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2001 CVT Insight “Cherry Bomb” 330K+
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve been letting my baby sit so I could track down where this leak is coming from.
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Here’s my theory. After I replaced my engine, I did the water outlet reseal Uncle Joule was on me about, but one of the screws was all twisted and almost snapped. I’d already Hondabond-ed the outlet to the engine and got the other screws in so I just left it there until I acquired a replacement bolt. Once I got it several days later, slapped that puppy in and finished putting everything together. So, what I’m thinking is it didn’t seal properly right around that bolt there since it wasn’t pressed/ squished down by the bolt. Does that make sense?
Another thing I’ve observed. It seems to be leaking from the base, of the bleeder tube. I can confirm, just the base, not the top. Is this heard of? I haven’t found anything on it anywhere. Would this indicate that I didn’t properly burp the system or will a leak there lead me to having to replace something?
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I’m also wondering if maybe it’s only leaking from that tube and not the actual outlet. It’s hard to really get in there and see, plus the way it drips and travels around makes it a hard trail to track. I did rig up a pretty sophisticated leak finder that I think should be patented 😂
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2002 Monte Carlo Blue CVT
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I suppose your water outlet reseal theory is possible, but the Hondabond is a pretty aggressive sealant in my experience. So, for example, when I did my water outlet reseal, I was actually unable to thread one of the four key mounting bolts so it was just Hondabond holding it overnight. I managed to seat and drive the missing bolt the following day and no leaks so far— approximately nine months later.

So, while possible, I think the bolt theory unlikely unless you were stingy with the Hondabond.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I suppose your water outlet reseal theory is possible, but the Hondabond is a pretty aggressive sealant in my experience. So, for example, when I did my water outlet reseal, I was actually unable to thread one of the four key mounting bolts so it was just Hondabond holding it overnight. I managed to seat and drive the missing bolt the following day and no leaks so far— approximately nine months later.

So, while possible, I think the bolt theory unlikely unless you were stingy with the Hondabond.
Thanks for the feedback. I assumed you’d be the first to reply once you read “water outlet.” 😉😂 I wasn’t stingy for sure, but I second guess everything still. So, do you have thoughts about it pooling right there at the base of that pipe? Could that much really leak from there? Could I slap some hondabond on there and see what that does?
 

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Scott K. is probably best qualified to speak to that. My uninformed opinion — couldn’t hurt as long as you apply carefully, don’t make a mess and allow to cure.
 

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I hope I'm not too late. Noooo, the Honda Bond will not hold the system pressure if applied to the outside. It has to be clamped between two pieces of metal to hold. You are right in the fact that if the silicone is able to fully cure before it is clamped down it can leak. If you don't clamp the silicone down while it's still wet, it's a toss up to whether it will leak or not.

The best way to find out where it is leaking is to pressure test the system. I don't know if you have an AutoZone nearby but the ones here rent them. If not there's one on harbor freight for $90 😟. I've also used a poor boy method to find the leaks before. Using a bicycle pump. Wrap a rag around the hose, stick the hose in the radiator cap, apply as much pressure as you can with your hand to the rag. Depending on your leak you may not be able to build up enough pressure with this method though.

Edit: sorry I didn't think to mention pressure testing when you first said you had a leak😞
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the feedback @1036Project, and don’t be sorry!! Hmmm. I won’t rule out the water outlet, but I feel pretty confident it’s coming from that pipe base. I had already put some hondabond around there but I guess won’t do much good once the engine gets to temp. Maybe I need a little o-ring? I just don’t know how I could seal it right there.
Also, probably a really dumb question considering our past, but how bad is it to drive her this week, just 30 minutes a day with this leak going on until I can really fix it? I won’t be able to really get in there til this weekend. The reservoir is still at the same level and I haven’t lost too much yet, but I’m also unbelievably paranoid and have been driving the van again (my poor parents). 😅🤦🏻‍♀️
 

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If it is leaking from that pipe base there is no good way to reseal it. Not anyway that I would trust the engine with. I could be wrong. That pipe itself may be replaceable. If not you will have to buy a new water outlet housing.

Now that I have taken more time to look at it. It may be leaking from under the cap on the pipe. When you replace spring clamps on old hoses. You need to make sure they reseat in the impressions left in the hose. If not, they can cause uneven pressure on the hose and it won't seat properly.
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That is unless you have enough fresh hoes to clamp onto. Is that the case with the hose circled in red. Is the clamp further up out of sight. Or was it not put back on there. The cap on top of the pipe is a little blurry in this pic. It doesn't look like the clamp is aligned in the old impressions though.

If you have a visible leak and the level in the reservoir is not changing, that is actually a bad sign. It means, as the engine is cooling and depressurizing, air is being sucked back into the system instead of water from the reservoir. There is no way of knowing how much water has been lost at this point. It would be best to burp the system again. Run the engine up to temperature while keeping an eye on it. See if you can find where it is leaking from.

Edit: Sometimes the engine won't get hot enough running at idle to cause a leak. This is where a pressure test comes in handy because it can mimic maximum pressure on the system.

Edit 2: To mimic maximum pressure you need a real pressure tester. The bike pump with a rag trick won't get you there lol.
 

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Do you need a pressure tester? You can have mine if you want. It's a spare I have laying around. Putting the system under pressure is an easy way to determine where the leak will be. I'm inclined to believe the leak is trickling down from the outlet area. Look for a white residual trail from the outlet and near the bellhousing. It's rather faint, but if it's a consistent leak a dry flaky trail will give you a clue where it's coming from.
 

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A low-tech suggestion...

Completely drive the are that's now wet. Then, wrap some light-colored yarn around the place you think it's leaking and afix it with a knot, or tape, or whatever. Wrap other pieces just below any other possible leak point.

Then, run the car until one or more get wet.

I did this with some complicated fittings on my hot-water heat here at home. It was a very slow leak and, like, 4 joints within 2 inches that could've been leaking and nobody knew where the water was coming from. I figured it out by tying yard around each of the joints. The heating tech (a whipper-snapper) laughed at my testing technique even though it did save him a crap-ton of fairly unpleasant work (under warranty, I might add).
 
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The leak is most likely from under the rubber cap. Please take it off and clean the inside of the cap,
Make sure there’s no little bit of rust in there. Use a piece of sand paper and clean the pipe in the are where the co makes contact. If need be get a different type of hose clamp, the type that you can tighten with a tool. Just don’t over tighten it.

All those that mentioned pressure testing are correct. See if the local auto parts store has a loan a tool program and check it. Because the coolant may be a little low it may not cause the coolant to leak if there is no fluid at that level now, because when the water pump is pushing fluid it may force it through the system differently. I would re-fill the cooling system with the funnel at the bleed pipe before doing the pressure test, so it topped off. Then if it’s going to leak you will probably see it.

You asked, “how long can I drive it like this without fixing it?” People come in to the shop where I work and ask this type of question often. The answer is, we don’t have a crystal ball and can’t give you an answer as we can’t see how bad it leaks while you motor down the road. The other part of the answer is, you can do it until you can’t any longer because now you’ve overheating again and if your lucky you only blow the head gasket if not the engine. DON’T drive it and play this game, you have put way too much time and effort into this project to have to do it all over again.

Scott
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you so much, guys. Really I could not own this car without y’all. I’m gonna remove some stuff today, like the air box and such so I can get in there better. @1036Project I was not careful to put the clamps back in their original spots, I will adjust them all today and see what happens. I haven’t noticed any more leaks from that pipe, would make sense tho that it’s dripping from the cap, especially since it had been clogged and I know there was some corrosion. I cleaned up all around under the water outlet, like on the IMA cable cover plate, and it’s pooled up right there again already. I do believe it must be coming from the water outlet. dang
@KLR3CYL, that was my thought, I don’t want to have done all this work and then screw it all up again! I haven’t driven it since finding the leak.
@Tekuno Ichigo, that would be amazing if I could use your pressure tester! I will pm ya.
Y’all rock, thanks again! 😊🙌🏼
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for commenting, Joule! I love how y’all keep up with everyone’s projects. Still can’t get over the family we’ve made here in the forum.
Now, life’s been a whirlwind and the poor Cherry has been looking at me sad all week. “Don’t worry girl, I’ll get to ya this weekend,” I say every time I pass her by to climb into the giant house on wheels 😢
I just received an amazing package from @Tekuno Ichigo which included among many, many, many other things, a pressure tester. I just tried it out and I do believe it’s coming from that black cap as everyone else guessed. Wheeeew. What a relief to not have to redo that dang water outlet. Hopefully.
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I guess the question is now, how do I fix that? I took off that cap and tried filing down the pipe, but that is quite a lot of corrosion. Also, I know dad had cleaned that cap out a little, but I just took a look and there’s actual corrosion chucks embedded into the rubber.
So my plan, at least buy a new rubber cap (I’m sure these are available somewhere?) and a tightenable hose clamp as Scott suggested. And I’ll continue working on sanding down that pipe bc I’m not sure what other options there are. Not fun, but so thankful it’s not smth worse!! 😅
 

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Take an empty brass case, tap it on like a press fit, and solder it in place. Problem solved!

Hehe just kidding. If that is in fact the only leak, just order a worm clamp for it, and if you want a rubber cap, if you know the diameter, you should probably look into ordering from McMaster-Carr if Honda doesn't have it. 91657-SD5-000 is the part number for the "sealing cap". 7.3mm is equivalent to 0.287" so I think a 19/64" cap with at least a 1.5" length is a suitable replacement.

Honda Parts Now
91657-SD5-000 - Genuine Honda Cap, Sealing (7.3MM) -- 7.3mm
Plug

95002-41250-04 - Genuine Honda Clamp, Tube (D12.5) -- 12.5mm Clamp

McMaster Carr

McMaster-Carr (orange silicone) or
McMaster-Carr (black rubber) -- 19/64" OD, 1.5" Plug

McMaster-Carr ( 9/32" to 21/64" ID) or
McMaster-Carr (5/16" to 3/8" ID) -- Clamp

The McMaster Carr plug and clamps are smaller in diameter than the OEM clamp but will hold more pressure than the original, just by reading the specs, and look to be much more snug than the originals. They only come in bulk quantity however.

Also, consider perusing this thread. Might find some good info here too:

 

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I guess the question is now, how do I fix that?
I would get a six inches of rubber hose, inner diameter near the outer diameter of the tube, and two hose clamps from the auto parts store; and a 1" long piece of aluminum rod or similar, same inner diameter of the hose, from Lowes or the scrap drawer.

Push the hose down further than the corroded part; clamp it there. Cut the hose 1 1/4" above the top of the tube. Push rod in tube and clamp with other hose clamp. I don't think it will be too tall with the extra 1 1/4" height but check it out.

And don't forget to mark the coolant levels on the recovery tank with engine hot and cold-soaked (on a sticker on the tank rather than directly on the tank), and put a sticker behind the fuel door that says "Check oil and coolant with every fill-up." (Which for the increased failure rate of these old cars and how infrequently one needs to fill up, is probably a good interval.)

BTW nice that you are staying on top of these things.

every time I pass her by to climb into the giant house on wheels
Waiting to hear that you've bought another, since you know we all own two of these so that we can drive one while fixing the other.
 
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