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sean1991olds

Urgent opinion please coolant leak timing cover 3.1L

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So car is at the shop for a coolant leak, they found it to be at the timing cover, saying the one thread is raised and should be smooth, and this is why it is leaking.. is that true? Its a $$$ expensive job for them to replace the timing cover -- all to fix up this thread!

 

coolant.jpg

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It didn't sheer off... what I wonder is if it is a thread insert that is pressed in and it is backing out?

The previous owner kept meticulous records on repairs down to bulbs and fuses replaced and even the $1000 he spent overall tracking down an electrical problem. The only questionable item that might be related is an item he lists as "AC gasket repair + antifreeze"

Then there was also intake manifold, valve cover, egr, and tbi gaskets all replaced, water pump replacement as well. I guess on any of those maybe something weird like this could have happened?!

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To me it looks like a helicoil, the spot nearest the water passage appears to be the end of the coil to me but that's an ugly picture. 

If it's a helicoil and it simply unthreaded a tad either grind it down or thread it out and put a new one in.

Your mechanic sucks, if he's making a big deal out of something like this I wouldn't trust him to inflate a beach ball.

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Yeah not really my mechanic.. but the nearest place that was open that would take it... car  had/has to go into winter storage yesterday or today latest (they schedule the time) and I thought hell.. a small shop should be able to replace a gasket or hose for me so I could make the time to get the car into storage. Now they want to replace the timing cover and all the labor to do that..!

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If I was you I would: try and poke that raised piece off with a flat screwdriver to see if it is the ring from the gasket. It looks like it is to me.  If it is then just clean, replace the gasket and reassemble. If not I’d do what imp said and grind it down flush, clean, replace gasket, and reassemble. To grind it down you could use a drill bit that’s much to big to fit the hole, that way you won’t chance messing up the mating surface.

Make sure you stuff some clean rags in there very tightly to keep the bits out.

You can see shiny aluminum in the hole so I don’t think it’s a steel insert or a helicoil, if it was you would see the threads?. It really looks like that ring from the gasket is corroded on. If that’s the case you should give the mechanic shit for this as that’s a major con job. Gotta keep a shop runnin somehow!:

Edited by GTP091

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52 minutes ago, GTP091 said:

If I was you I would: try and poke that raised piece off with a flat screwdriver to see if it is the ring from the gasket. It looks like it is to me.  If it is then just clean, replace the gasket and reassemble. If not I’d do what imp said and grind it down flush, clean, replace gasket, and reassemble. To grind it down you could use a drill bit that’s much to big to fit the hole, that way you won’t chance messing up the mating surface.

Make sure you stuff some clean rags in there very tightly to keep the bits out.

You can see shiny aluminum in the hole so I don’t think it’s a steel insert or a helicoil, if it was you would see the threads?. It really looks like that ring from the gasket is corroded on. If that’s the case you should give the mechanic shit for this as that’s a major con job. Gotta keep a shop runnin somehow!:

I agree, it's not symmetric around the hole now that I look closer. And it's not weathered the same as the threads. That's the ring off the gasket! 

That mechanic.... 

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Yep- correct you guys... it was the ring off the gasket. When he showed me the gasket initially, it looked like it had no metal rings - not knowing what it was supposed to look like I thought ok on that.. But the whole explanation on the thread/smooth surface didn't make sense to me. I pulled out an old W-Body parts book and looked up the part # then looked that up online where I saw what the gasket really looks like. Thats where I was like damn, thats the ring from the gasket and maybe the other ring fell off or was stuck to the underside of that coolant pipe. The other ring was still on the old gasket just the gasket was so smushed it wasn't easily visible.

I went in this morning with printed pics of the gasket (and part number hah) and asked does this make sense (gasket ring corroded onto the timing cover) ? He was like nono... but if you want, we can take a look. Went out and exactly what GTP091 said, flat screwdriver pushed it right off. They put a new gasket on, topped off the coolant, burped out the air and that was that.. Manager made it all free (not that they were out a whole lot) as it was a misdiagnosis. What was so funny was when I headed inside with the mechanic, he was like hey I have some of those gaskets right here. 😫

I honestly can't tell if it was just a dumb mistake, or if they were trying to "keep the lights on". The day I came in they were happy to take it in because they weren't very busy heh heh... Had I not taken that picture, and had I not bothered looking up what the gasket looked like, I woulda had no clue, and woulda been charged $1200! I can't imagine what the average person gets taken for!

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12 hours ago, Imp558 said:

Actually the OP was the first to figure it out, he posted pictures of the gasket the next night.

He sure did, I was just agreeing with his thought process and adding my observations.

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