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Discussion Starter #1
For two days now I'm getting a sweet coolant smell in the cabin. I cannot detect any leaks. I have no wet carpet under the dash. I can find the hose on the right side of the heater and it is dry and so are it's hose clamps. I cannot get to the hose on the left, but I do not feel any wetness anywhere I examine with my hands. I slide my had all across the bottom and up the sides and back as far as I can reach.

Could there be a leak inside that is pooling somewhere in the heater box? I'm sure something has worn out, but where is it?

Thanks,
 

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I bet that it's in the heater box. Connect the heater hoses together in the engine compartment to bypass the heater box to see if the smell goes away. All it takes is a pinhole to give the smell.
 

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The heater box is about all it can be and it doesn't take much. You would almost have to remove the hoses from the water pump and inlet manifold and blow the line and heater free of coolant otherwise even a seep from blocked off but still full components will give you the glycol smell.
 

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Sometimes the only way to positively detect the slow and small leaks is by touching the edge of a tissue, preferably non-white, to all couplings. The edge of the tissue changes color when it draws up the coolant.

I've also had a seam crack in the heater core. I could smell the coolant for weeks in the cabin before the coolant wetted the carpet under and near the plastic heater box.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the responses folks. I think this is what I suspected. Since it must be contained inside the heater box, I will not worry just yet. I'll plan a deeper look when I have the chance to get to the box, which should be in a month or so.

Thanks,
 

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When you put it back in you can start the two nuts and washers on the right side and slide the box onto those and then you only have to get the left side started. I've tried to start the left side as that appears the hardest side to start but didn't have room to get it up onto the washers.
 

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Thanks for the responses folks. I think this is what I suspected. Since it must be contained inside the heater box, I will not worry just yet. I'll plan a deeper look when I have the chance to get to the box, which should be in a month or so.

Thanks,
On the GTV 2000s, it is a work of the moment to bypass the heater core.

This is done by detaching the coolant return hose (the one on the SPICA side of the engine) from the heater box then attaching it to the fitting on the engine's head where the line running to the heater was attached.

Why suggest doing this? Because seeps can become gushers that will drain a few liters of coolant into the passenger compartment.

Don't want to tackle the job? Heavy duty stop leak into the coolant could buy you some time.

Also, I find the use of a coolant leak detector answers all questions about where and how big is or are the leaks rather quickly. If you already have a black light then you only need to buy the dye, which cost around $8 at O'Reilly's

I've only seen one heater core fail in an Alfa. Because of this, I view it as a rare event. I first look for a heater valve to fail.

From reading the threads on this forum about GTV heaters, I remember Daron had a short segment in one of his videos, you would be correct to conclude that removing the heater box is no small task. I allow a couple of hours.

For me it is:
  1. seats out
  2. center console out
  3. dash out
  4. detach hoses from heater core
  5. heater box out
It is the positioning of the slots in the steel flange in and on the threads studs in the underside for the cowl that I find fiddly and frustrating. But it is all worth it for the satisfaction of rebuilding and refurbishing.

Some images below.
 

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