Chris loves automobiles and has maintained, repaired, and/or restored over a dozen of them in the last 15 years.
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
Inspect the new coolant outlet  prior to purchasing it to make sure that it is not defective. Your new coolant outlet should come with new bolts and washers . 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  and some RTV silicone Gasket sealer .
Step 2: Gather the Necessary Tools
For this repair, you will need 4 tools. You will need a 1/4inch drive socket wrench , a 1 1/2 inch drive extension , a flat tipped screwdriver , and some sockets (6mm, 8mm & 10mm) .
Step 3: Remove the Old Water Coolant Outlet
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  is removed. Next, stuff some rags in between the pipes and belts to catch any excess coolant that could spill out when the outlet  is removed. Begin by removing the two smaller bolts  hold the outlet pipe  to the coolant outlet . Next, remove the four larger bolts  that hold the outlet to the car. Note the position of the air bleeder .
Once the bolts are removed, slide the outlet pipe  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
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  and the air bleeder  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.
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
Apply some RTV sealant to the rubber seals  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.
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!
What's the Part Number?
Over the years I have been asked what part number I used to make this repair. I purchased the part referenced in this repair at AutoZone. The part number was 815634 and the brand was Torqflo. See photo below:
More Part Numbers
I did a little research and also found that Napa carries one under part number BK 6003245. If you prefer to shop at O'Reilly's, the same part is available under part number 902-301.
Your local auto parts store may have that part listed under a different name like "Coolant Air Bleeder" or "Coolant Outlet Housing" or something like that.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2012 Christopher Wanamaker
Irving B Aguilera on November 04, 2019:
here is an all aluminum part if anybody would like to know, it is being sold by amazon.
Fredrick on August 06, 2019:
I installed it and the bleeder spits out water... Why?
Christopher Wanamaker (author) from Arizona on November 20, 2018:
I've updated the article to include the part number(s). Thank you,
Irving B Aguilera on November 20, 2018:
what is the part number? I have had it replaced 2 and aftermarket as well as OEM are absolute junk.
I also found this part here.
Christopher Wanamaker (author) from Arizona on August 24, 2016:
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.
Tony G on August 24, 2016:
Is it absolutely necessary to drain the anti-freeze before changing the part? If so, how do I drain it?
Ramirez on March 02, 2016:
I Got everything at autozone the new not defective water outlet housing, blue thread locker, and the black gasket maker sealant... Saved
Ramirez on March 02, 2016:
$70 bucks did it myself appreciate the info
Jdwilliam on December 09, 2015:
$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.
Rick on September 28, 2015:
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 $$ it will be at the dealer.
Hope this helps!
John on September 25, 2015:
Need part number , please.
Mopar search comes up with part with round holes.
It does not include tube either. This is irelavent.
Gary on September 24, 2015:
Where can you get the new design I can't find one. the old design is junk I have to replace them every few months the last one I replaced lasted two days
Christopher Wanamaker (author) from Arizona on September 23, 2015:
Steve - It's best to wait for it to cure but its not necessarily required. If you have a good seal you should be fine.
Steve on September 23, 2015:
Thank you for these instructions. It's going to save me a lot of $$ 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
lizeth on April 25, 2015:
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?
Christopher Wanamaker (author) from Arizona on February 05, 2015:
Isaac - When I did this repair I did not need to drain the coolant.
isaac on February 05, 2015:
What if you don't drain the coolant?
DraX on December 23, 2014:
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?
Jimmy on August 25, 2014:
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.
Owais on January 14, 2014:
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 email@example.com
Owais on January 14, 2014:
Where do you got thia part from.. ? I see alldefective deaigns available on ebay.. Have replaced couple of times with same leaking problem
david on December 19, 2013:
its the cap
Chris on November 19, 2013:
Thanks this was very helpful on doing this job. I couldn't even find anything in the haynes repair manual on this...
Daniel on September 01, 2013:
What part number did you use for your new housing? I'd like to find one that doesn't have the bleeder?
Carlton on August 17, 2013:
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?
carlos on August 10, 2013:
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
Christopher Wanamaker (author) from Arizona on July 09, 2013:
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.
Bobadilla on July 09, 2013:
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 ,.