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Old 08-13-2007, 07:19 PM   #1
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Location: Unionville, CT
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Radiator leak - experience needed, please

I purchased this 2001 Boxster several weeks ago (private sale). It has a minor leak of coolant under the driverís side radiator which I figured to be a loose hose clamp, since an out-of-state mechanic changed a hose 200 miles before I bought it (I have receipt). WRONG! I tightened the lower hose clamps at both ends and the hose was drippy with coolant. Thought I had it, but not so such luck!

I just pulled off the left front wheel and the plastic inner fender to reveal more. There is nothing leaky that is visible from behind the inner fender.

When carefully examining the front of the radiator through the driverís side grill, a tiny wet trickle runs down the radiator casing from top to bottom. Looking through the vents at the bottom of the flexible bumper skin, the black plastic front edge of the radiator is visible and is all wet.

There is a plastic plug ďlookingĒ item at the top front corner of the radiator that is covering the leak area with a 1.5Ē diameter rubber shroud looking thing. The plug thing is a half inch in diameter and has some visible threads. The end of it is a X shape that appears to need a special tool for turning it. It goes through a minor piece of painted metal framing. Iíd say that THIS IS THE CULPRIT.

Does anyone know what it is, and how it might be tightened or replaced. I can reach it with my hand and arm forced through the bumper skin bottom vent hole, so the right tool can reach it without much difficulty.

If I give this thing to a dealer Iíll need a second mortgage to pay for it. I really need good experienced advice on this. Iím hoping that it does not need a radiator, but if necessary, Iíll disassemble the nose and work on it this winter. The leak has little effect on the coolant level over the 5 weeks that Iíve owned it. I assume that I have Porsche specified coolant. Itís green like common antifreezeÖ..is the original coolant green?

Help please.


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Old 01-01-2008, 05:01 PM   #2
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Original theory is partly wrong....

Here's the story....

The car is now garaged for the winter and I finally got around to disassembling it. There is a plastic "locator" on the front of the radiator molded into the plastic end cap of the radiator that is attached to a body bracket. Appears that the previous owner somehow pounded the bottom of the plastic bumper (some kind of curb thing without scraping up the underside of the nose much) which shoved the radiator upward and the locator was stressed badly, causing a crack in the radiator end cap. Because of the plastic bushing that the locator goes through, and the horizontal lengthing of the radiator as it heats pushing it tightly against the the bracket, the leakage was minimal as the car got to full operating temp. Also shattered the bottom of the air scoop out of sight from outside the car.
Radiator = $235. Scoop = $105. Time for a coolant change. As a DIY project, it's not too bad. And a good chance to clean out the radiator road debris.

Thanks, Bob

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