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  • Losing antifreeze but no drips on driveway?

    I have a 2001 Wrangler 6 cyl automatic with 84K miles. I am losing about a quart of antifreeze every 300-400 miles. Radiator pressure tested by two shops and no significant pressure losses. No drips on the garage floor where I park. I installed a new radiator cap, don't see signs of antifreeze in the oil or any oil in the antifreeze. Put dye in the radiator, but haven't see any visible leaks or residue on the engine. The engine runs good, doesn't miss and getting about normal 16 mpg.
    Could the water pump be going bad, and the antifreeze burning off the hot engine? Any suggestions?

  • #2
    What's your oil look like?
    'Cause if it looks "interesting" then I have a good idea where your antifreeze is going. If it looks nice and clean and normal, then that's good news.

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    • #3
      I had the same problem,and know a few other jeeps that did the same thing. I found that the top tank lid leak around where it was pressed on the core. I was only could see it if the jeep was running at normal opperational temp.

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      • #4
        i had a small crack in the head of my xj on #5 ...thats where mine was going..same prob loosing coolent and couldnt find the leak...was so small it was burning up in the cyl.

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        • #5
          If it is burning it i would check the plugs. there will be crap on the electrode of the guilty cylinder.
          or get some dye and a black light.

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          • #6
            cracked head.........

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            • #7
              You can always take an oil sample and send it into blackstone laboratories. If you go on thier site, you can by an inexpensive kit, you follow the instructions to the letter, and basically send them a sample of your oil. They will analyze it and give you a full report on the condition of your machine. IF there is water in the oil, they will find it.

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              • #8
                All '00 and '01 4.0L engines were fitted with a head with casting number 0331. Since XJs have a tendency to run hotter than TJs, it's been more of a common problem for them to have the head crack.

                The head crack problem has generally been between #3 & #4 exhaust port. To find the casting number, look on the drivers side of the engine (if you're standing infront of the jeep, looking towards the windshield, it will be on your right). About halfway down the engine, around the #3 and #4 cylinders, you'll see the casting number on the head. You'll probably need a flashlight to see it better.

                What most have done is to fit on a new head with casting #0663 from '97 - '99 4.0L engines. You have to make brackets to hold the ignition rail since the bosses are not on the 0663 head. You may even have to mate up the exhaust manifold from the same year head.

                I've done the swap and like any project, has it's issues.

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                • #9
                  Thanks to all for the suggestions.

                  I changed the oil this weekend, look fine, but saved a sample to get tested. (ordered the test kit from Blackstone). Just changed the plugs recently and they all looked about the same, no crap on one more than any others. Tryed the dye in the coolant and black light, and haven't found the problem yet. I plan to keep looking.

                  I think I may replace the waterpump, have 85K miles, and a brand new pump is about $75. The Jeep still runs fine, no misses, as long as I keep an eye on the coolant and keep it topped off.

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                  • #10
                    Check the inside of the oil fill cap. If it looks like a rusty browm moose, coolant is in the oil. 1 qt for 300 miles may not crud up the system visibly: Will burn off before you see it. But the steam has to go somewhere: Check for foam on the cap or a smear of coolant smelling gunk on your air filter (where the crankase vent port is).

                    Final thought is to throw in a single pellet of Bars Leak Radiator repair. Not too many: Will gum up the passages. OEM's still drop a pellet into every new car coming off the line.

                    Mythbusters dropped an egg in the radiator and it worked, but that would be a get me out of the woods fix only.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Skadoo
                      Check the inside of the oil fill cap. If it looks like a rusty browm moose, coolant is in the oil. 1 qt for 300 miles may not crud up the system visibly: Will burn off before you see it. But the steam has to go somewhere: Check for foam on the cap or a smear of coolant smelling gunk on your air filter (where the crankase vent port is).

                      Final thought is to throw in a single pellet of Bars Leak Radiator repair. Not too many: Will gum up the passages. OEM's still drop a pellet into every new car coming off the line.

                      Mythbusters dropped an egg in the radiator and it worked, but that would be a get me out of the woods fix only.
                      Thanks for the info, inside the oil fill cap is "brown looking moose". I have had the radiator pressure tested, and it holds pressure fine. I will try the Bars Leak Radiator repair, thanks!

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                      • #12
                        I had the same problem at one point it turned out to be one of the freeze plugs leaking. I put in some stop leak from the local auto zone and it has worked for me so far.

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                        • #13
                          Found the coolant and oil pressure problem!

                          Thought I would follow-up with a "rest of the story" post to say thanks for the suggestions from the readers.

                          Good news is I found the reason I was loosing coolant, bad news is the head gasket was leaking and coolant was in the engine. The oil didn't look milky, but lots of burnt oil buildup on the head and in the oil pan. Got 85K on the engine so while is is down I am having the head checked for cracks and rebuilt if needed, and I am replacing what's worn, plan to keep the Jeep for another 100K miles anyway. Will install new water pump, thermostat, oil pump, head gasket.

                          Any other suggestions on parts I should condsider replacing while I have the head off?

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