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Old 10-18-2011, 04:14 AM   #1
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986 whizzing coolant

Limped home late last night with:

A slowly blinking temp light and a modest indicated temperature.
Steam billowing from the RH intake.
Steam from under the roof compartment.

When I got home I could see a steady drip of coolant from a front central location, maybe edging a bit right.

Sounds like the pump to me, not that I've ever seen it outside of the book.
When these pumps go...do they leak like this?

Of course I'm hoping it's just a hose.

Any other highly likely culprits?
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:06 AM   #2
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Yes, when the water pump goes, you can definitely see coolant leaking. What year is your Box? My wp died at about age 10 years, but it's not unusual for them to go before that---sometimes WAY before that.

You need to get the car elevated (jack stands or ramp) and just get under there (safely!) and look. You may need to remove one or both of the plastic splash shields.

Last edited by Frodo; 10-18-2011 at 05:08 AM.
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:07 AM   #3
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Sounds like the pump. Get underneath car and see where the leak is coming from. Do not drive if its the waterpump.
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:08 AM   #4
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BTW, if it's from the front end of the car, it's probably NOT the water pump. More like a hose connection to a radiator or the radiator itself.
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:26 AM   #5
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Diy?

Thanks to all!

The 'Box is a '99 with 80k mi.

What is the degree of difficulty to DIY? Time required?

What are the gotchas/related issues?

For example, if i'm in there yanking the pump, what hoses should I be looking at?

Any additional parts/goop needed?

Last edited by eltren; 10-18-2011 at 10:33 AM. Reason: adding
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eltren View Post
Thanks to all!

The 'Box is a '99 with 80k mi.

What is the degree of difficulty to DIY? Time required?

What are the gotchas/related issues?

For example, if i'm in there yanking the pump, what hoses should I be looking at?

Any additional parts/goop needed?
DIY is not too hard. Be sure to get a Porsche water pump, there are many reports of failures of aftermarket pumps. At the same time that you do the water pump, I would recommend that you do the motor mount, a part that commonly fails on these cars at your mileage. It's not that expensive, a little over $100, and removing the motor mount makes replacing the water pump much easier.
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:34 PM   #7
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Diy?

Thanks for the good info.
so...Just guessing: Removing the motor mount requires supporting the engine.

Which ought to be done with a floor jack, maybe some lumber, not a bottle jack.

Right?

Who do you like for parts?

Last edited by eltren; 10-18-2011 at 12:34 PM. Reason: adding
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:48 PM   #8
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Pretty good DIY info for both tasks here:

DIY Projects: Do-it-Yourself Repair and Maintenance for your Porsche


It was the water pump? Why's it leaking from the "front central location"?
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:53 PM   #9
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Sorry

Havent had a chance to get under the car. In fact right now I can't...I don't (yet)
own the necessaries.
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eltren View Post
Thanks for the good info.
so...Just guessing: Removing the motor mount requires supporting the engine.

Which ought to be done with a floor jack, maybe some lumber, not a bottle jack.

Right?

Who do you like for parts?
The scissor jack in the car's toolkit works great with a couple of pieces of 2X4 underneath it. Very precisely and easily lowers and raises the motor.
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:44 PM   #11
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Your symptoms match mine when my wp died this summer. Assuming you mean the front, center of the engine, not the car. That's where the antifreeze ran out on mine.

Nows also a good time to change the serpentine belt since you're already in the neighborhood.
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Old 10-20-2011, 11:34 AM   #12
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Vacuum test

Do you have the equipment to run a vacuum test on the system? I am dealing with this very issue right now.

I put the car up on jack stands and found a leak right under the water pump. I initially thought it was the gasket. I replaced the gasket and reinstalled the water pump.

By this time the Airlift system arrived and I could apply the vacuum. There was a clear whistling sound right at the water pump. I took a turkey baster and squirted coolant in that area. When I hit the pulley, I could hear the coolant being sucked in. The water pump was the culprit.

It was not very difficult to to dismantle and reinstall, but did require some patience to get into the tight spots.

If you can hold a wrench, you can do this. Plus, it will give you some confidence working on your car. After all, this is part of the fun.
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:43 PM   #13
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It's SO hard to hold a wrench without opposable thumbs...

The tray under the driver's seat flooded over the last two days of rain.

I wasn't driving it because of the coolant pump.
So I didn't notice.

Last night I saw a solid red LED on the upper dash.
Car wouldnt lock.
This morning I vacuumed about a gallon of water out from under the driver's seat. Wont start, does activate, does show idiot lights, fan, radio, etc came on.

Then the windows cranked down, stopped, but the motors kept turning.
Quick where's the wrench?
Batt disconnected.

So.
Is it toast?

Am about to price coolant system parts. Does anyone here have reservations about the immobilizer coming back?

What's the tab if that sucker is shot? Do I suddenly have a parts car?
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:58 PM   #14
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No, no

no vac or pressure tools at this time.
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Old 10-20-2011, 04:21 PM   #15
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Eltren, as you probably know, the immobiliser CPU is located below the drivers seat - if it has been flooded, then the minimum you have to do is remove the seat and disconnect the immobiliser. You may be lucky and find the internal fuse blown, but as it has been immersed you will have to dry the immobiliser out completely - but I suspect you may have lost it.....This new problem is far bigger than fitting a replacement coolant pump.
Big dollars I'm afraid - I'm sure that someone on the board will chime in with an approx $$ cost.
It would retail at about $3 million here in Australia, but you guys get it a lot cheaper in the US than here !!!
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:45 PM   #16
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Success and mystery

It was in fact the coolant pump.
Replaced, ditto 4-way hose, ditto thermostat, ditto serpentine.

Total PITA, but gratifying.

Been blowing hot air on the immobilizer with a hair dryer for days.

It fired up on the first try.

I let it run for a while, pouring coolant the whole time.

Turned it off.

Wouldnt start. Everything looks good, just no starter.

Disconnected the battery for about 5 min.

That worked...a couple times.

And then it didn't.

Ideas?
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Old 10-22-2011, 03:57 PM   #17
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Take out the seat, take out the alarm unit, dry everything out, clean connections, put it back together, pray.
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Old 10-22-2011, 04:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eltren View Post

I let it run for a while, pouring coolant the whole time.

Ideas?
Did you keep pouring coolant into the car? Or did the car keep pouring out coolant?

I am thinking the prior. However, I don't understand why.
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Old 10-22-2011, 05:05 PM   #19
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Was pouring because the cooling system was empty. Fill the reservoir, let it belch and fart for a while and such down coolant, fill and wait some more.

The repair -so far- seems shockingly tight and competent.

I will pull the seat tomorrow, do the connectors at minimum.

It's idling in the driveway right now.
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