Last post on Jan 09, 2008 at 10:11 PM
You are in the Chrysler/Plymouth Voyager, Dodge Caravan
What is this discussion about?
Dodge Caravan, Chrysler Voyager, Plymouth Voyager, Van
#5 of 9 Re: Voyager leaking coolant [akburb]
Oct 09, 2007 (1:17 pm)
The Used Oil Analysis (UOA) results for our 1998 DGC 3.8 (virtually identical engine as yours) came back showing a small percentage of coolant in the oil. That said, you would never have known simply by looking at the oil that came out of my engine as it simply looked like good-old oil.
Thinking "head gasket", I yanked the heads this last June and replaced the head gaskets. Unfortunately I didn't find a "smoking gun" when looking at the old gaskets, and sure enough, when I put her all back together, my coolant usage remained unchanged from before the gasket swap. I'm now thinking that one of the "O" rings in the timing chain cover has a slow leak and is draining into the oil.
Anyway, I told you that to tell you this. I did a fair amount of research on these engines before I dove in and found two interesting things:
1) Engines with cast iron blocks and cast aluminum heads (like ours) have a tendency to "blow" head gaskets (as a general statement).
2) The Chrysler 3.3 and 3.8 engines seem to be fairly immune to this phenomena, however, it does happen upon occasion.
FWIW, there is an individual on another site that I exchanges posts with from time to time that has a 1996 DGC with over 400,000 miles on the clock. He made it to 360,000 miles on the original engine by simply putting oil, filters and plugs in it, and the only reason why he replaced it was that one of the rocker shaft towers (that holds the bolt from the rocker arm shaft) broke. He could have simply replaced the front head, however, he found an entire motor with "only" 140,000 miles on it for like $150, so he decided to go that route instead.
#6 of 9 Re: Voyager leaking coolant [akburb]
Oct 09, 2007 (1:33 pm)
Regarding your other query about the difficulty of doing a head gasket job:
Hmmm, for starters, I haven't turned a wrench in anger for over twenty five years on anything more difficult than brakes and such, so needless to say, my skills are a tad rusty. That said, even accounting for the fact that transverse Vee engines are a pain in the hind parts to work on, I think I managed to do the entire job in about forty hours of wrenching, including having to manually cut one of the nuts off the cross over exhaust pipe due to a sheared off bolt. I'm thinking that that problem alone consumed an easy eight hours trying to figure out how I was going to deal with the issue.
If you do decide to attempt this on your own, I'd be happy to give you a few pointers.
#7 of 9 Re: Voyager leaking coolant [akburb]
Oct 10, 2007 (5:20 am)
The leak was on the right front corner. I tried a few cans of those liquids that are supposed to seal the leak, but they only worked for a short while. I had no other choice but to have the gasket replaced.
I still don't know for sure what made the leakage disappear and then come back every now and then. Maybe it had something to do with the engine heating up to a certain temperature which was finally too much for the gasket. I couldn't spot any coolant in the oil, but then again, I'm no expert and didn't have the oil analyzed.
#8 of 9 Re: Voyager leaking coolant [akburb]
Jan 09, 2008 (9:44 pm)
I also have a 1997 and when I went under it turned out to be two freezout plug's it's the one above the starter and the one in the middle on mine but I found out too late the engine sound's like the hyd lifter's are messed up but somebody told me a oil light would come on if that or the oil pump wasn't working now I am not sure what to do if any body has any idea's on that one please give me some info.
#9 of 9 Re: Voyager leaking coolant [michael101352]
Jan 09, 2008 (10:11 pm)
So, what happened to your engine? Did you overheat it? Did you run it out of oil?
These are pretty rugged engines so you might still be able to get some life out of it yet, and if it really is toast, they're also very plentiful in bone yards, and not for very much money either.