02 2.7 stratus coolant leak on top of motor - DodgeTalk : Dodge Car Forums, Dodge Truck Forums and Ram Forums
 
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#1 Old 09-24-2008, 09:51 AM
DAVE W
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Question 02 2.7 stratus coolant leak on top of motor

Hello All,

I was wondering if you could help me out? I have a 2002 2.7 V-6 stratus, the car has 87,800 miles on it. It is leaking coolant from the top of the motor, where the upper radiator hose connects, as well as a couple of other hoses. Is this where the thermostat is? It is a black plastic housing secured with 4 bolts. It is all pink around it, I am assuming that is from the leaking coolant. Also, the car seems to take a long time to warm up and produce heat. How does one repair this? Does the entire intake have to be removed to get this housing off, and what is this housing called? How does one drain the radiator, I cannot seem to find or see a drain petcock, it seems the front bumper skin covers everything, does that have to be removed to drain the radiator?

I also have another leak, not sure if it is coolant, tranny, or power steering fluid leaking from the drivers side almost directly below the stock airbox, but towards the fire wall a bit? Do any of you have any ideas?

Thanks for any help in advance, looking forward to some assistance with this.

Dave
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#2 Old 11-09-2008, 01:55 PM
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I'll bump this, because I have the exact same problem. It's one of a laundry list of things wrong with the Stratus right now.
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#3 Old 11-09-2008, 02:12 PM
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I can't answer the question about the coolant leak, but the 04 Stratus that I recently had was slow to warm up even in the summer months. The car had 36,000 miles on it at that time. It too had the 2.7 engine.

Dave

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#4 Old 12-02-2008, 04:27 PM
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The coolant leak sounds like it's coming from your water outlet. It is a 2-piece glued together (yes, I said GLUED) plastic P.O.S. that splits in half after ~60k miles. If you do not replace it, it will leave you stranded on the side of the road. You will need to remove the throttle body and the intake manifold to get to it. Make sure you get a new O-ring. It really sucks to go through all that and have it leak. BTW, your thermostat is located on the side of the block between the A/C pump and the alternator. Yes, it is a P.I.T.A. The only thing worse is the water pump. Just above the thermostat housing is a weep hole. If you see coolant come from that, you need a water pump ASAP. The weep hole will soon not be able to keep up with the flow and the coolant will be pumped into the oil.

The water outlet has a Chrysler MSRP of $102, but if you have a buddy who works for the dealer, you can get it for $82.62

The tranny fluid is likely coming from a rubber coolant line underneath the air cleaner housing. These cars are famous for it. At least this one is a cheap and easy fix. Make sure you tighten the air cleaner down well or the Tranny computer will vibrate and you will spend $140 for that plus calibration. If it is not a cooler line, then the gasket between the control valve body and the tranny is bad. Bring it to a shop for that one unless you know what you're doing. The tranny needs to be calibrated whenever you play with that. (~$120 for the parts and labor plus another ~$80 for the calibration at a dealer)

Also, this engine is 100% aluminum. That's why it warms up slow. Aluminum is a great conductor of heat and that is what allows this motor to have a 10.5:1 compression ratio on 87 octane gas. The bad side is that this is a $6,000 motor. Google 2.7l engine sludge and read some horror stories. Refer to water pump above.

V/r
Russ
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#5 Old 12-02-2008, 10:46 PM
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Russ,

Thank you so much for the great info, you answered a lot of my questions. I have one more question, how does one drain the antifreeze from the radiator? I cannot find a drain petcock anywhere, do I need to remove the front bumper skin?? What a pain in the _ss! This car is difficult to do anything in the engine compartment! I like the car, it has been pretty good, it has 89,000 miles on it, with few problems other than normal maintenance, which I am right on top of, oil is changed at 3000 miles always!! The sludge does scare me however, not sure how much longer I should keep this car??

Thanks,

Dave
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#6 Old 12-07-2008, 11:18 PM
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I had the same problem with my Intrepid. The upper radiator hose runs into this peice on top of the motor in front of the intake manifold and there is a heater hose that runs under the intake all the way to the back of the moter. The piece that usualy leaks is the part with the bleader valve in it. Mine blew all the way apart and as mentioned by "rkfsm" it left me stranded. Try not to drive any more than you have to till you get it fixed. When I changed mine I took out the upper Radiaror support instead of removing the intake manifold. It was not a lot of work. I did it in a few hours. I think a novice could do it if you can remember how you took it apart, so you can remember how it goes back together. Good Luck
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#7 Old 12-10-2008, 05:22 PM
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Ok all,

I understand what the piece is and where it is, but no one will answer my question, How do I drain the radiator? I cannot seem to find the petcock to drain the coolant? The 2.7 is positioned differently in a intrepid, as opposed to a stratus. The front bumper covers most of the radiator, I assume I must remove the front bumper skin to gain access to the radiator? If I must remove the intake manifold to gain access to the 3rd bolt, will I need to replace the intake manifold gasket?

Thanks,
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#8 Old 12-10-2008, 10:23 PM
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If you are having that much trouble finding the pet ****, Just pull the bottem radiator hose loose and drain out about a gallon and put it back on. If you pull the intake manifold off you should use new gaskets and I would replace the plenum gasket too. I have a manual for the 2001 to 2005 Stratus around but I could not locate it. Try the lower radiator hose. You should not have to drain much, just enough to get it below the manifold, Hope this helps, Del
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#9 Old 02-11-2009, 08:58 PM
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i had the same problem with my 2001 stratus. the coolant was leaking out of the thermostat housing. My ex's brother fixed the problem for me. Im pretty sure he didnt have to drain all the coolant. he just drained enough out that none would flow out when he removed the housing. (about a gallon, i think somebody else said that too) Im also pretty sure he was able to remove the old housing and install the new one without taking any other parts out to get too it. The new thermostat housing ended up costing me $90 that i had to pay myself, he did the labor for free, and it took about an hour. Hope that helps.
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