5
  • 1996 Dodge Intrepid
  • 350,000 km
  • 3.3L V6

As per the picture below, coolant is oozing out of the front of the engine, above the water pump (replaced last fall) and below the thermostat.

I removed the alternator for a better view, the hose on the left is running from the water pump (below the picture) to the thermostat (top of the picture). We are looking at the engine from the driver side, the black plastic at the top-right is a valve cover. Is that a gasket I'm looking at? enter image description here Update #1: Did a bit of research and found out that there is indeed a coolant passage going through the timing cover. See here.enter image description here Also bought the gasket set for the timing cover, which includes o-rings for the coolant passage, as well as a front oil seal, since I've been meaning to do it and I'm getting in there anyways. Here's a closer look at the seam between the timing cover and the engine block. We are looking at it from the driver's side, slightly angled down and towards the front. That black spot down the seam, below the rust spot, feels like is a gap in the gasket. I can stick my finger in there. That ain't supposed to be there, right?

enter image description here

  • It's hard to tell from this angle what could cause the leak. Is the water pump housed inside the timing cover? – Zaid May 5 '17 at 10:12
  • My suggestion to tell where it's really leaking from is to put some UV dye into the coolant then hit it with a black light. It should be self evident where the leak is coming from. As @Zaid said, it's very hard to tell from the picture where it might be coming from. Obviously it's coming from the cooling system somewhere! :o) – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 May 5 '17 at 12:59
  • @Zaid Not on this engine. The water pump is right behind my well placed trouble lamp (bottom left). You can see the hose leading down to it. – tlhIngan May 5 '17 at 15:47
  • I'd suggest either the thermostat housing/gasket is leaking or there may be a crossover tube that runs under the intake that's leaking. Both those are fairly common on Chrysler V6's. Have you pressure tested it? – Ben May 5 '17 at 20:42
2

Aight, disassembly is complete. The coolant o-rings inside the timing cover are cracked and rotten, as is the timing cover gasket. Driver side coolant passage, on the timing cover Passenger side coolant passage, on the timing cover Driver side coolant passage, on the engine Passenger side coolant passage, on the engine

So, to answer the original question:Am I looking at replacing a gasket? Well, the answer is yes and no. Yes, I need to replace a (few) gaskets. No, what you really need to do is disassemble about half the front of the car just to get to those gaskets.

For the record, I needed to remove:

  • the alternator
  • the bracket holding the alternator
  • the serpentine belt
  • the power-steering pump
  • the 2 large brackets holding the power-steering pump
  • the water pump's pulley (the water pump can stay)
  • the idler pulley bracket (the idler pulley can stay on it's bracket)
  • the cam position sensor
  • the steel beam on top of the radiator
  • the radiator fans
  • the crankshaft pulley (also called the damper or harmonic balancer)
  • the front wheels
  • the wheel well trim
  • the brackets holding the anti-sway bar onto the frame
  • the transmission support brackets
  • the oil pan
  • and so many bolts I could open a friggin store.

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