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Discussion Starter #1
My 03 x has developed a strange intermittent coolant leak. From best I can tell it is somewhere near the rear of the block on the passenger side as the drips are running down the transmission bell housing on that side. It does not drip all the time, only when the X sits for a day or so. I check the oil and it looked pretty clear for 7000k miles on it. I assume milky would be looking more like coffee with milk.

Has anyone had a similar leak? If so can you point me in a direction for finding it?
Thanks in advance
Jay
 

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Back if the motor thats a little weird? 2 things. 1 being coolant lines under the plenum need replacing. Not a big job either so its no biggie if your handy with a wrench. Or the bleeder screw on the top of the block has some how come loose and is leaking down which i doubt. And holy smokes! 7k miles on oil change! Your killing her lol.
 

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So weird that it be leaking there though. Thats normally where your valve covers leak are you 100% sure its not oil?
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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah definitely not oil. The drops are green as they come off the bell housing. Some run down the crossmember as well. Just so wired it will only start dripping after the x sits for more than a day. I parked it Friday, yesterday morning had a puddle one the ground roughly 1' x 2' in area.

As for oil I run Mobil one and have used that interval since I had this truck new.
 

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Idk man oil is oil to me 7k miles whew lol. But hey whatever floats your boat. I'll stick to my 20 buck conventional every 2k miles hahaha. But yes if you can turn a wrench start checking your coolant lines. Most likely one has dry rotted or something. Just an odd location for it to leak. I know there's coolant lines all over these vg motors but not near the back. It's probably pooling up in there and spilling over the back. Won't know for sure until you check those lines though. Won't cost a dime just your time and maybe a beer or 6. Just to check.
 

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Might want to take the top plenum off to inspect those two hoses in the back and the ones under the plenum itself. If you do change the valve covers while you're under there and do the #6 plug if you haven't.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
There 165k on the beast and Ive swapped all the hose up front. Done the infamous number 6 plug three times. Im not scared of the wrench just getting to old to want to deal with it LOL. Had valve cover gasket on my to do list. Figures id do the intake gaskets as well.

Is there a kit for all the stupid little hoses under the intake?

Do you know if there is a kit with all the hoses that are under there.

My thoughts is when the vehicle is being used maybe its burning off, but over the weekend when it sits its just dripping? But could it drip from high on the motor with the vehicle off? Gravitationally does not make sense to me. Im going to get back under and see if I can get a visual on the Head gaskets. (They are visually inspectable right? ) I don't want to blow up the motor.

I attached some pics take a look.





 

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I just changed the valve cover gaskets about a month ago on my 2000 XL. Just go to the Nissan place and ask for all intake hoses and coolant hoses. There are about 10 hoses in total.
3 are Valve cover hoses, fuel line hose, 3 hoses under the intake, 2-3 hoses on the side of the upper intake.

While I was at it, I also changed the fuel pressure regulator since it was in the back of the engine.

Hopefully, when you take off the upper intake, you will find one of those coolant hoses is cracked. Take a look at my post back in Oct... you will see pictures and some part #'s. Not sure if your 2003 is the same style as the 2000, but it should be close.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
No oil level is 3.5. Trying to hold the dipstick in one hand and the phone in the other was getting hectic and allowed the oil to move up the stick.

The oil doesn't look cloudy to me though. Does it? Just don't want to drive it if there is a blatant head gasket leak.
 

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The only reason I changed all hoses was because they were 15 years old. Better to change them than to take off the upper air intake (and only change 2-3 hoses), only to do it again a year later to replace the other hoses that I didn't change. Right now (knock on wood) as far as I am concerned, everything around the upper air intake is good for 10 years. I should not have to take anything off again. As for the clamps, some may need to be changed, some may not. Out of the 15 clamps I removed 2-3 broke or got bent.

Some of the hoses were brittle with age and also, it's MUCH easier to just cut all the hoses and replace them, than to take them off and then put them back on. If you went that far, might as well put new hoses on. If I remember right, it was about $100 with a discount at a Nissan dealer. Some of the hoses were straight and I got those at an automotive parts place.
The fuel hose was straight and be sure to get the right kind!, they gave me the wrong one (non-fuel injection, when they should have given me fuel hose for fuel injection).
 

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Very likely your heater core. There are two pipes that stick out of the fire wall on the passenger side. If one of them cracked at the firewall, coolant will leak down onto the transmission. If you don't catch this on time you run the risk of overheating. Sometimes the crack is far enough out that you can remove the rubber o ring that goes around the pipe and reattach the hoses to whats left. Its not a recommended fix but will hold you for a while. The proper fix is to take apart the dash and put a new heater core in, a two day project from what I read.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Very likely your heater core. There are two pipes that stick out of the fire wall on the passenger side. If one of them cracked at the firewall, coolant will leak down onto the transmission. If you don't catch this on time you run the risk of overheating. Sometimes the crack is far enough out that you can remove the rubber o ring that goes around the pipe and reattach the hoses to whats left. Its not a recommended fix but will hold you for a while. The proper fix is to take apart the dash and put a new heater core in, a two day project from what I read.
This would be visible on the firewall though wouldn't it? Or drip onto the passenger floor as well.
 

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Depends on where the crack is. The pipes run through both sides. When it happened to me they were on the engine side of the fire wall and the drip was leaking onto the exhaust manifold so I didn't have much puddling under the car. If you use a black light you might be able to see where it is originating. if the engine compartment is hot it will evaporate quickly. Since it is winter time, you might be able to see steam coming from the leak if you let it run and watch it for a bit. Once the engine stops only so much will leak as it is not being pumped through any more.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm going to park it this weekend on a non slopped surface and see were its dripping then. But I think replacing the hoses under the plenum and the valve cover gaskets are in order. Manifold removal scares me a bit. Truck is old and things are brittle. I guess PDFs blaster on the intake hex bolts is in order first?

I did see a fluid run trail on the fire wall under the heater hoses not sure if it's new or old but it could be the issue. I think I'll replace them as well. Are the nipples coming out of the firewall plastic?
 

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Before you remove the upper intake manifold, spray the 5 bolts with lubricant (not too much, just a dab) once a day for 3 days. Wait for the engine to cool off first, and do this at night, so it can soak in overnight each time. It will help with removal of the bolts. I saw a video of a guy having to remove them and a hex-bit slipped in one of the bolts. He had to drill it out. I was fortunate and all 5 came out without a problem.
 

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Parking on a level surface wont tell you anything. When you get a leak in one of those lines or the heater hoses they only leak while the engine is running followed by whatever nominal amount is left near the leak as it is pumped through while running. Did you have a leak by the heater core before? Chances are, that is the spot as it will dry quickly being positioned over the exhaust manifold. Like I said before, run it while it is cold outside and you will see steam if you have a leak.
 
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