83' Datsun Disaster

I have an old 83 datsun pickup. It is my first car and I love it and it has more character than most people that I know. one day it just started leaking antifreeze. I looked under the hood and could see a steady leak way down on the bottom driver’s side of my engine. What’s the problem and how can I fix it? No matter what, getting rid of this car is not an option.

well, without knowing exactly where the leak is on the engine, it’s hard to say, but if “way down on the bottom” means “below where the head and block meet, and in the middle of nowhere as far as parts stuck on the engine goes” then you’ve probably cracked your block and need a new engine.

There is still hope. It may be only a rubber hose (cheapest fix) or you may have to replace the radiator (not so bad). You have to find out the actual source of the leak. This can only be done by hands-on inspection.

Coolant leaks follow the hoses and sometimes the leak isn’t where you see the dripping. Hopefully you’ll find a hose that is split and a new hose can fix’r up.

Ugh, freeze plug anyone? These are small round aluminum discs that plug holes in the block and head castings to allow the sand core to be removed. They get their name from the old days, before antifreeze, when they would pop out to prevent the water that began to ice up inside the block to pour out and keep the block from cracking, in theory anyway.

The new antifreezes today are so good at corrosion protection that you don’t see these develop pinholes from corrosion like you used to, but your engine is old enough to start seeing this. It could also be a rubber hose if you have one in the area of the leak.

I’m with Keith on this one.
While it could be from another source, I think it is most likely a case of the freeze plug(s) having rotted through from corrosion in the cooling system.

If it is a freeze plug, if you live in a cold climate replace it with a block heater (it goes in the freeze plug hole) and use it. A block heater is an engine saver for 15Degrees and below imho.

Oh, freeze plug. That’s good! In an older car something the check out for sure.

No way of knowing from here but a heater hose leak or intake manifold leak are possibilities along with block plug scenario.

This era of Datsun truck is also prone to head gasket leaks but hopefully it’s not as serious as that.

Yep, I’ve had freeze plugs rust out. Not a big expense depending on where they are and if the engine doesn’t have to be pulled to get to them. Also had a block heater go too, as well as a coolant shut off valve. Think you’ll just have to get it in the air to see where exactly the leak is coming from.

"No matter what, getting rid of this car is not an option. "

Sorry, but sooner or later they ALL go through a shredder…NOTHING lasts forever, especially Datsun pick-ups…

You’ve received a number of possibilities here, and I can only add to them the water pump and the radiator.

You need a good shop to look at it.