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Coolant leak on passenger side by starter...any ideas?

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Coolant leak on passenger side by starter...any ideas?

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Old 09-24-2018, 08:05 PM
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Exclamation Coolant leak on passenger side by starter...any ideas?

I just noticed a coolant leak on my 05' 6.0 a few days ago....about a 5" round spot in the driveway. I got up on top of the motor....and everything up in the valley is dry, no coolant, no oil, nothing...all nice and clean. No coolant on the EGR delete tube, or short blue connector hose...nothing. Even after searching around everything on the top with my bore scope...nothing...everything is nice and dry.

So I got underneath the truck.....coolant drips all around the starter area on the passenger side. So I spend about 30min with degreaser and a rag and got everything nice and try, and clean.

I fired up the truck, and got under there and just watched.....after a few minutes of running, Noticed a drip of coolant forming on the bottom of the lower started bolt....like it's coming right out of the hole where the bole goes through. Nothing coming from on top of the starter, just that lower bolt, and at the bottom of the joint where the starter meets the engine.

Where could that be coming from? I can't see anywhere on the outside of the motor where it's coming from...even after looking around with my borescope under the truck in the tight areas that are hard to see. Should I pull the starter off and see what I can find? At this point I'm at a loss.

Ordinal I wouldn't really care all that much....but I'm heading off on a 3000mile road trip with the camper and the family here in two weeks....so this leak has got me pretty nervous.

Any ideas would really help!! Thanks!!!
 
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Old 09-24-2018, 08:33 PM
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Here is a picture.....
 
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Old 09-24-2018, 08:34 PM
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A guess - Block heater or drain hole, but the drain hole is more forward. The block heater uses an O-Ring to seal, unless it leaks through the connection.
 
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Old 09-24-2018, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by TooManyToys. View Post
A guess - Block heater or drain hole, but the drain hole is more forward. The block heater uses an O-Ring to seal, unless it leaks through the connection.
I sure didn't feel anything coming from around the block heater, but I'll have to get my borescope back up in there and take a closer look. That would make sense....it's right above the starter.

Thanks!
 
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Old 09-24-2018, 08:50 PM
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I did get up under there again with my borescope....the block heater, and everything around it is dry. There is nothing wet on top of the starter either. I guess it looks like I'm going to have to pull the starter to see where this leak is coming from.....
 
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Old 09-24-2018, 09:01 PM
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If you've done any roofing you know fluids travel by their own terms. Any idea if it's coolant pressure or temperature sensitive? Maybe take the truck for a run, pull a hot starter (after pulling battery cables), wipe down and keep checking the surfaces with a white paper towel.

The one thing I don't like about the borescopes is when they have LEDs on the blue light can make things weird.
 
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Old 09-24-2018, 09:14 PM
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The truck was cold when I got up under there and wiped everything off. I fired it up, and just a few minutes later is was leaking from the bottom of the starter.......the motor was warn, but I don't think it was up to the point where the thermostat opens (194 degrees).

It's a pretty good drip...about one drip every minute of so. Enough that if it was something dripping on top of the starer, it would be running down the sides of the starter....but it's not, it's coming from in between where the starter mounts to the motor. Is there a freeze plug on the back side of the motor, in between there the motor and transmission bolt together?

I think I'm going it pull the starter, and then pressurize the coolant system to 12psi with my air compressor, and then find where the leak is coming from....hopefully with the starter off I can see everything much better.
 
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:06 PM
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I just so happen to have a 6.0 motor 30 feet from me on a stand. No trans adapter plate on it.


 
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:11 PM
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If not head gasket, can also be the core plug at the back of the head. This would be the orientation for the drivers rear.



 
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:18 PM
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I can see all of the freeze plugs.....and the side of the head, no drips of coolant coming from anything.

I've been looking around with my borescope....and I can't see anything above the starter that looks wet. Is there a freeze plug on the back side of the block that's covered up by the transmission bell bousing?
 
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:34 PM
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Sorry, so concentrated at the side of the block, didn’t check. Yep.



 
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:41 PM
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A tough one to get to with the rear plate on.




 
  #13  
Old 09-25-2018, 06:38 AM
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Gosh, I sure hope that's not it. I guess I will find out when I pull the starter off tonight. Isn't that pretty rare for a freeze plug to leak?

....and thanks for the pictures!
 
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Old 09-25-2018, 07:07 AM
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Your welcome. But it's easy for me right now to take them.

It's rare, but it depends on how well the cooling system has been maintained, how well it was installed, external contamination. Pictures of failures I've seen seem to be rusting out at the edges, where I believe the plating would be scraped off during install.

With all motors in general there are occasional leaks. I've read of a few 7.3/6.0 leaks in the past, but rare. The larger failure seems to be with replacement motors. I believe Anthony stated he had pop outs with Ford replacement core plugs and a racer had one blow out with a Kill Devil motor. I think it was Anthony who said he now uses Dorman. My take on the failures is install technique for those. I've always used a Loctite compound, but by design they should be sprung into place. Some people use a punch to stake the outside to prevent blowout.

In my past history with other motors I had the option of OE core plugs, which are zinc plated steel, stainless steel and brass. For the oil gallery plugs on HiPo motors I've always piped tapped and plugged. I never had a problem with one, but a better resource for the subject of failure rate of stock motors would be from mechanics who work on these routinely. My career and exposure was research (and somehow I also looked like this):

 
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Old 09-25-2018, 07:42 AM
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It looks to me like the only plugs on the back of the block that are covered by the adapter plate are the oil galley plugs. The coolant plugs all look like you should be able to get to them.

I'm hoping that I'm going to find that the block heater, or that block drain plug right above the starter are slowys leaking and just running down behind the starter.......I guess I will find out when I pull it off tonight.

I'm assuming that I just need to pull out those three bolts, and the starter can be moved out of the way in order for me to see what's going on. Can I leave the wires hooked up to it, or will they have to be disconnected?

Thanks again for the help.
 

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