Coolant leaked into interior, what next? - Nissan : Datsun ZCar forum :Nissan Z Forum: 240Z to 370Z
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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Coolant leaked into interior, what next?

Hello all. First post, but I have been lurking a while. Just bought a really nice '77. Has had a few small issues here and there pop up as I have been giving it the rounds. Yesterday I went to vacuum it out and that's when I found the puddle in the passenger foot well. not good. This car has been fairly rust free, but I had to pull the carpet to inspect, and it doesn't look great. Probably mostly surface rust, but I imagine there has been a leak for some time before I purchased it. I think it was a slow leak but the carpet is fairly saturated.

My question is, what is the correct course of action? I plan to remove the carpet and wash it down. I have very little knowledge of chemistry, but I assume that antifreeze is obviously water soluble, so a good hosing down and drying should remove the antifreeze.

I think I need to remove the sound deadening and get to the bare metal, sand down the bad areas, and probably coat in Por-15 and top coat. Then put some sort of sound deadening back in.
until last month, I never sat in a Datsun, let alone worked on one, but I noticed that when I sopped up the puddle of antifreeze, more would move forward from a seam where the front passenger seat rail goes across. I have not removed the carpet yet, so I don't exactly know the lay of the land, but It seems that coolant has found its way inside of all the little nooks and crannies. I am worried that I won't be able to get to some of the area that it has leaked into.

I know that antifreeze is treated with all sorts of rust inhibitors, but I don't think it acts the same out in the open, I have heard that it is high in acidity. can anybody chime in and help me with what I should do to prevent rust in the future? I would really appreciate it. Antifreeze leaves a residue after it dries, and I don't know how that will react with the metal over time. As any Z owner knows, I just want to keep this thing alive as long as I can.

Also, I am going to throw this out there. I am looking for an upper steering column cover in good condition.......

Thanks for any help with the leak issue. I have since bypassed the core so this doesn't happen again. (one day I will take care of the valve or core, but not now) This is a good weather toy, no DD.

I've got pictures, but not sure how to post.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 10:48 PM
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You should block both hoses, not connect the two ports. "Bypassing" allows coolant to bypass the engine, effectively reducing the capacity of the water pump.

Antifreeze is either ehtylene glycol or propylene glycol. Both will evaporate eventually, slower than water but not too bad. You'd probably be fine just toweling up what you can then putting a small fan in to dry out the rest.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the reply. It makes me feel better. Can you explain what you mean? What I did was pull the hoses off the ports into the cabin. I put caps over both nipples. I then connected the long hose from the pump to a "U" shaped hose that then went into the block. Should I have done something differently?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 11:21 PM
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Yes. What you did was let the coolant leave the back of the head and go directly back to the pump, with no restriction. You should block the fitting from the back of the head and the fitting going back up to the water pump (the one the long hose connects to). This way the coolant will pass through the block and head, and the radiator. The other problem with bypassing is that you bypass the radiator, putting hot coolant back to the water pump.

Connecting the hoses is common, but it's been found that it can cause overheating. Normally the heater core only passes a small amount of coolant even when wide open. Bypassing screws up the equilibrium.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 11:30 AM
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I had the same thing happen to me when my coolant hose on the heater core burst while i was driving. Draining the entire radiator into the passenger floorboard. Took and home and shop vacuumed it out, and used a towel to get the rest. Pull the seat out, it pools up under there at a low spot.

As for the hoses, they're a pain to replace. However, you can get both hoses for like $20 at autozone, which only require minimal cutting to fit. The job could be made a lot easier if you take the dash out, otherwise you'll have a hard time getting on your back and getting the back hose fully onto the metal pipe and then getting a driver in there to tighten the fitting.

I believe the hoses are something for a dodge pickup truck. A google search may pull up answers.

If the hose wasn't your problem, I would advise changing them while you're down there. Only makes it worse to be away from home when it bursts...

If you do find rust, take the correct course of action. Surface rust is okay to sand and coat. Just remember if its too deep you'll have to cut it out and weld in a new panel. That is what your seat sits on, I wouldn't take any chances. If you weld in a new panel, make sure to coat the top and bottom to ensure it doesn't rust back through.

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Last edited by Echutton; 04-03-2017 at 11:41 AM.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by pdx280 View Post
Yes. What you did was let the coolant leave the back of the head and go directly back to the pump, with no restriction. You should block the fitting from the back of the head and the fitting going back up to the water pump (the one the long hose connects to). This way the coolant will pass through the block and head, and the radiator. The other problem with bypassing is that you bypass the radiator, putting hot coolant back to the water pump.

Connecting the hoses is common, but it's been found that it can cause overheating. Normally the heater core only passes a small amount of coolant even when wide open. Bypassing screws up the equilibrium.

PDX,


I'm glad I came across this. my 300 has had the heater pipes blocked off on the engine side but it seems that one cap is leaking. so I was thinking of just connecting the two via a hose, but I never thought it would cause problems with having no restriction. never thought about it putting hot coolant back through the water pump. I've had a list of cooling problems with my car already... I don't want to create more!
Thanks


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Nos, primer paint, piller gauges, fart cans, funky spoilers, low riders, annoying drivers...
Oooh, I'm trembling with fear as the stop light is near, I sit in my Z in the presence of thee....
Whatever man. Leave that dumb crap to the Honda goons!

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 11:57 PM
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Wait a minute! If I read this correctly, you're worried about the effects of the leak but not the source. If you don't have a blown hose, you've got a bad heater core. It's a bitch to change out, but necessary if you want heat come winter.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 07:39 PM
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As mentioned above it could be a bad hose associated with the heater core, a bad heater core or a bad heater control valve. The control valve for these cars is not always easy to find as I discovered when my 1974 starting leaking. This is what mine looked like. None were available when I was searching so I had my old one 'rebuilt'.
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74 260Z 2+2, 2009 370Z Touring/Spt 6MT
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