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#102 - 05/19/12 12:46 PM Coolant Leak - 5/2012
Muniac Administrator Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 11/12/08
Posts: 247
Loc: Livingston, Texas
This leak isn't a new one and its origins go back about 2 years. It started as a small coolant drip leaving an insignificant puddle under the bus. Over the next two years the leak became more pronounced and I began to wonder if it might turn into a gusher. Not knowing its origins drew concern of blowing something while en-route to places unknown. When it blows you'll come coasting to the side of the road and hopefully not overheat in the process.

As leaks usually do, the one in question got bigger. I decided it was time to fix it before hitting the interstate road system and summit passes.


Another coolant leak. Silicate stains are revealing.

For a time I thought a poor weld might be the cause. Using a small inspection mirror I was able to see coolant wicking around the right angle fitting's threads. Giving this is higher up on the pipe it ruled out a weld. Since the hose and fitting are close together it wasn't clear exactly where the coolant was coming from.


Looks like a bum weld. For a while I thought this too.

The pipe connects the engine water jacket to the radiator and is fully accessible. I decided to remove it for a complete inspection. Draining the coolant was a bit messy but not a bad job overall. Luckily the larger hoses on the engine and radiator let go of the pipe easily. The two Goodyear red rubber heater hoses were welded to their fittings and had to be cut. A sharp razor blade made short work of that task.

After removing the pipe it was easy to inspect it. It turned out that the right angle fitting wasn't tightened enough. Just one extra turn would have solved the problem. I decided to replace the molded fitting with a brass barb and also replace the Goodyear hose with a silicone one.


Not a damn thing wrong with this fitting.

Looking back on this repair, I probably could have just disconnected the hose, given the fitting an extra turn and reconnected the hose. This might have saved some time. I decided to go the extra distance, however, with removing the pipe to allow inspecting everything and get peace of mind. The pipe, its ends and bulkhead fittings were all in good shape.


New fitting and hose installed. No leaks!

Overall this wasn't a bad job. We have ramps and blocks to jack up the bus which we do anyway for the chassis inspection. Being on a concrete pad also helps the process.

Complete slide show HERE.

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#220 - 08/18/13 10:20 AM Re: Coolant Leak - 5/2012 [Re: Muniac]
smlranger Offline
stranger

Registered: 08/17/13
Posts: 2
Loc: Virginia
Scott, I have the same leak. The manifold with the angled fitting is a bit different on my coach. I have a second angled fitting on the bottom which does not seem to be leaking.

I will try and tighten the angle fitting and see if that stops the leak. Mine looks like someone put a bunch of teflon tape on it and the tape bunched up at the top instead of staying on the threads.

How much coolant drained when you removed the hose? My hose goes directly to the expansion tank so I am thinking the entire tank will drain but I would anticipate having to catch gallons of coolant if I remove the hose.

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#222 - 08/20/13 10:06 AM Re: Coolant Leak - 5/2012 [Re: smlranger]
Muniac Administrator Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 11/12/08
Posts: 247
Loc: Livingston, Texas
I used a clean garbage can to hold the fluid. Not sure the amount but it was a lot. My radiator has a drain plug and that was where I started. I had the bunched teflon tape thing going on too. If possible, use a straight barb fitting to remove the relationship between tightening and position.
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