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Old 04-09-2014, 10:13 PM   #1
ghack
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2002 SL1
Default leaking transmission cooler line

I have an 02 SL1 with 266k miles. The hex nut that holds the transmission cooler fitting to the inside of the radiator is rusted and coolant is leaking. I have read a number of posts regarding leaky trans cooler lines, but most seem to say the radiator needs to be replaced. If the experts agree that is the best course, I will do that. It just seems that the nut was definitely rusted out(stamped metal) and not holding much. I should be able to replace that nut, possibly add a new rubber gasket under the nut and tight to the fitting, possibly teflon tape, and it would tighten up. I'm guessing there is also a sealing gasket already on the fitting that seals agains the inside face of the hole in the radiator. I don't see the radiator is cracked anywhere. Has anyone had any experience just replacing that nut? Any recommendations? I should mention, the leak is on the lower line. The nut probably cost a couple bucks, the radiator to buy locally is $100. I don't want to replace the nut, and find it leaking again after a few days either.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: leaking transmission cooler line

Replace the radiator, also I would replace both cooler lines and the fittings that screw into the transaxle where the cooler lines hook into.
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:08 AM   #3
chriscompton
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1997 SL2
Default Re: leaking transmission cooler line

Heads up, if you end up buying new Tranny Coolant Lines, don't buy from Napa! I just made that mistake and the end that goes into the tranny did not fit.
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:47 AM   #4
Madness10
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Default Re: leaking transmission cooler line

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghack View Post
I have an 02 SL1 with 266k miles. The hex nut that holds the transmission cooler fitting to the inside of the radiator is rusted and coolant is leaking. I have read a number of posts regarding leaky trans cooler lines, but most seem to say the radiator needs to be replaced. If the experts agree that is the best course, I will do that. It just seems that the nut was definitely rusted out(stamped metal) and not holding much. I should be able to replace that nut, possibly add a new rubber gasket under the nut and tight to the fitting, possibly teflon tape, and it would tighten up. I'm guessing there is also a sealing gasket already on the fitting that seals agains the inside face of the hole in the radiator. I don't see the radiator is cracked anywhere. Has anyone had any experience just replacing that nut? Any recommendations? I should mention, the leak is on the lower line. The nut probably cost a couple bucks, the radiator to buy locally is $100. I don't want to replace the nut, and find it leaking again after a few days either.
I remember reading that there was someone here in the past that tried to replace the nut and did not hold. These radiators normally crack right there anyways. Do yourself a favor and buy a new radiator and only buy Sella or Delphi, as these are the only ones that will last long. The others may last a couple of years.
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:37 PM   #5
mrriden
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2002 SL1
Default Re: leaking transmission cooler line

You probably will never get the lower transmission line off the radiator to replace the nut without causing a crack sooo....
Under $50. It's a Silla. Free shipping to your door. Buy it. Replace it, done! I did it in short order on a Saturday. Don't screw with it. Just swap it out. Be happy!
http://www.amazon.com/Shepherd-Auto-...n+sl1+radiator

The how to video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nUyGjeLpVs

See if you can bust the transmission lines loose from the radiator before you start. Won't budge? [I suspect they won't on a New England car]buy new lines also. On the trans-axle side they connect with a quick release fitting.
...
'02 SC2 'The Schnoot'
'94 SL2 'Beauty' (R.I.P.)
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Last edited by mrriden; 04-11-2014 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 08-24-2020, 02:03 AM   #6
spettro9
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Default Re: leaking transmission cooler line

I might actually try to fabricate that stamped steel nut from stainless steel sheet. Step drill to 13/16", linesman pliers as break, little cut to create that single thread..
I'll update if it works..
...
2001 Silver SC1, from craigslist in Clifton, NJ 2011/01/21, with 70k miles, $3K,
27 normal (winter 25 mpg) / 37-40 highway
(just have to watch oil a bit... seems to be 3/4 qt in 1000 miles, )
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Old 09-01-2020, 02:43 AM   #7
Saturn2002SL2
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Default Re: leaking transmission cooler line

Currently my SL2 has roughly 204,000 miles on it. As of about May of this year, I noticed that my coolant disappears. There's no leak anywhere to be found and the exhaust is clear (no white smoke, black smoke, blue smoke, etc.). Some say that my coolant cap is worn?
...
1988 RX7 Manual
Bought in 2000 for $1,500 @ 108,200 Miles
Sold in 2001 for $1,700 @ 114,600 Miles

2002 SL2 Manual
Bought in 2002 for $19,895 @ 26 Miles
As of 09/01/2020 @ over 204,000 Miles
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Old 09-04-2020, 03:54 AM   #8
spettro9
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Default Re: leaking transmission cooler line

You say disappears..?
Like totally gone? and temperature needle screaming?
Or just low coolant light comes on?
In how much time from filling it to light coming on or worse?

I actually had the pressure cap on the reservoir come apart a few summers ago.
For a day or so I couldn't figure out why I was adding coolant each trip I did for work, until i had hood open and saw it come out.
That's an easy fix!

And recently, my water pump (was on there 100K miles) started leaking and then worse and worse over the course of 2 weeks, to where I was literally filling system with water every few miles. I could see it draining out as I was pouring in.
But I was already rebuilding an engine to put in it's place. Finished last weekend.

(Btw, I am working on the above nut.
Made one actually, but gonna make it a little smaller.
It's a 1/2" NPT thread but on the bigger part of the taper.
I will have some pictures.)
...
2001 Silver SC1, from craigslist in Clifton, NJ 2011/01/21, with 70k miles, $3K,
27 normal (winter 25 mpg) / 37-40 highway
(just have to watch oil a bit... seems to be 3/4 qt in 1000 miles, )
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Old 09-04-2020, 03:05 PM   #9
Saturn2002SL2
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Default Re: leaking transmission cooler line

I see the leak now after replacing the coolant overflow reservoir cap. The coolant telltale doesn't come on as early (but it does come on after about 40 miles of travel or 4 hours of travel whichever comes first depending on traffic and idle times).

slow leak that flows down the manual transmission/trans-axle in the front. Based on some old threads on here it appears that it might be the plastic pipe connected to the intake manifold. Will check by Monday (don't have the resources/space/equipment currently to take things apart). I should see if that plastic pipe is cracked without having to take apart anything, correct?
...
1988 RX7 Manual
Bought in 2000 for $1,500 @ 108,200 Miles
Sold in 2001 for $1,700 @ 114,600 Miles

2002 SL2 Manual
Bought in 2002 for $19,895 @ 26 Miles
As of 09/01/2020 @ over 204,000 Miles
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