Serious Explorations Ford Explorer and Ranger Message Board
#1 Resource for Ford Explorer and Ranger Owners - By Enthusiasts, for Enthusiasts.


Ford Explorer Generation Guide

EF Swag Store 2016 Ford Explorer Forums Elite Membership Chat Room My Posts Reviews Explorer Photo Gallery
Go Back   Ford Explorer and Ranger Forums "Serious Explorations" > Ford Explorer Ranger Repair - Troubleshooting - Modifications & Detailing Forums > 1995 - 2001 Explorer Ranger Mountaineer - Sport thru '03 - 2nd Generation > Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers

Notices

Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers Questions related to non-modified 1995-2001 Explorer, Mountaineer, Ranger and '02+ Sports and Sport Trac. Problem solving, maintenance, TSB, service bulletins, owner reviews, specifications.

Air Bubbles in Radiator Overflow

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-25-2011, 05:50 PM   #1
Waltru
Vancouver, BC
2002 XLT V8
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 10

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
Air Bubbles in Radiator Overflow

I just posted in this thread but I thought I should start a new one from me as well: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...64#post2635364

I am having a problem with my 2000 SOHC with 120k. From a cold start the thermostat won't open until I get full hot on the gauge and the warning light comes on. When it does open after a few seconds the gauge falls back to normal and the heater starts blowing hot air.
I also have the bubbles in the overflow tank when the engine is running and they continue for a minute or so once I shut it off. It does look like it's boiling from where the rad overflow hose enters the tank. When I get home from a drive I find the lid for the overflow tank will have popped open from the air pressure and coolant has slopped out of the tank.
My gut is head gasket but I'm hopeful that a cracked thermostat housing maybe letting all this air in. There is no check engine light and the engine seems fine except for a low idle speed when in Drive (~500 rpm).
I guess a compression check is my next option unless anyone has any other ideas?
Has anyone tried bars leak - type products for head gaskets?
Thanks!
Waltru is offline   Reply With Quote
( Join the Elite Explorers )

Join the Elite Explorers for only $20 a year. Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose and fix problems yourself, and learn which modifications really work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members can change the forum "styles" to eliminate most ads, including blue underlined links, and no ads on photos. Other benefits include the ability to store 1000 Private Messages, upload photo attachments directly to your posts and to our Photo Gallery and more. Join the Elite Explorers today.


Old 01-25-2011, 05:58 PM   #2
1AJeremyD
Mass
95 XLT 4.0
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,149

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I wouldn't recommend using any form of leak prevention products. Sounds like a bad thermostat housing/thermostat. Change it instead of trying to add something to the radiator. Once you add that sort of thing you will never be able to flush it out afterwards




__________________
Jeremy
1A Auto
888-844-3393
Shop for Ford Explorer Parts
1AJeremyD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 06:42 PM   #3
swetrid
Reading Pa
1999 Eddie Bauer
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,899

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
thermostat




__________________
Resident Ford Tech for the last 17 years, 1999 Eddie Bauer Explorer, 1987 Mustang GT, 2013 Focus ST
swetrid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 08:18 PM   #4
OneLever
97 Mt. 5.0L AWD
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 777

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waltru View Post
From a cold start the thermostat won't open until I get full hot on the gauge and the warning light comes on.
Good job on describing the issue. You identified the likely main problem since the thermostat is supposed to open well before internal engine temperature reaches the "High" point on the gauge as others have stated.

Here is an excellent write up for your motor by AeroRamer: Link




__________________
There is wisdom to be found in the counsel of many.
OneLever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 10:26 PM   #5
Waltru
Vancouver, BC
2002 XLT V8
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 10

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
Thanks guys. I've seen reference to cracked thermostat housings on other postings. Will that allow the amount of air in that I see bubbling away in the overflow tank?
Waltru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 11:20 PM   #6
TOMANDPAT
St. Louis, MO
'98 Eddie Bauer, '02 XLT
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 103

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
US

My daughter's 2000 4.0 OHV had the bubbles in the overflow tank problem that you describe. I replaced the radiator cap, that solved the problem. However, once the system pressurized properly, the intake gasket started leaking, so I had to replace upper and lower gaskets

Tom
TOMANDPAT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 09:59 AM   #7
my98nnj
Boonton, New Jersey
1998 XLT
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,585

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 61 Post(s)
Definately head gasket.

Your getting exhaust gases into the cooling system. Those gases are being trapped probably by the t-stat and other higher areas causing the no-flow condition and the spike in temp you see before any cooling starts.

Have a shop verify this with a sniffer at the overflow bottle. It will ID the gases.
my98nnj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2011, 03:57 PM   #8
Waltru
Vancouver, BC
2002 XLT V8
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 10

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
That's a good idea to get it sniffed. Thanks for the suggestion.
Waltru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2011, 12:23 AM   #9
Waltru
Vancouver, BC
2002 XLT V8
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 10

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
I'm still messing with this in my driveway. I tried pressure testing the cooling system today but I couldn't get the adapter to seal with the neck of the radiator (and yes it was the correct adapter!). There is a slightly raised ring inside the radiator neck around the opening where the cap should seal against, but it seems to be kind of chewed up. I sanded it a bit smoother with some 80 grit paper and put some vaseline on the pressure test adaptor and that sort of worked. I was able to pump it up to 15 psi but I could still hear it hissing slowly out.
Has anyone come across this before? Would a poor rad cap seal draw air into the cooling system? I really don't want this to be a head gasket...
Waltru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2011, 07:58 AM   #10
TOMANDPAT
St. Louis, MO
'98 Eddie Bauer, '02 XLT
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 103

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
US

If you were getting exhaust gasses in the cooling system due to a blown head gasket, you'd be able to see bubbles in the radiator with the cap off, engine running. Back in the day, before sniffers, that's how we checked for a blown gasket

Tom
TOMANDPAT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2011, 04:11 PM   #11
my98nnj
Boonton, New Jersey
1998 XLT
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,585

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 61 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by TOMANDPAT View Post
If you were getting exhaust gasses in the cooling system due to a blown head gasket, you'd be able to see bubbles in the radiator with the cap off, engine running.
That's pretty much what he's got happening.

Quote:
I also have the bubbles in the overflow tank when the engine is running and they continue for a minute or so once I shut it off.
my98nnj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2011, 04:37 PM   #12
1998Exp
Seattle WA
98 Limited V8 AWD
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 397

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Overpressure is needed for the cooling system to operate properly and for the engine to reach normal temperature. If the radiator cap is not sealing, the coolant will be constantly boiling and escaping to the overflow bottle. This will probably also prevent sucking the coolant back when the engine cools down.
It may not be your main problem, but should be taken care of.
By the way, how did that damage happen? Perhaps someone used a cap with the rubber gasket missing?
1998Exp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2011, 06:02 PM   #13
TOMANDPAT
St. Louis, MO
'98 Eddie Bauer, '02 XLT
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 103

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
US

I didn't see any reference to bubbles in the radiator in his posts. If that's what he's got, then he's got more problems than a radiator cap
Tom
TOMANDPAT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2011, 06:19 PM   #14
joe doe
slatington,pa
2000 ex sport 4.0 ohv
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 629

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
a non sealing rad cap can definitly let it boil over .i was going to say change the stat and get a new cap .




__________________
joe doe the man you dont get to know...lol
joe doe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2011, 06:34 PM   #15
Waltru
Vancouver, BC
2002 XLT V8
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 10

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
I just got this truck 10 days ago because my old one was written off when someone ran a stop sign in front of me. Not sure how the damage to the rad neck could have happened on my current one.
Thanks for everyone's ideas so far - I'm going to do a full cooling system flush now and start fresh with clean water and no air bubbles. I also see a good used rad on Craigslist for 30 bucks that I think I should go get...
Waltru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 06:23 PM   #16
Waltru
Vancouver, BC
2002 XLT V8
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 10

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
A new rad cap, radiator, thermostat and Rislone BarsLeak head gasket repair have not cured my problem.
I see a 2001 Mazda Ranger engine on craigslist with about 83k miles on it for $750 that might make more sense than messing around with a head gasket or possible cracked or warped heads.
Should this fully dressed Mazda Ranger SOHC be a straight swap?

http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/pm...197600179.html

Thanks for everyone's help so far...
Waltru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2011, 11:42 AM   #17
OneLever
97 Mt. 5.0L AWD
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 777

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waltru View Post
Rislone BarsLeak head gasket repair have not cured my problem... $750 that might make more sense than messing around with a head gasket or possible cracked or warped heads.
A stop-leak additive can only do so much it will not work miracles on a blown head gasket. Unless you overheated the engine I doubt that the heads would be warped. New gaskets all around (both intake and the heads) would still run less than half that cost if you do them yourself. With an engine who's history you know on top of that.




__________________
There is wisdom to be found in the counsel of many.
OneLever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2011, 11:56 AM   #18
Nasty Exploder
Victoria , B.C
92 Explorer 4x4
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 33

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just read thru this thread......1st check, rad cap, then thermostat, still have bubbles ? Headgasket FOR SURE !!!!, you can try some awesome stuff called IRONTITE, I have seen it hold a headgasket together for more then 7 years after treatment, and the motor was POURING out white smoke and antifreeze comming out of tailpipe....... It is still driving to this day with no new headgaskets.....this will only work provided the heads are not cracked or warped.




__________________
Nasty Exploder is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Suggest this thread to friends:



Join the "Elite Explorers" Today!



Search Explorer Forum


Top of Page

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:28 AM.



US Flag
We Support Our Troops!

Explore the site!


Copyright 2014 - 1996 Rick Horwitz Photography



Ford Motor Company is not involved in the management of this site in any way.



All tips on this site are for use at your own risk and discretion.

Modifying the suspension on any vehicle will cause changes to its handling characteristics.



Vendor Tools vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.