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Discussion Starter #1
I am having an issue with loosing coolant when the auto gets to operating temp, and keeps leaking until pressure in cooling system is gone. From what I can see the coolant is leaking from the rear of the engine. Several posts talk about a connection on the rear of the engine centered in the "V". I cannot find that connection is any manuals I have, and cant find a picture either. Does anyone on this forum have cooling diagrams and/or pictures of what I am looking for?

Thanks
 

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Woober Goobers!
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Download the FSM here:

https://www.dodgeintrepid.net/manuals/02lhe/02lhe.pdf

Then look at page 7-25. There's a very good possibility that the Heater Supply Tube has rusted or the O-Ring that seals it to the bottom of the Lower Intake Manifold is leaking. It's common on older cars. Yours is 19 years old now.
 

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Could also be the water pump leaking and it's coming out the top weep hole in the engine vee and traveling backwards.

When was the last time the Timing Belt/Water Pump were changed?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
FANTASTIC! Thanks. I can assume that the 3.2 and 3.5 engines are the same for this issue? one other question, is there anyway to see this connection without removing the intake manifolds, like just removing the air intake housings?

Thanks again.
 

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Both engines use the same Intake Systems. And no you can't see really see anything without disassembling the intakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I check the WEP area and did not see any leakage. The engine is dry as best I can see. This vehicle has a 127,000 miles on it and runs great. I have not replaced the timing chain or water pump. I may now since I have to do some work on it. I am the original owner, so I know it has been well maintained.
 

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The 3.2/3.5 have a timing belt not a chain.
 

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I agree with Ronbo. If you're sure it's coming from the rear of the engine then it is most likely heater hose related. Water pump leak will be close to the front coming out of the timing cover and dripping off the front of the oil pan. Either way, you're going to want to do the timing belt and water pump on it soon since they're original.
 

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I agree with Ronbo. If you're sure it's coming from the rear of the engine then it is most likely heater hose related...
Actually, on the 3.2/3.5, he’s talking about where the metal heater core supply pipe connects to the underside of the lower intake manifold (o-ring fails or pipe rusted out) vs. the heater core supply hose, though you are correct - the heater core supply and return hoses also should be ruled out.
 

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Actually, on the 3.2/3.5, he’s talking about where the metal heater core supply pipe connects to the underside of the lower intake manifold (o-ring fails or pipe rusted out) vs. the heater core supply hose, though you are correct - the heater core supply and return hoses also should be ruled out.
Yep. Even mine are pretty rusty on the outside without seeing salty roads and what not. It seems like those are the only things under the hood that have rust on them for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
While I have the intake manafolds off, I'll look at the heater core lines too. I live in the southwest, so no salt, garage kept, and very little water to cause rusting.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OK, i took the air intake out, removed the cowling (Below the windshield) parts which opened up a view of the coolant pipes/hoses on the back of the engine. I pressurized the system to 18lbs. After about an hour, coolant started to leak out. Nowhere on the engine could I see or feel coolant leaking out of the pipes and hoses. The coolant I see leaking is coming out between the engine and transmission connection. I can see the coolant running down the seam and leaking out the bolts. What can cause a leak to only come from this area?

Dan
 

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Are you 100% sure the leak is originating between the engine and transmission? The only way coolant can flow out of there is a cracked block, I'd assume. Maybe run your hand around the rear of the lower intake manifold. My money is still on that area.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If the heater supply tube's o-ring was leaking, wouldn't it go into a cylinder and burn, not leak out on the engine block? I can see and feel the lines coming off the heater supply tube and there is no sign of leakage there. I can see the coolant tubes and feel them and they are dry, so I do not believe the heater supply tube is bad. the coolant is oozing out of the cracks between the trans and engine block, pretty positive about. I dry the crack and coolant appears within seconds. If the block was cracked, wouldn't I see bubbling in the coolant tank and wouldn't build it up too much pressure and set off the tank cap?
 

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Woober Goobers!
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That heater supply tube connects to the bottom of the lower intake manifold and is a water passage. It's leaks on the top of the "VEE" of the engine. It's not connected to the combustion chambers in any way.

You're not going to find this unless you do some disassembly. Get back to us when you're ready to do that. Otherwise you're wasting our time.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok, per your recommendation, I ripped it down. The heater supply tube is OK, no rust or breaks. The o-ring is disintegrated so I will need to replace it. The gaskets look OK at the intake path, nut the coolant outlets looked worn. One thing I noticed was cylinder 1 and 2 had coolant pooled on top of the valve, the rest were dry. Also, i assume this is normal, but the "V" area under the lower intake had about a gallon of coolant pooled in it. Think the o-ring was the cause of my issue?

Thanks, I really appreciate the help getting through this.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks to all. The job has been completed and the final resolution was replacing the gaskets on both upper and lower intake manifolds and the O-ring on the heater supply tube.

Now I just have to figure out what happened to the steering wheel controls as none of them work and I am getting a air bag warning. Never stops...

Thanks again.
 

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Thanks to all. The job has been completed and the final resolution was replacing the gaskets on both upper and lower intake manifolds and the O-ring on the heater supply tube.

Now I just have to figure out what happened to the steering wheel controls as none of them work and I am getting a air bag warning. Never stops...

Thanks again.
The clock spring is bad and needs to be replaced. It lasted 20 years! Guessing the horn doesn't work either?

Chrysler part number is: 04698304AB

The two letters at the end maybe different than the latest revision part and don't matter. For example an AE part interchanges fine. The base numbers on the part need to be the same though. Also a lot online sources eliminate the leading "0". So search for 04698304AB and 4698304AB
 

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If I correctly read your earlier posts in this thread, your engine still has the original timing belt and water pump. I suggest putting a very high priority on getting those (and tensioner and tensioner pulley) done.

The change interval is 105k miles or 7 years, whichever comes first. Many people didn’t know about or chose not to believe the “7 years” part (it’s not mentioned in the FSM) and lived to regret it. Oh - I see you’re at 127k miles. You’re lucky the belt hasn’t broken and your valves damaged.
 
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