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Coolant leak - HELP needed please

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  #1  
Old 08-09-2006, 05:32 PM
sureshotsniper sureshotsniper is offline
 
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Default Coolant leak - HELP needed please

I've had a coolant leak in my 1998 dodge durango for a few weeks now.

Get it into the shop and they told me that it's leaking between the motor and tranny... he said there is something between and motor and the transmission that is rusted out and is leaking the coolant.

He estimated $800 to fix it... does anyone know what he's talking about... I've changed out teh water pump, but I'm not about to drop a tranny... at least not in this heat.

thoughts??
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  #2  
Old 08-09-2006, 06:30 PM
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Mean Green Mean Green is offline
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Default RE: Coolant leak - HELP needed please

Sorry to say this but if it has to be done it has to be done. Was the mechanic reputable? You may want to get a second opinion if you aren't sure. Other than that good luck with this.
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  #3  
Old 08-09-2006, 07:41 PM
sureshotsniper sureshotsniper is offline
 
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Default RE: Coolant leak - HELP needed please

i think he said it was the freeze plugs that were leaking... i've looked online and it looks like a typical durango problem.

Stupid dodge... yet another thing they didn't engineer right.
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Old 08-09-2006, 08:18 PM
89Daytona 89Daytona is offline
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Default RE: Coolant leak - HELP needed please

Are there freeze plugs on the back of the engine, or do you pull the engine/tranny to access them? I've only seen freeze plugs on the side of engines and you can sometimes fix them without pulling the engine.

Have you been changing your coolant at the proper intervals? Coolant has rust inhibitors in it that are there to prevent problems like this, if you don't change the fluid the rust inhibitors break down and become useless.
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  #5  
Old 08-09-2006, 08:25 PM
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Default RE: Coolant leak - HELP needed please

^Good post, you might want to look into this. What size engine do you have? There are quite a few guys in here that can tell you if this is bs or not. I think that the 5.9 does have 2 drain plugs though. I'd have to check my chiltons and I don't think it's in there...
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  #6  
Old 08-10-2006, 02:22 AM
sureshotsniper sureshotsniper is offline
 
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Default RE: Coolant leak - HELP needed please

It's the 5.2... (wish it was the 5.9... it sucks gas like it's the 5.9)

It didn't get driven much as we had 3 cars and my wife drove a honda to work and I have a WRX... but we sold the honda to get down to only 2 cars... but while we had the honda ... the Dgo sat there for a while... only getting driven once or twice every 3 weeks or so.

I've owned a 00 dakota and this durango, among other domestics... and while i think the dgos and the dakotas are the best looking trucks on the road, I'll never get a domestic vehicle again... poor engineering on every domestic has steered me away from them...
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Old 08-10-2006, 03:22 AM
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Default RE: Coolant leak - HELP needed please

Yeah it does happen I had my tranny go out on this thing at 35k. I bought it at a little under 30k and the lemon law warranty was only 3 mo. 3k miles so that sucked. One good thing about my engine (from what I hear) is it is very solid because it's been around a very long time. I should be able to squeeze 200k out of it easily. I think if my tranny goes out again I will shop around for something that can hook up to my 5.9 that has a good history.
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  #8  
Old 09-09-2006, 12:49 PM
Joey_Samone Joey_Samone is offline
 
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Default RE: Coolant leak - HELP needed please

I have a 2000 Dodge Durango with a 5.2L Magnum engine. At 44,000 miles, on March 29, 2005, it started leaking anti-freeze coolant. The dealer indicated that 3 of the 10 freeze (core) plug were leaking due to corrosion. Then, at 62,000 miles, on August 24, 2006, it happened again but this time only 2 of the 10 freeze (core) plug were leaking due to corrosion.

As stated above, it was not 2 years yet between the two leak occurrences (March 2005 to August 2006 = 17 months).

It also has not been 24,000 miles yet between the 2 leak occurrences (44,000 miles and 62,000 miles = 18,000 miles).

Even if I brought the SUV in to the dealer earlier to replace the coolant, the corrosion already took place prior to the maintenance cycles. Both leak problems occurred before each of the recommended maintenance cycles. If I had the opportunity, I would have brought the truck in for maintenance, but it leaked first.

I am having a hard time understanding how could this leak so easily and so quickly. Someone mentioned that Chrysler had a bad batch of freeze plugs, and that probably explains freeze plugs going bad so soon. Another person said that some of the Durangos were assembled in Mexico and that the water that was used in the cooling system when the vehicles left the plant for the U.S. was bad.

Is this a known problem with the SUV Truck? Thanks for your response.
JS
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  #9  
Old 09-09-2006, 02:54 PM
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Default RE: Coolant leak - HELP needed please

We never really hear about this so I don't think so. I would say that since 5 of your plugs have gone bad you might want to replace all of them to keep this from happening again.
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Old 09-11-2006, 07:15 PM
famfedyk famfedyk is offline
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Default RE: Coolant leak - HELP needed please

I have recently developed a similar problem and I can't seem to trace the source of the leak. It seems to be coming from the rear of the drivers side head...I have noticed some wetness at the interface between the head and the block, towards the rear of the head. My first inclination was "OMG, head gasket is going" but I'm not really sure if this is the case after hearing about this freeze plug problem. My motor is the 5.9L - but TEN freeze plugs? I've only seen two on the motor, both on the block, towards the front. The other thing is that I am not seeing any other symptons that would indicate a head gasket problem. No water residue in the oil, no white smoke out of the exhaust, no oil residue in the coolant overflow tank....
Are there freeze plugs at tha back of the motor? On the head?
Thanks in advance.....
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  #11  
Old 09-13-2006, 12:48 AM
Joey_Samone Joey_Samone is offline
 
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Default RE: Coolant leak - HELP needed please


famfedyk, All I know is there are 10 freeze plugs on the motor on my Durango. The dealer had to drop the transmission to get to many of them.



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  #12  
Old 09-13-2006, 04:14 AM
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Default RE: Coolant leak - HELP needed please

Over 6 years and thousands of Durango related posts... never heard of a freeze plug 'problem'. Also, they don't just wear out. Doesn't sound right to me unless that engine has been VERY hot for a LONG time for some reason.

Also, no D's were ever made in Mexico. All Durangos are made in Delaware, they always have been. In Mexico there was a 2-door Durango/Ram mix called the Ram-Charger. That could be how you were mistaken there. The front half looks a lot like a D to the un-trained eye. The first time I saw them, I thought they were the new version of the Durango and was shocked. I was soon set straight by the posters on the forums.

Here is a link to many photos of the Mexican Dodge Ram Charger: http://www.durangoclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=25645

HTH

IndyDurango
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  #13  
Old 09-13-2006, 03:24 PM
sureshotsniper sureshotsniper is offline
 
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Default RE: Coolant leak - HELP needed please

I have found a mechanic that would do the work for $450 to replace the freeze plugs. But, has anyone tried that "stop leak" stuff found at walmart? The stuff "claims" to stop freeze plug leaks (among other leaks in the coolant system).
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  #14  
Old 09-13-2006, 06:47 PM
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Default RE: Coolant leak - HELP needed please

Well that stuff will work to stop leaks I would use alumaseal but you have to be careful with it and it is not a permanent fix by any means. DO NOT use too much I would say if one tube of alumaseal doesn't fix it then get it taken care of the right way, if you use much more than that there is a good chance you could plug up parts of your system you don't want plugged.
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  #15  
Old 09-22-2006, 02:34 PM
famfedyk famfedyk is offline
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Default RE: Coolant leak - HELP needed please

Following up on this issue. I threw in a bottle of the BarsLeak (the one that has the little pellets in it) and now I no longer have a leak. I'm typically not a big fan of this "black magic" type of fix, but for now, it seems to be working. As I said earlier, my guess was that the leak was coming from somewhere on the rear of the passengers side head, but I couldn't really pinpoint the exact location - too diffiocult to see back there. We'll see how long this "fix" works....
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  #16  
Old 09-22-2006, 02:55 PM
JasonGS JasonGS is offline
 
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Default RE: Coolant leak - HELP needed please

FWIW, I bought a brand new radiator for my Regal about 2-3 years ago, and it had a small hairline crack in one of the tanks. I just dumped a bottle of Bars Leaks in there, and it has been fixed ever since. No overheating issues either.
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  #17  
Old 09-22-2006, 02:56 PM
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Default RE: Coolant leak - HELP needed please

Make sure you monitor your temp guage because in time, these stop leak products will eventually permanently plug up your radiator core and heater core. As Mean Green stated, this is just a temporary fix and it should never be a permanent solution. The cooling system was never design to have comtaminants much less solid objects floating within the system.
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  #18  
Old 09-22-2006, 11:30 PM
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Default RE: Coolant leak - HELP needed please

^ Yep Yep and until the fix make sure you flush the system at regular intervals or you can be assured of a blockage.
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  #19  
Old 10-09-2006, 04:57 PM
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Default RE: Coolant leak - HELP needed please

For anyone dealing with a freeze plug leak, I just fixed my Durango so here's some advice. I have a 1999 5.2L V8 4WD

My Durango has been leaking coolant slowly for years from somewhere I couldn't find. I just kept filling it up every few weeks for a long, long time. I finally got ahold of a pressure tester and when I pumped it up, coolant came out of the water pump weep hole.

I replaced the water pump last weekend, poured in the new coolant, and when I started it up there was still a leak. I crawled under the car and finally traced it to a freeze plug that had rusted out. If you look inside the wheel well above the front right tire, you can clearly see 2 of the freeze plugs on the block. It was the the rear of these two that rusted out on me. The other one looks fine. I think this freeze plug leaking is the reason the water pump shaft seal went bad because the water pump was only about 25,000 miles old.

I scraped out the rusted part, pulled and twisted on it with pliers, and finally hammered a tent stake (for lack of a better tool with reach) into the plug until it rotated and I could pull it out by hand. I then scraped tons of black sludge crap out of the hole with my finger.

Although this plug is visible, and accessible I didn't know how I would hammer in a new plug until I found out about the rubber ones. I bought one for about $3 from Kragen. You pop it into the hole until a metal disk on one end butts up against the block and then tighten a nut on the outside of the plug. This expands the rubber and makes it seal. It took me all of 5 minutes and turning a socket wrench next to the block was far easier than trying to get a hammer in there and put the plug in even.

If you have a rusted freeze plug behind your transmition, you might be screwed, but if you can get see the plug that's bad, I would recommend fixing it yourself and not paying several hundred dollars for some mechanic to pull your block or rip you off.

I flushed my coolant system for a while using a prestone flushing kit that lets you attach a hose to the heater inlet hose. I did this because I didn't want to remove the thermostat. If you take your thermostat housing off, it looks like a pain to replace because scraping off the old gasket would be almost impossible without removing the alternator.

It is now holding coolant and there are no leaks anywhere.
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  #20  
Old 10-13-2006, 10:14 AM
ccusum ccusum is offline
 
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Default RE: Coolant leak - HELP needed please


Quote:
ORIGINAL: supercharger

For anyone dealing with a freeze plug leak, I just fixed my Durango so here's some advice. I have a 1999 5.2L V8 4WD

My Durango has been leaking coolant slowly for years from somewhere I couldn't find. I just kept filling it up every few weeks for a long, long time. I finally got ahold of a pressure tester and when I pumped it up, coolant came out of the water pump weep hole.

I replaced the water pump last weekend, poured in the new coolant, and when I started it up there was still a leak. I crawled under the car and finally traced it to a freeze plug that had rusted out. If you look inside the wheel well above the front right tire, you can clearly see 2 of the freeze plugs on the block. It was the the rear of these two that rusted out on me. The other one looks fine. I think this freeze plug leaking is the reason the water pump shaft seal went bad because the water pump was only about 25,000 miles old.

I scraped out the rusted part, pulled and twisted on it with pliers, and finally hammered a tent stake (for lack of a better tool with reach) into the plug until it rotated and I could pull it out by hand. I then scraped tons of black sludge crap out of the hole with my finger.

Although this plug is visible, and accessible I didn't know how I would hammer in a new plug until I found out about the rubber ones. I bought one for about $3 from Kragen. You pop it into the hole until a metal disk on one end butts up against the block and then tighten a nut on the outside of the plug. This expands the rubber and makes it seal. It took me all of 5 minutes and turning a socket wrench next to the block was far easier than trying to get a hammer in there and put the plug in even.

If you have a rusted freeze plug behind your transmition, you might be screwed, but if you can get see the plug that's bad, I would recommend fixing it yourself and not paying several hundred dollars for some mechanic to pull your block or rip you off.

I flushed my coolant system for a while using a prestone flushing kit that lets you attach a hose to the heater inlet hose. I did this because I didn't want to remove the thermostat. If you take your thermostat housing off, it looks like a pain to replace because scraping off the old gasket would be almost impossible without removing the alternator.

It is now holding coolant and there are no leaks anywhere.
I think I am having the same problem. Today I get up and get in the truck, get it to operating temp, turn the heat on and nothing but cold air, and the temp guage climbs to around 250 pretty quick. then drops a couple of minuts later to around 180. and I finally hve heat in the car. Temp is holding steady. Pull into a gas station to get gas, shut the car off. Come back in and the same thing. but this time, I still have heat. Temp climbs and then drops.

Any idea if its the freeze plugs that people seem to have a problem with or could it be something else?
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Old 10-13-2006, 10:14 AM
 
 
 
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2000, 59, 59l, antifreeze, coolant, dodge, durango, freeze, head, leak, leaking, leeking, plugs, pump, water

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