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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
new guy here... any help would be much appreciated! I have a 98 Regal GS (s/c 3800 SII). car has almost 190K mi, driven by an old lady till I got it @ 125K. still a dex-cool dog, running Royal Purple full syn oil. about a year ago (less than 5K), I replaced UIM and LIM gaskets with FelPro, water pump, and bypass elbow. car is box stock.

Sat night after changing a front WB hub assy on pass side in one shop bay, I took it for a 10 min spin (it was already warm from making the parts run) and parked it the other shop bay. Sun morn i came out and noticed some water under the car. I drove to church anyway. never ran too hot or got cold while driving. filled the coolant, came home.

Drove it up on blocks and noticed it had 3 sets of drips coming from between the flywheel and block under the even cyls side (Driver side, toward firewall) between oil and tranny pans (at corner of block where oil pan mates). Plenum "V" is clean and dry all the way across. The freeze plugs on the side under each bank look solid and dry. firewall and top of bell-housing are bone dry.

The leak appears to be coming from inside the bell housing... are there freeze plugs in there? or does that cover on the block inside seal coolant? Pulling inspection plates and starter still gives me no room to peak in there. I pressurized the system to 12psi and didn't find anything new. I did climb under while the coolant was contracting and it was sucking from that area. the corner of the head over #6 has a VERY small seep. Everything else i could see was relatively clean for a NW car with 190K.

I'm going to re-torque the rear head bolts Mon to rule that out, but it was way too much juice coming out for that little leak.

I've ruled out the all the easy crap on the side next to #1, int manny gaskets, heater core... cant think of anything else.

coolant mix is 50/50 and outside temp has been 20*-50* for the last 1.5 weeks. The car still runs perfect

TIA for your help! I gave this car to my wife as her car. She's 6 mos pregnant, and we have a 1.5 yr old son. It was fortunate this didn't happen on her watch.
 

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The way you described it makes it sound like a leaky head gasket. If I were you I would do another pressure test on a "cold" engine. And, pump up your pressure tester to near 20 psi. It would not surprise me to see a rotted head gasket. Also keep in mind the head bolts are "torque to yeild" non reuseable bolts. Good luck, Jake L.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok thanks. I'll try that.

Do you suppose re torquing the head bolts would be a safe or effective temporary diagnostic? No oil in water... no water in oil
 

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I *believe* there is a cover-plate and gasket behind the flywheel which seals two rear coolant ports. I'll try and find out for sure...

EDIT:
Yeah there should be one. There should be a cover plate that holds the rear crankshaft seal in place and seals up two rear coolant ports that are there from the block casting. Here is a picture I found online of said plate, there is just a paper gasket behind it which you can see if you look up engine seal kits for the 3800 SII.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)

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Discussion Starter #7
working on this 2 hrs at a time every night... took forever to get it all, and bolt #6 on the back... what a treat! Buying a used tranny jack tonight though. Hope it works well.
 

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At least the weather isn't too bad....good luck with your project!
Welcome to the forum, we need more ppl from the Northwest...lol
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all your help guys! got er did... It was that rear main cover. It was leaking right under the big coolant passage nearest the even cylinders.

Changed the oilpan gasket and lower motor mount while I was there. Easy access with K member dropped.

... and swapped to universal coolant in the system
 

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Same problem!

I am a new member to this awesome site and I love it! Just want to say I had the same problem in my 05 Impala. The bottom 4 bolts on the cover were loose and the gasket was bad under both coolant ports. It may have been a pain to get to but I was thanking the heavens I didn't have a cracked block!


impala1.jpg

impala.jpg
 

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Really nice pics! Just had my trans rebuilt and added a stronger input shaft. Trans mechanic had to remove entire trans. Hope I do not get this problem.

Glad you were able to get the job done!
 
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