I just changed head gasket of a 96 2.3 engine. Had head surfaced. Engine runs good but has oil leak on right side of engine- looks like under thermostat housing. It is running down crossmember on to exhaust leaving puddles on ground, any idea? Head is dry, valve cover is not leaking. Checked oil filter, checked oil sending unit all dry. Not leaking coolant.installed new raditor,thermostat all new gaskets.
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This is common issue early sign head gaskets failure for EJ251 SOHC engine for external coolant leak. Second gen 96-99 with EJ25D is worst because when head gaskets failed, it's an internal leak that allows coolant and oil mix together in the combustion chamber to destroy engine.
You can drive it for at least 6 months or more as long as you keep top up coolant since the leak should be small at a slower rate leak. I drove mine for a while before change head gaskets. You're looking at `$1000-1200 job a dealership since you might as well change the timing belt, water pump, idlers while engine is pulled to replace head gaskets.
good engineering practice dictates that the head should be skimmed flat and new head studs used
further more the stud holes should be cleaned with a thread tap and then blown dry to remove all oil and water
CHECK FOR COOLANT LEAKS AROUND THE RADIATOR LOOK DOWN BETWEEN COOLING FANS AND RADIATOR SIDES FOR SIGNS OF ANTIFREEZE.CHECK ALL RADIATORS HOSES AND HEATER HOSES.IF ALL LOOK GOOD CHECK ENGINE OIL FOR COOLANT LEAKS.IF OIL LOOKS LIKE MILK SHAKE COOLANT LEAKING IN CRANK CASE.YOU HAVE A HEAD GASKET LEAK.YOU NEED TO CHANGE OIL + FILTER. GET THE HEAD GASKET FIX.BECAUSE LEAK IN THE CRANK CASE WILL LOCK UP THE ENGINE.IF CRANK CASE OIL LOOKS OKAY.YOU DONT HAVE THE COOLANT CORRECT MIXTURE.YOU SHOULD HAVE 50/50 ANTIFREEZE AND WATER.
The Chrysler minivan products all had leaking problems. I have had 5 or 6 different Dodge or Plymouth minivans from 88 to 99. How bad is it. The most common thing is Valve cover leaks. Front and rear seals in the engine leak as well as the oil pan gasket. If its leaking a little bit at a time open the hood and look at the front and rear of the engine. Do you see grease and oil that has gone down the sides of the engine? Do you see a lot of grease on the engine with some clean streaks going through it. You may be able to see where its leaking from. If you know someone that knows what their doing have them change the leaky gasket/s. If not you can probably have it repaired for less than buying another van unless other things are seriously wrong with the van.
Hope this helps... Dale
RADIATOR LEAKS ON THE OUT SIDE.YOU CAN LOOK AT FRONT RADIATOR OR THE SIDES YOU CAN SEE THE ANTIFREEZE LEAKS.HEAD GASKET LEAK YOUR ANTIFREEZE HAVE OIL IN IT.ALSO YOUR ENGINE OIL WILL LOOK LIKE CHOCOLATE MILK SHAKE.IT WILL FULL OF ANTIFREEZE.IF ALL IS GOOD REPLACE THERMOSTAT.IT WILL CAUSE ENGINE TO OVER HEAT.
If you're certain it isn't your oil filter, then it can only be three other things. The first (and easiest) thing to check is a small diamond-shaped plate on the side of the block, under the intake manifold, towards the alternator. It has a bolt and a stud in it. Verify that both of those are tight. If they are tight, check the four bolts that secure the "push rod cover" to the side of the engine. The push rod cover runs the length of the engine and is located directly under the intake manifold. This was the culprit of my oil leak, and I imagine it will be yours also. However, if you find that those bolts are tight and no oil can be found leaking from that area, check your valve cover. The Fiero valve covers were stamped from very pliable steel and it is difficult, at best, to get them to seal correctly. Problems usually occur when people torque the bolts too tight and bend the valve cover. I recommend a product called "Indianhead" gasket shellac. Remove the valve cover and ensure all gasket surfaces are clean. Ensure the valve cover's gasket mating surface is straight - straighten with a hammer and block of wood if needed. Follow the directions on the bottle to the letter, making sure to coat your valve cover gasket surface, both sides of your gasket, and the gasket surface on the head.