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How to Replace a Water Coolant Outlet on a Dodge Charger (2006-2009) with 2.7L Engine

Updated on October 21, 2012
A Defective Water Coolant Outlet.
A Defective Water Coolant Outlet. | Source

The other day I noticed that there was a small coolant leak at the water outlet housing on my Dodge Charger. I looked it up online and found that this was a common problem specific to 2.7L V6 engines. During my research I also discovered that there wasn't a guide on how to make this repair. In this article, I will explain step-by-step how to replace a water coolant outlet (sometimes called a coolant air bleeder) on a 2006 to 2009 Dodge Charger with a 2.7L engine. The total repair cost is estimated to be between $40 and $60 and the total time to complete the job should be less than 30 minutes.

Step 1: Layout and Inspect the New Part

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Inspect the new coolant outlet [3] prior to purchasing it to make sure that it is not defective. Your new coolant outlet should come with new bolts and washers [4]. Please note that these bolts may have a different length than your old ones. This is because the new coolant outlet has a different design than your OEM part as it has been manufactured to correct the coolant leak problem. For this repair you will also need a thread locker [1] and some RTV silicone Gasket sealer [2].

Step 2: Gather the Necessary Tools

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For this repair, you will need 4 tools. You will need a 1/4inch drive socket wrench [3], a 1 1/2 inch drive extension [2], a flat tipped screwdriver [4], and some sockets (6mm, 8mm & 10mm) [1].

Step 3: Remove the Old Water Coolant Outlet

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Before you begin it is a good idea to drain some coolant from your radiator so that it won't leak everywhere when the outlet [3] is removed. Next, stuff some rags in between the pipes and belts to catch any excess coolant that could spill out when the outlet [3] is removed. Begin by removing the two smaller bolts [2] hold the outlet pipe [5] to the coolant outlet [3]. Next, remove the four larger bolts [1] that hold the outlet to the car. Note the position of the air bleeder [2].

Once the bolts are removed, slide the outlet pipe [5] towards the front of the car. It should slide rather easily as it is only being held in the place by an o-ring.

Step 4: Clean Up the Coolant Build-Up

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Now that you have the coolant outlet removed, it is time to remove the coolant build-up. Use rags and a screwdriver to gently remove the dried coolant. Be careful not the scratch the soft aluminum or to allow coolant chunks to enter the engine. Note the location of the outlet pipe o-ring [1] and the air bleeder [2] in the above photograph.

Step 5: Compare the Old and New Parts

As stated before, the old and new water coolant outlets will not exactly match because the older one essentially has a defective design.

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The key thing to look for is to make sure that the bolt patterns match. Sometimes the new part will have an air bleeder molded right into the top of it. From my research this shouldn't be a problem for your engine except that it's possibly an eyesore to have two air bleeders under the hood.

Step 6: Apply RTV Gasket Sealer to the New Water Coolant Outlet

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Apply some RTV sealant to the rubber seals [1] on the bottom of the new water coolant outlet. It's also a good idea to apply some to rubber seals that separate the two halves of the part.

Step 7: Install the New Part

Before you install the new part check to make sure that the O-ring on the outlet pipe is in good condition (see #4 on the diagram below). Most of the time this should be replaced, but if it is in good condition it should still function. If your uncertain about it's condition, it's best to replace the O-ring as at this time. In either case, you need to lubricate the O-ring with a silicone based grease before reinstalling the pipe.

Installation is the reverse of removal. Carefully set new coolant outlet onto the engine and insert the outlet pipe. Apply thread locker to the bolts and torque the unit down to engine using the socket wrench. Don't forget the washers! The bolts should be hand be hand-tight - be careful not to over tighten them. Next, install the two smaller bolts that hold the pipe to the outlet.

Completed Repair

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Once the installation of the water coolant outlet is complete, be sure to fill your coolant reservoir to account for any fluid that you drained earlier. Allow at least 6hrs (24hours is better) for the RTV sealant to cure before testing the unit. To test the repair, start your engine and let it idle until it reaches normal operating temperature. Check for signs of leaks at this time.

Congratulations, you have just finished replacing a water coolant outlet on your V6 Dodge Charger!

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      Bobadilla 3 years ago

      I have the same problem wit my dodge charger , I bought the part in the auto part store (water outlet housing ) and i went to the dealer to see how much it cost to replace it and they told me is about $500 because is a whole piece that includes the long pipe that goes inside of the engine under the water outlet housing and the other pipe where the o ring is connected so they have to remove all the top of the engine (manifold ) and it seems to complicated to do it by my self more than it seems here ,.

    • CWanamaker profile image
      Author

      CWanamaker 3 years ago from Arizona

      It sounds like the dealership is taking you for a rand trying to rip you off. When doing research to perform this repair I found all kinds of crazy things - some said that the radiator had to be drained completely or even removed!? Fortunately when I let reason prevail and in the end it was actually very easy to fix.

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      carlos 3 years ago

      I just changed mine a 2006 dodge magnum every thing is fine but my check engine light came on I don't know why there is nothing leaking dut the light is still on help

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      Carlton 3 years ago

      I've done this before on my 99 Intrepid 2.7. Went to do it today on my 09 Charger but the pipe won't slide forward. I've got all 6 screws off but I can't get the outlet off cause its caught between the pipe and the intake manifold. Is there a clamp or something on the pipe at the rear of the engine that I can't see?

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      Daniel 3 years ago

      What part number did you use for your new housing? I'd like to find one that doesn't have the bleeder?

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      Chris 3 years ago

      Thanks this was very helpful on doing this job. I couldn't even find anything in the haynes repair manual on this...

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      david 3 years ago

      its the cap

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      Owais 3 years ago

      Where do you got thia part from.. ? I see alldefective deaigns available on ebay.. Have replaced couple of times with same leaking problem

    • profile image

      Owais 3 years ago

      Where did you got this part from.. ? I see all defective deaigns available on ebay.. Have replaced couple of times with same leaking problem. Please send me the part number or ebay item number on rasool.owais@gmail.com

      Thanks

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      Jimmy 2 years ago

      Carlton or anyone else having trouble getting the pipe to slide forward. Follow the pipe to the back towards the firewall. You can reach around the back side and feel a rigid clamp holding it in place. You have to take it off this clamp in order to have enough room to maneuver the old piece out and the new one in.

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      DraX 2 years ago

      Umm... All defective models are available, but i can't seem to find the model you have posted here. Could you please post a model number of the part you used?

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      isaac 2 years ago

      What if you don't drain the coolant?

    • CWanamaker profile image
      Author

      CWanamaker 2 years ago from Arizona

      Isaac - When I did this repair I did not need to drain the coolant.

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      lizeth 2 years ago

      Hello Jimmy,

      Its that ridig clamp at the T intersection on the back of the car? Or are you talking about the one that its right back the engiee?

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      Steve 20 months ago

      Thank you for these instructions. It's going to save me a lot of $$ by doing this myself. Do I have to wait the 6-24 hrs for it to cure? It's parked in a shopping mall and I need to get it out asap

    • CWanamaker profile image
      Author

      CWanamaker 20 months ago from Arizona

      Steve - It's best to wait for it to cure but its not necessarily required. If you have a good seal you should be fine.

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      Gary 20 months ago

      Where can you get the new design I can't find one. the old design is junk I have to replace them every few months the last one I replaced lasted two days

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      John 20 months ago

      Need part number , please.

      Mopar search comes up with part with round holes.

      It does not include tube either. This is irelavent.

    • profile image

      Rick 20 months ago

      John,

      Part # I come across is 5017183AB that's the Thermostat Housing. To my luck, my local auto part stores only sell the housing. I bought the housing however the water outlet tube is corroded where it connects to the housing. This is a dealer item only from what I was told. I'll have to check local junk yards also depending how $$ it will be at the dealer.

      Hope this helps!

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      Jdwilliam 17 months ago

      $225 at CARX. One hour and done. No swearing, busted knuckles, or broken other parts. Did not have the go to store and buy part, antifreeze, sealant or the other surprise parts/tools one always needs when doing a "simple" job.

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      Ramirez 14 months ago

      $70 bucks did it myself appreciate the info

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      Ramirez 14 months ago

      I Got everything at autozone the new not defective water outlet housing, blue thread locker, and the black gasket maker sealant... Saved

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      Tony G 9 months ago

      Is it absolutely necessary to drain the anti-freeze before changing the part? If so, how do I drain it?

    • CWanamaker profile image
      Author

      CWanamaker 9 months ago from Arizona

      Tony,

      No, in my experience it was not necessary to drain the anti-freeze. When I remove one of the hoses some did leak out but I was able to make the repair without draining it.

      Thank you,

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