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.
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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
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