2000 Camaro V6 3800 type II Heater elbow replacement
Replaced the water pump this weekend. Also replaced, for the second time the plastic elbow fittings that connect heater to block.
Want to give a heads up on the process of heater elbow replacement on a 2000 Camaro V6 3800 Type II engine. It is not in the manual I have.
I was able to diagnose the leak by leaving my radiator full and removing the air intake cowl and belt and looking at the very front of the engine (get low). There is a black plastic elbow that you can only see one side. It is to the right of the tension pulley and to the left and above the water pump pulley.
Pour water into you radiator and watch for water/fluid to leak out at that elbow. If so, you have a little work on your hands.
Take digital pictures of Alternator, and tension pulley and front of engine... Also remove the negative cable from your battery.
Remove the Belt by placing a wrench on the tension pulley and pushing down toward the ground Counter Clockwise. Belt should get slack and you can remove it.
Remove the Alternator (Don't forget to remove the negative battery cable first)!! There are three bolts here. Take them completely out and remove nut holding positive to Alternator and electrical connection.
Remove belt tension pulley assembly which has two heater hoses coming out. I did not have to remove these hoses. There are two large screws to remove. When you take the assembly off, the plastic elbows will break at this point. But we're replacing them anyway. You must clean out the holes that the new ones go into. I used needle nose pliers to pull the broken elbows out and cleaned the holes out with shop rag and alcohol.
Now after cleaning these holes, I used a little water to "grease" up the new fittings and placed them into the holes on the tension pulley assembly. Then I put the assembly back on carefully making sure the holes line up with my new elbows so I don't break them.
When re-installing all these bolts I used a little anti-seize on all of them. Remember these are plastic parts, so you'll be here again and that will make it easier to remove them next time. Lucky Us.
After replacing tension pulley assembly, place the alternator back on. The trick here is to not tighten any bolts until they are all started. This includs the bolt at the back of the alternator. Use anti-seize! Connect the battery cable and your electrical connection to the alternator.
Re-install belt using diagram on driver side front fender under hood as a guide. Don't forget to use wrench or socket to push down toward the floor from passenger side to release tension on the belt. Counter clock wise on a socket. (my manual was wrong for the Camaro)
Refill radiator with fluid and your reservoir too.
Reconnect negative battery cable to battery.
I did this... I started the car with the radiator cap off and filled it up as the fluid level went lower. You're going to see some bubbles, that's good. Just make sure you let the car run a while to heat it up and open up the thermostat.
Once it seemed not to go down, I replaced cap and went on a short run. Then let it cool down and checked fluid level in reservoir and had to add some. Did this next couple of trips.
There may be better ways to "bleed" your cooling system, this is the only way I could do it.
Check for leaks as well.