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Plastic elbow with o-rings is leaking elbow goes into belt tensioner housing and above water pump. How do I replace it?

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You will need to loosen housing to replace the elbow. Very common to leak, any parts store will have it.

Posted on Jul 05, 2010

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1 Answer

3100 engine antifreeze leaking from area under a


  • There is 1 or 2 elbows (plastic from factory) that connect the coolant channels from the engine block to the tensioner pulley housing. Mine only had one (in front, visible and disintegrated) and in the back, the pulley housing had a nipple (cast) that had o rings and was inserted into the back coolant hole in the block.
  • You need to make sure to remove all bolts holding the tensioner housing on.
  • Swivel and/or wiggle the pulley housing off very slowly so as not to break that nipple off of the pulley housing.
  • The parts stores only sell the elbows in 2 packs, but they do have metal instead of the original plastic.

Jan 25, 2014 | 1998 Buick Regal

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3800series2/engine cooling system


That plastic tube/elbow is a very common issue with these vehicles. To replace it you have to remove that whole bracket which houses the tensioner.

May 10, 2012 | 2002 Buick Park Avenue

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One week after having someone install a radiator and a thermostat, water was gushing out of the lower part where the serpentine belt is


If its coming out of the water pump the leak should be about dead center on the passenger side of the engine. Check right above the water pump. you should see a plastic 90 degree elbow that comes out of the lower intake and goes into the tensioner assembly (on the 3.8 liter). This is a very common part to fail. it should be fairly obvious if it is leaking. The good news is the two elbows (there is one down lower) are available for about 5 bucks and it only takes about an hour to replace them.

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Behind the water pump it leaks antifreze its not the water pump but the hose from the radiator hook up to this metal tube and goes to the water pump that join is leaking does it have a gasket in between or...


you talking about water pump bypass heater pipe the metal elbow piece to the water pump hosing.the metal elbow piece is held in place by small bolt or bolts you should have either gasket or o ring betwween where metal elbow mounts to water pump housing.replace the hoses also.some times the hose will be leaking not gasket or o ring at the metal elbow.make sure screw or screws not loose or missing to the metal elbow pipe.

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I need to replace the heater hose fitting on the 03 chevy impala 3.8L .. It's just a small plastic L shaped fitting with o rings on both sides. Can anybody tell me the steps to get it out and another back...


Have to remove the serp belt and alternator,unbolt the tensioner,there are 2 of those plastic elbows,
Think the are just 4 bolts holding the tensioner on.
Taking the tensioner pulley off makes it easier,note,left hand thread on the tensioner bolt

Feb 21, 2011 | 2003 Chevrolet Impala

1 Answer

Belt tensioner has hairline split causing water to leak and overheat.2000 buick lasabre 3800 engine,380 motor


yes belt tesioner is internal part of cooling system it has two plastic elbows with o-rings that crack crumble and deterioate haven,t seen crack in aluminum part though but remove belt by releasing tensioner remove alternator and idler pulley then remove bolts holding tensioner assembly to head and block this entire thing can be purchased thru napa i know but do not reuse the plastic elbows and make sure to lubricate the o-rings on new elbows so when istalled puthe the elbows in the assembly first lower it in place lined up with waterholes and gently push in and slide in place

Aug 05, 2010 | Buick LeSabre Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

I have a 2000 chevy impala 3.8. i am having problems changing out my [ thermal bypass pipe o ring seal] This is a little black plastic pipe with o ring on each end, a elbow shape piece. [[ i can get one...


Yes, you have to remove the tensioner to install the elbow. There is another fitting that goes in the other side of the tensioner that you may also need to replace as they tend to get damaged when removing the tensioner. I would replace both at the same time as they are quite inexpensive. Once you have it all back together make sure you recheck the coolant level and check for any leaks once the engine is fully warmed up. It's also a good time to replace the serpentine belt if needed as you'll already have it off at this point...also check all the belt pulleys to make sure they are good. Good luck and hope this helps!

Jul 29, 2010 | Chevrolet Impala Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

97 buick la sabre , I have removed all bolts on


You are correct it is connected with two plastic elbows the will almost always break when you remove the assem. If you have removed all the bolts you should be able to wiggle and work it loose by gently prying on it, just look at the direction of the elbows and work it in that direction, but i highly reccomend replacing both elbows.

May 23, 2010 | 1997 Buick LeSabre

2 Answers

1996 Buick Regal Sport - Leaking Plastic Elbow


YOU NEED TO REPLACE THE BELT TENSIONER.
IF YOU BUY THE CARTER BELT TENSIONER AT ADVANCED AUTO, IT COMES WITH: A PLASTIC ELBOW WITH O RINGS, TENSIONER, PULLEY, NEW O RING WHERE THE BELT TENSIONER MATES TO THE ENGINE BLOCK AND NEW O RINGS FOR THE INLET AND OUTLET CONNECTIONS ON THE BELT TENSIONER TO THE HEATER CORE (COST $72).
IF YOU DON'T REPLACE ALL THE ABOVE O RINGS THEN YOU CAN EXPECT MORE LEAKS.
IN ORDER TO REPLACE THE PLASTIC ELBOW YOU MUST REMOVE THE BELT TENSIONER ANYWAY. IF THE BELT HAS SEVERE CRACKS REPLACE IT ALSO.
STEPS:
-REMOVE BELT
-DISCONNECT BATTERY
-DRAIN ANTIFREEZ AND DISCARD
-REMOVE ALTERNATOR
-REMOVE BELT TENSIONER
-REMOVE PLASTIC ELBOW (DO NOT ALLOW BROKEN PIECES PLASTIC OR DIRT TO GET INSIDE THE ENGINE WATER CAVITIES.
-CLEAN ALL CONNECTION WHERE O RING WILL MATE.
-TO REASSEMBLE GO IN REVERS ORDER
-REFILL THE RADIATOR WITH COOLENT 50% MIX USE THE 5 YR GUARANTEE TYPE.
-MAKE SURE THE COOLENT RESERVIOR IS
FILLED TO THE HOT LEVEL MARK.
-RUN THE ENGINE UNTILE IT IT REACHES THE 1/4 % TEMP MARK ON THE TEMPERATURE GAUGE THEN TURN THE ENGINE OFF AND OPEN THE BLEED SCREW ON TOP OF THE THERMOSTAT HOUSING.
ALLOW THE AIR TO EVACUATE, YOU WILL SEE COOLENT COME OUT THEN CLOSE THE BLEED SCREW.
-BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN YOU OPEN THE RADIATOR TO REFILL TO THE TOP.
-REPEAT THIS ONE MORE TIME.
-RUN THE ENGINE AND KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE TEMPERATURE GAUGE' IF THE TEMPERATURE GOES BEYOND THE 1/2% MARK, SHUT DOWN THE ENGINE QUICKLEY AND LET THE ENGINE COOL.
THIS MAY TAKE HOURS TO COOL DOWN BUT THE COOLING SYSTEM WILL TURN FROM PRESSURIZED TO VACUUM AND DRAW COOLENT FROM THE RESERVOIR TO REFILL THE SYSTEM.
YOU WILL NOTICE THE LEVEL DROP IN THE RESERVOIR .

Sep 22, 2008 | 1996 Buick Regal Olympic Gold

1 Answer

1997 BUICK LASABRE


Yeah on that vehicle there is a 90 degree plastic elbow that goes from the belt tensioner to the intake manifold and on both ends there are O-rings. Definitely need to repair this as soon as possible. Not sure your technical abilities but you would need to remove the serpentine belt and alternator and a bracket if I'm not mistaken. Usually takes me about 45 minutes to repair but I have been doing it for awhile. Good luck and Happy wrenching!!!

Sep 11, 2008 | 2000 Buick LeSabre

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