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Can someone tell me what is involved to replace both coolant elbows on my L67 engine? TIA!
 

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If you get the Dorman Coolant Elbow Kit be sure to take the o rings off of it and get the AC Delco ones, or Fel-PRO ones, the Dorman ones are known to leak, and I've heard that Dorman has started looking into the problem, but no recalls have been issued.
They will however replace them for you if they have failed.

ACDELCO Part # 1534066 should fit all 3 but the bigger part on one of the elbows, I just went with the Dorman purple one for that o ring, and so far no leaks.
Of course my purple on is on an aluminum nipple that is part of the belt tensioner assembly because my car is not supercharged.
Should still work fine though.

There is supposed to be an "improved" version of the elbow/o rings, it has production code number of 11300 or higher stamped on the elbow, this info comes from rkpatt on another forum..
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If you get the Dorman Coolant Elbow Kit be sure to take the o rings off of it and get the AC Delco ones, or Fel-PRO ones, the Dorman ones are known to leak, and I've heard that Dorman has started looking into the problem, but no recalls have been issued.
They will however replace them for you if they have failed.

ACDELCO Part # 1534066 should fit all 3 but the bigger part on one of the elbows, I just went with the Dorman purple one for that o ring, and so far no leaks.
Of course my purple on is on an aluminum nipple that is part of the belt tensioner assembly because my car is not supercharged.
Should still work fine though.

There is supposed to be an "improved" version of the elbow/o rings, it has production code number of 11300 or higher stamped on the elbow, this info comes from rkpatt on another forum..
I went to NAPA and got the "upgraded" ones. We will see how it all goes. Thanks for the information.
 

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I went to NAPA and got the "upgraded" ones. We will see how it all goes. Thanks for the information.
Sweet, hope it works well, I have a feeling it will since I bet they changed the o-rings that were made for them.
And you're very welcome, I'm always happy to help another if I am able to.
 

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RTV the O-rings or the will leak damn near everytime
 

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RTV the O-rings or the will leak damn near everytime
Does that fix the known problematic Dorman O Rings?
I just replaced the o-rings and used no RTV, and I have seen no leaks since.
Using RTV on the newer ones as a fail safe would be ok, but I personally would replace those o rings rather than to rely on the RTV to keep the poorly made o-rings from leaking.
 

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Guys,

I changed my elbows in 45 minutes, but there's a good story and lesson for anyone doing this, so read on:

Had just completed replacing my UIM and LIM gaskets along with installing a new water pump, tensioner pulley and coolant elbows on our '04 Grand Prix GT with 104K miles. Replaced the plug wires and plugs too!

The coolant elbows were replaced by my GM dealer two years ago when they started to leak and were OK, but as I was replacing everything anyway and had to remove the belt tensioner (and the elbows) I went ahead and purchased the new GM elbows anyway, so everything would be new. Upon disassembly was disappointed to find the mechanic used red RTV on them when he put them together.

I'm a stickler for detail and doing a good job so I carefully cleaned out all the old RTV and smoothed the bores with #600 wet sandpaper followed by a good wipedown with brake parts cleaner to remove any traces of residue. The bores looked like new!
I used silicone grease to lube the new o-rings and each bore prior to assembly. Everything went together fine and I topped off the cooing system with distilled water just in case there were any leaks. Initially all was fine.

After starting the engine and letting it warm up, was VERY disappointed to see water trickling out of the Upper elbow where it enters the intake manifold. OMG... you've got to be kidding!

The more pressure built up, the worse it leaked. I guess I now understand why the dealer mechanic used RTV. This was very disappointing, but it seems that any wear or left over pitting from the old, leaky o-rings is all it takes for the new o-rings not seal. OK... so I now know why the pro's use RTV. It's very frustrating to do this once... you definitely don't want to do it twice!

Having just done the UIM/LIM, changing the freash, clean elbows was easy and took 45 minutes. I also had all the tools out already so that helped too!

1) Remove serpentine belt;
2) Drain coolant;
3) Diconnect battery (-) terminal & Remove Alternator;
4) Remove the 3 bolts holding the belt tensioner to the engine.
5) Remove the tensioner/o-ring assembly;
6) Removed and cleaned elbows and bores with brake parts cleaner;
7) Apply an even film of blue, sensor safe RTV around circumference of each end of the elbow and the o-rings. I also added a thin coat to the inside of each bore on the engine;
8) Install elbows onto tensioner and carefully install assembly back onto engine;
9) Re-Install and tighten the 3 tensioner bolts;
10) Re-install alternator & reconnect battery (-) terminal;
11) Re-attach Drive belt;
12) Refill cooling system;
13) Start engine and top off coolant as engine warms up.

I did this and it now holds pressure and hasn't leaked a drop in the first week of service.

My recommendation is to always use RTV when doing this service to your 3800! You don't want to do this twice.

Kevin
 

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I forget what forum it was on, but it was discovered that the Dorman elbows almost always leak but the GM elbows do not. The poster then used a micrometer to measure the outside diameter of each elbow with the o-rings and found that the Dorman was slightly different.

I can't say anything from personal experience except that the Dorman elbows with black RTV seem to be holding just fine. I used a skim coat of RTV and rolled around the o-ring. So far it's holding. Is it possible that the bore got scratched by a tool when the original work was done? I had a scratch on the valley surface. I had to fill the scratch with a little JBweld before reinstalling the gaskets.
 

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There weren't scratches, just some corrosion from where the old original elbows had leaked. Even then, it was so slight, I never would have dreamed it would cause a leak, particularly with the new GM elbows and O-Rings!

Anyhow, like you, I skim-coated the elbows and bores and it all went together fine and remains leak-free.

Ideally, the bores could be machined and have a stainless insert pressed-in to restore proper dimensions and eliminate the possibility of corrosion. Nice if this would have been done new from GM, but I don't think they ever envision most of their cars lasting longer than 5-years!

Also interesting is that GM easily could have added a second O-ring on each elbow, and perhaps even a third to make an absolutely leak-proof and long lasting seal.

I'm guessing GM's corporate bean-counters have more pull than engineering in these types of decisions which is too bad for all of us... anyhow, the leak is fixed for now!
 

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There weren't scratches, just some corrosion from where the old original elbows had leaked. Even then, it was so slight, I never would have dreamed it would cause a leak, particularly with the new GM elbows and O-Rings!

Anyhow, like you, I skim-coated the elbows and bores and it all went together fine and remains leak-free.

Ideally, the bores could be machined and have a stainless insert pressed-in to restore proper dimensions and eliminate the possibility of corrosion. Nice if this would have been done new from GM, but I don't think they ever envision most of their cars lasting longer than 5-years!

Also interesting is that GM easily could have added a second O-ring on each elbow, and perhaps even a third to make an absolutely leak-proof and long lasting seal.

I'm guessing GM's corporate bean-counters have more pull than engineering in these types of decisions which is too bad for all of us... anyhow, the leak is fixed for now!

Glad it is not leaking anymore!
 

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Can someone tell me what is involved to replace both coolant elbows on my L67 engine? TIA!
The best way to replace the coolant elbow is to remove the water pump and insert the new elbow before inserting the bolts for the water pump. Check that there are no pieces of the old plastic elbow lodged inside. Replace both elbows if so equipt at the same time. If you need additional information look for some other auto repair for replacing coolant elbow.
 

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I recommend the High Heat Red, but either will work, the only real difference is the heat tolerance, the black will handle up to 500ºF, and the red 650ºF.
 

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You're very welcome!

If you have not bought the coolant elbows yet, I recommend going with the aluminum coolant elbows.

Dorman Products - 47065hp
 

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I use the Permatex Ultra Blue. I also made sure to thoroughly clean any old RTV and corrosion out of the passages first with a round wire brush then wiped clean with brake parts cleaner so its absolutely dirt and grease free. This really helps the RTV bind to the metal and make a water tight fit. 2+ years and no leaks!
 

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autozoned

I recently had the elbow on my 02 grand prix gt explode litterally and when i went to autozone (never having this problem before) the guy sold me an entire gasket kit and told me i had to replace manifold gaskets, and all kinds of other o rings and stuff but from what i read on here it doesnt sound like any of thats necessary.. ill be sticking with oreillys from now on
 

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I recently had the elbow on my 02 grand prix gt explode litterally and when i went to autozone (never having this problem before) the guy sold me an entire gasket kit and told me i had to replace manifold gaskets, and all kinds of other o rings and stuff but from what i read on here it doesnt sound like any of thats necessary.. ill be sticking with oreillys from now on
If you have never replaced your lower intake manifold gasket with the aluminum framed gasket, then the guy was doing you a favor by suggesting you change those out, he should have asked if you ever had them replaced before suggesting you get the kit though.
The old nylon 6,6 framed gaskets are known to fail, and possibly let coolant make its way into your cylinders, if this happens since the coolant does not compress like air, you could end up throwing a connecting rod through the block, or damaging rings, and also have the motor hydra-lock.
I always recommend the Fel-PRO aluminum framed gasket kit.
 

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