Coolant Leak - Left Side of Engine
> I spent some time today trying to track down the cause of a coolant leak on
> the drivers side of the engine. All radiator hoses are intact and leak
> free. The source of the coolant is difficult to place but is behind the
> cambelt covers and under the exhaust manifold. My first thought was a
> leaking water pump, but then I decided to carry on looking for other
> symptoms. I found caramel (not the tasty kind) in the bottom of the oil
> filler housing. I then checked the radiator overflow tank and found it to
> be clean. This looks like a blown head gasket to me unless the waterpump is
> oil cooled and somehow the leaking pump is allowing oil and coolant to mix.
> Has anyone had a similar problem? I have never seen a post re head gasket
> problems so I assume they are normally trouble free. I know the waterpump
> will set me back around $900 for parts and labour, any ideas what a head
> gasket will cost? I am hoping the problem is the lesser of the two numbers!
> Thanks in advance
> John McDermott
> 1982 928 AT
John, I don't know for sure about the brown stuff, but as the seal on the water pump drive pulley goes, it will start leaking, and that is the symptom I saw when mine went. It also sounded a little noisy at the time too. You might hear the bearing rattling above cyl. 1, where the coolant hose exits the engine. The sludge you refer to might be the stuff washed out from behind the timing belt cover since this is where the coolant trickles down, and grime and oil can accumulate there. A danger you may be facing is if the H2O pump bearing is going, it will effect the timing belt tension, and you may risk a slipped belt and big $$$ valve damage.
A couple of points to consider:
When doing the pump, you're best off to do the timing belt as well, but I also did the front engine seals for a very small additional cost, as well as the tensioner and the tension roller arm. DON'T get talked into a new tensioner or arm, these can be rebuilt for you with a few dollars worth of parts. (I replaced the bearings (I kept the rollers) and seals on these puppies myself for <<$50.) I invested one looong weekend (I did all of the above work myself), and about $250 - I think, and my shark runs as good as new. Be warned, this is not a task for the faint at heart though!!
I hope this helps you get you back on the road sooner and with a few bucks left in your pocket.
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