4.6L Coolant Leak- Help

JOEZ06

New Member
Jun 12, 2004
18
0
0
Jacksonville, FL
1999 SVT Cobra... generic 4.6L issue, I think.

I have an external coolant leak that I think is coming from the front of the oil pan gasket, the passenger side bolt, of the 2 front bolts that have that supplemental bracket/reinforcement attaching the pan.

The leak does not begin until the car has run for 15 minutes, and it's very slow.

My son tells me that the oil is not contaminated, but I need to reverify this.
Also I need to verify that the leak is not coming from a higher source and dripping down. I did find the bolt fairly loose, so I retorqued the 2 front bolts, but it did not help.

My question is to anyone who has every pulled the oil pan and is familiar with the underside view of the 4.6 block... Does the block have any coolant ports that run down the front that far down? Is there any chance I am only looking at a gasket replacement (still a big job to pull the pan), or do I have a bigger problem at hand. I need to drive this car 2000 miles in the next 2 weeks to get her home to do more permanent repairs, so I tossed a can of Bar's stop leak in the raidiator, as a bandaid. Verdict is still out on that.

We noticed a coolant system check light, saw no leaks and topped it off a few weeks ago. So it seems that the ride back is not going to be fun or possible unless the stop leak holds. Especially since we talking AZ to FL, through TX.

Thanks for any suggestions in advance.
 
  • Sponsors(?)


AdRock

Member
Nov 13, 2003
521
1
17
South Texas
Visit site
Before you pull anything off...

Look around the thermostat to make sure nothing is leaking there.

Then use a flashlight to look down into the engine valley underneather the intake. There's a coolany tube that runs through there.

Then get underneath the car and look up at the weep hole on the water pump.

Since it doesn't start until the engine is good and hot then it's only after the system builds up some pressure. If there's no coolant in the oil then I bet that coolant isn't coming through the bolt hole.
 

JOEZ06

New Member
Jun 12, 2004
18
0
0
Jacksonville, FL
Well the "stop leak" did something, it's not leaking any more.

We dont think it was coming from the bolt hole, but from the oil pan gasket immediately above that bolt.

I will try to get a better look at the front end pulley above the front end of the pan and the locations you suggested to see if there is a trail of evidence.

Do I dare flush the coolant before I leave, or leave well enough as is?

Thanks for the suggestions.
 

AdRock

Member
Nov 13, 2003
521
1
17
South Texas
Visit site
If there's no coolant in the oil then the pan gasket has nothing to do with the leak. That's just where the leak is running down to and dripping from. Clean the engine off well then let it dry. See if you can find someone with a pressure tester and put some pressure on the cooling system. This should make it apparent where it's coming from.

If the leak has stopped, the cooling system is full, and the car isn't overheating.... Then get the car home and then do this stuff. Just keep an extra eye on that temp guage while you're on the road. It can creep up quickly if something goes wrong.
 

streethorse

Active Member
Oct 8, 2005
1,041
6
38
Dallas Texas
Never put stop leak in a car you plan to keep, it will eventually clog up water
passages and ruin the engine. Drain and flush asap and find the leak.
 

GT Tommy

New Member
Aug 15, 2008
190
0
0
Engine Coolant Leak?

I agree with streethorse. Stop leak could plug up your coolant passages and damage your engine. With a coolant leak, I would never use the car to travel the distance you are planning on driving. You would be better off renting a car for that trip. Your coolant leak may be coming from above. My sons 2003 GT was leaking coolant in two places. One was at the base of the thermostat housing, (shown in lower picture) and at the base of the aluminum cross over channel on the passenger side (shown in upper picture). Not saying that your coolant leak is in the same location, however, if it is, you won't make it to Texas. We ended up replacing the intake manifold to correct our coolant leak problem. I would really hate to see you replace your engine from overheating problems while on your trip. Good luck. Hope this helps, Tommy.


2003GTMustang46enginewithdamagedgas.jpg


2003GTMustang46engineintakewithdama.jpg
 

squeak93

10 Year Member
Jun 2, 2005
2,144
322
164
37
Joplin, Missouri
I agree with streethorse. Stop leak could plug up your coolant passages and damage your engine. With a coolant leak, I would never use the car to travel the distance you are planning on driving. You would be better off renting a car for that trip. Your coolant leak may be coming from above. My sons 2003 GT was leaking coolant in two places. One was at the base of the thermostat housing, (shown in lower picture) and at the base of the aluminum cross over channel on the passenger side (shown in upper picture). Not saying that your coolant leak is in the same location, however, if it is, you won't make it to Texas. We ended up replacing the intake manifold to correct our coolant leak problem. I would really hate to see you replace your engine from overheating problems while on your trip. Good luck. Hope this helps, Tommy.


2003GTMustang46enginewithdamagedgas.jpg


2003GTMustang46engineintakewithdama.jpg


He has a 4v cobra.... totall different animal.

TO the op. They make special lights that aid in tracking external coolant leaks. Your local sears or any tool store should have them. that way you can see where it starts at. I guarantee its not your oil pan gasket unless your hg's are blown, but then you would see tons of water and oil gunk.
 

GT Tommy

New Member
Aug 15, 2008
190
0
0
Coolant Leak?

Thanks for catching that squeak93. I should have seen that. In any case, the point is, if his engine is still leaking coolant, I would really advise him in fixing the leak before he takes on this trip. Good luck, Tommy.
 

jeeps

New Member
Sep 10, 2009
11
0
0
i have the exact same problem it just happened to me today, now if you see fluid leaking from the timing cover i think i may have the solution, but i haven't tried it. i just installed my crate engine and i noticed fluid leaking from the timing cover. the only cause i can see is the oil cooler on both the gt and cobra is an oil cooler that has the oil and coolant basically right next to each other if you dont know its what holds the oil filter. underneath this is an adapter and under that is a gasket, there is one port for the radiator fluid and one for the oil, what i think my problem is, is that the gasket was improperly installed and radiator fluid is leaking into the oil port and dripping out of the timing cover. that is the only thing i can think of because there in no way should be radiator fluid in the timing cover.
 

tonytaylor85

Member
Sep 3, 2009
126
0
17
34
Augusta GA
Sorry I can't help but I do agree that you need to flush the system. The stop leak has worked its "magic" so flush it out. Keep a gallon or two in the trunk if you must take it on the trip.

+1 on checking the water pump weep hole. That'd be my first guess.

I'll have to take a picture of the water pump I recently changed for a friend. It never leaked until 30 seconds before the bearings *completely* failed and the impeller chewed up the inside of the block when it cocked sideways.