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Thread: Question about Two Leaks

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    Red face Question about Two Leaks

    Hi! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and any input at all is beyond appreciated

    I am having two leaks underneath my van (1984 Toyota Vanwagon), right under the front wheels. The one thing we do know is that they are both leaking from the coolant system.
    _______________________________________________

    1. The first one, we call the "Mystery Metal Hose" is here:

    Click: http://postimg.org/image/wwrq33lmp/
    Click: http://postimg.org/image/gu95k0ie9/

    Questions:
    First of all, what is it?! What does it do? How does the contraption hook to the engine?
    Do you happen to know what the connections are on each end? I'm not sure if they are copper ferrule or a gasket or what it is! It is leaking from the coolant system. It seems to come from the lower nut in the pictures above. After I drive it for a little run of about 30 minutes, it is leaking.

    2. The second one, we presume it is "Assumed Heater Hose" is here:

    Click: http://postimg.org/image/6nqg6k8er/
    Click: http://postimg.org/image/vxzgi909f/

    Questions:
    We are assuming since it is going toward the rear of the car, we are assuming it is a heater hose? Is that correct? If not, what is it? It is also leaking from the coolant system.

    _______________________________________________

    Any and all information is beyond appreciated. Please feel free to correct the terms, we would love to know what the Mystery Metal Hose is and if we're correct about the Assumed Heater Hose too!
    Thank you SO much for ANY help!!!!

  2. #2
    Administrator llamavan's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Two Leaks

    Welcome to TVT!

    For starters, here's a library article that will help you identify which hose you need to replace (and with what diameter new hose). The heater hoses run ALL over creation, and by this time, any van sporting original heater hoses is living on borrowed time. In your case, where there's one, there's more.

    Some of the coolant passes through metal pipes between hoses. In your photo, that pipe runs right alongside the block (it finally rejoins the engine behind the t-stat) and so it's not a good candidate for replacement with rubber. In the case of many of the other pipes, rubber will be fine. And, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this particular pipe is NLA (No Longer Available). Two options: (1) Have a mechanic remove it and either repair it or get a replacement fabricated as may be necessary (IMO it's safer to just go straight to the replacement). (2) Get thee to a junkyard that has a 1984 or 1985 van (the 1986-89 vans' pipe is slightly different ... and also NLA), take lotsa tools, and pull one ... don't forget to take lots of photos to make installation in your van faster. Although it might seem like a money-saver, given the stage you're at with your van, the mechanic route may actually be the cheapest one.

    This is assuming you've seen coolant come directly from that pipe (and the above hose, for that matter). Coolant can get into all kinds of unrelated places with the help of the fan and driving speeds, leading a person down numerous false trails. Been there, done that.

    Gwen
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    Re: Question about Two Leaks

    Hi Gwen!

    First of all, thank you for the welcoming and thank you so much for your reply! I will definitely look at the article as well!

    So you are saying in the case of the assumed heater hose that it is a heater hose? If that is the case I will get some replacement hose ASAP! But what exactly do you mean by "where there's one, there's more?"

    Ooo I see! So this is simply a metal pipe that runs coolant? I will definitely get on looking for a replacement at a junk yard as soon as I can! This is my not main but only form of transportation!!

    I believe I am fairly certain that these are related to the cooling system, as they are the only parts leaking after a 30 minute drive. I really appreciate your post so much!

    If anyone has any more information/possibly the parts? please do post!!

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    Administrator llamavan's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Two Leaks

    Quote Originally Posted by ToyotaVanNut View Post
    But what exactly do you mean by "where there's one, there's more?"
    What I mean is that your van is approximately 29 years old ... and so is every single heater hose on it (unless any have been replaced, which is not very likely). Upper and especially lower radiator hoses have probably been replaced at least once by this point, but not necessarily it's definitely worth at least inspecting those. Then, get your budget and parts together and make time to replace everything before the van is forced to "schedule" that for you ... and definitely before there are any expensive consequences!

    Gwen
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    1989 4WD 5-speed DLX; 410K and an odd sense of humor ("Skylervan")

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    Re: Question about Two Leaks

    The metal pipe in your 1st 2 pics is the EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) tube. The only thing it carries is exhaust gas. If it's dripping, it's likely because it's getting wet from a leak someplace else. The hose(s) in your last two pics are heater hoses. The residue on the hose suggests a complete lack of maintenance. Engine antifreeze should be at ratio of 50% water & should be replaced every 5 years (maximum). Looks to me like your cooling system is circulating mostly rusty water & this is not good.

    On average, rubber heater hoses last about 20 years but should be replaced around 15 years. I'm guessing yours are original, so they are about due to be replaced a 2nd time........my guess they are original . I would recommend a good draining & flushing of the cooling system, replacement of any questionable rubber hoses, then refilling with new antifreeze. Hopefully the previous lack of maintenance hasn't taken too much of a toll on other things yet. Tim

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    Re: Question about Two Leaks

    Tim & Gwen,

    Don't forget to tell her about the "Hose of Death"!
    "You came in that thing?... You're braver than I thought!" - Princess Leia

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    Re: Question about Two Leaks

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    The metal pipe in your 1st 2 pics is the EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) tube. The only thing it carries is exhaust gas. If it's dripping, it's likely because it's getting wet from a leak someplace else. The hose(s) in your last two pics are heater hoses. The residue on the hose suggests a complete lack of maintenance. Engine antifreeze should be at ratio of 50% water & should be replaced every 5 years (maximum). Looks to me like your cooling system is circulating mostly rusty water & this is not good.

    On average, rubber heater hoses last about 20 years but should be replaced around 15 years. I'm guessing yours are original, so they are about due to be replaced a 2nd time........my guess they are original . I would recommend a good draining & flushing of the cooling system, replacement of any questionable rubber hoses, then refilling with new antifreeze. Hopefully the previous lack of maintenance hasn't taken too much of a toll on other things yet. Tim
    Thank you so much for your reply, Tim! The metal pipe being the Exhaust Gas Recirculation tube makes perfect sense! But it disagree's with Gwen's previous statement, but we are thinking it makes a lot more sense that it is the heater hose leakage that is dripping onto that said EGR pipe.

    I will definitely have to replace the heater hose ASAP! Are they basically stock? I've heard you can go down to an auto place and get the amount you need cut.

    How would I know if this problem has taken a toll on other things at the moment? The only problem I am seeing right now is that after a 15 - 30 minute drive, I look down and it is pouring from under the front wheels (now presumably the heater hose).

    THANK YOU again, this is unbelievably helpful.

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    Re: Question about Two Leaks

    Quote Originally Posted by trestlehed View Post
    Tim & Gwen,

    Don't forget to tell her about the "Hose of Death"!
    What is the hose of death?!

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    Re: Question about Two Leaks

    Quote Originally Posted by ToyotaVanNut View Post
    But it disagree's with Gwen's previous statement, but we are thinking it makes a lot more sense that it is the heater hose leakage that is dripping onto that said EGR pipe.
    Tim's undoubtedly correct; I was (foolishly) distracted by the statement that the pipe was truly leaking. The pipe I was referring to is nearby. For your peace of mind, you can easily confirm which it is by finding out if rubber (heater!) hoses are connected to it. Rubber hose connections (in this area) using hose clamps = coolant system pipe. The EGR pipe has (if I'm remembering this correctly) a hex bolt on the lower end (closest to the viewpoint of the photos posted).

    Quote Originally Posted by ToyotaVanNut View Post
    I will definitely have to replace the heater hose ASAP! Are they basically stock? I've heard you can go down to an auto place and get the amount you need cut.
    The hoses themselves are often NLA, but bulk heater hose is readily available. Return to the article linked above in my first post, identify the hose (be SURE you have found the leaking hose, not just something in the way of the drip or spray), and that will tell you the size you need to get.

    Quote Originally Posted by ToyotaVanNut View Post
    How would I know if this problem has taken a toll on other things at the moment?
    You don't know what else is in a similar state because the pressure has found an outlet. Other leaks will appear one at a time as the largest one is repaired.

    Be aware that coolant spraying around in the area of your alternator can make it sick. Ask me how I know.


    Quote Originally Posted by ToyotaVanNut View Post
    ... after a 15 - 30 minute drive, I look down and it is pouring from under the front wheels (now presumably the heater hose).
    "Pouring" is pretty serious, and makes me concerned that the actual source is elsewhere. Old heater hoses tend to first have a drip at the weak spot and then spray coolant everywhere as the crack enlarges. "Pouring" requires a much larger breach ... such as the radiator itself (although there can be other sources). You'll need to track down the problem ASAP. I personally would NOT drive a van with that serious of a coolant leak for as long as "15-30 minutes", nor would I rely on it to get to work.

    Before you go anywhere again (make sure the engine is cold so the system is not pressurized that's a safety issue), check the coolant level at two places: The coolant overflow tank and the "radiator" cap (which is not on the radiator). See this thread for locating these. Make sure the coolant is full at both locations per the instructions in the thread. Check both locations until you are certain all of the van's coolant leaks have been addressed. FWIW, I would cut to the chase and get a new radiator cap right now. Who knows how old yours is, and age (or lack of it) isn't always a guarantee of soundness. I just recently had a 3YO aftermarket rad cap gasket weld itself to the inside of the filler neck. When I removed the cap to drain the system for a repair, the gasket was destroyed.

    Finally, whether now or later, if you EVER see the temperature gauge starting to climb, DO NOT stare at the needle hoping it will stop. Pull over immediately in the first location that's safe to park a vehicle and shut the engine off. You will be walking, taking public transportation, riding in the tow truck, or waiting an hour to refill the cooling system and taking your chance that the situation will repeat before you get home or to somewhere you can leave (and work on) the van. Yes, I KNOW that's a pain. Going JUUUUUUST another block, having the van overheat in a dangerous location, and paying for a tow plus a head job or buying another vehicle is your other option. That is more of a pain, and a LOT more expensive. #1 killer of Toyota vans ... going "just another little ways."



    Quote Originally Posted by trestlehed View Post
    Tim & Gwen,

    Don't forget to tell her about the "Hose of Death"!

    You just did! ToyotaVanNut, here's everything you need to know about it.

    Gwen
    1985 5-speed window cargo van set up for llama haulin'; 345K ("Trustyvan")
    1989 4WD 5-speed DLX; 410K and an odd sense of humor ("Skylervan")

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    Re: Question about Two Leaks

    Thank you so much for your reply! This is all very good information. I got a new radiator cap. Update: We replaced the heater hoses and I will attempt to drive it today! I can't thank you all enough for the suggestions.

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    Re: Question about Two Leaks

    I'm sorry for the double post!: Update: Drove it tonight for about 30 minutes and no leakage or overheating so far! I am beyond thrilled, I can't even believe it! THANK YOU all so much.

    But is the whole overheating problem over? I'm not sure. Does anyone have a recommended next step?

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    Re: Question about Two Leaks

    There's a difference between a leaking hose and overheating. As the coolant warms up and the system pressure increases, it can cause a leaking hose to "pour out". That can (and seems to have been) cured by replacing the errant hose. Overheating shows up on your temperature gauge, so unless the needle is climbing to the "hot" zone, you've most likely corrected the problem. That said, pay attention to the rest of your hoses, even being proactive and replacing those that show any kind of age. As Tim said, all of your hoses are old, so replacement is in order. Gwen's hose thread is very comprehensive, and a good road map for you to follow to keep your van from the "leaking hose" status, which, if unnoticed can lead to "overheating" status.

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    Re: Question about Two Leaks

    Quote Originally Posted by skibum View Post
    There's a difference between a leaking hose and overheating. As the coolant warms up and the system pressure increases, it can cause a leaking hose to "pour out". That can (and seems to have been) cured by replacing the errant hose. Overheating shows up on your temperature gauge, so unless the needle is climbing to the "hot" zone, you've most likely corrected the problem. That said, pay attention to the rest of your hoses, even being proactive and replacing those that show any kind of age. As Tim said, all of your hoses are old, so replacement is in order. Gwen's hose thread is very comprehensive, and a good road map for you to follow to keep your van from the "leaking hose" status, which, if unnoticed can lead to "overheating" status.
    Yes that makes perfect sense. It was overheating and I wasn't sure why and fixing the hose I thought fixed the problem, but update 2:

    I am overheating again! Only at stoplights/in traffic! I will make a new thread about this but now I'm sad

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