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Help! Coolant leak on 04 5.7L Hemi 4x4

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  #1  
Old 12-23-2008, 11:44 AM
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Exclamation Help! Coolant leak on 04 5.7L Hemi 4x4

It was bitter cold this weekend...temps well below 0 F most of the weekend. Needless to say, I let my truck idle in the driveway before going out to do some Christmas shopping. Sunday afternoon, when I got back from my last trip, I noticed two large spots on the pavement...one from each time I let my truck warm up. I checked out the spots and it turned out to be antifreeze. I popped the hood and checked the reservoir. It was on the low side, but not empty. I shut the truck off, crawled under, and looked for a coolant trail or indication of a leak. All I could find was a tiny drop on the bottom of the front crossmember, but I could not figure out where it was coming from. All of the hoses looked dry, the water pump looked dry, the bottom of the engine, the timing chain cover, everything looked dry. I let the engine cool down (which didn't take long), and opened the radiator. It was full to the rim. So, I started the engine again and let the truck idle for about a half hour. This time, there wasn't so much as a drop on the driveway. I haven't seen any other puddles until this morning...which is about 30 degrees warmer than all weekend. I warmed the truck up before I left for work...for about 15 minutes. I don't know if any of the puddles formed when I warmed the truck up, or when I got home and shut it off. Any ideas? The truck has just over 20K miles on it.
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:53 AM
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I was thinking your waterpump? Did you check the underside of it and see if it's pissing anything out? When you say front crossmember are you talking about the frame that runs under the engine or the radiator support?
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:11 PM
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I can't remember off the top of my head exactly where the crossmember sits, all I can tell you for sure is that there is a steel line (I'm guessing brake) clipped to the backside of it. The bottom of the water pump is completey dry. Antifreeze will leave an oily residue for a while, but there was nothing there that I could see or feel. I spent probably close to an hour under the truck, both with it running and off, warm and cool, and I never saw a single drop hit the ground.
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:15 PM
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Maybe someone came along and just poured some antifreeze under your car for the fun of it?

I did that to my neighbor when I was like 16yrs old. He was such a dousch and was always saying how he was better than everyone else because he drove a BMW....pffftttt. I gotta tell ya, those simple things kept him in check with reality!..aahahahahahaaaaaa
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:27 PM
OldMoparMan OldMoparMan is offline
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check your radiator tanks, (black plastic) where they/it's crimped onto the aluminum core. The seal shrinks in cold weather and it leaks (seaps) until it's warm.

Mine did it and I got a new one under warranty.
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
Maybe someone came along and just poured some antifreeze under your car for the fun of it?

I did that to my neighbor when I was like 16yrs old. He was such a dousch and was always saying how he was better than everyone else because he drove a BMW....pffftttt. I gotta tell ya, those simple things kept him in check with reality!..aahahahahahaaaaaa
Thought about that...I've actually done the same thing. The puddles this weekend were at my in-law's, and the one this morning was at home...about an hour away from each other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMoparMan View Post
check your radiator tanks, (black plastic) where they/it's crimped onto the aluminum core. The seal shrinks in cold weather and it leaks (seaps) until it's warm.

Mine did it and I got a new one under warranty.
I'll check this out. I'm probably just gonna keep an eye on the level and take it in after the holidays, but I hate messing with dealerships, and if it is something as simple as a gasket or hose I'd do it myself.
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Old 12-23-2008, 02:11 PM
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Hey Go Green, i had the same issue that you have right now... i had it exactly two months ago, I had noticed lots of spots on my driveway. Everytime, i leave to go somewhere, i parked, went to the store to buy something, got next to my truck, checked under, more spots again and went home. I popped the hood, the antifreeze was gone after three days i filled up the last time. I went to the autoparts store to buy antifreeze, poured it into the plastic thing then the next three or four days, guess what, its gone. I took it to the dealership and they found out that it was the radiator. The radiator is very bad and they had to replace it and i paid 400 dollars for it. Better bring to the dealership and trust me it is the whole radiator and nothing else. Hope it helps.
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Old 12-23-2008, 09:28 PM
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Unfortunately it is rather common that these radiators leaks. my brother has an '02 and is on his 4th... the good thing is that they are all under warranty after the first one from autozone. next time we are just going to get an aftermarket aluminum one with universal mounts. The only way to figure out for sure where it is comming from is start the truck again and lay under it while it is running. while you are doing this it may be a good idea to pray that whatever it is doesn't give way.
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Old 12-24-2008, 02:46 AM
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Yeah, I replaced my 03 Rad late last year for the same thing.
OldMoparMan is bang on with his analysis.
My 03 also smelled when warmed up. Like a warm burning coolant smell, as you past by the front of the truck.
It took ages to find the leak and even then, I just guessed that it was the rad seams on the plastic tanks.
They were weeping just enough, but I couldn't see the leak.
Hope this helps?
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Old 12-24-2008, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
Maybe someone came along and just poured some antifreeze under your car for the fun of it?

I did that to my neighbor when I was like 16yrs old. He was such a dousch and was always saying how he was better than everyone else because he drove a BMW....pffftttt. I gotta tell ya, those simple things kept him in check with reality!..aahahahahahaaaaaa
hahah wow what a great idea. cruel but a great idea.
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Old 12-25-2008, 05:47 PM
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Default coolant leak help

I have an 04 HEMI and was having the same problem. all i did was replace the spring type hose clamps with good quality screw type and the leak quit.
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:39 PM
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I have an 03 Ram 5.7 with 96500 miles on it and I just had to replace the radiator after it was leaking from the driverside tank, was separating. Yes it was $402 new but Outlaw Radiators have them for half, alittle late. Well now its leaking again, but get this, the shop was puzzled as I was. Check the next day if its leaking down the driverside into the backside of the powersteering pump and coming out of the weepy hole, its very small. Well the Thermostat housing looks clean until the next time you check it. Thats where mine is coming from. I found droplets under the bottom bolt of the housing where as before it was clean. There is no gasket required so I guess cast metal to Aluminum doesn't last long.
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:44 AM
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Thanks for all the great advice and knowledge guys. I'm gonna get it to the dealership and have it fixed under the warranty. Whatever is leaking is so slight that I still feel safe driving it. I'll let them find it, because it doesn't seem to be doing it now that it's a little warmer out.
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Old 06-18-2010, 09:03 AM
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Turned out to be the water pump. Internal seal was bad and it was leaking through the weep hole. I'm guessing that the extreme cold temp's made the seal shrink a bit. They replaced it under warranty...been great since.
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:04 PM
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Cool!!! I always like to see an old thread resurrected by the OP who has solved the problem...
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Go_Green View Post
Turned out to be the water pump. Internal seal was bad and it was leaking through the weep hole. I'm guessing that the extreme cold temp's made the seal shrink a bit. They replaced it under warranty...been great since.
I'll be taking my '04 in this week for the same thing. Noticed it as the temps dropped as you mentioned. Thanks for the update.

-t
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Old 12-24-2010, 08:27 PM
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I have a faint leak(I can smell it). Is the coolant system covered under the power train warranty?
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:01 PM
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Update: I've had my truck in the shop for coolant leaks every year since I bought it in 2008 (usually Oct/Nov). Guess what...it's leaking again.

They have replaced the water pump twice and thermostat housing three times. This time, it's the thermostat housing...again. The truck has 55K on it. The only reason I take it to the shop is because it's been covered under warranty, but I can't help but think I wouldn't be having recurring problems if I fixed it myself.

It is my understanding that the thermostat housing doesn't have a gasket, but an O ring instead. Imo, there is no better sealant than good old fashioned Indian Head. Any chance I can remove the housing, slap some Indian Head on it and call it a day?
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
I was thinking your waterpump? Did you check the underside of it and see if it's pissing anything out? When you say front crossmember are you talking about the frame that runs under the engine or the radiator support?
Under the engine.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:30 PM
 
 
 
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03, 1500, 57, antifreeze, burning, coolant, crimp, dodge, fluid, hemi, leak, leaked, leaking, oil, radiator, ram

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