I have a coolant leak and can't pinpoint it - Mustang Evolution

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Old 02-13-2014, 02:23 PM   #1
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I have a coolant leak and can't pinpoint it

Alrighty guys so lately my car has been drinking through antifreeze (having to fill it up every 2-4 days) I iriginally thought it was a head gasket issue but I looked a little further Into it today and I don't think it seems to be the head gasket. It looks to be leaking on the passenger side at the front if the intake manifold. Where I worry is I can't tell if it is just running down into the crest under the intake manifold (it's puddled in there) or if that is in fact leaking out of the head. I think I am going to switch out intake manifolds and see if that fixes the problem. Has anyone experienced this or heard of this? I took a few pictures Click image for larger version

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Old 02-13-2014, 07:10 PM   #2
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It's a common problem for the intakes to leak on these modular engines.
Yours does have the updated manifold, though.
I can tell from the pics that it is either the Intake manifold itself or the manifold gasket that is leaking.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:15 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply! I was beginning to think I was gonna have to make an exhaust thread to get an answer! Lol! But that's good to know, it just freaked me out from where it looked like it may have been coming from the head ! I'll replace both and give it a shot!
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:30 PM   #4
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Haha. Those are the ones that I rarely look at.

Hopefully it's just a gasket. It looks like it's coming from where the aluminum crossover mates with the plastic intake. I don't know if that has a gasket or what... my car has an all aluminum intake.
I'm sure it will be self-explanatory once you get it apart.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:32 PM   #5
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Thanks for your reply! I was beginning to think I was gonna have to make an exhaust thread to get an answer! Lol! But that's good to know, it just freaked me out from where it looked like it may have been coming from the head ! I'll replace both and give it a shot!
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:44 PM   #6
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I have problem losing antifreeze but no leak of anything anywhere I have a 96 mustang gts/248a also no sign of any problems
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:19 PM   #7
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Scorch i would look in between the valley to see if you have a small puddle. If no visible leak comes from hoses water pump or back side of the manifold passenger side then check in the valley for a puddle. May be the heater hose that runs under the intake manifold
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:28 PM   #8
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I had a coolant leak on the other side of the intake (right under the thermostat), and it turned out that since the gasket didn't get replaced at 100K miles, it busted and the plastic manifold got dry rotted, brittle, and crumbled when I took it off, so I had to replace the whole manifold. If I wasn't on a tight schedule, I would've replaced the manifold with a metal one. Warning, it is an all day project and you mine-as-well give it a tune-up, if you haven't in 100K miles.
Keep a broad budget, back-up ride to work/school/etc., and a whole day to get this done. I'm hoping it's only your gasket, but it's leaking pretty bad so it doesn't look promising.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by straybullitt View Post
It's a common problem for the intakes to leak on these modular engines.
Yours does have the updated manifold, though.
I can tell from the pics that it is either the Intake manifold itself or the manifold gasket that is leaking.
+1 on common problem. IMO probably the intake manifold. I have replaced 3of them on my car.Went to the Typhoon all aluminum intake. No problems since then. Good luck.
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:07 AM   #10
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I will have to look at it more but has been sitting in garage all winter! I start it every week or so but coolant still gets low! Also if it's a intake leak where is the coolant going cause oil looks fine it's not burning up no white stuff in exhaust the motor is spotless. Also garage floor is dry as can beClick image for larger version

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Old 02-14-2014, 11:11 AM   #11
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Underside is spotless as well
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:36 AM   #12
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Where the metal crossover attaches to the plastic part of the intake is notorious for warping and leaking. I just yanked my PI intake off the other night and had to order a new one after what I found.



People think that because you have a metal crossover you are immune to leaky intakes, this is not the case. Best thing to do is run good fel-pro gaskets, make sure its torqued properly, buy a brand new PI intake from LRS/AM, run a 180 tstat to get the coolant moving more often and hope it doesn't break.

The good news is the PI intake is ridiculously easy to change and all the bolts are easy to get at. Also a good time to put new O-rings on your injectors and change your heater core hoses.

Edit: Just saw you were worried about it leaking from the head. Your headgaskets are well blow the grade where those coolant puddles are. I would be 99.99999% sure you have the same problem I do, just on the other side from where I did. If you do need to change it btw, don't pay parts store prices for gaskets and such. Autozone wanted $42 for Fel Pro intake gaskets alone. I paid $55 shipped for the gaskets, new O rings, new heater core hoses, new tstat gasket and 180 degree tstat from Rockauto. I lurve Rockauto...
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