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Discussion Starter #1
I just discovered that I appear to have an engine coolant leak on my '74 Spider in what I think is a really unexpected area of the motor.

It looks to be coming from the engine block below or beside the starter on the right hand side, and is only visible from under the car. I never saw it looking down from the top of the motor. It will be a few days before I can get in there and start really investigating, but wanted to ask here if anyone has seen something like this before or had any ideas where coolant would be coming from on this part of the engine.

From the way its caked/corroded, it doesn't seem new and the fact that there appear to be fresh drops on the chassis stiffener bar make me think its ongoing. The coolant level in the radiator is okay and the reservoir is low but not empty. I've never seen a puddle of coolant or residue on the ground where it is parked, so maybe it only happens when its hot and running at high pressure/temperature?

My plan is to first pull the starter and get some better visibility to what's behind there and maybe it will be obvious, but I can't think of any components that have coolant access, gaskets or hoses in that area. From what I can see looking up its definitely on the under side of the starter, but the top is dry and there are no obvious leaks around the intake manifold which is the only coolant gasket I'm aware of on that side.

Anyone have ideas on what it could be, or experience with this kind of leak? Thanks!


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Discussion Starter #3
Perhaps, and that was my first thought when I saw the leak from below. But a superficial check didn't show any signs of the leak above the starter, but maybe the intake manifold is indeed where its coming from.

I did go back and found these photos of the engine from the last time it was out of the car (and clean). There really doesn't look like there is anything there on the side of the block thats coolant related. Hopefully its something with the gasket on the intake manifold or the heater line/connector that are there. It would suck if its coming from between the head and the block.

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, thats a good suggestion! I also found a couple photos of the gasket and interface for the intake manifold. The ports for the cooling look like they are well above the throttle intakes, so it seems mysterious how leaking from that far up would only show coolant much further below. I have a sinking feeling that I'll find its in the head/block interface.
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if you think its the head/block
maybe a proper retorque will help (the 'one bolt at a time' off, clean, oil, retorque method)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thats another good suggestion. Once I can get better visibility and hopefully identify where the leak is really coming from I'll post back.
 

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If you follow Dom's good advice remember to start in the middle and work your way out in an "X" pattern.
 

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If the leak isn't obvious, I can't recommend highly enough to get a leak detection kit.

They are dead simple, but so effective.

You put dye into the coolant and use a blue UV light to see where the leak is.

I have dye in both my oil and coolant.

Has saved me hours of chasing leaks.

These kits are readily available at any local auto parts store.

Good luck,

Vin
 

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Did you check the lines to the heater core under the dashboard from the intake manifold and from the water pump? they pass right above that area and if leaking could be dripping discretely and maybe even only when you select heat
 
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