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1999 DeVille (The Mother Ship)
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Discussion Starter #1
I have searched the forums and haven't found any info on my particular leak. As far as I can tell, this is where it is leaking from.



This is on the drivers side, front corner. It appears to be the thermostat housing? I don't know though, as this is the first Northstar I have ever worked on. I am a very capable Wrench though. Any guidance is appreciated.

Thanks!

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And just to clarify, it's leaking around that bolt that is facing the camera. You can see traces of red from the anti freeze.
 

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Administrator
2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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68,480 Posts
That's the water pump cover/thermostat housing. The 'stat is retained by that black steel stamping bolted to the aluminum housing.

You get to it all be removing the water pump drive system safety shroud and moving a few bits and pieces out of the way. The 'stat begins at 188 and is fully open at 206. Properly maintained and in good condition, the cooling system is scary efficient - the engine usually runs at 190 - 200 degrees so the 'stat is never fully open, even in summer.

There's a new design water pump cover and seal in the field. When you replace the bolts, use a proper sized s/s washer on each - to spread the load - and use a smear of Indian Head gasket shellac on the bolt threads.

More Northstar water pump and cooling system info in the stickys at the top of the Engines; Northstar page and in my albums. Click my username, open the profile. Left column, 2 albums 6 pages of Northstar and car stuff.

Click a thumbnail to enlarge, use your browser <-- to back out.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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Not really - any one of the 4 cover bolts or thermostat retainer can weep, leak, flood. More common is the water crossover gasket(s), and THAT is a murderous bitch of a replacement job.

Remember - the water pump, pump drive and block/head circulation system is on the REAR end of the engine, so there are some hoops to jump through.
 

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1999 DeVille (The Mother Ship)
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Discussion Starter #5
I hope it's just the cover bolts. I can't see it well enough to know exactly what is leaking yet.
 

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98 DeVille, 97 DeVille d'Elegance
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Both of my covers leaked from that area, crappy first design cover and gasket was prone to leaking. You can get old style seals still and somehwere there is a thread about just using new seal in old style cover. I just picked up new cover as it came with thermo and was cheap enough at @50.
 

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1999 DeVille (The Mother Ship)
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Discussion Starter #7
Are the covers and gaskets dealership parts, or can they also be found at a local auto parts store like NAPA?
 

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1999 DeVille (The Mother Ship)
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Discussion Starter #9
I need it fixed by Noon tomorrow.
I plan to tear down, clean and prep it tonight, so I can re-assemble it after I get the parts tomorrow.
 

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1999 DeVille (The Mother Ship)
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Discussion Starter #12
So.....I dropped the small bolt that holds the timing belt cover on. It fell into the abyss in the center of the motor, where I assume the starter is? Anyway, I can't find it with a magnet or a taint-getter. Is that going to be a big deal? Can it get into anything and screw it up?
 

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98 DeVille, 97 DeVille d'Elegance
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Starter up off bottom of the block and nothing else for it to ruin, I dropped one down there myself and found when motor tore apart last year. I if you are determined to get it go at it from the passenger side with a magnet, you can sneak under the intake. I won't worry about. I stuffed a rag last time so it couldn't drop again.
 

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1999 DeVille (The Mother Ship)
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Discussion Starter #14
That's a relief!
These cars are kind of tricky to work on. Almost nothing goes back together without a specific technique, or specific order. It took me the longest to get the lower hose clamp on the radiator side! Very frustrating.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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So.....I dropped the small bolt that holds the timing belt cover on.
It has 3 timing chains. No belt.

It fell into the abyss in the center of the motor, where I assume the starter is? Anyway, I can't find it with a magnet or a taint-getter. Is that going to be a big deal? Can it get into anything and screw it up?
The starter is in the valley under the intake as Rod said.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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1999 DeVille (The Mother Ship)
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Discussion Starter #17
At what temperature does the thermostat finally open? Does it circulate through the tank with the cap off?

There is a belt driving something that looks an awful lot like a cam to me. I'll post a pic in a minute.
 

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98 DeVille, 97 DeVille d'Elegance
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OP is talking about WP drive belt cover.
That idler for wp drive is known for seizing and eating the plastic pulley on end of cam. While you have it apart spin the little idler(remove the belt) and if it doesn't spin perfectly free with no noise replace it.
 

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1999 DeVille (The Mother Ship)
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Discussion Starter #19
I'm already back together and trying to burp the system. Am I going about it the right way? Fill the reservoir, then run it with the cap off until I have to top it off? I need the car today to take my Dad to a Dr. appt.
 

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98 DeVille, 97 DeVille d'Elegance
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Cap off will get you so far, put cap on drive it. More than likely you will have to top off again a time or two till stabilized.
 
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