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02 Explorer XLT Overheating - Baffled in NJ

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by garyhampson, May 11, 2014.

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  1. garyhampson

    garyhampson New Member

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    Hello fine folks of Explorer Forum!

    I've a 2002 Explorer XLT with 197,000 miles. Two years ago had the dreaded thermostat housing replaced after it cracked and a year ago the radiator was replaced. About a month ago, I took it into the dealer for some repair work, particularly due to what seemed to be the smell of burning coolant even though I saw no leaks and the level of coolant in the expansion tank never seemed low. Just more of an annoyance really and since we were going away for a week, I could afford leaving the truck at the dealer for however long it took to fix. The dealer replaced the valve cover and intake gaskets and sent me on my way after taking a huge chunk of change (dealer labor rates are ridiculous). Two days later, the truck temperature gauge spikes and the truck starts to overheat. Towed back to the dealer who then replaced the thermostat and thermostat housing (they covered the cost). One week later, the truck overheats again. This time they say it's the water pump and they replace that (parts on me, labor on them). Last night, while an hour from my home and with my wife and kids in the truck, it overheats again on the NJ Turnpike. Towed yet again back home and will take it to the dealer for a fourth time. I see no coolant in the oil and there is no white smoke coming out the exhaust. It would seem to me (though I am no expert by any means) that we've replaced everything that could be replaced that is cooling system related. Any ideas/suggestions?
     
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  3. Number4

    Number4 "I'm counting to 3, then I'm getting your dad." Elite Explorer

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    You need to confront them on their guessing game. They should be Ford certified techs, not backyard mechanics. I'd question the original work they did. Did they leave a rag in engine?
     
  4. pet575

    pet575 Active Member

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    Did anyone verify:

    Properly operating fan/fan clutch?
    Radiator cap/coolant overflow bottle cap is good?
     
  5. garyhampson

    garyhampson New Member

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    Fan and fan clutch are in good working order. Coolant overflow bottle cap is also good. They are now saying that they are seeing rust in the hoses and are therefore being led to believe that there is rust in the engine block. I've attached a picture of the inside of one of the hoses below.

    I've chatted with a family friend who lives quite far away but is a Ford mechanic and he has said that if I was really having a rust issue, the liquid in the coolant expansion tank would be dark brown and sludgy (which it isn't). He also suggested that they run a combustion check as he believes it is most likely a small head gasket leak.

    The Service Manager said that they would put some chemical into the system that might help dissolve/flush the rust out and then run the engine bit before taking the truck out on the road for an extended road test. Anyone else have any suggestions?

    [​IMG]

    Here's a link to the photo since the IMG tags don't seem to be working.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/garyhampson/13987309360/
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2014
  6. esclamada

    esclamada Active Member

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    when it overheats, does the coolant from the reservoir bottle overflow? does the fan run during that time? or does the overheating stop (or cool down) when you set the temp to max heat?

    Not sure if your dealership knows how to bleed the cooling system or you just need to look for a shop somewhere else. There are some dealerships who only hire tech that does parts replacement with no troubleshooting skills.



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  7. Doug 66

    Doug 66 New Member

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    mine did that when I replaced the thermostat, temp gauge would go up and down wildly. I had an air pocket in the cooling system , I just ran the engine up to temp leaving the reservoir cap off and the heater going full blast and that seemed to take care of it
     

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