other tidbit I heard from him was that it doesn't have heat, my best guess is that /could/ be stemming from the gasket issue, but clueless there as well.

I'll have more pics tomorrow, can't wait to hear her turn over :D
[SCRUFFY 95 RWD Astro Cargo :: 227k ]

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doyoulikeithere
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Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by doyoulikeithere »

funny. I got my 95 astro for 390 bux, plux 60 to her BF for the trailer ride to my place. Thats why I said earlier it was "Like" 400 bux.
Anyways, on the phone, her BF told me it had a bad head gasket, I kinda forgot about it for a while. A week or two later, I drove over to look at it.
I talked to the daughter, and I used jumper cables to start it up. ten or fifteen minutes of looking it over while it ran, and the mom showed up.
I asked her how she knew the head gasket was bad,and she told me... After it runs for a while, the cab fills up with steam. I smiled because I knew right then that it was a bad heater core.
I fixed that and drove it a lot. Sounds like your probably not gonna be that lucky if he sees the leak and all. Got a friend with a good trailer? a coolant leak will lead to an overheat pretty quick. Depending on how fast it leaks is how far you can get.
2021 Yamaha Tenere 700 - Blue.
2016 Yamaha XSR900 - Silver.
1990 Astro - AWD - Brown.
1987 Astro - With 5 Speed & 4wd - Silver & Blue.

Topic author
infinite.chris
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:46 pm
Location: Holland, Ohio

Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by infinite.chris »

doyoulikeithere wrote:funny. I got my 95 astro for 390 bux, plux 60 to her BF for the trailer ride to my place. Thats why I said earlier it was "Like" 400 bux.
Anyways, on the phone, her BF told me it had a bad head gasket, I kinda forgot about it for a while. A week or two later, I drove over to look at it.
I talked to the daughter, and I used jumper cables to start it up. ten or fifteen minutes of looking it over while it ran, and the mom showed up.
I asked her how she knew the head gasket was bad,and she told me... After it runs for a while, the cab fills up with steam. I smiled because I knew right then that it was a bad heater core.
I fixed that and drove it a lot. Sounds like your probably not gonna be that lucky if he sees the leak and all. Got a friend with a good trailer? a coolant leak will lead to an overheat pretty quick. Depending on how fast it leaks is how far you can get.
That's kinda how I see it. If its not head, me and three jugs of 50/50 will be coming back in her. Put put at 45, eyeballs glued to themo gauge. My subaru I paid 400 for, guy said it had electrical issues, we drove it from north of detroit to delta ohio (two hours and change) at points up to 85. Only glugged in 1st and 2nd. Gotta love cheap: read non-mech finds
[SCRUFFY 95 RWD Astro Cargo :: 227k ]

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doyoulikeithere
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Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by doyoulikeithere »

listen for rod knock or other knocks/ticks. If it leaks coolant, it could have been overheated a bunch already.
2021 Yamaha Tenere 700 - Blue.
2016 Yamaha XSR900 - Silver.
1990 Astro - AWD - Brown.
1987 Astro - With 5 Speed & 4wd - Silver & Blue.

LiftedAWDAstro
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Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by LiftedAWDAstro »

What if you left the radiator cap loose so it doesn't build any pressure. Less likely to blow the coolant out.
Current rides:
2013 Toyota Tundra DC 4x4
2008 Dodge Nitro 4x4
2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

Mileage spreadsheet

Vans owned:
1986 Safari 2.5L 4 speed manual - scrapped
1995 Astro 2WD conversion 4.11 posi, shift kit, DHC rock rails - sold to Skippy
1998 Astro 4x4 D44, D60, NP231, full hydraulic system with 9k# Milemarker winch and snow plow - sold to Lockdoc
2003 Astro AWD all stock - traded for a 3/4 ton truck
2005 AWD, 4.10's - sold to skippy

Topic author
infinite.chris
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:46 pm
Location: Holland, Ohio

Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by infinite.chris »

doyoulikeithere wrote:listen for rod knock or other knocks/ticks. If it leaks coolant, it could have been overheated a bunch already.
He /says/ it doesn't have any ticks. He tried to get it to turn over while I was there, but no luck.
LiftedAWDAstro wrote:What if you left the radiator cap loose so it doesn't build any pressure. Less likely to blow the coolant out.
Maybe? I'm not chancing it though, renting a U-Haul plus trailer tonight to get it to my mech. The leak that's in it is pooling / coming from right by the front bolt on the engine itself. (What I would do for a couple extra minutes while I was there)
[SCRUFFY 95 RWD Astro Cargo :: 227k ]

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astrozam
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Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by astrozam »

possibly a intake gasket leak and/or water pump weap hole

Topic author
infinite.chris
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:46 pm
Location: Holland, Ohio

Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by infinite.chris »

astrozam wrote:possibly a intake gasket leak and/or water pump weap hole
I'm hoping it's the former. A whole whopping $5? thank you very much! :D

How hard is that to get at and change?
[SCRUFFY 95 RWD Astro Cargo :: 227k ]

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astrozam
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Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by astrozam »

I've got a how to for the 95 somewhere here on the forum, plus several others have documented bits and pieces of a intake gasket replacement, I'm running late for work but will try to post the link up when i can

Topic author
infinite.chris
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:46 pm
Location: Holland, Ohio

Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by infinite.chris »

astrozam wrote:I've got a how to for the 95 somewhere here on the forum, plus several others have documented bits and pieces of a intake gasket replacement, I'm running late for work but will try to post the link up when i can
Thanks! I'll thumb through search tonight before I start wrenching. I can't wait to see her run ^^

found this: http://d-tips.com/general/articles/article.aspx?id=3

not sure how accurate it is tho
[SCRUFFY 95 RWD Astro Cargo :: 227k ]

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Topic author
infinite.chris
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:46 pm
Location: Holland, Ohio

Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by infinite.chris »

Image

Leak pools right by 19mm bolt dead center. Strongly voting intake gasket, the way it gushes once the hose is squeezed. Wouldn't be shocked if it was just a bad hose connection, etc.
[SCRUFFY 95 RWD Astro Cargo :: 227k ]

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1Gary
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Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by 1Gary »

Chris,
I bought the die kit to add to the coolant system and it comes with a led black light.Cleaned off everything and it sure did narrow it down.
1979 Malibu drag race only car
1999 Sonoma 4.3 5 speed-Rufus
1989 Astro-Ole Yellar cancelled-still selling off parts
1985 Astro-shop van R.I.P. my friend
1994 Astro LT RWD W4.3 rod knock RIP
1982 Winnebago single rear wheel-Chevy 350 Scraped 1/28/13-broken dreams......


Rochester,NY

Topic author
infinite.chris
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:46 pm
Location: Holland, Ohio

Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by infinite.chris »

1Gary wrote:Chris,
I bought the die kit to add to the coolant system and it comes with a led black light.Cleaned off everything and it sure did narrow it down.
Sounds good. I honestly think she just needs a few days in the shop to figure out what I got myself into (i suspect front shocks are iffy, and other things)

Never ever hurts to have my mechanic go through with an eye toward improvement, not just repair. :)
[SCRUFFY 95 RWD Astro Cargo :: 227k ]

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LiftedAWDAstro
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Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by LiftedAWDAstro »

When I buy a used vehicle with lots of mileage and an unknown service record, I always go through all the fluids, fuel filter, air filter, wipers, check battery connections, check brakes, grease it up, tires...etc. Takes time and money but it worth it.
Current rides:
2013 Toyota Tundra DC 4x4
2008 Dodge Nitro 4x4
2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

Mileage spreadsheet

Vans owned:
1986 Safari 2.5L 4 speed manual - scrapped
1995 Astro 2WD conversion 4.11 posi, shift kit, DHC rock rails - sold to Skippy
1998 Astro 4x4 D44, D60, NP231, full hydraulic system with 9k# Milemarker winch and snow plow - sold to Lockdoc
2003 Astro AWD all stock - traded for a 3/4 ton truck
2005 AWD, 4.10's - sold to skippy

Topic author
infinite.chris
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:46 pm
Location: Holland, Ohio

Re: Coolant leak - Drivers side, top corner of intake / head

Post by infinite.chris »

LiftedAWDAstro wrote:When I buy a used vehicle with lots of mileage and an unknown service record, I always go through all the fluids, fuel filter, air filter, wipers, check battery connections, check brakes, grease it up, tires...etc. Takes time and money but it worth it.
With time, I'll poke and prod all that, and shocks, springs, fuel pump, and misc electrical stuff. I haven't ever done any of this with my prior vehicles, but I figure some diligence will keep her on the road and the van gods happy for a long long time :)
[SCRUFFY 95 RWD Astro Cargo :: 227k ]

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