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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is sort of a spiritual successer to this thread: http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=181815

I've finally gotten around to doing a quick examination of where the oil/coolant leakage is and, it doesn't appear to be the crankshaft at all. There is a sizable amount of coolant escaping near the corner of the engine, on the passenger side, near the firewall. I've also verified that coolant is not leaking from the drain plug, is previously thought in the thread listed above. It seems like the coolant is leaking from the head gasket, the area between the drain plug and the end-edge of the engine, near the firewall.

With that said though, I still don't know exactly where the oil leak is coming from. It appears that it is coming from the same general area. The powersteering pump is literally covered and caked in oil, and oil seems to leak onto the bottom of the exhaust manifold, creating an awful burning oil smell while I drive. In the previous thread, it was mentioned that it could be the timing chain cover..

I am going to get my hands dirty tomorrow and try to pin point exactly where the leaks are coming from. I'm nearly certain it's the head gasket but, we'll see. What do you guys think? Also, which gaskets and seals do I need to replace if I take the head off?
 

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Sometimes the molded coolant elbow just below the thermostat housing leaks causing the coolant to follow the edge of the head and flow down the passenger side of the block. Check that first just to be sure it's not something simple. You'll be able to feel coolant at the bottom of the elbow near the band clamp if it's leaking there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sometimes the molded coolant elbow just below the thermostat housing leaks causing the coolant to follow the edge of the head and flow down the passenger side of the block. Check that first just to be sure it's not something simple. You'll be able to feel coolant at the bottom of the elbow near the band clamp if it's leaking there.
You are actually thinking of the opposite side of the engine. The leakage is occuring near the corner of the engine closest to the passenger side firewall, under the exhaust manifold.

And some food for thought? I've actually replaced both the hose and that elbow clamp you're talking about :)
 

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You are actually thinking of the opposite side of the engine. The leakage is occuring near the corner of the engine closest to the passenger side firewall, under the exhaust manifold.

And some food for thought? I've actually replaced both the hose and that elbow clamp you're talking about :)
I once had the head gasket leak coolant to the edge of the block right after I flushed the system and changed coolant. I thought I'd be in for a pile of work replacing the gasket, but within a day it sealed itself up. Hasn't been a problem since and it's been quite a while. I guess that it does show that it is possible to leak coolant out the side of the head gasket though. If you are absolutely sure that it is coming from there, then you're stuck replacing it. Maybe it's a good time to pull the engine out and also replace your seals at the front of the engine. You could also deal with the timing chain and guides while your at it. It just depends on how big of a project you want. Is it possible the oil is just old oil residue being washed down by the coolant?

Also, in regards to the last thread, I've pulled every coolant block drain plug/casting off of every c900 I've come across in self service wreckers since then and I have not found a single bad one. The total is currently up to eight of them and every single one has been easy to remove both plugs and once removed from the block the casting is visibly in excellent condition. I'm not sure why ours are so different from other areas, but it seems pretty obvious that it is not an issue in the PNW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sometimes the molded coolant elbow just below the thermostat housing leaks causing the coolant to follow the edge of the head and flow down the passenger side of the block. Check that first just to be sure it's not something simple. You'll be able to feel coolant at the bottom of the elbow near the band clamp if it's leaking there.
Weird irony! I checked the engine this morning and coolant was leaking from there! It was literally dripping from that hose. I have the clamp on really tight, how is coolant slipping out of there?
 

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Often the clamp cuts the hose. You can place a thin piece of rubber around the hose (not overlapping itself) to protect it from the clamp. The clamp will still produce enough force to seal the hose. Also, you may want to check the aluminum casting for excessive pitting. Sometimes the cylinder head nipple corrodes here producing very deep and large pits. You would need to fill those with high temp epoxy like JB weld if you think they are causing a problem.

Depending on where you park, the coolant could then be running out of that hose under pressure, following the cylinder head/block seam to the front of the engine (near the firewall) and then running down the engine side. The coolant sometimes also drips down onto the turbo or the shield above which in turn causes a burning smell.

Also, FWIW that is a part that seems to fail often and I collect them at junk yards whenever I find good ones. If there is a list of parts to keep in a "kit" of spares in your trunk, this is a part I would have on that list. It is very difficult to come by in many places and could easily leave you stranded if you don't have a spare.
 
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