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Coolant leak

This is a discussion on Coolant leak within the V6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; I've got a 98 camaro with the 3800II. Recently has developed a major coolant leak from somewhere underneath the intake ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member phoenixXIV's Avatar
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    '98 Z28 M6

    Coolant leak

    I've got a 98 camaro with the 3800II. Recently has developed a major coolant leak from somewhere underneath the intake and above the pump. I've been told that there is a plastic elbow that is known to break in these engines. If that's the case does anyone know exactly what part this is?

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    James Bond Spikito's Avatar
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    2001 3.8 Black - sold
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    it could be the intake manifold gasket, mine went out on my 3800

  3. #3
    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenixXIV View Post
    I've got a 98 camaro with the 3800II. Recently has developed a major coolant leak from somewhere underneath the intake and above the pump. I've been told that there is a plastic elbow that is known to break in these engines. If that's the case does anyone know exactly what part this is?
    They are found in the "HELP" isle of your local auto parts..

    They come in a kit like package with a few different kinds in the pack..

    Included in the set is the one you need..

    Talk to your local auto parts guy if they are worth a shit, they can steer you in the right dirrection..

    It's a 90 degree elbow..
    :\Users\Steven\Pictures\d6ftg5nh.gif


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    Member transamgirl89's Avatar
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    2001 RS Camaro

    First I would pressurize the coolant and make sure you're not leaking from any other areas. If it is leaking from the lower intake I HIGHLY recommend getting aluminum gasket seals. A bit pricey, mine were $129 but well worth it.

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    Member flipsutter's Avatar
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    Phoenix.

    I have seen this issue with two firebirds I have owned. Both have been the black elbow underneath the intake and above the water pump. You will need to pull this out and replace it with one from you local auto parts store. Its usually an easy fix.

    You will need to do a pressure test after this is done because you might also have a gasket leak in the upper intake manifold. Two weeks ago I replaced my upper intake gasket because of this.

    Now I'm experiencing other issues like a very hard ticking sound in my passenger side valve train. Most likely just dirt. Going to run it more tonight to see if it will come lose or it will break! We shall see.

    Good luck and let us know on what you find out. Its a common problem for these engines and I know that every 3800 owner has ran into it. Get it fixed ASAP.

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    Junior Member phoenixXIV's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the input guys. I wish I could get started and let you know how it turns out but I'm away from my car and wont see it again till August. But now that I know what I'm looking for it'll be first on my to-do list.

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    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    Jeebus! You don't need to pressure test anything ..

    Get the $5 dollar elbow and replace the old one.

    Be carefull not to over "wiggle" the old one as they become weak over time and like to break behind the O-rings leaving you to dig out the pieces..

    As for the upper intake gasket..

    The upper intake gasket CAN NOT leak coolant..

    The gasket does'nt come into contact with coolant.. EVER... As it does NOT handle any coolant passages..

    There are two O-rings, (as seen in this pic of mine, one small yellow, and one large orange) and that's the only place that sees coolant between the upper and lower intakes on the aluminum tunnel ram 3800-II..

    In this pic, you can just barely see the coolant passage where the plastic 90* elbow goes below and behind the TB in the LM..


    The other end connects to the coolant diverter as seen here:

    You will need to remove the diverter to replace the elbow..

    Last edited by Smittro; 03-29-2011 at 02:28 AM.

  8. #8
    Junior Member phoenixXIV's Avatar
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    Well I got the new elbows installed but found out my throttle body gasket was shot. If all goes well I'll pick up the new gasket in the morning and have my car running before lunch tomorrow.

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    Junior Member phoenixXIV's Avatar
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    '98 Z28 M6

    Well it's all put back together and runs like a dream. Thanks to everyone for the info.

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