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Thread: Water we gonna do now?

  1. #1
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    Water we gonna do now?

    Last night I had the car out. Returned home, and as I was walking past the back of the car I noticed that it smelled hot and I was hearing an unfamiliar ticking sound, which I initially assumed was exhaust related. So I popped the deck lid and took a look around and although I didn't see anything immediately wrong, the sound changed to more of a bubbly sound. I took a look under car and to my surprise, cooling water was flowing out of the engine. Further inspection revealed that the leak appeared to be from under a bolt on the lower passenger side of the water pump. So at a minimum, I know there's a blown gasket that needs replacement. But I don't know what would have caused that failure. My first question is, do I need to remove the rear fascia to access the water pump? Second, what other signs for root causes should I be looking for?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by LB78 View Post
    Last night I had the car out. Returned home, and as I was walking past the back of the car I noticed that it smelled hot and I was hearing an unfamiliar ticking sound, which I initially assumed was exhaust related. So I popped the deck lid and took a look around and although I didn't see anything immediately wrong, the sound changed to more of a bubbly sound. I took a look under car and to my surprise, cooling water was flowing out of the engine. Further inspection revealed that the leak appeared to be from under a bolt on the lower passenger side of the water pump. So at a minimum, I know there's a blown gasket that needs replacement. But I don't know what would have caused that failure. My first question is, do I need to remove the rear fascia to access the water pump? Second, what other signs for root causes should I be looking for?
    There's very little on the car that needs the rear fascia removed (unless you have an engine swap). You need to venture into
    the valley (VoD) to access the water pump. There's some excellent guides for this, but let us know if you need specific help.
    Replacing the water pump is not too onerous - likely do mine next year before it gives out.

    It might just be a bust hose (in which case you should probably replace all of them). You probably won't know the cause until
    you look in the valley/

  3. #3
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    If I were you I would go to autozone or O'Reilly and borrow their cooling system water pressure tester. Pump it up to 15 lbs. and see if that is the only leak or if it might be somewhere else. Seems quite odd for that bolt to start leaking, maybe you can take that bolt out and put sealant on it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    My VIN:    03238 Grey & Black Hybrid - Auto - work in progress Former owner 10902 - Universal 93 Raffle Car

    My bet is that there is a leak in the Valley of death - the area below the intake manifold and between the heads. when that fills up with coolant it will either flow out of the forward end of the engine over the transmission area, or it will come out around the water pump, as you are experiencing. If you are parked on a steep downhill and the leak shifts to the other end of the engine that would tell you something, but on level ground the water pump end of the valley is usually a little lower in my sad experience.

    None of those bolts that are used to mount the water pump or hold the timing chain cover in place go thru into the water jacket, sealing them won't solve your problem.

    The good news is that going into the valley of death isn't as awful as it sounds. Get prepared to remove a lot of parts one at a time. Take pictures as you go, and separate and label all the bolts as they come out. Do not disconnect the AC compressor hoses - this can be done without actually discharging the AC system. You can unbolt the AC compressor from its mounts an leave it connected and move it onto a towel on the drivers side pontoon near the glass.

    There are going to be lots of opportunities for "while you are in there" replacements and upgrades, so this can get as expensive as you let it get. If you haven't done this before, don't panic, but don't expect to get it all done in a day or weekend. You can get it all apart in a few hours, but then you need to assess what your going to replace, order the parts, and then clean and refurbish and then start replacing and putting things back together.

    The most important thing to remember is that you must not shear off any bolts as you do this. Don't force anything. Take your time. Use penetrating oil. etc. Once you get the Intake manifold off then most of the dicey work is off but you'll ​still have to be careful with the water pump bolts themselves, and a few other bits. Just go slow and label everything. As long as you don't snap any bolts you will be fine.

    What you find and what you choose to replace its too soon to say, but you may be evaluating and considering replacing: Air filter, W pipe paper gaskets and o rings, W pipe o ring spacer rings, Throttle microswitch, WOT microswitch(es), Copper washers on Fuel injection system, many o rings, Plugs, cap, wires and rotor, its a good time to upgrade the fuel injection lines and vacuum hoses, belts, Thermotime switch, thermal vacuum switch, temp switch, all of the hoses on the back of the water pump, thermostat and gasket, water pump side hoses to heads, flange adapters and gaskets. lots of hose clamps, Heater control valve, Main vacuum check valve, doing a clutch hydraulics bleed (MT only), adding a cooling system auto bleeder, replacing the otterstadt while the system is dry (ALWAYS install the otterstad with the two blades of the terminals pointing side to side in the car and put a cable tire between them, around the otterstat and pipe before plugging it back in), maybe replacing all of the cooling system hoses while the system is drained, testing or ultrasonic cleaning your injectors (harbor freight sells a cheap ultrasonic jewelry cleaner unit that can work), injector hold down clips and new seals, and if your doing a clean up on the fuel system a fuel filter. So... This isn't going to be a trip to pep boys to buy something to seal up a bolt. There is a lot to look at while you work your way down to the leak, and a lot to decide if you need to also address while you are in there.

    Just don't snap any bolts. Ask questions - this forum is a godsend - everyone here has your back.
    Last edited by TTait; 05-16-2021 at 12:59 AM.

  5. #5
    Administrator Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdrusn View Post
    If I were you I would go to autozone or O'Reilly and borrow their cooling system water pressure tester. Pump it up to 15 lbs. and see if that is the only leak or if it might be somewhere else.
    +1

    It would be good to find the leak before taking anything loose if possible.
    When you pump it up, take a mirror and look at the bottom side of the pump just behind the pulley for the weep hole. Coolant will come out there when the shaft has too much play or its seal goes bad. ...might save you some work (and snapped bolts previously mentioned).

    If it is actually coming from under the bolt head, the gasket is probably bad and allowing it to get into the mounting hole (not likely)...the threads in the engine for the bolt don't go deep enough to hit coolant like some engines have.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TTait View Post
    adding a cooling system auto bleeder, replacing the otterstadt while the system is dry (ALWAYS install the otterstad with the two blades of the terminals pointing side to side in the car and put a cable tire between them, around the otterstat and pipe before plugging it back in),
    If I may hyjack this thread for a moment, could you explain this statement? What exactly are we fixing/preventing here? (Mine is not done like that)

  7. #7
    Administrator Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helirich View Post
    If I may hyjack this thread for a moment, could you explain this statement? What exactly are we fixing/preventing here? (Mine is not done like that)
    $.02

    The auto bleeder is convenient, but it is not needed and can mask problems.
    (If you let the thermostat cycle a few times before capping the tank, the "100502 AIR BLEED CONN HOSE" will send air to the tank. (Parts Manual 1-3-1, #7.) Note #30, the reservoir overflow hose, has the same name, and to make matters worse, DMCH online parts shows this part number twice, calling both a "Reservoir Hose".)
    A lot of confusion over this.

    Not sure what 'side to side' means here either, but the otterstat terminals should go down.
    This is done to keep coolant in contact with the the otterstat, in case the coolant is low or there's air in the pipe.

  8. #8
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    My VIN:    03238 Grey & Black Hybrid - Auto - work in progress Former owner 10902 - Universal 93 Raffle Car

    Quote Originally Posted by Helirich View Post
    If I may hyjack this thread for a moment, could you explain this statement? What exactly are we fixing/preventing here? (Mine is not done like that)
    The clip that holds the otterstadt in place can fail. Its happened to me and others before me. In my case I was going 55mph on the freeway and another driver pulled up beside me and warned me I was leaking gasoline badly. My gauges all looked fine and I couldn't really see anything wrong in the mirrors but I pulled over immediately to the shoulder to find my clip had come loose and the otterstad had been forced out of the pipe and was hanging by the wiring harness.

    By securing the otterstadt with a cable tie in addition to the the standard clip - this won't happen. I know there are other obscure options for otterstadts that screw in as well, but this works fine.

    I was very lucky. We don't have a radiator fluid level sensor, just a fluid temp sensor and I can tell you for sure that it won't tell you a thing if you have a sudden loss of all of your coolant, you're engine will just overheat and stall out within, I'm glad I don't know for sure, but maybe 3 miles? I've had top side coolant leaks where you can see steam in coming off the top of the engine cover in the rear view mirror, and in those cases the remaining water temp rises enough to give you an indication on the temp gauge that something is going on, but when 2 gallons shoots out at 15 psi straight down under the car at highway speeds you will likely only know when the engine overheats and locks up.

    I have now been running cable ties on the advice of someone here for more than 10 years on two Deloreans, and I sleep much better knowing they have been there. I can post a diagram if my description isn't clear but there is one somewhere on the board already somewhere.

    Ron is correct, my description above was not clear. The pipe gets rotated so the sensor is down. The otterstat gets rotated so the parallel terminals are lined up pointing to the left and right sides of the car. That way when you wrap a cable tie around the pipe it can go between the two terminals on the otterstat. Then you plug the wires onto the terminals over the cable tie.

    T
    Last edited by TTait; 05-16-2021 at 07:31 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TTait View Post
    Ron is correct, my description above was not clear. The pipe gets rotated so the sensor is down. The otterstat gets rotated so the parallel terminals are lined up pointing to the left and right sides of the car. That way when you wrap a cable tie around the pipe it can go between the two terminals on the otterstat. Then you plug the wires onto the terminals over the cable tie.
    T
    Ah! Yes, that is the way mine is arranged. It even has the tierap. Thanks.

  10. #10
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    Just my 2 cents but get yourself a cheap wire camera/borescope from amazon and shove it underneath the intake manifold along side the water pump on the passenger side. This will allow you to see if there is any coolant pooling in the VOD without going digging.
    Jesse Baker
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    TNDMC: TN DeLorean Motor Club

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