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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have developed a coolant leak at the timing chain cover, the front o-ring, and it starts to drip coolant 12-15 hours after using the van when it has cooled down. It doesn't leak when running at temperature, only when it has been sitting cold, normally overnight.
I have had my local garage pressure test it and they confirm it is the front o-ring of the timing chain cover and would be an expensive repair.
Its been happening for about a year and it seems to be getting worse.
Now, if I leave the van parked for 24 hours, and outside temperature is about 9 deg C (48 deg F), it will leak about 35ml (1 fl oz) of coolant.

I don't really want to spend out on an expensive repair, and at the moment I keep topping it up with coolant, but each time it seems to get through more coolant each month.

Has anyone had any success with the Mopar/GM/BarsLeak Stop Leak Tablets - the ones approved by Chrysler (not the bottled stop leak) to fix the leak at the timing chain cover. (I've heard that they can work in some situations.)

What would be the recommended dose / how many tablets should I use?
Do I have to dissolve the tablets in water?
Will it clog up the radiator/heater?
Will it cause more damage?

or

should I just leave it and keep topping the coolant up when it gets low?

Any help would be really appreciated.

Thanks.
 

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I have used the silver powder type stop leak and the tablets also over the years with decent success. I never had a heater core or radiator plug up on me. No need to mix then with water first, they will dissolve as the coolant flows past them in the radiator.
I would not just let the leak go since it is only going to get worse and possibly start leaking into the timing chain area and mixing with your engine oil.
On my van it was leaking only in the colder weather as well. I took it apart and resealed it at 300,000 miles. I used Fel-Pro gaskets and it has been bone dry ever since.
Here is a picture of what the failed Orings looked like and their placement in the timing cover to give you an idea of what you’re dealing with.


View attachment 11817
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info and picture. Those o-rings look in a really bad shape. I also phoned the Chrysler dealer and they only sell the stop leak tablets as a pack of 24. I assume those tablets are the same as Bars Leaks part HDC (pack of 6 tablets)? They are not available here in the UK, but I could import some. If it will stop the leak or at least slow it down, with no ill effects, then it will be worth getting them.
 

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Like many others, I had the Timing Chain Cover leak/weep, usually when it was cold out. It would leave a small wet spot on the driveway.

I lived with it for awhile and wasn't really motivated to do the big O-ring/gasket replacement job in the winter. I decided to try Bar's Radiator Stop Leak and it worked. There were several Bar's products available and the one I used was: Bar's Radiator Stop Leak, 10 oz, gray bottle.

I was somewhat hesitant to use it, as I'd replaced the radiator and heater core 3-4 years prior and wasn't sure if it would be good for the system. I'd never used Bar's before and always kind of thought of it as a gimmick. I didn't think it would work, but it did.

I used it on 3/12/12, 19 months/18,000 miles ago and it hasn't leaked since. I used a little more than 1/2 the bottle.

I'm glad I tried the Bar's, it worked for me - good luck.

Ken-NY
2000 GC LE, 3.8, 173,500 mi, Original Owner
 

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It WILL have to be eventually fixed, because it will gradually get worse. Our van started leaking like that last summer/fall. I drove it through the winter until spring, and had to top up the coolant more and more. It finally got to the point where it was spraying a tiny stream of coolant out when running. I stopped driving the van as soon as the snow was gone, and did the job in May.

If you can help it, do NOT use the fel-pro gasket kit. I did the first time I did this job, and it only lasted 22,000 miles. The reason it failed was the O-rings that Fel Pro uses are NOT the correct size/diameter. I used OEM parts the second time I fixed it (which were very competitively priced) and could see the difference in quality. The only thing good in the fel pro kit is the thick, square-cut oil galley O-ring which is thicker than the OEM red, round O-ring. I also had to clean and repair some corrosion pitting in the timing cover with JB Weld. I am confident my repair will last this time. :)

Here's a pic of my OE gasket, and O-rings/crankshaft seal:

 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys for the information. I may try a stop leak product first. There aren't as many products here in the UK, but I have been recommended one by my local garage. If I will eventually fix it, then I would certainly use all Mopar parts. Will keep you all updated. Thanks again.
 

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I have developed a coolant leak at the timing chain cover, the front o-ring, and it starts to drip coolant 12-15 hours after using the van when it has cooled down. It doesn't leak when running at temperature, only when it has been sitting cold, normally overnight.
I have had my local garage pressure test it and they confirm it is the front o-ring of the timing chain cover and would be an expensive repair.
Its been happening for about a year and it seems to be getting worse.
Now, if I leave the van parked for 24 hours, and outside temperature is about 9 deg C (48 deg F), it will leak about 35ml (1 fl oz) of coolant.

I don't really want to spend out on an expensive repair, and at the moment I keep topping it up with coolant, but each time it seems to get through more coolant each month.

Has anyone had any success with the Mopar/GM/BarsLeak Stop Leak Tablets - the ones approved by Chrysler (not the bottled stop leak) to fix the leak at the timing chain cover. (I've heard that they can work in some situations.)

What would be the recommended dose / how many tablets should I use?
Do I have to dissolve the tablets in water?
Will it clog up the radiator/heater?
Will it cause more damage?

or

should I just leave it and keep topping the coolant up when it gets low?

Any help would be really appreciated.

Thanks.
I am having the exact same issue with my 99 TC Limited. When the engine has cooled down, there is a little dripping from the timing cover. When the van is running or the coolant is still warm, no dripping. This started about yesterday.

Initially, there was NO leak of coolant at my van's timing cover. There was a little coolant leak from one or two of the freeze plugs on the main rear--the side that mates with the tranny. They were rusted out due to the van's sitting at a mechanic's shop for two to three years without any running. I bought a POS. :). I used Bar's Leaks G12BP Powder Radiator Stop Leak - 0.75 oz. purchased from Amazon to stop the leak. I dumped one tube into the radiator after removing the radiator cap, leak still there. I dumped two, there was still leak! I then dumped two more tubes into the reservoir bottle! And several weeks later, when I changed the oil, no more coolant jel crawling down the engine block around the inspection plate area!

However, there started a very small leak around the top rad hose! And then yesterday, I noticed the coolant dripping from the timing cover area, when the engine was cool.

In my case, the Bar's Stop Leak did stop the freeze plug leak, but also eventually caused or exacerbated the coolant leak at the timing cover!


I plan on replacing the O rings inside the timing cover as well as the cover gasket. Will also try to harvest a cover from the yard and prep it before hand to make the job faster and easier.

And finally, the reason why the coolant did NOT leak when the van was running or the coolant was warm is that when the coolant was warm, the coolant O ring seals expanded and formed a perfect seal. When the coolant cooled, the coolant O rings contracted and caused an imperfect seal and hence the leak!

Link to the Bar's Stop Leak I bought from Amazon:

 

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I've had good luck with Aluma-Seal powder in sealing small leaks when the surrounding metal is sound. One time was a recently rebuilt slant-six engine in my 1969 Dodge Dart. Coolant was seeping from the center of a freeze plug in the block, at what appeared to be a blob of epoxy. I wonder if the shop had purposely drilled a hole in it to vent air or such. Anyway, shaking 1 tube of the powder in the radiator stopped it right away and it never recurred.
 
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