Water leak, where is it coming from
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Thread: Water leak, where is it coming from

  1. #1
    pfj
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    Red faceWater leak, where is it coming from

    I think I know but I don’t know how hard it is to replace the head gasket on this car. The brown object in the 1st picture is a flashlight and is the bottom of the picture.
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    If you are used to replacing head gaskets, this car is easy. But is this wet between the head and the aluminum timing cover over on the side? Are you sure it is coolant? There is oil flowing behind the area that seems to be highlighted in your pix. There is a coolant passage further behind that from water pump to block but that is sealed off by the timing cover to block gasket. If it IS leaking coolant there, then first check you hoses connections, and if it is not that, then you have better check your oil for coolant pronto. Look at the dipstick and under the oil filler cap to see if there is any brownish or greyish gunky stuff.
    Last edited by Manta Rallier; 1 Week Ago at 06:29 PM.

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    Just Some Dude in Jersey The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    I can't picture in my mind what you're looking at. It looks like the passenger side of the engine, only the picture looks reversed....

    Looks like a simple hose leak.
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    pfj
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    The pictures are upside down. It is the passenger side. The top center of the picture is where the original air cleaner would be.

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    Über Genius First opel 1981's Avatar
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    First, you should never run water in your engine. Without coolant (antifreeze) the water will rust and corrode the inside of the engine.

    Second, I can't tell where the water is coming from

    Third, the head gasket replacement isn't "technically" hard or complicated. You only need to remove about 20-30 bolts. Keeping your timing is the most complicated part.

    Fourth, I'd just add a bottle of Bars Leaks and let it do it's job. If it still leaks after that then worry about removing the head and timing cover, which also means the oil pan which usually means removing the engine, in which case you'd want to rebuild it.

    Opel GTs are not GM products
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    Member Michael A. Smith's Avatar
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    This stuff is still on the market? I haven't seen Bar's Leaks successfully stop anything since my days in the Texaco station fifty years ago...



    Quote Originally Posted by First opel 1981 View Post
    First, you should never run water in your engine. Without coolant (antifreeze) the water will rust and corrode the inside of the engine.

    Second, I can't tell where the water is coming from

    Third, the head gasket replacement isn't "technically" hard or complicated. You only need to remove about 20-30 bolts. Keeping your timing is the most complicated part.

    Fourth, I'd just add a bottle of Bars Leaks and let it do it's job. If it still leaks after that then worry about removing the head and timing cover, which also means the oil pan which usually means removing the engine, in which case you'd want to rebuild it.


  9. #7
    Über Genius First opel 1981's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith View Post
    This stuff is still on the market? I haven't seen Bar's Leaks successfully stop anything since my days in the Texaco station fifty years ago...
    That might be your experience with it but it's not mine.

    The first time I used it, it was August and I was in Kramers Junction California (It's changes since then). My Mustang had sprung a REALLY bad leak. I had been pushing it since Reno over the dirt roads in 100 degree temps. I thought I'd be buying a new car to get back home.

    I pulled into the auto parts store to order a new radiator. In the middle of nowhere the guy was going to take a few days to get a radiator. I didn't have time for that.

    He recommended Bars Leaks and it worked. And it held all the way to Big Bear, then Disneyland from Big Bear twice, Back to Portland (1000 miles) and 6 months of driving. In February the following year it gave up and the entire corner of my radiator blew off.

    About a year later, I was driving down the Columbia River highway and my heater core blew out. It was flowing at a rate of 2 gallons every 10 miles. It was the middle of the night so I ended up using stream water to keep going til home.

    The next day I put in some Bars Leaks and totally forgot I did it until almost a year later when I smelled antifreeze going around a corner.

    So, some say it doesn't work, and it won't always, but then it does and it's amazing stuff.
    Opel GTs are not GM products
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    Humans are not an endangered species!
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  10. #8
    pfj
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Scifi Guy View Post
    I can't picture in my mind what you're looking at. It looks like the passenger side of the engine, only the picture looks reversed....

    Looks like a simple hose leak.
    It is coolant. It is a very small amount. There is no chocolate milk on the dipstick. It is coming from right where the end of the screw driver is. Maybe this is a better picture. Someone used black rtv either on the gasket or more likely over the area of the leak.

    Thanks
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    Last edited by pfj; 1 Week Ago at 04:40 PM.

  11. #9
    Opeler SpringGT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by First opel 1981 View Post
    That might be your experience with it but it's not mine.

    The first time I used it, it was August and I was in Kramers Junction California (It's changes since then). My Mustang had sprung a REALLY bad leak. I had been pushing it since Reno over the dirt roads in 100 degree temps. I thought I'd be buying a new car to get back home.

    I pulled into the auto parts store to order a new radiator. In the middle of nowhere the guy was going to take a few days to get a radiator. I didn't have time for that.

    He recommended Bars Leaks and it worked. And it held all the way to Big Bear, then Disneyland from Big Bear twice, Back to Portland (1000 miles) and 6 months of driving. In February the following year it gave up and the entire corner of my radiator blew off.

    About a year later, I was driving down the Columbia River highway and my heater core blew out. It was flowing at a rate of 2 gallons every 10 miles. It was the middle of the night so I ended up using stream water to keep going til home.

    The next day I put in some Bars Leaks and totally forgot I did it until almost a year later when I smelled antifreeze going around a corner.

    So, some say it doesn't work, and it won't always, but then it does and it's amazing stuff.
    I too, have never had a bad result using Bars Leaks.

    Years ago, I bought a Ford Factory rebuilt short block that was built by an authorized regional supplier, Fred Jones Ford in Oklahoma. A year later I cleaned the cooling system with a DuPont caustic soup of some sort and shortly afterward, I began to see coolant in my oil.

    I called the mechanic that installed the engine and he told me that mine had a sleeve in one cylinder and that Ford rebuilders always coated their sleeves with Bars Leaks, for insurance against water leaks, prior to installing them in the engine. He said that the caustic cleaner had probably removed some of that protection and to use a can of Bars Leaks in it and it would be fine. I put it in, changed the oil and never ever had any problem with water in the oil for the next six years that I owned the car.
    Last edited by SpringGT; 1 Week Ago at 05:00 PM.

  12. #10
    Über Genius First opel 1981's Avatar
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    If you have water there, just replace the water pump.
    Dale .D likes this.
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    Humans are not an endangered species!
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  13. #11
    1000 Post Club kwschumm's Avatar
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    Bars leaks has always worked for me too. However I have only used it for short periods to buy time before repairing the leak.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfj View Post
    It is coolant. It is a very small amount. There is no chocolate milk on the dipstick. It is coming from right where the end of the screw driver is. Maybe this is a better picture. Someone used black rtv either on the gasket or more likely over the area of the leak.

    Thanks
    OK, that screwdriver helps. The problem is that there is no coolant flowing behind that point between the head and timing cover. The closest coolant flow is almost 2" behind there, between head and block, and there is an oil pressure passage and the cavity for the cam sprocket in between. So you can see why my concern for coolant in the oil; to reach that point from the nearest coolant passage behind, it would have to also be seeping into the cavity for the cam sprocket and going into the oil pan.

    So coolant is either having to flow a long way and would also end up in the oil too, or could be coming from:
    • The hose connection above and is seeping down on the surface
    • The water pump gasket and is seeping up
    • There is a pinhole passage or crack in the timing cover up from its coolant passage behind the water pump going back into the block and UP to that point. This seems to be the most likely thing I can think of at this time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwschumm View Post
    Bars leaks has always worked for me too. However I have only used it for short periods to buy time before repairing the leak.
    Yes it can work..... but it'll plug the crap out of your rad and heater cores before you know it.
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    Über Genius First opel 1981's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manta Rallier View Post
    Yes it can work..... but it'll plug the crap out of your rad and heater cores before you know it.
    Again, incorrect info being passed along.
    I've never seen Bars Leaks plug anything but a leak.

    In fact, it's good for cooling systems.

    https://barsleaks.com/cooling/will-s...ts-damage-car/
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    Quote Originally Posted by First opel 1981 View Post
    Again, incorrect info being passed along.
    I've never seen Bars Leaks plug anything but a leak.
    It's perplexing when people say something cannot happen that has actually happened. We don't all have all experiences. (Which I think is why we value shared experience?) I am guessing that most just have not ever had the pleasure of witnessing that particular issue.

    I had to clean the daylights out of a Saab 99 radiator that had seen 2 Bars Leak treatments in the cooling system. If you have air in the system, then it will react and form on any surface. It reportedly sealed the main leak well for a while but finally formed deposits inside the rad core... big time, enough to send the car into overhheating. Once the main leak was fixed, the rad core had the be flushed and flushed and rapped with a screwdriver on the sides of the rad for over an hour. The hardened Bar's Leak came out in a stream of hard particles from the rad core.

    Please don't tell me or anyone here that it did not happen; I was the one who figured out the problem and did the cleaning! The car cooled normally after the hardened Bars Leak was mechanically knocked loose and flushed out of the rad core.

    It does indeed seal leaks well. But it has its downsides.
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  18. #16
    pfj
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    I found this picture while reading other posts. My leak is coming from the rtv section 4 o'clock from the rubber o-ring for the coolant passage.
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  19. #17
    Just Some Dude in Jersey The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    If you are sure that the leak is coming from the head/timing cover union, then you have to remove the head and regasket, period. No quicky fixy. But you can do the whole job in an afternoon and be back in business.


    No way would I use radiator gunk to try to fix a leak in a hose or the engine. That sort of stuff is really only made to TEMPORARILY fix minor leaks, mainly in the radiator itself. In my opinion, it's only appropriate to use that kind of stuff to get you home after an on the road coolant loss due to a leak. Many a mechanic has told me that they love when customers use coolant leak fixers 'cuz later they get to install a new radiator when the original problem was a leaky hose. I've used Barr's and the type with the aluminum particles in the past(not in my Opels!) and they got me home. And, yeah, I tried to go a few weeks before replacing the radiator. And, yeah, the leak would come back at the worst possible time and I'd be screwed.


    If you're leaking water where you think you are, you may also be leaking into your #1 cylinder(like I recently had happen) or into the timing chain area. New gasket. If you need help, maybe I could drive over next weekend or something and help you do it. PM me your phone number.
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  20. #18
    Opel Rallier since 1977
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfj View Post
    I found this picture while reading other posts. My leak is coming from the rtv section 4 o'clock from the rubber o-ring for the coolant passage.
    Thanks for posting; it knocked me out of the stupid mode I was stuck in. I forgot that O-ring is sealing a coolant bypass passage; the passage runs from the hole below that area, up through that O ring, and into the head. So it is quite likely your issue. Replacing the O-ring requires pulling the head; a new gasket set should come with the o-ring.

    Sorry it took so long to get it right on this one!

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