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95 Astro van coolant leak tough spot

Astro 1985-2005
Chevy's first entry into the minivan class, offered in All Wheel Drive to add to its versatility.
Platform: M-Body

95 Astro van coolant leak tough spot

Old March 27th, 2010, 5:20 PM
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Default 95 Astro van coolant leak tough spot

Hey,
I have a 95 astro van. I use it for work but it sat for about a month. I was going to give it a jump and get it going but when checkin the fluids realized the coolant was very low. I started to fill it and pretty quickly heard it pouring out of the bottom of the engine. Upon looking underneath saw one of the freeze plugs had fallen out. So I got it back in started to fill it again and the fluid was pouring out still. I checked and it wasnt from the freeze plug. I was coming from around the back of the block. I couldn't get my hand far enough up there to feel where it was coming from. Before the van sat it had no overheating or leaking problems. Im in the Portland area and it was very cold so I can see the freeze plug dropping but could the block cracked that severely or is there another type of plug that could have come out on the middle to upper backside of the block? It's coming from right right above where the engine and trans meet. Any help or a link to engine diagram would be awesome. Thanks for your time!
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Old March 29th, 2010, 12:45 AM
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Sounds like when the intake manifold gasket on Green let go. Pull the engine cover and check for the leak. If the coolant is coming from between the valve cover the intake manifold than that's the problem. Green was my the first I replaced myself. Took some time, but anyone willing to turn a wrench can do it.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 4:08 AM
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Default right on... when you say engine cover?

Hey thanks for the info. Im gonna give it a go. Is the engine cover you are talking about the center console in the cab or just under the hood like normal? I've done some top end work before just never on a van. Thanks again, I'll let you know how it goes!
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Old March 30th, 2010, 7:16 AM
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Well technically the engine cover is under the center console, but I digress.

If it is the intake manifold gasket, you will be doing most of the repair work from inside the van. Usually I'll leave the seats in when making repairs, but I pulled the drivers seat this time to make life a little easier.

The radiator shroud and fan will be removed to allow the accessories to move out of the way. I found the radiator drain valve to be easier to operate with them removed, since it can be accessed from above.
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Old April 1st, 2010, 7:06 PM
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Thanks once again for the helpful tips. I got a good look at the back side of the engine but when I put water in to spot the leak it wasn't coming from the intake or head gaskets. It is coming from somewhere below. I cant quite get a view from the bottom side either. Im in no way trying to get you to guide me through this whole process; once I find the leak I'll get after it but of course its in a blind spot! Boooooooo! Anyways, any tips on what it could be? I am going to continue to see what I can find throughout the afternoon. Thanks again!
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Old April 1st, 2010, 8:04 PM
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Looks like I am gonna have to pull the trans to get to the area its leaking from. The converter is just smack in the way. Wish me luck! I will post what I find out after this grand inquisition.
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Old April 4th, 2010, 9:54 PM
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Well you have my curiosity peaked. I think there are a couple molding plugs back there, but I've never heard of them coming loose though. Before you pull the trans (big pain), do you have a mirror on a stick that can help you inspect? Better to find the leak before pulling things apart.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 1:49 PM
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Default Pull tranny??

This is wild,u want to pull your transmission to get a better look at ur engine,to find out where ur leak is?Either this is a joke,or u didn't fully understand "pull engine cover off".The leak is probably from engine coolant temperature sending unit,I'm just gonna go,but hey ,why wouldnt just pull the motor.....set the van aside until your done,then pop it back in,should b easy enough.As a 1995 Astro van owner,and veteran of several repair battles w it,I would rather ....never mind,good luck
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Old May 26th, 2010, 5:46 AM
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Default wow...

thought this was a chevy enthusiasts forum, not a condescending back yard mechanics forum? with this engine leak in the spot it was in, not being able to see it even with mechanics mirror, i didnt have much choice. I know what the engine cover is smart guy. like i said after pulling off the ENGINE COVER i could not see it. you can only see the top half of the block. half being the keyword here being that there is a whole other half to consider. ha ha pull the engine and put aside, drrr dr drrrrrrr they took our jobs. after dropping the tranny, which wasnt very hard at all, i was able to see it was a crack in the block. i appreciate all the real comments i was given before this wise crack. get bent.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 6:26 AM
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Cracked block, ouch. Wonder what caused that to happen? So what are you doing with the van? A SBC 350 fits nicely in these vans.
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