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8/15/15 5:45pm - Original Message: 'Fluid Leak...Not Sure What This Is'
Jasond56
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Kenosha, WI - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Corvette Stingray Coupe VIN 1Z37J3S418986 350 L-48 Automatic T-Tops St. Louis Assembly, 18,986th car built in 1973, Paint = 976 Mille Miglia Red, Interior = 425 Dark Red Vinyl (Ox Blood)

Joined: 5/7/2014
Posts: 154
Hello All,

A few weeks ago, after parking the vette, I noticed a steady drip coming from under the car.  Front middle area almost looking like a bit on the passenger side.  Not entirely sure about passenger side because liquid will take the path of least resistance.  Anyway, the fluid was clear and felt almost like mineral oil...a little greasy/oily feeling.  Didn't have a smell at all.  Washed right off my hands with no residue.  AC was not running (don't think I have ever even tried turning it on) so it was not condensation.  Came out the next day before heading off to work, and A LOT of this fluid had fallen.  Any idea what this fluid is and where it might be coming from?

Thanks in advance,

Jason Beer


____________________________________
"You know, we always called each other goodfellas. Like you'd say to somebody: You're gonna like this guy, he's all right. He's a goodfella. He's one of us. You understand?"




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8/15/15 6:28pm - Reply: 'Re: Fluid Leak...Not Sure What This Is'
kstyer Lifetime Member
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CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH - USA

Vette(s):
1975 C3 Red, T-Tops, Black Interior. All I need is time and money! Getting there!

Joined: 12/2/2003
Posts: 6410
It could still be from the A/C. It could be refrigerant oil. You may have gotten a leak in the evaporator. Thank a look and see if is coming out of the A/C drain.

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8/15/15 10:14pm - Reply: 'Re: Fluid Leak...Not Sure What This Is'
Jasond56
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Kenosha, WI - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Corvette Stingray Coupe VIN 1Z37J3S418986 350 L-48 Automatic T-Tops St. Louis Assembly, 18,986th car built in 1973, Paint = 976 Mille Miglia Red, Interior = 425 Dark Red Vinyl (Ox Blood)

Joined: 5/7/2014
Posts: 154
Thank you, Kstyer.  I will check the A/C plug.




|UPDATED|8/15/2015 7:14:33 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


____________________________________
"You know, we always called each other goodfellas. Like you'd say to somebody: You're gonna like this guy, he's all right. He's a goodfella. He's one of us. You understand?"




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8/16/15 9:25am - Reply: 'Re: Fluid Leak...Not Sure What This Is'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19448
Jasond56 said: Front middle area almost looking like a bit on the passenger side.


I'm a little confused as to WHERE this drip is. Front by the nose of the car, middle towards the firewall area....or front center....where?
A clear liquid could be an oil, or brake fluid. A steady drip as you described should show as a low fluid level somewhere. Check your brake fluid, coolant, and engine oil levels. Could be fuel leak, too. A leak in the evaporator should show up on the passenger side firewall area, just behind the front tire. Big smile


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8/16/15 1:00pm - Reply: 'Re: Fluid Leak...Not Sure What This Is'
Jasond56
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Kenosha, WI - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Corvette Stingray Coupe VIN 1Z37J3S418986 350 L-48 Automatic T-Tops St. Louis Assembly, 18,986th car built in 1973, Paint = 976 Mille Miglia Red, Interior = 425 Dark Red Vinyl (Ox Blood)

Joined: 5/7/2014
Posts: 154
Adam's - it seems like the drip is coming from the center of the engine compartment more towards the nose, and a little towards passenger side. If looking at the car from front, I would say the drip is about 2' or so from the nose and ever so slightly to the left. Definitely not behind front wheel towards fire wall. Didn't have a gas smell...no smell actually. Made me think of mineral oil because of color and consistency. And I lost a lot. Made a small river from under the car to a low spot in my garage. Weirdest thing. Have been afraid to start her since. I took a video of it but I cannot upload vid here. I read somewhere this could be an indication of a cracked block? My heart stopped after reading that one. I checked fluid in master cylinder and it is full. Will get to coolant and oil this afternoon. I would think coolant would be greenish, which this was not. Unfortunately lately I have been left with only a few hours 1 day a week to work on her. Thank you!

____________________________________
"You know, we always called each other goodfellas. Like you'd say to somebody: You're gonna like this guy, he's all right. He's a goodfella. He's one of us. You understand?"




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8/16/15 7:02pm - Reply: 'Re: Fluid Leak...Not Sure What This Is'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19448
Jason, if you have a youtube account, upload the vid to youtube, and post a link here. Not going to be a cracked block...put your fears to rest on that. If you have colored coolant(green, red, whatever), then it would be that color. Assuming you DO have antifreeze in it, that is.
From the area you described, it could still be a fuel leak....the fuel pump is right in that general area.

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8/16/15 8:58pm - Reply: 'Re: Fluid Leak...Not Sure What This Is'
Jasond56
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Kenosha, WI - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Corvette Stingray Coupe VIN 1Z37J3S418986 350 L-48 Automatic T-Tops St. Louis Assembly, 18,986th car built in 1973, Paint = 976 Mille Miglia Red, Interior = 425 Dark Red Vinyl (Ox Blood)

Joined: 5/7/2014
Posts: 154
Thanks for putting my fears to rest about the cracked block!!  Thumbs Up

Update: Got under the hood today.  Checked oil and it could use a little bit, but not much at all.  Checked the coolant, and it was definitely low...I had to add just about a half a bottle of coolant.  I use 50/50 no water, so I agree with you that it would have been green in color.  the low coolant could be from when I replaced lower rad hose and it wasn't tight enough.  Lost a bit during that "getting it just right" process.  Guess it was a little more than I thought.

Here's the kicker...after filling the radiator and recapping, while the car was running, I noticed a pretty bad leak coming from the radiator neck over flow hose (the one that goes from radiator neck to the plastic overflow tank).  Hose was split about 1/2" at the neck.  Left a nice sized puddle under the car.  Replaced the hose and now no leaks.  Problem is, I was on a darker more porous cement than my garage floor so it was REALLY hard to tell the color.  Censored

The puddle that was left was right by passenger front tire and a little behind it.  I want to believe I fixed the mystery leak, but the puddle location tells me otherwise. 

If it is a fuel leak, wouldn't I smell a strong fuel smell on my hands and in the vicinity?  I had the fuel pump replaced a year ago when I bought her.

Thank you!

Jason




____________________________________
"You know, we always called each other goodfellas. Like you'd say to somebody: You're gonna like this guy, he's all right. He's a goodfella. He's one of us. You understand?"




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8/16/15 9:44pm - Reply: 'Re: Fluid Leak...Not Sure What This Is'
kstyer Lifetime Member
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CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH - USA

Vette(s):
1975 C3 Red, T-Tops, Black Interior. All I need is time and money! Getting there!

Joined: 12/2/2003
Posts: 6410
Your first description threw me off. Coolant can travel quite a ways as it leaks and travels across surfaces and brackets. Yes fuel should have a strong smell, but depending on conditions you may not pick it up. You may top all fluids, fix the split hose, and just let the car run while keeping a close eye on everything and see what you can see. Be sure to have plenty of light.

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(some day, no strike that, October 2008 it turned red, still in progress!)

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8/16/15 10:10pm - Reply: 'Re: Fluid Leak...Not Sure What This Is'
Jasond56
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Kenosha, WI - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Corvette Stingray Coupe VIN 1Z37J3S418986 350 L-48 Automatic T-Tops St. Louis Assembly, 18,986th car built in 1973, Paint = 976 Mille Miglia Red, Interior = 425 Dark Red Vinyl (Ox Blood)

Joined: 5/7/2014
Posts: 154
Sorry about that.  Tried to be as descriptive as I could.  I also checked those two AC valves (black twist knobs) and although one was a little loose, the area seemed bone dry.  I will try running her for a while and keep an eye under there. 

In the meantime, I did as Adams' suggested and uploaded the video of the drip.  Don't know if it will help but you never know.  Link is below...

https://goo.gl/photos/6jabbFFBUaQn45RCA


____________________________________
"You know, we always called each other goodfellas. Like you'd say to somebody: You're gonna like this guy, he's all right. He's a goodfella. He's one of us. You understand?"




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8/16/15 11:25pm - Reply: 'Re: Fluid Leak...Not Sure What This Is'
stingrayjim jr Lifetime Member
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SHELBYVILLE, TN - USA

Vette(s):
1976 L48 auto

1978 L82 4speed

1994 LT1 6speed

Joined: 7/5/2002
Posts: 3934
power steering fluid?? its usually clear and kinda viscous...??


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8/17/15 9:47am - Reply: 'Re: Fluid Leak...Not Sure What This Is'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
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Jason, that is either a fuel pump, or water pump leak. Has to be one or the other.
Here's a LIVE LINK to the vid.


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8/17/15 10:16am - Reply: 'Re: Fluid Leak...Not Sure What This Is'
DaveM Lifetime Member
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Flanders, NJ - USA

Vette(s):
1982 Black, ZZ4, Hooker Side Pipes, 3.55 Rear, Rebuilt & upgraded 700R4, All new suspension, brakes, & new Charcoal interior.

Joined: 1/27/2004
Posts: 2530
That's a good leak, if it is fuel you would smell it for sure. You said you changed the lower hose, check the fit of the hose at the water pump and make sure it's not leaking. It looks like it's coming from that area. Good luck.
Dave


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8/18/15 9:37pm - Reply: 'Re: Fluid Leak...Not Sure What This Is'
Jasond56
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Kenosha, WI - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Corvette Stingray Coupe VIN 1Z37J3S418986 350 L-48 Automatic T-Tops St. Louis Assembly, 18,986th car built in 1973, Paint = 976 Mille Miglia Red, Interior = 425 Dark Red Vinyl (Ox Blood)

Joined: 5/7/2014
Posts: 154
Ah yes, water pump.  I bet that's what it is...but wouldn't the leaking fluid have been green?  I use 50/50, not water.  Isn't the "water" being pumped actually the antifreeze?

I Googled replacing fuel pump on a C3 and it looks pretty involved.  Is it something a novice can do?  Any tricks or pit falls to watch out for?

Thanks, guys!


____________________________________
"You know, we always called each other goodfellas. Like you'd say to somebody: You're gonna like this guy, he's all right. He's a goodfella. He's one of us. You understand?"




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8/18/15 10:46pm - Reply: 'Re: Fluid Leak...Not Sure What This Is'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19448
Before you start tearing into it, you really need to determine exactly WHERE that drip is coming from. You're going to have to get the car in the air somehow, and get under there with it running, and find the source. True, a fuel leak that large should smell like fuel, and a coolant leak should have a color to it. Assuming your coolant is the green stuff, then what is dripping on the floor should also be green. The ONLY other possibility in that area is a trans cooler line leak....which would give you a redish color fluid on the floor. Approve

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8/18/15 11:22pm - Reply: 'Re: Fluid Leak...Not Sure What This Is'
F4Gary Gold Member
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Grapevine, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.

Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 862
Get someone that can smell.  Coolant smells and feels like coolant.  Unmistakable. Gas smells, feels, and spreads out on the floor like, well, gas. 

As we get older, we lose our sense of smell...


|UPDATED|8/18/2015 8:22:59 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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8/21/15 4:42am - Reply: 'Re: Fluid Leak...Not Sure What This Is'
Jasond56
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Kenosha, WI - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Corvette Stingray Coupe VIN 1Z37J3S418986 350 L-48 Automatic T-Tops St. Louis Assembly, 18,986th car built in 1973, Paint = 976 Mille Miglia Red, Interior = 425 Dark Red Vinyl (Ox Blood)

Joined: 5/7/2014
Posts: 154
Thanks guys for the feedback. I will have a chance tomorrow to get her up in the air and look for leaks while running. Can I assume that if it is the water pump it will continue to leak as long as there is coolant in the car? Because I'll tell ya, I started the car periodically this week (5 minutes here 10 minutes there) and I have not seen a leak and I know radiator is full and coolant is flowing. Been watching lower rad hose at water pump and its dry. Will update my findings tomorrow

____________________________________
"You know, we always called each other goodfellas. Like you'd say to somebody: You're gonna like this guy, he's all right. He's a goodfella. He's one of us. You understand?"




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8/21/15 5:27am - Reply: 'Re: Fluid Leak...Not Sure What This Is'
Redwoman Gold Member
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Bellingham, MA - USA

Vette(s):
1980 loaded red on red. 68,000 original miles. Second owner. Well documented with all original paperwork. NCRS Founders Award 9/27/14. NCRS Top Flight 10/12/14.

Joined: 6/23/2014
Posts: 171
I watched the video and that is a pretty good leak! Running five or ten minutes might not be long enough. I would duplicate what you did before when it leaked. If you took it for a twenty minute drive and it leaked, then do it again. It might need to get hotter to make hoses expand to cause the leak. Not fun working around a hot engine!! Like you mentioned early fluid travels to the low spot. So don't just focus on where it is dripping search everywhere. Keep us posted and hope you find the leak. Good luck!! To answer the original question if it will keep leaking if there is coolant in the system. It will has long has it doesn't get to low or run out.

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8/21/15 6:24pm - Reply: 'Re: Fluid Leak...Not Sure What This Is'
Jasond56
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Kenosha, WI - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Corvette Stingray Coupe VIN 1Z37J3S418986 350 L-48 Automatic T-Tops St. Louis Assembly, 18,986th car built in 1973, Paint = 976 Mille Miglia Red, Interior = 425 Dark Red Vinyl (Ox Blood)

Joined: 5/7/2014
Posts: 154
Thank you Redwoman.  Are you a Game of Thrones fan?  I just got into it and got up to "The Red Wedding"!  Unbelievable!  Just got all the books for my Kindle as well.   Thumbs Up

Anyway, good advice trying to replicate what I did when I noticed the bad leak.  I just ran the car hard.  Just about 30 mins like I did last time.  Jacked her up and noticed very minimal dripping this time, I mean hardly at all.  I am beginning to wonder if I corrected the issue when I replaced that radiator overflow hose?  The water pump area seemed dry.  The rad hose where it meets water pump seemed dry.  Gods be kind!

I did notice one area under the car that had a few drips forming.  I apologize, but I am not sure what this item is.  I circled the areas forming drips in the pics below.  I hope the pic is identifiable. 

Thanks again for your advice!  For Winterfell!






____________________________________
"You know, we always called each other goodfellas. Like you'd say to somebody: You're gonna like this guy, he's all right. He's a goodfella. He's one of us. You understand?"




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8/21/15 6:44pm - Reply: 'Re: Fluid Leak...Not Sure What This Is'
Jasond56
Former Member
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Kenosha, WI - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Corvette Stingray Coupe VIN 1Z37J3S418986 350 L-48 Automatic T-Tops St. Louis Assembly, 18,986th car built in 1973, Paint = 976 Mille Miglia Red, Interior = 425 Dark Red Vinyl (Ox Blood)

Joined: 5/7/2014
Posts: 154
I forgot to mention: Checked the power steering fluid as well.  It is definitely at the ADD line.  Could that leak have been PS fluid?  Going on that, I called my local GM dealer and they said regular old PS fluid is fine to add.  Is that true? 


Thank you!


____________________________________
"You know, we always called each other goodfellas. Like you'd say to somebody: You're gonna like this guy, he's all right. He's a goodfella. He's one of us. You understand?"




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8/21/15 8:01pm - Reply: 'Re: Fluid Leak...Not Sure What This Is'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19448
Automatic trans fluid will work in the PS system, unless you just wanna buy a power steering fluid. There is nothing power steering related on that side of the car, so your drip-drip is NOT from the power steering. Thumbs Up

The top circle in the pic is the fuel pump line. The lower circle I'm not really sure, but it could be the fuel spraying from the pump to the frame. Imma betting your fuel pump is leaking out the "weep' hole.



|UPDATED|8/21/2015 5:01:51 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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Joel Adams
C3VR Lifetime Member #56    
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(click for Texas-sized view!)
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"Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comforting to cry in a CORVETTE than in a Kia"
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