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Thread: Coolant Leak Problem Solver

  1. #1
    Van Fan
    My Van(s):
    1987 Toyota LiteAce Rwd CURRENT 1998 Pontiac Transport (gone) 1989 Dodge Caravan (gone) GREAT VAN 1972 VW Bus (Classic, but way under powered)
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    Jan 2017
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    Coolant Leak Problem Solver

    Hi Guys,

    I think we all know the limitations/frustrations of Toyota Van cooling systems with enough hoses, clamps, and metal lines to irrigate a farm. I tried a pressure test and immediately thought I found the problem---cracked upper radiator hose leaking where it attached to the radiator. Replaced, still was losing coolant! Next, i discovered the leaking coolant recovery jug grommet. Fixed-it, yup, still leaking/losing a small amount of coolant. "Hose of Death"? Nope, last owner cut the access panel and replaced---dry. No puddles under car or in drive-way, seems to only leak when running.

    The solution? Radiator Dye/Black light/amber googles. Run, turn heat on, get warm, drive around. Then, put the goggles on and turn the black light flashlight on---you can do in during the daytime---you will see it. I had a tiny split in a heater hose, near the battery box and makes a turn and connection to hard line toward the rear heater core. With the dye/glasses/black light the leak was ready apparent, glowing bright florescent green/yellow where the hose had a tiny split and was dripping down hose and onto the cross member. For less than $20, this method works great---I checked everything else (lines, hoses, clamps, coolant tank, head, Hose of death, water pump) no leaks/no glowing tell-tale signs. No leaks, no coolant loss.

    Hope this helps someone. A normal "black light" bulb and cord and any amber colored shooting glasses would work as well and save you a few bucks.

  2. #2
    Van Addict
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    Mar 2016
    Cedar City, UT
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    Re: Coolant Leak Problem Solver

    Awesome, ive had a very slow and mysterious disappearance of coolant ive been trying to figure out recently. I didnt know about this method. i might have to give it a try. thanks for the tip!
    Space Cruisers - Cruising Across The Galaxy

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