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BigJimnyMeet (North) 2024 (12 Jan 2024)


BigJimnyMeet 2024

14th July 2024
Parkwood Nr. Leeds

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2003 Jimny leaking radiator drain plug and leaking top of radiator

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22 Oct 2022 13:29 #245528 by bonairediver2021
Hello Jimny experts !

My 2003 Jimny (purchase from Japan used) is drip drip dripping coolant from the radiator drain plug.  I live on a small island and have to be careful not to disable the car.  Should I try to remove the drain plug and see if I can improve the seal using a new o ring or some sealant but perhaps risk breaking off the plug while trying to remove it, or am I better off just keep putting in a cup of coolant each day into the radiator reserve tank until the leak gets worse?

Related: the radiator is also leaking along the top.  Whenever the engine runs...the coolant slowly leaks out the top of the radiator and drips down at a pretty good pace, but I can add about a half cup of coolant to the reserve tank for now to keep the engine cool.  I watched a video by Scotty Kilmer suggesting I use Bar's Leaks liquid aluminum for stopping this leak from the top of the radiator, but you have to flush the radiator /coolant first so its all clean....and then that brings me to the drain plug which is leaking also...and which I worry may break off if I try to remove it.  Should I just keep pouring half a cup of coolant into the reserve tank until the leak gets worse and then risk removing the drain plug and flushing the tank?  

Is there a FAST way to plug up the drain plug hole if the drain plug break off if I try to remove it? Living on a small island, I may have to just 'make do' with some quick substitute for a missing drain plug.  All suggestions welcome!

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22 Oct 2022 14:28 #245530 by Scimike
It's possible your drain plug is not leaking. My drain plug dripped but it turned out to be the top radiator hose / radiator joint leaking, the water simply made its way to the bottom and dripped from the drain. So before you mess with the drain plug fix the leak at the top.
THe top leak - is it the radiator or the top hose? The hose expands with time and use, eventually it won't seal.
A bars stop leak may fix your issue but I am not a fan. I favour fixing the problem, even if you use a bars leak whilst you wait for a new / used good radiator or top hose.

Yokohama Geolanders, Sony head unit, NAUTILUS Air Horn, DRL conversion, Rear cargo space, Elvis Bobblehead, transfer Guard, Indian hanging Elephant, Koni Heavy track dampers, Custom SS exhaust, Voodoo Doll, Adventure Rack with LED ight bar, vintage ERIBA caravan usually attached (yes it's slow)

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24 Oct 2022 22:26 #245564 by bonairediver2021
Thanks for your suggestion! Much appreciated! The radiator is definitely leaking from the top aluminum 'crimps' and going down the front/back of the radiator, so you could be right that the drain plug is actually OK.

Now ....do I risk Bar's Leak stopper, or just keep putting in half a cup of coolant every day. I like just adding the coolant because then I don't have to worry about trying to replace the radiator, but I suppose the radiator will eventually need replacing. I also worry that adding Bars leak stopper will gum up the water pump etc. and actually make things worse! I have a high temperature silicone I could put along the top of the radiator where the leak is along the aluminum crimps....maybe this would be a good solution? What do you think?

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25 Oct 2022 13:20 #245577 by fordem
i doubt that a bead of silicone on the outside of the leak will withstand the pressure on the inside - I've tried similar repairs with various epoxies and they worked, for a few days, and then leak again.

A "quick-fix-in-a-can" is not a long term repair and if you plan on keeping the car, I suggest you stay away from them - find a radiator shop on the island and ask them if they can replace the top tank - it may not need replacing, but if they can do it, it means they have the experience required to open up the crimps, clean, re-seal & re-crimp.

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26 Oct 2022 13:23 #245591 by bonairediver2021
Thanks for that great suggestion! I will do that!

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