Finish Selecting Your Vehicle to Shop For Your AC Condenser

Choose a Year for your Smart 's AC Condenser

  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007

Shop By Brand

The Following brands are available based on your search.

  • Hella
    Hella
  • Spectra
    Spectra

Best Selling Genuine Smart AC Condensers

  • We Stock the following top leading brands, including Spectra, Hella
  • Constantly Updated Inventory of Smart Replacement AC Condenser Parts

We stock AC Condenser parts for most Smart models, including Fortwo.

Spectra
2008 Smart Fortwo A/C Condenser Spectra

P311-2BA4DB7    7-3871  New

Qty:
$573.46
Spectra A/C Condenser
  • A/C Condenser
  • (Condenser and Drier Assembly)
  • Innovative engineering, manufacturing technology and quality control ensure that Spectra Premium condensers meet or exceed the performance of the original equipment they replace.
Brand: Spectra
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle
2008 - Smart Fortwo
Spectra
2013 Smart Fortwo A/C Condenser Spectra

P311-2BA4DB7    7-3871  New

Qty:
$573.46
Spectra A/C Condenser
  • A/C Condenser
  • Innovative engineering, manufacturing technology and quality control ensure that Spectra Premium condensers meet or exceed the performance of the original equipment they replace.
Brand: Spectra
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle
2013 - Smart Fortwo
Hella
2007 Smart Fortwo A/C Condenser Hella

P311-56F135E    351304291  New

Qty:
$219.40
Hella A/C Condenser
  • 420x16x380 Supplementary Article:with dryer
  • Behr Hella Service
Brand: Hella
Additional Fitment Information:
Vehicle
2007 - Smart Fortwo

Latest Smart Repair and AC Condenser Installation Advice

CarJunky AutoAdvice

Dodge neon brakes

Showing 2 out of 5 Posts | Show 3 Hidden Posts
Question From RedGoldman on Dodge neon brakes

2005 Dodge Neon SXT. My daughter rear-ended someone. The front end damage to the body and radiator/AC condenser has been an easy fix. However, the brakes don't work. They worked great pre-accident. Car has to be stopped by using the emergency brake. The power steering is also jacked. Is this a fluids issue? I'm no mechanic, but I have skills. Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thank you

Response From Discretesignals Top Rated Answer

Your driving the vehicle with no brakes? That isn't too smart.

Did you inspect the brake lines, power steering lines, and fluid levels for those systems? How does the brake pedal feel? You really shouldn't be learning how to do things on your daughter's vehicle that are major safety items. You should really have that vehicle inspected by your local mechanic. They might see something that you don't.

Response From RedGoldman

I'm not driving the vehicle. I moved it from the street into my driveway.

Response From kev2

simple first -
did you check fluid levels PS and brakes?
does thus model have ABS?
Are there any brake warning lights amber or red colored?
did air bags deploy?
have you scanned for codes?

Response From Tom Greenleaf

! You've had an accident! So what's the real question? You fix what was physically damaged. Take you at your word brakes worked before and now don't so apparently since it runs it has broken a brake line and whatever you mean with power steering that too.


Don't drive this car till fixed please! You might find it's damaged a lot worse than you think?


T

ac problem on my 2006 jeep tj wrangler

Showing 2 out of 8 Posts | Show 6 Hidden Posts
Question From baja0625 on ac problem on my 2006 jeep tj wrangler

hi everyone i am having an issue with my 2006 jeep tj wrangler... i recently had the ac condenser replaced because i had a leak on original condenser and my ac worked fine for a day or so until i noticed the ac clutch stopped clicking on and thought i had another leak but i took it back to the shop tested the ac freon and they said it was full and there was no leaks...the guy told me he had to program the ac system when he installed my ac condenser because it wasnt turning on so then decided to check the codes on the jeep an connected it and scrolled to ac system and got it working again...awesome i thought until the next day started my jeep and same problem accured now its shut off again...well during the day i was driving with an ac not working i checked to see if it would kick on but nothing was not working again...well during the evening i started my jeep tried the ac again and now the ac clutch kicked on... this issue is odd so if anyone can help me out please let me know if you might know what it is...thanks for your time

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Are you saying it's working now? Do you know how this mechanic knew with what testing that system was properly full and had no leaks? Can't know if it's properly full without recovering all of it with equipment that knows how much came out and put exact weight back in. If that wasn't the correct amount it's leaking or overcharged possibly.

Declaring no leaks isn't conclusive as some are elusive.

These are known for evap leaks. You can even check if condensate drain has oil in it and if so it's trouble, would set off failsafes to shut down system as low possible again. May have be reset for a grace period and static pressure with a warm engine allowed it it to engage. Clutch gap could be to large on tons of reasons for erratic behaviour. Needs more attention than it got IMO,

T

Response From baja0625

well when i had the ac condenser replaced my freon was completly empty out of my damaged ac condenser do to the leak. so when the mechanic replaced it and refilled it with freon he stated that the ac clutch wasnt turning on so he connected a computer module to the jeep(i was not present) he stated he scrolled to ac system and had it turned on manuelly makung the ac clutch kick start. when i picked up my jeep he explained what he did so i didnt think anything of it because it worked the remainder of the day and it worked fine the next day... by the following day the ac clutch stopped working... thats when i thought it was the freon leaking out somewhere but when i took it back to him he connected a machine to it and checked the pressure of freon and stated it was fine that there was no drop on the pressure. so then he connected the computer to my jeep as he did the first time he explained to me(this time present) and he kick started the ac clutch again and said to bring it back if it shut offs again. he did this for me saturday morning and then sunday morning i jump in my jeep and the AC clutch would not kick start again...so through out the day i kept trying to see if it would kick on but didnt...thats untill later once the sun came down i turned it on just to see and the ac clutch turned back on. so yes its on now but im expecting it to not work again. thats why im asking for help to see what could cause this issue

Response From HT

OK, let me get this straight.................. he knew how to replace the condenser but has no clue what's wrong with the electrical system. There is no programming involved in this system so that right there tells me he didn't know what he was doing. It has an electric issue somewhere and that needs to be diagnosed properly using a wiring diagram, a test light and a scan tool.

Response From baja0625 Top Rated Answer

Correct HT... he told me when i asked what was the reason the ac clutch was shuttung off an wouldnt turn on he just responded by saying that the newer model vehicles are computer touchy....and he once again on saturday turned it on manully but the problem accured again on sunday morning when i turned my jeep on it wouldnt work. but in the eveing close to sun down it started working...i just got home a bit ago and tried out the ac and ac clutch wasnt kicking on AGAIN!!! well i had a thought and assumed he over filled it freon so i decided to check th pressure and release some out...i know it might have not been a smart move on my part but it worked!!! it started working agian... so now i am going to see how it does throughout the week or even in about an hour i will check...
...could that have been my issue? overfilled freon???

Response From HT

Both you and him need to stop working on this. Neither one of you know what you are doing.You can have no idea whatsoever how much refrigerant is in a system from reading pressure, especially if the system isn't even running. You started out with an electrical issue and now you have a gas issue also. I suggest you get this to a competent tech to determine what is actually wrong with it.


he just responded by saying that the newer model vehicles are computer touchy.

is not an answer.

Response From MarineGrunt

Listen to HT on this one. I know his username says "new user" but he's been a mod of this site for a long time. He's also been a master mechanic and shop owner for years. (Not trying to make you feel old HT )

An a/c system is nothing to mess around with. It's under a lot of pressure. You really need to find a competent shop in your area. Ask some friends or coworkers who they use. You really want to find a good mechanic and stick with him. You'll end up building a relationship and know you can drop your vehicle off and never have to worry about anything. Be sure to stay away from the chain stores or quick lube places that claim to do everything.

A competent mechanic should be able to figure this out quite easily.

Response From nickwarner

A competent mechanic isn't cheap either, so don't go price shopping like you did when you found the last Cletus who has cost you far more than you saved. He has proven he actually has no real idea how your system operates at the most basic level. If you hate your money, let him keep working on it. If you like your money, never go to him again. A wrench is the most dangerous thing you can put in his hands.

2002 Venture Overheating and Leaking Coolant

Showing 2 out of 64 Posts | Show 62 Hidden Posts
Question From MarineGrunt on 2002 Venture Overheating and Leaking Coolant

First off I'd like to thank everyone that helps out here. It's much appreciated!

We have a 2002 Chevy Venture with the 3.4. About a week ago the heater would only blow cold air so figured it needed a thermostat. I put it off for about a week since it wasn't overheating. Plus my wife is a teacher in town and only has to drive a few blocks each day. I drove it to the auto parts store and finally started overheating. On the way there I noticed the temperature gauge would sometimes spike with slower speeds and go back down with higher speeds. The heater would also blow hot and the gauge would drop when going fast. It wouldn't do that all the time though. At times, even while going fast, it would still overheat. I pulled over once when the needle was getting up there and shut it down. I waited a couple minutes and started it back up. The heater blew hot and temp went down. I figured all of this was symptoms of the thermostat until I stopped at the auto parts store and noticed steam coming from the engine compartment but couldn't tell exactly where it was coming from.

When I returned home I swapped the thermostat and tried bleeding the system. The bleeder screw by the thermostat housing was seeping coolant but the one by the water pump just had air coming out of it and continued to only blow air. No coolant is being sucked in from the overflow tank even when the temperature gauge was getting up there. The radiator fans are blowing. The heater is still blowing cold and engine is still overheating. There is a coolant leak that is coming from somewhere below the throttle body or kind of to the rear of the thermostat housing. I can't see exactly where it is coming from. All I can see is steam coming up from that area. If you are looking at the engine from under the hood it is coming from the lower rear right.

From all the reading I have done I'm guessing it's the lower intake or possibly the head gasket? There's no antifreeze in the oil or vice versa. Are there any small hoses in that area that may be leaking? If a head gasket blows would enough coolant shoot out the side to cause the steam? I've heard that's possible with a blown intake gasket. You can tell that it has had some very light seepage out of the intake towards the front over the years but nothing serious. I've also had to add about a quart of oil every 3000 miles over the past few years. There just seems to be a bunch of light seepage out of quite a few gaskets. Not sure if any of this is related but you can just tell that many gaskets could stand to be replaced.

The van has 140,000 miles on it and it has been a great van. We bought it when it had 30,000 and the only thing I have had to do to it was replace the ac condenser and the battery (if a battery even counts). We are going to be looking for a new vehicle soon but I would like to fix it to get more out of it when we do sell it. I would really like to get a few more months out of it. Heck, if I replace all gaskets the wife may have to keep it for another 5 years! I'm pretty sure I'd be living on the streets if I told her no new vehicle.

I could try and take a video of the area where it seems to be leaking and post it on youtube if it would help.

If it is the intake should I go ahead and replace the head gaskets while I'm down there?

Sorry for the long post. I just wanted to make sure I hit everything. If I need to elaborate on anything, please let me know. Any help would be appreciated!


Thanks!

Brian

Response From techforfree

i fixed a thousand of these..lower intake was likely the leaking problem..BUT....(don't ya hate buts)..also its been my experience that once this 3.4 was run hot the back head warps causing headgasket problems that causes combustion into the cooling system causing overheating problems.I don't know how mech.inclined you are but if it were mine and i spent time to replace the intake gasket i'd spend a lil more time to replace the head gaskets and the problem is solved for good.Its very unfortunate for these vans that the 3.4 had so many problems with this because they were otherwise pretty good vans.
Good luch and hope this helps ya.

Response From Hammer Time

I wouldn't dive into removing heads on an engine when I didn't yet have any indication of a head gasket issue.

Response From MarineGrunt

I considered replacing the head gaskets while I had it torn apart but decided against after asking a handful of mechanics online and some local mechanics. I guess everyone has a different opinion on it. I was pretty much told that if I know what's causing my current issue don't worry about something that might happen.

I could definitely see where the lower intake was leaking so knew that was the problem. Although it did go a little bit above its normal operating temperature, I pulled over and shut her down right when the temp needle started creeping past the halfway mark. The heater stopped blowing hot air so I knew that something was going on and to keep an eye on it. The temp needle never even made it up to the 3/4 mark so hopefully it never got hot enough to cause any other issues.

If for some reason the head gaskets do end up leaking at least it won't take as long to get down to them. Things are always much easier the second time around!

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Sounds good. Remember you are there and noted things we can't of course so it may just be fine and let well enough alone if all is stable now,

T

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Sorry sport - I couldn't read all that but the subject line says it all concisely.

It's going to overheat when coolant level from leaking goes low for any reason. Pressure test it and isolate the leak and proceed from there.

Once sure as best you can replace whatever is needed. Know that overheating is the #1 cause of blowing head gaskets and warping or worse to them so know as much as possible before you really get expensive only to find there's more.

Post your findings as best you can and we can go from there,

T

Response From MarineGrunt

Thanks Tom. I'm not surprised that you couldn't read all of my long post! I knew it was too long when I typed it but wanted to make sure I hit on everything.

From what I have read it is more than likely the intake. I've scoured the web and have seen quite a few people say that they had a leak below the throttle body and it ended up being the intake but I guess it's possible it could be the head gasket.

I've got a buddy who is a mechanic for Altorfer Cat coming over tonight to help me diagnose the problem.

If it ends up being just the intake should I go ahead and replace the head gaskets while I'm down there?

Thanks again!

Response From Tom Greenleaf Top Rated Answer

It's my fault - my mind just can't stay focused that long. Also been out of this biz since the Edsel was still around (smile) and virtually all engines were cast iron and didn't do these horrors so easily.

The use of plastic for manifolds etc. just blows my mind and the dissimilar metals don't cooperate well in adverse conditions and fail which is why that was never done in old school designs. How nice that close to Saran wrap is used for some gaskets too!

The deal is that the lighter the parts the faster it doesn't need extra fuel to run cold for anywhere near as long and emissions are WAY down because of things like that and MPGs are up but MILES PER ENGINE stinks. At $10 bucks a gallon I'll pay that vs a new engine every so often!

I have a lot of respect for diyers who ask and find out as much as they can first before wasting too much money at guessing or tossing parts in hopes of hitting on the right one. Much better to take the time to hit it right the first time and always was really.

The regulars here are some smart tacks and do know some common failures of a much wider variety than I do.

One more on leaking coolant - watch out if there's a chance of it getting into a cylinder causing 'hydraulic lock' and then the fun really starts. Pull plugs if that's even a chance and it should spit out without more damage.

Today is so much more about diagnosing first and if folks have to pay for that they still have the option to tackle it themselves or just pay for the pros to do it.

Take care,

Tom

Response From Discretesignals

Usually the lower intake manifold gaskets leak on those. Fel-pro had a perma-dry set that replaces the plastic carrier of the intake gasket with a metal carrier. Don't let it go to long because if the coolant leaks into the lifter valley, it can cause the camshaft to break.

Response From nickwarner

If you don't have a pressure tester but think its an external leak, put UV dye in the system. They sell it at any parts store. Run the engine for a little bit (keeping a good eye to be sure its not overheating) and in a somewhat dark area shine a black light on it. You can get a black light bulb at most novelty stores like Spencers or Hot Topic. The dye glows under a black light and will show the fresh leakage. If its just the intake I wouldn't bother doing the head gaskets. More trouble and expense than its worth for something thats still ok.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Good one Nick. BTW - they sell bulbs (regular) you can just put in anything or a trouble light at Home Depot here and probably other "home centers" so not hard to find - at least here in MA,

Tom

Response From MarineGrunt

Thanks for the great replies! I enjoy tackling jobs and learning new things along the way. It's a rewarding feeling knowing I was able to do it myself and a great feeling knowing how much money I saved!


I do have some dye for the ac system and a blacklight. I purchases those I was having problems with an ac leak. Will the ac dye work or do I need the kind made for the cooling system? If I remember right the coolant dye is purple? Does it matter? I'm sure purple would be easier to see in antifreeze but will the green hurt anything?


I do have a little experience with the 3.4 as I replaced the intake gasket on a friends 2000 grand am a few years back. I guess the only difference is the amount of elbow room but that is a huge difference!


It's guys like you that allow us diy guys to accomplish our goals. I'm okay at repairing what's broke. I just lack much of the knowledge that is needed to diagnose the problem and could not of done many of the repairs without the dedicated and friendly people on the net.

One thing I might be able to do is to carefully allow it to warm up and take the air cleaner duct off. By doing so I just might be able to get a closer look at where it's leaking from. There are some small hoses around the same area so maybe I'll get lucky. I had better cross all fingers and all toes though because I have some huge doubts!

Thanks again and I'll report back with any findings.

Response From Discretesignals

Engine coolant already has dye in it.

I can guarantee if you see coolant without pressure testing leaking out between the intake and heads you'll be pulling the intake. I haven't as of yet seen a 3.1L or 3.4L head gasket externally leak coolant.

Response From Hammer Time

I can guarantee if you see coolant without pressure testing leaking out between the intake and heads you'll be pulling the intake. I haven't as of yet seen a 3.1L or 3.4L head gasket externally leak coolant.

I'll second that.................

Response From MarineGrunt

Thanks for the replies. I was really wondering whether it was the head gasket or the intake so it really helps knowing that two of you have never seen an external head gasket leak on the 3.4. It seems there have been PLENTY of intake leaks on these engines so seems highly likely to be the culprit. I can't complain considering we've owned for for 5 or 6 years and it now has 140,000 and the only issue I've had was an ac condenser leak. Overall it has been a great van and feel pretty fortunate about that.

I haven't had a chance to look again this evening but am going to here soon. Hopefully once I pull the air duct I can get a better look at things. Considering where it seems to be coming from I don't see it being one of those small hoses although it is slightly possible.

This couldn't have happened at a worse time. We have our house on the market and I hate having the van pulled in the garage with it torn apart. If I had a big outbuilding that would be one thing. Problem is, my garage is small and with the van in it it looks tiny. I guess I could always push it out into the driveway before a showing.

You guys are great and I greatly appreciate any and all advice!

Response From nickwarner

Glad we can help. I'm with the rest of the guys, I've never seen a 3.4 head leak externally. Since you've done an intake on the same engine before, you know whats involved. In a Venture chassis its a good deal more challenging simply because of the design of the vehicle. Its something you'll utter many an unkind word at while doing the job. AC dye is incompatible with coolant. But try as you were saying, pulling the air ducting off when its warmed up and shining your blacklight on it. The stuff flouresces quite well and is obvious to see. If anything comes up during this project let us know and one of us will have an answer for you. This is such a common thing to have happen to these motors that all of us do these regularly. Nothing we can't talk you through.

Response From MarineGrunt

I just got finished letting it warm up so I could take another look. After taking the air duct off I was able to get a little better view. After letting it warm up for a bit I noticed a trickle running down. I was able to definitely tell it is the intake. Once I shut the van down I could hear the hissing. It wasn't steaming as much as it was yesterday but was able to see a little bit of it. I then also noticed some tiny air bubbles leaking along the intake gasket about halfway up.

We have a showing tomorrow so will probably start tearing into over the weekend. I just hope all goes well. I've only tore this far into an engine twice. Once an intake on the same engine and once a new head on a Sunbird. I just hope all goes well.

I'm gald I have you all here standing behind me!

Are there any special tools, sealer or anything specific I'll need? I live in a small town with no parts store so would like to get everything I need all at once.

At least after doing the intake, along with other new gaskets, I shouldn't have to worry about it leaking so much oil. I will also be able to get at the one rear spark plug that I had put off since last fall.

Is there anything else I should do while I have stuff out of the way?

Thanks!


Brian

Response From Discretesignals

1. Replace the injector o rings
2. Felpro Permadry kit comes with a tube of black silicone for the china walls
3. Torque wrench for the rocker and intake bolts. Don't break those rocker bolts
4. Keep the push rods in order. Exhaust rods are longer than the intake.
5. Torque the intake to the specs. You'll need a 10mm crows foot to torque the lower intake side bolts.
6. Clean everything the best you can and don't leave any rags under the intake. Shop vac works good when cleaning up the head surfaces with a scraper.
7. Visually inspect the intake ports and on top of the intake valves for any foreign objects before laying the lower intake on.
8. Use common sense and don't be afraid to ask questions.

Response From nickwarner

9. When this runs perfect you buy the first round. And we drink top shelf.

Response From MarineGrunt

You have to remember who's doing the work. I can see it running when I'm finished but I'd leave out the perfect part!

I do have a 3/8 torque wrench but will need a 10mm crows foot.

So my shopping list...

1. Felpro Intake Gasket Set
2. Fuel Injector O-Ring Set
3. 10mm crows foot
4. A bottle of Kentucky Gentleman Bourbon (I'll have to blow the dust off of the puppy)


I can't say how long it took when I did the intake on the Grand Am because I did it at the friends house and was at it off an on over the course of a week. About how many hours (or days) do you estimate the van taking for a novice mechanic?

Do you think I should still do a compression check for a blown head gasket before tearing into it? I looked for air bubbles in the radiator and overflow tank and didn't see any. No coolant to oil contamination and no white exhaust. Anything to worry about?

Response From Tom Greenleaf



Do you think I should still do a compression check for a blown head gasket before tearing into it? I looked for air bubbles in the radiator and overflow tank and didn't see any. No coolant to oil contamination and no white exhaust. Anything to worry about?



Takes more than just a compression test for diagnosing a head gasket - you need check it all ways unless clearly something obvious.

BTW:

*How long will it take? No telling what can foul up or if you have the tools to get out of a jam with tons of things.

*#4 May be the best tool in the box

*Site sponsor (joking) is this stuff!


Used for gasket removal, cleaning battery cables, rust penetrating and when consumed you won't care if the job comes out right or not!

* If just one crow foot see if the flare nut style will do as it will get a better grip. I think Sears has them or find a tool truck as I don't see them everywhere or not looking hard enough. Some parts stores are a maybe, especially NAPA if nearby you will get the one you want.

Waiting for the success story,

Tom

Response From MarineGrunt


*#4 May be the best tool in the box

*Site sponsor (joking) is this stuff!


Used for gasket removal, cleaning battery cables, rust penetrating and when consumed you won't care if the job comes out right or not!




Ha! Good stuff Tom!

I know since I've seem to have found the problem I need to stop researching and worrying. When looking around last night I ran across a few people who have had the exact same symptoms I'm having, besides seeing the leaking intake, and their problem ended up being a head gasket. One guy had the 3.4 and it was overheating. He didn't have any coolant in the oil, no white exhaust, no heat through heater vents and coolant wasn't being sucked in through the overflow tank. Pretty much the exact same symptoms as me except the noticeable intake leak. His ended up being the head gasket.

Would a bad intake gasket keep the thermostat from opening up and not allowing the coolant from the overflow tank to be sucked into the engine? Let's say it was the head gasket that blew first. Would that allow pressure to build and in turn cause the intake gasket to blow?

I know that we have found the problem but do the signs and symptoms point only to the intake? I'd just hate to tear it down ,and get it put back together, only to find out the head gasket is also bad.

Does anyone have any comments that would slow down the hamster wheel that's been turning in my head?

There's a small shop here in town. I might see if he can run a combustion leak test on it for me just to be sure. Or, should I even worry about it and just stick with the intake?

Either way, I plan to start tearing into it tomorrow.

Thanks!

Response From Tom Greenleaf

You have to roll the dice on the head gasket and do checking before you have things all apart. Even if known to be common doesn't mean it absolutely will go or be bad.

Absolutely if you do go there send them out to be checked out at a machine shop so you don't waster a ton of time to just go back again.

It has overheated and things don't like that. Just remember that head gaskets are sealing all fluids they carry and the seal for compression and could fail in any way that they are there for meaning coolant in oil, coolant out the side, loss of compression noted between two cylinders or out the side - anything.

And old saying is to "Measure Twice, Cut Once" still holds true,

Tom

Response From MarineGrunt

I haven't had a chance to start tearing into yet but plan to tomorrow. The local shop was closed down yesterday and also today so wasn't able to get it checked out. I honestly don't believe they head gasket is leaking at all though but I guess anything is possible.

I mentioned we plan on getting rid of it in a few months. Let's say for some reason we decided to keep it for a few more years. Would anyone then recommend replacing the head gasket while I'm at it or is it still "if it's not broke don't fix it"? With it being such a commom problem I can't help but think that I should replace it. I'm a diy though and don't like going on a gut feeling when it comes to repairs I know little about. It's just after all the reading I have down it seems like a head gasket is inevitable and especially with my luck! Any other thoughts on replacing the head gasket if I plan on keeping the van even if it's fine? The van has 140,000 if that makes a difference. If the answer is still no I promise not to mention the head gasket again!

When I went to start it yesterday and again this morning to head down to the local shop it didn't want to start but did once I gave it some gas. Once it started there was some white smoke which I assume was just condensation in the exhaust. It went away after driving it a bit. The local shop is close by. That, along with the cold temps outside, didn't allow the temp gauge to go past the halfway mark. I'm not taking it anywhere to where it has a chance to overheat. It has pretty much been parked once it started overheating the other day. Will an intake gasket leak cause poor starting?

On a good note..... When I replaced the thermostat I also serviced the transmission. It had a small drip from the pan gasket. The new one took care of the leak and it is shifting a lot smoother. It was never jerking or anything but it just feels better. I guess this means nothing until I get it up and running again!

Thanks again guys. I'm anxious to start the tear down tomorrow. I've got the digital camera all charged up and ready to go. I'll probably take more pictures tomorrow than I have in the past two years!

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Hmmm - This white smoke you noticed??!! Yes could be plain normal or an early sign in that it goes away. How cold are you talking and was this thing outside or in a garage? I don't see that from a garaged car of my own (never freezes in garage here) with all the ranges of temps and humidity that could happen over the course of the year.

You might even smell that it's not just gassy (shouldn't do that either) but that odd distinct odor of antifreeze. The guys have said this does have a predisposition for it AND you've overheated so unless you want practice going back (things go faster the second time) and you have the time go for it and would be a nice selling point to me anyway if you documented it as "preventative" if nothing else.

Why it doesn't start right up is possibly another issue not related to any of this - can't say right now until it's all done then if that continues would be a separate thing to deal with.

About now I'm going to say go for it while you are tearing into it now. Put PB on anything now that might give you a hard time,

Tom

Response From MarineGrunt

It was parked outside and got down to about 15 degrees last night and was probably 18 degrees when I started it up. I watched the neighbors pull out of their driveway a little while ago and their car smoked a bit as they were driving down the road. They have a newer Taurus. It only got up to about 25 today. So maybe it's just the cold temps?

I did smell it last night and didn't seem to notice any distinct odor. I don't really go around huffing exhaust fumes all that often so I'm not really sure what smell I'm really looking for. To be honest it was my first huff of exhaust. I'm still too young to really have a bucket list but I can guarantee you that sniffing exhaust fumes wouldn't have be on it! It seemed to smell just like any other exhaust.

A few years ago the van would crank over a few times before starting. I ended up putting a fuel pressure regulator on it and it took care of it. My work car and my sister's car did the same thing and a fuel pressure regulator took care of both of those too. Over the past 6 months or so the van kind of started doing the same thing just not as bad as what it did last night and this morning. I've never had to give it some gas. Maybe it's just the fuel pressure regulator again.

I'm really considering going ahead and doing the head gaskets. I'm off of work for a couple weeks and have the time. Once I get back to work I'll be working 7 days a week, 10 to 12 hour days for a few months and will have no time so it would be worth the peace of mind. The only problem is, with having the house for sale, I'm gonna have to push it in and out of the garage when a realtor shows our house. Does the engine have to be jacked up from underneath during this process? If so, I'm gonna have to figure something else out. Or, if it does, could I just support it from the top before I push it out? I can't wait to move out of this house so I can have a bigger garage!

I'd feel a lot better once we do sell it if I know the head gasket had been replaced and there is nothing to worry about. Whoever buys a van with over 140,000 miles is more than likely going to be a family and a family who is quite possibly strapped for cash. I would feel horrible if they bought it and a month later the head gasket blew on them. I'm sure it's a very expensive job if taken somewhere to get it done since these vans can be such a pain to work on.

Probably not going to start on it until Tuesday morning now. Just found out that we have a showing tomorrow and another one Monday.

Thanks Tom. I really do appreciate all your time involved in giving me advice.

Response From Hammer Time

You're trying to diagnose everything all at once and you really can't do that. You have a know leak at the intake and that has to be repaired first so the system can build pressure before you are going to have any idea if it has a head gasket problem also.

Response From MarineGrunt

Well the project is about to begin here in a couple hours. My buddy, who is a mechanic for Altorfer Cat, advised me to just change the intake gasket and not to mess with the head gasket since we do plan on getting rid of it in a couple months and that seems to be the only thing causing the overheating. He pretty much said the exact same thing you all said. I guess if for some reason the head gasket also ends up being faulty then I'll just have to tear into it again. I'm sure it will be much easier the second time around.

It's nice knowing that I have all of you guy's knowledge if I run into some issues along the way. I enjoy posting and getting advice but hopefully I won't have to chat with you guys for a few days although I have my doubts!

Thanks again and I'll let you all know how it goes.





Brian

Response From MarineGrunt

I didn't end up starting until today but just finished pulling the old intake gasket off. It went quite well but I guess disassembly is the easy part.

Most of the manifold bolts didn't even seem tight. The manual said that you'd probably have to somewhat pry the manifold apart but it was as loose as can be. Could this be why the van leaked so much oil? I had to add a quart of oil about every 1500 miles and the engine is saturated in oil and grime.

You could easily tell where the gasket failed.

Just curious but what do you all use to cover up the engine to keep foreign matter from falling in while cleaning it? I just stuffed shop towels all over but didn't know if there is anything else that works better. I wanna give it a good cleaning.

Response From Discretesignals

If you have an old shop vacuum and scraper, that works pretty good, so you don't get crap down in the holes and valley. Use a wire brush (not a outdoor grill brush) and brake cleaner to clean around the ports. After you get it back together, change the oil before you start it.

It's not unusual to have loose bolts on those when you go to take it apart. I don't think I have had one where I needed a crow bar to get the intake to separate. Just make sure that when you put it back together that you torque those lower intake bolts to the specs noted on the paper that comes with your gasket kit. The order of tightening the bolts won't be on the paper, so refer to your service information.

Very important to make sure that your bolt holes are blown out and don't have anything in them. If you have oil or junk in there it will hydro-lock the bolt.

Oh wait...here is the sequence:


Response From MarineGrunt

Thanks Discretsignals...I always appreciate the help and advice. Are stainless steel brushes okay to use or is a regular wire brush okay?

Some of the bolts were very loose. I bet if I would've tried I could've taken a couple off by hand. Guess it doesn't really matter now though.

It seems like I remember reading that new manifold bolts should be used or is that only recommended for head bolts if replacing a head gaset?

I'm kind of curious if the intake gasket has ever been changed. Is there a way to tell by the old gasket? Why is it that some of these Ventures have had the intake changed 3 times before they hit 100,000 and some don't ever need it at all or just at very high miles? Does it just come down to how you drive it, possibly the climate and just how well you have taken care of it?

Response From Discretesignals

Stainless steel wire tooth brush (small) works good when I do them. I just pay attention and make sure a bristle doesn't fall off down into the motor. Keeping the shop vac running next to the brush is a good idea. Don't use the ones you attach to a drill...lol.


The head bolts are stretch and have to be replaced. The intakes are reused. Make sure the rocker bolts are torqued to 31 ft/lbs after the holes are blown out. Last thing you want to do is strip out rocker hole threads or hydro-lock.

Have no clue as to why some nylon intake gaskets last longer than others. I am sure the engineer(s) that designed them are sitting at their beach house sipping on umbrella drinks. The permadry gasket should eliminate that problem.

Response From MarineGrunt

I wonder how many have actually taken a wire wheel to it??!!

31 foot pounds....gotcha....I didn't take the rocker bolts out I just loosened them. Maybe I should to make things easier to clean?

Since we are going to be getting rid of it in a few months I'm going to take my time and clean the engine and components up real good. I probably won't start putting everything back together until tomorrow afternoon. I already know I have a couple of basic questions but will wait until I'm at that point so I don't jump all around. Figure it may help someone in the future who is searching for info if my questions are in order of reassembly.

I'm in the wrong profession....I wanna be sitting on a beach sipping umbrella drinks! Instead, I'm too tight to take my vehicles to a real mechanic! Nah....it's more of that I enjoy it and it feels good when it's up and running knowing I did it. I should say knowing "we" did it because I'm not sure what would happen without you all to help out. It also helps having my "insurance policy" That "insurance policy" is my buddy who's a mechanic for Altorfer Cat. He also works on cars on the side. The part I like about that is the discount and no tax on parts!

Response From MarineGrunt

I know I was already told I don't need to get new manifold bolts but do have a another question about the bolts. Alldata dyi says this.....

"Important: The gasket kit part number listed below now includes the new bolts (4 long bolts and 4 short bolts) with the pre-applied threadlocker on them. It is no longer necessary to order the bolts separately when ordering gaskets."

Do I need to put any kind of loctite on the original bolts before installing or should I go ahead and get new bolts that already have it on there?

Also, if I have a cracked wheel can drill a new pattern in a Ford rim in order to make it fit the Venture? I just want to be able to drive it down the road. ha ha....Was hoping maybe that question would get my post locked at the top of the page for all to see! I'm guessing that probably isn't a good thing though!

Response From Hammer Time

Also, if I have a cracked wheel can drill a new pattern in a Ford rim in order to make it fit the Venture? I just want to be able to drive it down the road. ha ha....Was hoping maybe that question would get my post locked at the top of the page for all to see! I'm guessing that probably isn't a good thing though!



I assume this is some sort of joke. When a thread gets locked it doesn't stay at the top. It just prevents anyone that is not a Mod from posting to it.

Response From MarineGrunt

Definitely a joke.... It was either gonna be the wheel question or whether or not I could grind down an electrical plug from a battery charger made in the UK in order to plug it into my American wall outlet.

You guys are great! I love how you tell it exactly how it is. Nowadays most seem to sugarcoat everything and it's one of the many reasons why things in our country have went down the crapper.

Maybe you guys should run for office? You've got my vote.

Response From Hammer Time

Hahaha......... I tell it like it is and many don't like me for it but all I can say is "who cares".

Nobody wants to spend money and that is the reason we are here in the first place but repairing today's cars is more than just waiving a magic wand or fixing anything for a couple dollars with knowledge that we are supposedly holding back from the public. Many things are difficult for us to even figure out with thousands of dollars worth of equipment and years of experience but some fool will come on here and get pissed when we can't just tell them what part has to be changed to fix the issue they have been ignoring for 3 years and 4 shops have told him it will cost $1,000 to fix..

Response From MarineGrunt

I here you Hammer Time.....I'd much rather be told the truth and especially if my family's safety, my safety or anybody elses safety has even the slightest chance of being at risk. There are enough accidents on the road everyday with perfectly safe cars. I can't imagine how many more there would be if everyone thought they could hold a car together with duct tape and bubble gum.

I've only been a member here for a week or so but highly value the opinions. It's not like it's making your wallet fatter by telling us to fix it the right way or take it to a mechanic. Some people just can't handle hearing the truth and it can be dangerous. They often end up finding it out the hard way no matter how many times they were advised or warned.

Response From Hammer Time

Those are the people that are always real quick to blame someone else for the failure too.

Response From MarineGrunt

Yep....I can see it now....despite all the warnings if someone would've finally said, "fine, just weld the sob on there", the forum would be shut down and someone would have a lawsuit on their hands. Not to mention the blood of some innocent victim on their hands. Lord knows I couldn't live with that guilt.

Response From MarineGrunt

Quick question....when I purchased my thermostat last week they asked me if I wanted the thermostat gasket and of course I got one. The thermostat already has a gasket attached to it. The one they sold me and the one that came with the intake gasket set (I assume it's the same) looks like an o-ring about the size of a quarter. Does this o-ring just not apply to my vehicle? I can't see anywhere that it could possibly go.

Response From Discretesignals

It's probably the o ring either for the heater pipe that plugs into the top of the water pump housing or the o ring for the heater pipe that plugs into the lower intake manifold.

Response From MarineGrunt

I may possibly be the one for the heater pipe above the water pump but the one that's currently on there is kind of a round flat one that fits in a groove on the pipe. The new one would fit tight but could wiggle back in forth within that groove. I may just leave the old one on for now since it's easy to get to if it does ever need changed. A gasket for the heater pipe that goes in the lower intake didn't come in the gasket set. Is that something I should really change? I hate to spend $10 in gas to get a $1.00 gasket but definitely will if it's advisable to replace. It looks to be okay with no cracks and I can feel it "hugging" as I slide the heater pipe in.

Response From Discretesignals

The old one is actually an o ring. It's not round anymore because it was sitting inside a hole. Lubricate the o ring and the hole it slides into with vasoline before putting it together.

Your call. If the o ring looks in good condition, you might be able to reuse it.

Response From MarineGrunt

Okay....need a little help. I put all bolts in separate baggies and labeled everything. I finished everything up and then noticed one bolt that I forgot to put back on. I ended up taking off the alternator bracket and for some reason the tensioner pulley. I guess I kinda got carried away tearing crap out. I'm pretty sure it has to be a bolt for either the alternator bracket or possibly the alternator but I doubt it. I have 3 bolts holding the alternator in. Two in the back and the one longer one in the front. I know the alternator bracket takes 3 bolts but does the tensioner pulley bolt count as the third bolt? If not, I'm guessing there's a bolt hole behind the tensioner pulley that holds the alternator bracket on there or right around there and I'm just not seeing it.

This bolt is 3 inches long and has a 15mm head.

Any idea?

Thanks!

Response From Hammer Time

Reach around the back of the alternator and see if there is one missing down low.

Response From MarineGrunt

Ya know what Hammer...I think you're right. It does seem like there was a long one that was towards the back rear of the alternator. Seems like 3 bolts would be plenty but what do I know. Obviously not much if I had a 3 inch bolt leftover!

The realtor is gonna be here in a half hour for a showing so will check later on this evening.

I sure appreciate all the help. I'll be sure to let you all know how everything turns out with it.

Response From MarineGrunt

Since Hammer Time directed me in the location of the bolt I was able to bring it up a diagram on Alldata DYI and that's definitely the one. Two go in from the side of the alternator bracket and one goes in from the back in between and under the alternator and it's two rear bolts. I'll have to rotate the engine forward again and possibly have to pull the alternator to get it in. I wish I would've noticed the bolt before I put everythig back together but at least it's not one that's buried. I labeled and bagged all the bolts for each individual component as I took everything apart. When I went to put the alternator bracket on I took the bolts out of the bag and set them on the windshield above the wiper blade and that one fell off. I remember there being 3 but mistaked the tensioner pulley bolt for the 3rd bolt. Oh well, I knew someone here would save my @ss once again!

Going to put it in tomorrow and take her for a test drive. Keep your fingers crossed! I'll let you know how it runs.

Thanks again!

Response From Hammer Time

If I remember right (which is rare these days) there is a bracket or brace on the back of the alternator that can be removed to gain access over the top using a swivel socket and extension.

Response From MarineGrunt

We had to go into town today so I was just now able to get the rear alternator bracket bolt back in there. I then attempted to start her up. It started! Being a dyi guy it feels so good to hear it start. Whenever I put stuff back together, and nearing the end, I always have that thought in the back of my mind wondering if I put everything back together right or if I forgot to plug in some electrical connector. Everything went very well. I know that's because I had everyone here to fall back on if I had some questions. I'm so thankful for your guy's time. If I'm every in your area when we are on vacation or something I'll be sure to stop by with a case of beer!

I'm going to finish bleeding off the air in the cooling system and take it for a drive. I'll report back soon.

Response From Hammer Time

Glad to hear you got it all worked out.

Response From MarineGrunt

Thanks Hammer Time.....Everything seems to be okay with it. The heater wasn't blowing hot air at first but once I bled off the air in the cooling system it worked just fine. Before I got started on it earlier this week I mentioned how it would sometimes crank over a few times before starting. I've started it off and on throughout the day and so far it's been starting right up and quicker than it has in a long time. I'm anxious to start it up in the morning so I can see if that part is also cured.

The engine had oil and grime all over for a long time. I'm thinking the intake and possibly the valve covers had been slowly seeping for a long time and that's why I had to add oil as much as I did. It will be interesting to see if this takes care of it. I also picked up an oil pan gasket but may hold off on that just to see what was actually leaking.

So, the van is running and we just received an offer on our house. It has only been on the market for 2 weeks so it has been a great day!

I can't thank all of you enough for all of the help and advice. Just the peace of mind knowing that you all had my back during all of this made it a very enjoyable project.

Thank you for a wonderful forum! I've been on a handful of automotive repair forums over the years and this is by far the best one!




Brian

Response From Discretesignals

Wow! Got a fixed van and a potential buyer. Nice.. Just remember that when us mechanics do brake system repairs, we stand behind our work....literally.

Response From MarineGrunt


Just remember that when us mechanics do brake system repairs, we stand behind our work....literally.



Well then it's a good thing I'm a boilermaker and not a mechanic! Does that mean I can just stand to the side and hope for the best? We normally just beat the heck out of something with a beater to fix it. When it breaks from doing that we just weld it.

Our counter offer was accepted so it has been a great weekend. Now the wife will for sure be getting a new vehicle in a few months and could use some advice on that. She has kind of been looking at the Traverse, Acadia and Town and Country. Any reason why one would pick one over the other? What do you guys see in the shop more, or should I say the least? Any vehicles similar to these that you would recommend?

I'm glad we don't have to pay a nickel for every question we ask on here. With all the questions I've asked over the past week I'd be broke!

Response From Hammer Time

I'm glad we don't have to pay a nickel for every question we ask on here. With all the questions I've asked over the past week I'd be broke!




13,187 answers for me and still counting.

And that's only at this site....LOL

Response From MarineGrunt

You'd be pushing $7000 from this forum alone! Got you thinking, don't I?!! I should've kept my mouth shut.

Response From nickwarner

This is probably the longest thread I've ever followed. But oogh ra marine, you have persevered and not only does your van run well the house got a hit shortly after listing. Not often that happens in this market. If you want another minivan I think from personal experience that the Chrysler minivan holds up the best of all the makes. You'll still have to work on them as you will anything out there, but much simpler and with less failure rates than others. But try and talk the wife into keeping her van a bit longer. You just worked hard on it and should get your money's worth out of it. Congrats on the repair and I'm sure you'll be back in the future to see us. Always welcome as well.

Response From MarineGrunt

Thanks Nick....I would've have went nearly as smooth without all the help and advice I received here. We'll probably keep it a little longer but I'm not sure how long. We plan on driving to Florida for vacation sometime this summer. I'm almost positive the van wouldn't have any issues but after researching the Venture before this last repair it seems they are prone to many issues. If were were heading as far south as Palm Beach I wouldn't worry about because I'd just pull it into Hammer Time's garage! We haven't really had too many issues with the van but it just turned 140,000. I didn't notice while working on it that someone had to pull a new wire through the fire wall that runs to the ignition module. Last year we were visiting the in-laws in KY in winter and there was no juice getting to the fuse that's inside the vehicle for the ac and heater control unit. I just jumped it to the rear wiper fuse, since the rear wiper motor doesn't work, in order to be able to have some heat for our drive home. I checked all the main fuses in the engine compartment and they all have juice. I still have to trace some wiring down in order to fix it correctly. I've read that many people have had electrical issues with the Venture. Everything is working fine now but I don't know how many more times I want to roll the dice on it. Considering all the other problems I've read about people having I can't complain at all. Just like anything though, as things get older, the more they start malfunctioning. Then again, after completing this last project, I feel pretty confident when it comes to working on it. I'm not in a big hurry to get rid of it so I'll just see how it goes.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

You've probably already said but it's a long thread. Just read top post and you said this would cool down by gauge anyway at higher speeds or when heater was used which is taking heat away.

This now causes me to question the radiator or perhaps water pump just can't pump well enough at low speed OR antifreeze concentration is way too strong doesn't transfer heat well.

Is all shrouding in place? Everything clean where air must flow?

That's where I'd be looking for the trouble. A hot engine that doesn't fill the recovery tank is a clue that it isn't doing its thing properly too,

Tom

Response From MarineGrunt

Thanks Tom....It's all fixed and running great so far (knock on wood). I was able to pull the air duct off and could see where the intake was leaking. I'm pretty sure the intake had been leaking for quite awhile and finally blew out as there was gobs of oil and grime all over the engine. It was possibly the valve covers leaking too. I took about 5 days doing the job because I took my time and cleaned the engine compartment up really good. We will probably be looking for a newer vehicle in a few months (a few years if it were up to me but I am married) so figured a clean engine makes for an easier sale.

So, she's good to go for now and hopefully for a long time. I know you answer a lot of posts Tom so you probably don't remember but you helped me out, along with the others, quite a bit and I really appreciate your time. Thanks for helping me through this repair!

Response From Hammer Time

I've made much more than that at other sites that do charge in years past. I don't do it for the money

Response From Hammer Time

And we love compliments too............ Thank you

Response From Hammer Time

Nobody said blown head gaskets were uncommon in that engine. They just don't leak externally. The intake manifold leaking is very common

Response From nickwarner

The FelPro problem solver kit comes with a tube of the sealant you need and directions of where to put it. Its an excellent kit and I've never had a comeback from it. Special tools won't be needed. There are some items that make the job easier, but aside from a 3/8 drive torque wrench nothing special or extremely pricey is needed. Be sure to change the thermostat when you do this and keep all things as clean as possible. Let us know how it goes for you.