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can be a few problems --blown head gasket --cracked head-cracked block--popped freeze-out plug--hose line ruptured --water pump --when engine cools down use a flashlight and look on engine as to where the leak/damage is if its in the upper area of engine could be a fixable problem if its the engine block thats a replacement motor
could be intake, could be head gasket. take the radiator cap off and fill it to the brim with water, then start the engine and look for bubbles in the water. you might have to top it off while it's running to get a good reading. if any of the plugs you took out were much cleaner than the rest, or had a white crust deposit on them, the head gasket is probably the culprit.
Check your engine and transmission oil for anti freeze. Also check to make sure your engine breather is not plugged. You probably have a leaking water pump seal , that is allowing oil to get into your anti freeze through the transmission. Normally when this happens the anti freeze goes into the transmission oil. If there is no anti freeze in the lower engine or transmission , then the oil is leaking from a high pressure oil line going to the head to the cooling chambers filled with anti freeze. This means you probably need to replace your head gasket on the motor. While you have the head off check to make sure that the head has not warped. If it is warped it may have to be machined back to flat or replaced.
Without knowing what year or engine size is, I/m just guessing??????? But the 3.1L engines are FAMOUS for intake maniflod gaskets leaking. Look where the intake bolts to the heads. A freeze plug is in the block. Freeze plugs dont leak unless you have been running pure water or weak/cheap anti-freeze. They will rust out from behind and its BIG BUCKS to replace them all.
I have seen a couple of these now with headgasket leaks to the outside of the block just as you describe. I solved them both with a stop-leak additive, not something I would normally use, but I really didn't want to pull the heads because the exhaust studs always break on these engines. I would find out for sure where the leak is before proceeding though. If it's a hose or frost plug, you'll have to repair it properly.