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I just replaced top and bottom radiator hoses and car has new water pump. It's an '86 mercury grand marquis. Once I replaced everything and filled the radiator with 50/50, I cranked the car up. Soon as I did, from underneath the car all the coolant came out on the ground. Where do I look next?

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There are several things to look for here:

  • Localize where the fluid is actually coming from. Doing this will allow you to take the next step.
  • Ensure you put all of the hoses back in place correctly. It is easy to get one cocked in the wrong direction, where you think you go it right, but you don't. Check all of them to make sure they are completely in place, not just partially stuck onto the radiator or water pump outlets.
  • Ensure the hose clamps are put on correctly. If the hose clamp is over the end of the hose, even by a little bit, it will leak. You must be able to see rubber past the side of the hose clamp all the way around or it will leak.
  • Check to see if you closed the petcock on the radiator if you used it to drain your radiator in the first place.
  • Check to ensure your water pump is sealed correctly. It may be just slightly off somewhere where it needs to seal and is allowing the fluid to drain from there. If so, re-tighten/reseal.

EDIT: You don't state if the reason for the replacement in the first place, but I'd assume it was not leaking like what you describe above. If it was leaking before, usually it would be a leak out of the "weep" or "pee" hole (as commonly referred to). This would produce a minor leak. What you are describing is a major leak. If so, it would have to be something you have/haven't done to the vehicle in the process of replacing the pump/hoses. That is why you need to go back and recheck your work.

  • @ClintPickett ... check edits. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Sep 27 '14 at 11:56
  • In the UK we call it a 'water pump gland seal bypass'.:-) – Allan Osborne Sep 27 '14 at 15:09
  • @AllanOsborne ... Leave it to you Brits to come up with something like that, lol! Gives a great visual, though ;-) – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Sep 27 '14 at 16:19
  • The car had been sitting for a while. I'm in the process of giving it a tune up, draining and replacing fluids. The water pump was replaced due to seepage from the hole in the top. I have no leaks from new hoses or radiator. Radiator is full prior to cranking. Soon as I crank it, fluid pours out leaving my radiator almost empty. – Clint Pickett Sep 27 '14 at 19:54
  • The general area is under the firewall area underneath the engine. On the ground, the fluid flows behind front tire. – Clint Pickett Sep 27 '14 at 19:57

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