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I had absolutely no problem with coolant loss until I had to go ahead and mess with my engine... now it's getting out somewhere, and I'm wondering if you have any suggestions.

To replace my hydraulic lifters, I had to remove the lower radiator hose and dump coolant out of the block so that I could remove the intake man. I replaced the lifters, used the tacky gaskacinch stuff on the heads, intake, and intake gaskets, but I did forget to put RTV around the water ports on the side of the gaskets that face the heads. I did put it on the other side, though.

Well, after I put it back together, I topped off the coolant, and ran it... then a couple days later, topped it off again, since I figured air in the system escaped and made more room for more water... well, since then, I have had to add at least 1.5 to 2 gallons of coolant. Just how long does it take to get all air out of the system? Is this even a possibility by now? I did this job about a month ago, and I drive the car at least 5 days a week.

I haven't been able to find any noticeable external coolant leaks, definetely none around the intake gasket area (external). Do you think it's seeping around the gaskets and getting into the lifter valley, and falling into the oil pan?
It's confusing because the oil on the dipstick looks normal, and it's not rising at all or anything. I am not running any antifreeze, though. I have a bottle and a half of Water Wetter and distilled water... so I don't know if it would be as easy to spot on a dipstick as a 50/50 water and antifreeze mix would be.

What should I do? I'm about ready to move 100 miles from where I'm at now, and I need this car for transportation to and from here and there. Oh, the radiator is a 3-row in case you're wondering.. and it's a 351W, with heater core bypassed. Thanks for reading, and any help.

Edit: No overflow tank installed
 

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If it was going inside the motor you would know it by now. The oil would turn a milky brown color. But it sounds like your adding lots of water, so there must be something going on somewhere.

Does the system hold pressure? This is maybe the first most important thing to figure out. If it is not then it should be running hot. Check that lower hose real good, maybe it's weaping. Are you running a coolant recovery bottle? If not, you might want to put one on. If you are, is it keeping its coolant or is it also emptying? Maybe there is a leak there. ??

If it's not going into the motor, or out on the ground, the only other way for it to get out would be if one of the exhaust ports is cracked and coolant is escaping that way. I would not think this is the case as you would have to have a big crack to pass the amount of coolant you are talking about.

Good luck,
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ya, the system seems to be holding pressure. I have not tested it with a pressure tester, but after shutting the car off, the hoses will stay firm for what seems like the normal amount of time.
 

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don`t forget about the heater core! maybe it`s leaking inside the vehicle and you haven`t noticed it yet.I didn`t
until my empty beer cans started to floating
 

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check your spark plugs (head gasket). Check your oil(head gasket), check the ground. check the floorboards.Check the top of your engine for cooent leaks from hoses (they can leak and boil away).

Its going one of those places OR you may just be panicing over nothing and the next time you top it off will be the last time.
 

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you need to apply gasket seal on both sodes of the water ports....if not coolant will be lost toward outside or oilpan....

it seems to be holding fine but under freeway or uphill conditions it may just steam into your crankcase..

double check to save your engine from a catastrophic failure...

tighten everything , hoses, thermostat housing etc.....

check your heater core too
 
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