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Steamed: Coolant Leak (2.1L)
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Morris_82
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Location: Colorado Springs
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:06 pm    Post subject: Steamed: Coolant Leak (2.1L) Reply with quote

Hey Guys and Gals,

Recently bought an '86 Weekender and took it out for a couple trips in Colorado. Near the end of our last excursion, only 5 short blocks from home, my girlfriend noticed steam coming from the engine bay and the coolant temp gauge started lighting up. There was also a slight squeak of an engine belt in there somewhere. It happened so fast! Anyway, I immediately shut him down and pulled over. Nothing was obvious to me. After a little cooldown, I fired him back up and brought him home; coolant temp read normal, but it was dripping out as we drove and parked in the driveway.

After more investigation, I still can't be sure what the problem is. The coolant tanks are way low, the engine mount still has coolant pooled on it, and there was coolant splashed up on the left side of the engine lid. The pulley on the water pump is slightly off (not perfectly parallel to the plane of the belt), so that's my #1 suspect, but I'm obviously not confident about it.

Any guesses from the more experienced? Anything else I should be looking for? Thanks!
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jlrftype7
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Steamed: Coolant Leak (2.1L) Reply with quote

If the water pump is really loose or wobbling when you briefly run the engine, itís a good starting point. You would able to see coolant leaking out of the weep hole on it as well.
Ideally you pressure test the coolant system with a gauge and hand held pump to help with diagnostics, but failing that, look over every hose and pipe/ connection
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'68 Westy- my first VW and vehicle/Bus- long gone.- sold it to a traveling Swiss couple....
'67 Type 3 Fastback, my 2nd car- also long gone
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SCM
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:34 am    Post subject: Re: Steamed: Coolant Leak (2.1L) Reply with quote

Morris_82 wrote:


The coolant tanks are way low, the engine mount still has coolant pooled on it, and there was coolant splashed up on the left side of the engine lid.


All this points to a coolant leak and probably one that's big enough to track down relatively easily. Clean everything up and find where the coolant is leaking from.

I don't think the weep hole on the water pump would produce a leak big enough to cause all your symptoms but it may be a separate issue worth looking into as jlrftype7 suggests.
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atomatom
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Joined: May 15, 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:15 am    Post subject: Re: Steamed: Coolant Leak (2.1L) Reply with quote

if you do a pressure test, if it goes over 15psi stop before you damage anything. perhaps obvious, but it isn't designed to take more than that.

anyway, i hope your woes aren't as severe as mine were. i now know that ben (on p2) was correct about my problem: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6143591
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CurtisS
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:41 am    Post subject: Re: Steamed: Coolant Leak (2.1L) Reply with quote

A common culprit is the coolant tank (the one in the back left corner of the engine bay) and the coolant tank sensor. Look for coolant on top of the tank.
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jlrftype7
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Steamed: Coolant Leak (2.1L) Reply with quote

I wasnít clear , my bad, in addition to checking how bad the Water Pump seal and bearing are looking while the engine is running at idle after youíve washed things down- check the rest of the Coolant System.
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'68 Westy- my first VW and vehicle/Bus- long gone.- sold it to a traveling Swiss couple....
'67 Type 3 Fastback, my 2nd car- also long gone
'69 Semi-Auto Stick Shift Beetle, my wife's first car= yep. still long gone....
2017 MINI Coopers, our current DDs
Ď84 Tin Top - Hilga....Auto
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Morris_82
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Steamed: Coolant Leak (2.1L) Reply with quote

Thanks, everybody! I checked it out more today and found coolant leaking out the shaft area of the coolant pump. I loosened the belt and was able to wiggle the pulley all around. Guess it's the pump after all!

Following the advice here, I looked around further and saw the hoses looking pretty old. I ordered Van Cafe's hose kit to replace it all while the coolant is drained. Renewing some more parts.

Thanks again!
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Milo - '86 Weekender
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