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1988 Major Coolant Leak In Rear Of Engine

bosshogg

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
56
Location
Indiana
Corvette
1988 Coupe
Recently purchased a 1988 coupe with 144,000 mi. Runs extremely well after tune-up, exhaust replacement, K&N filter, etc. After a "power" run we noticed coolant coming out of rear of engine somewhere. Oil filter and plate above filter has coolant on them. Jacked up driver's side and looked like it was then coming out of bell housing. Is there some kind of cooling lines or anything near the oil filter that might cause this. I have never seen such a thing, but you never know. Just hope I do not have to pull tranny to replace freeze plugs. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 

gmjunkie

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Messages
4,520
Location
Old Fort NC/Vero Beach FL
Corvette
03 Z-51,78 L82 Coupe
Recently purchased a 1988 coupe with 144,000 mi. Runs extremely well after tune-up, exhaust replacement, K&N filter, etc. After a "power" run we noticed coolant coming out of rear of engine somewhere. Oil filter and plate above filter has coolant on them. Jacked up driver's side and looked like it was then coming out of bell housing. Is there some kind of cooling lines or anything near the oil filter that might cause this. I have never seen such a thing, but you never know. Just hope I do not have to pull tranny to replace freeze plugs. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Yes there are 2 frost plugs in the rear of the engine under Flex Plate or Flywheel!! Tranny has to come out!!:ugh :ugh There are Frost plugs in the side of the Block too,that may be leaking,if it's one of them you won't have to R&R tranny but if the side starts leaking it usually won't be long till others are leaking,Not Always But usually in my exp. and Luck!! I have had the head gasket leak or the Intake at back on # 7 also!!:upthumbs
 

bosshogg

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
56
Location
Indiana
Corvette
1988 Coupe
Thanks for your help...we are going to put some pressure to the cooling system while it is on a lift and hopefully we will find something then...still welcome any other help!
 

Paul G

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2001
Messages
200
Location
Griffith, IN, USA
Corvette
96 CE LT4 Convertible
Intake manifold gasket? My 88 had a small coolant leak on the drivers side rear running down the bellhousing. It was the intake manifold gasket leaking. Take a good look for that.
 

3dale1

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2005
Messages
158
Location
PA
Corvette
65 convertible L-76
Wouldn't an 88 Z-51 with an oil cooler have coolant pipes running over there? If so, are they threaded/flared lines or threaded with O-rings? Something else to consider:confused
 

bosshogg

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
56
Location
Indiana
Corvette
1988 Coupe
After looking further, it looks like the head gasket on the driver's side. Because there is not much to do in Indiana in the winter time except watch IU basketball and Speed Channel, we are going to pull the heads and redo them while they are off. New valves, springs, rockers, etc. Will also have the heads checked for cracks, warped, etc.
Any suggestions on "bullet proof" head gaskets would be appreciated. Don't want to do this job again!!!
Thanks again for your replies.
 

gmjunkie

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Messages
4,520
Location
Old Fort NC/Vero Beach FL
Corvette
03 Z-51,78 L82 Coupe
After looking further, it looks like the head gasket on the driver's side. Because there is not much to do in Indiana in the winter time except watch IU basketball and Speed Channel, we are going to pull the heads and redo them while they are off. New valves, springs, rockers, etc. Will also have the heads checked for cracks, warped, etc.
Any suggestions on "bullet proof" head gaskets would be appreciated. Don't want to do this job again!!!
Thanks again for your replies.
Try re-torquing the head,Has worked for me on several occasions!!! :upthumbs
 

bosshogg

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
56
Location
Indiana
Corvette
1988 Coupe
Can't hurt...we will give it a try
Thanks,
BOSSHOGG
 

muddywaters

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 25, 2002
Messages
765
Location
wilkes-barre,pa.usa
Corvette
1988 white 4+3 coupe 99 Torch Red 6spd. coupe
coolant leak

My 88 has aux. oil cooler over the filter, I found that leaking along with the engine block heater, which takes the place of soft plug on filter side of engine.
 

bosshogg

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
56
Location
Indiana
Corvette
1988 Coupe
Been out of town atIndy, Michigan,and Bristol...you know...other priorities. Racing will be over soon and we will get to look closer at the Vette. At first glance, the leak seemed to be around the oil filter area. After sticking a skinny guy under the car, he said it looked like the head gasket. We will have all winter to do it right...maybe redo the heads and valve train at that time. That might be a good time to visit Summit Racing also. Merry X-Mas to myself!!!
Thanks once again for everyone's help...This Forum is AWESOME
 

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