North American Turbocoupe Organization



Mysterious Fluid Droplets
LorainO88 Offline
Member
#1
First, thank you everyone for the great troubleshooting. I have began to see some fluid gremlins in my 88. Back in the summer I would on occasion see a dime sized drop of antifreeze after the car had been parked for a few weeks. No big deal. I’ve seen a drop or two of oil over the last couple years too. Then nothing. Two weeks ago, I had a new one pop up. This one seems a bit more noteworthy. I always lift the hood after starting the car when it has been sitting for a period of time. Just to make sure nothing is blowing out of a hose or line. I noticed a pattern of three tiny vertical dots of some sort of fluid side by side on the concrete the entire length of the belt path that was not there before ignition. I drove the car today and noticed the same pattern along the intercooler seal and plenium along the hood and the ground too. I left it idling and turned it off. Nothing on startup. That’s leaves me to believe something is slinging off the belt. I looked and felt all around the belt inside and out. I could see no leaks or visible cracks in the hoses, pulleys, coming from the fans or around any of the housings. I’m going to lay some white paper down next time to determine what exactly is being slung off the belt. The water pump was replaced 2 years ago and has less than 2k on it. Any ideas?
WRBjr
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#2
Some sort of fluid? What color? Did you touch it, rub it between your thumb and finger? Is there a smell?

Color, smell, texture. Just like with anything else, those three provide a valuable clue.

Your car has basically six fluids: oil, coolant/antifreeze, brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, gear oil (rear end). And, in the warm months, condensation from the A/C.

If I might say so, you are going about this kind of the wrong way. Figure out what it is, then you will know where to look. You’re probably not going to find brake fluid directly under the radiator, unless it leaked from somewhere and you then backed up.

When I was diagnosing an oil leak from my TC’s engine I would clean the garage floor after I pulled the car into the driveway, then spray GUNK Engine Cleaner underneath the chassis. I put a small bottle of UV Stop Leak in the oil, got underneath with a black light to see where the leak was coming from on the now-clean engine, and kept an eye on the garage floor. Eventually it got fixed.

Point being, once I figured out it was oil—that was very easy—I didn’t look under the gas tank, but under where the oil was: the engine.
Another proud dues-paying member.

1987 Turbo Coupe w/T5OD, 8.8 axle, grey smoke; most options. Got it in 1991 with 41K miles: 3 turbos, 2 heater cores, 1 T5OD full rebuild, 5 clutches, 1 head gasket, 2 Teves II ABS units, etc. later....
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LorainO88 Offline
Member
#3
Thank you for your expertise.
WRBjr
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Mikey97D Offline
Junior Member
#4
If it is engine oil getting slung around, mine was similar location (spraying off the timing belt around the shield) and it was the cam seal.
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#5
Cam sprocket bolt requires sealant on the bolt threads or it will leak badly. Cam is hollow and filled with oil when the engine is running. The cam bolt hole is open to the hollow inside of the cam, and oil leaks out thru the cam bolt threads.
Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
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LorainO88 Offline
Member
#6
Thank you everyone for the great advice. I have an 8am tomorrow for a diagnosis with a great mechanic . I will pass along this excellent advice. He says he is starting with a pressure test on the radiator and working his way back. I’ll share findings in case they may help someone else in the future. Thank you.
WRBjr
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#7
Good luck.Please post when you know anything. The knowledge of one can benefit all.
Another proud dues-paying member.

1987 Turbo Coupe w/T5OD, 8.8 axle, grey smoke; most options. Got it in 1991 with 41K miles: 3 turbos, 2 heater cores, 1 T5OD full rebuild, 5 clutches, 1 head gasket, 2 Teves II ABS units, etc. later....
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LorainO88 Offline
Member
#8
Good afternoon everyone. Sooooo. I know it was bound to happen. My mechanic immediately found the issue. The a/c compressor is shot. He pointed out the fluid that had slung off onto the right fender wall. A/C still is running off freon. Wow. That was a surprise. All in all after an exhausting search he located a remanufactored compressor package, gas up, oriificeb tube, new refrigerant, a/c dye, replace drier, freon evacuation, and all those disposal charges we must bear nowadays and a few more tiny misc nothin charges and labor. Almost 1500$. Happy New Year to the him. Whew. Gotta have air. No way I’d attempt this as a do it myself project or leave it to an amateur. Anything anyone thinks he missed checking or replacing? I have not had any major work done in over 1.5 years. Guess it’s time. Thank you all for your excellent advice.
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#9
Not sure if they are still available, but I picked up a brand new HR980 compressor without clutch for around $150 from ACpartsguys.com back in 2011 when I rebuilt my AC system. I also bought a spare brand new HR980 for future use. Also got a new accumulator/dryer, orifice tube from Rockauto for around $100. I replaced the clutch hub bearing for around $10 for the bearing.

FYI, the HR980 compressor is NOT REBUILDABLE! The only thing that can be replaced is the shaft seal.

Are you sure it is the compressor seal leaking? Much more common for the O rings on the low / high side connections to leak. Also, if the leaking fluid is really AC oil, the refrigerant is also leaking out way faster than the oil is leaking out. If the AC still works normally, it really cant be leaking refrigerant oil.
Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
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LorainO88 Offline
Member
#10
Thank you good sir. I specifically asked the shop if the compressor with clutch was new or remanufactured. They must not know what the difference a new/reman/rebuilt is. At last check last week early air was blowing cold on a 70 degree day. The guy that diagnosed always does my work and normally does a good job. He can tear a tranny a part and replace gears or a clutch in no time flat. I smell a rat somewhere. Maybe I need to get s second opinion. I may save myself several hundred dollars in the process.
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