Engine Very Strange Coolant Leak (checked All The Basics) And Other Problems

cmerk27

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Apr 26, 2017
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1998 Mustang GT. So I have a coolant leak. I recently changed the timing cover gasket and that fixed my oil leak problem and everything was fine for a couple days but now I have a coolant leak. At first the coolant was leaking slowly out and I would need to replace it every other day and then it got worse and worse. Now as soon as I put in coolant it immediately pours right out, even when the car is off. The leak is coming from right under the crank pulley where the oil pan gasket is but I am pretty sure that isn't possible for it to originate there. Also it is coming from where the trans meets the oil pan and a little further back. It is spilling out very steadily. Now this next part I believe is related to why the coolant immediately comes out now even when the car is off. I was driving home and I started to smell burning rubber and then after a while I saw white smoke coming out of the hood, but mostly through the passenger side air vent (only the passenger side) well I was almost home so I said whatever and I kept on going. The car suddenly shut off and lost all power and I coasted into a parking lot. I popped the hood and smoke was coming from the back passenger side of the engine, I have attached a picture of the area (didn't take the pic when it was smoking) there was a little bit of oil leaking off of the cat but not much. So I believe that all of this crazy :poo: has to fit together somehow. I am completely lost! Please help me because I don't know what to do. I think I want to just swap a salvage yard motor in but I am not sure if I am skilled enough so I am trying to figure out if this is something easy or not. Thanks in advance. P.s I had a shop replace my clutch and while I was under the car I saw a piece between the trans and oil pan that wasn't bolted on or even had a gasket and I think the guy screwed me but I don't know what the piece is.
 

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cmerk27

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I peeked under there a little bit with a flashlight, it didn't look wet but I will pull the manifold off and check it. I'm just worried it's a freeze plug issue.
 

Scott_96GT

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May 3, 2017
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I peeked under there a little bit with a flashlight, it didn't look wet but I will pull the manifold off and check it. I'm just worried it's a freeze plug issue.
If your arms aren't too big you might be able to just pull the alternator. Easier than pulling the manifold. you'd probably have a little pool in the valley if that were the problem though.

Maybe the intake manifold itself is leaking?
 

cmerk27

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I have heard that the sn95 NPI intake manifolds crack frequently. I'm confused though, if it's cracked how would that leak coolant? I thought that was simply air that ran through the manifold. I'm not a car expert for sure lol.
 

squeak93

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The front of the intake is a coolant crossover. The engine heat will allow the crack to open up more and leak fluid but not enough to effect cooling (at first). If you still have the stock manifold pull it and inspect.
 

cmerk27

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Here are all the pictures I took. It definetily looks like the IM gasket is the problem. There seems to be a tiny crack in the bottom of the IM but I am not positive. Should I just run to the j
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unk yard and do a PI IM swap? Also, I just want to make sure that the gasket is the only problem because it pours out very steadily even when the car is not on.
 

cmerk27

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Apr 26, 2017
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So bad news, I went back over to my car and put some coolant (water) to make sure that was the only place it was leaking. It wasn't, there is a bigger leak. I'll attach the picture, it's the same as one of the ones on my original post. Right where the transmission meets the oil pan and that metal gasket looking thing that isn't attached, its leaking right between the transmission and the metal gasket thing. I got under my car but I couldn't see anything else. I know it's really hard to understand what I'm talking about and the picture doesn't make it much better. I tried to take another picture but I was just too close to the thing to be able to see what I'm talking about. If you guys really need another picture I can try and go get another. I drew arrows to point out that it's the space in between where its leaking. It's not leaking from the side (the angle of the picture) it's leaking from the bottom and it's a very steady stream.
true leak.jpg
 

Neuron

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Nov 6, 2016
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System looks really rusty, hope the freeze plugs aren't leaking.
 

cmerk27

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Sorry, I hit the wrong button and it just copied his quote. I'm pretty sure it's the freeze plugs right on the back of the engine between the engine and the transmission. I think there are 2 back there. Is there anyway to verify this or do I just have to pull the tranny and do it?
 

Neuron

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Nov 6, 2016
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Process of elimination, you have to ascertain that the leak is not coming from up above ie heads, hoses(rubber and metal)etc. Inspection mirrors, feeling for dampness and even possibly enlisting the aid of OP to get another set of eyes on it. I would sure hate to go to all of the work to pull the tranny for nothing but of course car's can be that way sometimes. If all else fails I wonder if you could just undo the rear mount and bolts holding the tranny and get a space between the tranny and bell housing because I would think the coolant would pour out of there if it is a soft plug.
Good Luck, keep posting!
 
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cmerk27

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First off I want to thank everyone so much for the help! Okay, so I have a basic game plan. I totally forgot about that and I said okay, this Saturday I am going to go up to the junkyard and get an intake manifold from a crown vic and then run by the auto store to get the gaskets that I need. I'll drive back to my car (which is in the parking lot of my college. Yep, I was pulling off my intake manifold and everything in the middle of one of the school's parking lots while students were walking around me lol) So once I get that fixed I am going to drive it to my parent’s house, about 30 minutes away (they have a little space there) but I will either need to buy some stop leak to dump in the coolant system and hope it holds up just enough for about a 30 minute drive or bring 3 or 4, 1 gallon jugs of water with me and pull over about every 8-10 minutes to fill the system back up some. Once there, I planned on jacking it up and just taking everything apart.

Well, that's when I remembered about my e-brake, it snapped a few months ago and doesn’t work at all. When I park, I put it into gear so that it won’t roll away. Well that would be fine until I pull off the transmission and the car rolls off the jack stands and kills me. So now I have 1 more thing to fix. I will have to jack the car up, fix the e-brake and then do all the other work.

@Neuron said that it may be possible to just undo the rear mount (the k member?) and then undo the bolts holding the tranny and get some space in between. Do you think that's possible? As far as I have seen I will need to take off the exhaust, driveshaft, then the transmission, is that correct?

Also, I am not very fast at this stuff, when I replaced my timing cover gasket it took me around 15 hours from start to finish (I had to go buy the special tools to remove some of the stuff so that time is included in there but again, not very fast). How long do you think it will take to finish the freeze plug job (excluding the time to fix e-brake)?

One more question (I'm sorry that I am asking so many questions) when my clutch went out the first place it got towed to said they couldn't fix it because the exhaust was welded (I don't know where it was welded) and they didn't have a person to re-weld it up after they replaced the clutch. So, I had to go to another place (the place where that :leghump:ing ******* didn't bolt up that metal gasket looking piece that attaches to the transmission, as seen in the picture where the main leak is coming from). Because I don't know where it's welded, there is a chance I might have to just cut it off. The guy said “exhaust”, he didn’t specify if it was the headers or the actual pipes. I have an H-Pipe that I hate because it’s so loud and there is a hole in one of the mufflers. If I have to cut it off will the exhaust and headers from a crown vic, town car, etc. fit my car or will I need to buy new exhaust specifically for my car? Thank you so much guys!
 

Neuron

Mustang Master
Nov 6, 2016
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Pretty sure the Crown Vic exhaust is incompatible. You can look up pictures of the cat back systems to see how they connect(where they would be welded instead of clamped or both). If there is a muffler shop or welder close by you might be able to jury rig it for a short distance to get rewelded. Don't forget to remove the speedo connection and shifter and clutch cable along with the rest oh and support the rear of the engine using a block of wood and a jack since the rear mount is out and the engine is hanging on just the front mounts.I like to check out YouTube also for hints and specifics. Mark your driveshaft so you get it back the same(sometimes get vibration otherwise). The soft plugs are easy so all of the time is removing tranny, flywheel etc etc. Hard to guess your time frame but say 2 guys 2-3 hours, 1 guy an afternoon probably.
 

cmerk27

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Apr 26, 2017
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Okay so I went back over to my car today and was reaching around and I think I finally felt where the 2 freeze plugs on the back are. I went home and got some water to fill the car up and it didn't leak from the plugs so I guess maybe it is just the intake manifold gasket. My engine has 192K miles on it, it's old, rusty and there has been an oil leak up front before. I took a picture of the water that was spilling out of the intake manifold coolant crossover thing because it has a milky look, it looks like its mixed with oil. My friend thinks it's probably just some old oil stuck on my engine, I just wanted an opinion on that. I am going to repair the IM on Saturday and I will see if that stops all the leaks. Remember the old picture of the loose metal piece next to the oil pan? I did some searching and I am pretty sure that it's a bellhousing spacer plate. In one of the pictures you can see my finger pointing to a gap between the bellhousing and the engine, is that where that spacer plate should be? If so, after I fix my engine I am going to take it back over to the mechanic and tell him to put my trans back together the correct way. Is it bad that he didn't install that on properly?
0511171833.jpg
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cmerk27

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Apr 26, 2017
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Okay everyone, so I finally finished up the NPI to PI intake manifold swap and got everything back together. I even replaced the a/c compressor because you can buy them pretty cheap from the junkyard near me where I got the intake manifold. I am starting to freak out a little bit though. I got my car running, for a good bit it was driving like there was a misfire in at least half of the cylinders but finally that went away and it's running at full power right now. I assume that's because my computer was a little confused about the new intake manifold and my fuel injectors, etc were off the car for a while. So here's the current problem. When I took the water pump off to get to the metal heather hose that runs under the intake manifold I noticed that the bottom bolt on the pump was a little loose and when I pulled it off there was a big orange mark running from the pump down to the crankshaft pulley where the water had been dripping from up front. We were right about the back leak though, it was just the intake manifold. So I still have the front leak. I put the water pump back on with a new gasket and torqued it up really tight and as soon as I poured some water in to test it, WITH THE CAR OFF, it poured right back out at the bottom of the crank pulley. I got my wrench down there to make sure my water pump bolt was tight and it was but the water was just pouring right off the bottom of the engine. I'm pretty sure the weep hole is on top of my pump. I am going to get a new water pump this weekend but please tell me that the water pump is just cracked or something and that's why its leaking. That has to be it, right? I will be sooooooooo happy if all I have to do is put a new pump on there, that is easy peasy stuff. Let me know what you think because I am pretty scared that it might be something else. My girlfriend is flying out to Italy on Monday with her family so I won't have a car to use anymore to get stuff. I need to make use of her car while she still has it here. Please let me know all of your thoughts and what it could be!!! I'm almost positive that there is just a crack or something in the actual pump. Thank you
 

cmerk27

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Apr 26, 2017
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All right so I went to the junkyard, picked up a water pump and installed it. I inspected my old one and saw this little hole. I saw that it was on the other one too. It turns out that the hole rusted through to the other side and that's where the coolant was leaking
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out of. It was just pouring straight out as soon as I poured it in. I have NEVER heard of anyone else having this problem, have you? Anyways, my car is fixed for now.
 
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