View Full Version : Coolant leak from Front timing cover gasket....

09-10-2002, 07:19 PM
Well it seems like I've developed a nice pi$$ing collant leak from the front timing cover gasket. I took it to my buddy at the dealership and he got it up on the lift and cofirmed it.

I know I could do the work myself, what all is involved ? I know I'd need to get a crank pulley puller/harmonic dampner pulley. I'd need a spanner nut wrench to pull the Upper I/C tube out. and I'd need a power steering pump pulley puller to move the p/S pump out of the way to get to the W/P.

Think this is something that could be accomplished on a saturday afternoon. My buddy is cutting me a deal, but it's still gonna cost me about $670 going the dealership route. I trust him though since he owns 2 SC's himself and he would do quality work.

Any thoughts?

09-11-2002, 01:19 PM
had it done a few months ago myself and that's the going rate. Make sure your IC tubes seal well or it's not going to run well. Also, might as well replace your gears and chain while it's exposed. Might want to consider water pump and t-stat change while it's all apart.

Tim Moore
09-11-2002, 01:25 PM
Check your oil for any sign of antifreeze (use a chemical check) as this is the leading cause for bearing failure.

09-11-2002, 03:00 PM
ummm, the coolant and oil galleys in the timing cover are separate systems, so I'm not sure how they would mix.

I believe the originator of this problem is just addressing a timing cover gasket leak.

Let me know if I'm wrong on this.

09-11-2002, 03:38 PM
Hmmmm.. That's half the labor right there to replace headgaskets. A couple more hours and you could have the heads off. Might be a good time to get to them before they get to you. I would strongly consider it.

09-11-2002, 08:32 PM
I know it's alot of labor, I'm just trying to see if I should justify doing it myself.

Doing the HG as "preventitive maintenence" is a great idea, but unfourtunatly, "Once you start you can't stop". Knowing me, one thing would lead to another and you guys will be answering posts by me about how to properly home port the heads... :)

Since this car is my daily driver, I don't have the extra cash on hand right now to be "addressing" all the other things I really want to do and just concentrate on what has to be done.

What special tools would I need? And could I do it in say an entire saturday?

Les Borda
09-12-2002, 07:09 AM
Do yourself one small but pain saving favour, that bracket that mounts on the water pump and goes to the power steering pump?
Take it and toss it as far as you can minding that you don.t hit anyone..LOL. Those things are completely useless and serve no purpose except a huge aggrevation if you ever have to change the water pump. There is at least 4-5 of us up here that have done this with absolutely zero side effects.

09-12-2002, 01:33 PM
Also, remember that you're going to need to remove your harmonic balancer. Never reuse the crank bolt, and be leary of reusing the balancer itself. The stock balancers have a tendency of failing, especially after they've been removed/replaced.

The concept of having your oil contaminated by a coolant leak at the timing cover is a real concern. Yes, the coolant flows through ports in the timing cover which would normally be kept separate from the oil, but if the gasket has failed resulting in an exterior coolant leak, then it is possible that the gasket has also failed resulting in a coolant leak into the chamber behind the timing cover, where your timing sprockets and chain are located. This chamber drops straight down into your oil pan at the front of the motor, so if coolant is bleeding into this area, even in small amounts, it may be contaminating your oil, which can be exposing your bearings to glycol. Bearings and glycol just don't mix!!!

Good luck!



09-13-2002, 07:07 PM
I don't think that coolant has mixed with oil. The oil is still clean.

I'm gonna try and be ripping stuff off this weekend. What kind of harmonic balancer puller is needed?

The harmonic balancer was replaced one year ago, so I'm not expecting problems. The crank bolt was replaced a year ago too.

09-13-2002, 09:47 PM

If the oil isn't milky, then you're probably OK. As a precaution, you'll probably want to change the oil shortly after replacing the timing cover gasket.

You'll probably be fine reusing the harmonic balancer since yours is so new, but I'd still recommend replacing that crank bolt. They're not very expensive anyways.

Good luck!