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2002 Subaru Legacy Outback.. EJ20 swap. Base or L. 4S3BH665527xxxxxx
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425 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, let me see if I can post quick.

I got a whole new radiator, and lower hose... in my car. Maybe a "parts cannon" approach but I really thought it was leaking from that corner. Okay, cool.

Drive car around next day, and it's doing same thing again.

Drive about 700 miles. Consistent with a "slow leak." Fans on high, eye on temperature gauge. Remember, I have the EJ20.

Bring it to my mechanic. He tightens clamp online hose. (?)

Car drives very well...
But..

Basically:

  • I shut the car off
  • within 5 minutes, it will suck down the expansion reservoir (overflow)
  • I am left with this leak.


I thought it was one of the small hoses on bottom of radiator but it almost looks like the radiator bust again..(look closely under license plate area, you'll see it.)

20210604_204150.jpg

WHAT IS IT!?!?!?!
 

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2001 Outback Wagon 3.0 VDC
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156 Posts
This may bot be what you want to hear but worst case it might be a head gasket leak, the cylinder pressure might be pressurizing the cooling system, pushing the coolant out of the over flow reservoir, then as it cools down it draws back what ever is left in there making it seem empty.

If possible, have the cooling system pressure tested and/or have the Carbon monoxide cooling system test done. It basically checks to see if there is exhaust gas in the coolant.

I have a 2001 H6 3.0 and it has head gasket issues pushing coolant out which I'm going to tackle soon!
 

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2002 Subaru Legacy Outback.. EJ20 swap. Base or L. 4S3BH665527xxxxxx
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425 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
^ The only thing about that is, it doesn't push coolant OUT of the reservoir. Only sucks it in.

I will try to tape up and make more snug the hose at the top... you're saying it sounds like an exhaust HG leak?

Which begs the question.. now that some sealer has been used... would you either:

1. Get new (better, performance) heads on the EJ20 along with whatever MLS HG Is best for it, or...
2. Just get another EJ25?

Remember, my car went JDM and it is acting better than it was but... .
 

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2013 Limited // 156k+ miles
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36 Posts
I had something similar earlier this year. Radiator fluid was spraying on one side of the engine and getting everything below wet. I could not find the leak, as it would only present, after the vehicle was hot during the first 7 min of operation. Steam would spiral up from each side of my hood and I couldn't find the location. That whole process was a result of an air pocket in the radiator fluid intra-engine where it would super heat and create steam. Then it would blow out the cracked o-ring seal only for a few seconds.

I was constantly putting more fluid in the reservoir as it only sucked in fluid but blew it out the top of the engine. This kind of underscores how important it is to burp your radiator system to prevent those overheated steam pockets.
 

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Registered
2002 Subaru Legacy Outback.. EJ20 swap. Base or L. 4S3BH665527xxxxxx
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425 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Short version: My mechanic thinks I overfilled the reservoir and the pushed out coolant is what I was seeing, running down everything.

So far, I don't see any drips.

It is now at the LOW mark. Let's see if it was as simple as that.

UPDATE THIS MORNING: It didn't spill any coolant.. but my temperature gauge was still moving.

After verifying it was at the LOW mark on the overflow, when I opened it up after the drive, it was near the top. But not spraying out and not bubbling.

Going to flush it as best I can, it still is mystery...

I have a video of one possible clue...
 

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2002 Subaru Legacy Outback.. EJ20 swap. Base or L. 4S3BH665527xxxxxx
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425 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here it is running idling full hot. For like a half hour.

Issues only come up on highway drives. Trying to verify that.

 

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2002 Subaru Legacy Outback.. EJ20 swap. Base or L. 4S3BH665527xxxxxx
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425 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
And it still could be air.. ? it still "runs perfect" but the temperature gauge goes up.

Flush ???
 

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2002 Subaru Legacy Outback.. EJ20 swap. Base or L. 4S3BH665527xxxxxx
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425 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
UPDATE 6/7 a.m.: Well, the "Weird external" leak APPEARS to have stopped, with keeping my reservoir level at LOW mark. (May have replaced the radiator and lower hose needlessly. Oh well. Now those parts are again new as well.)

So, what I am doing is:

1. Flushing it a LOT (I did use sealer.)
2. Trying to purge out ALL the air........

If I do this, and maybe put some antifreeze in it.. Maybe the temp gauge won't spike when I get on the gas after prolonged use?
 

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2001 Outback Wagon 3.0 VDC
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156 Posts
To help with bleeding the system, try find a way to elevate the front of the car to encourage any air out, you can either park the car facing up on a slope or just cack up the front of the car so the front wheels are off the ground, every little helps!
 

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2002 Subaru Legacy Outback.. EJ20 swap. Base or L. 4S3BH665527xxxxxx
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425 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
To help with bleeding the system, try find a way to elevate the front of the car to encourage any air out, you can either park the car facing up on a slope or just cack up the front of the car so the front wheels are off the ground, every little helps!
Yes.

It ran PERFECT yesterday for about two hours.. only acting up at the VERY end, when I got on it on a hot day after hours use with only water no antifreeze so. Could have still been air .

I wonder if I bleed it
ALL
THE
WAY

if I'm fine...

And then make it 50/50 or close Antifreeze/water...
 

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Registered
2002 Subaru Legacy Outback.. EJ20 swap. Base or L. 4S3BH665527xxxxxx
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425 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
At the moment, I carefully opened the cap when it was hot (there was again no pressure) and I am topping it off as it draws it down, hopefully this will reduce/eliminate the air in the system. 50/50 mix. Alternating antifreeze and distilled water...

It's acting "well" now.
 

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2002 Subaru Legacy Outback.. EJ20 swap. Base or L. 4S3BH665527xxxxxx
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425 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
20210609_090428.jpg
I got this today

If letting it run for an hour or two to bleed it out then cap it the either let it cool and test drive it or just test drive it, and if the temp gauge needle still moves after ohh a half hour or so after a highway drive, I will think of selling the car.. if anyone wants it? I'm in NJ
 

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