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New radiator installed - trans fluid leaking out the cooler line fittings.

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by SteveRosenow, July 11, 2019.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. SteveRosenow

    SteveRosenow New Member

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    So I picked up a new radiator today, as part of a warranty replacement through O'Reilly. After installing the transmission cooler lines and filling the radiator with 50/50 coolant, I tested the connections and for leaks and sure enough, I ended up with a whopper of a leak out of the top fitting. It is enough to create a steady stream of transmission fluid that leaks both down the side of the radiator and down the right hand side of the fan shroud. It also contacts the fan itself and I have a nice stain of Mercon V on the underside of my hood and all over my freshly-detailed engine bay.

    I noted in one YT video that these fittings should be installed with PTFE thread tape, and to be sure the new radiator did come with two brand new fittings, in the event that the ones installed on the radiator do not fit my cooler lines.

    This is my only rig, and with the severity of the leak I cannot afford to drive it the nine miles to my work (O'Reilly Auto) to have this second radiator warranty-exchanged.

    What could fix this leak besides a second warranty exchange?

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Mr. Alligator

    Mr. Alligator Elite Explorer

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    Did you use thread tape?

    I did not see any thread tape.
     
  4. donalds

    donalds Elite Explorer

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    There is suppose to be a o ring in there look in your old rad
     
  5. SteveRosenow

    SteveRosenow New Member

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    No, I didn't use any however I do have a few rolls of it.

    I also note that it had been used on the previous radiator straight from the factory.
     
  6. SteveRosenow

    SteveRosenow New Member

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    No O-ring present in both upper and lower.
     
  7. donalds

    donalds Elite Explorer

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    Hmmm that's weird add one
     
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  8. donalds

    donalds Elite Explorer

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    A pic

    20190711_173758.jpg

    20190711_173826.jpg
     
  9. 974X4BLACKSPORT

    974X4BLACKSPORT Active Member

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    The adapter going into the radiator must have thread tape on it, just like the factory ones had on them (at least mine did).
     
  10. Mr. Alligator

    Mr. Alligator Elite Explorer

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    Looks like you need Teflon tape AND o-ring. Not sure which is more important (probably the o-ring), but I would be confident that if you use BOTH, you will not lose fluid.

    Good luck.
     
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  11. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    I've never had to use Teflon tape on my Explorer/Mountaineer radiators (and I've replaced a bunch of them). There should have been O-rings on rad and adapter as pictured by @donalds. I might be wrong, but I don't think any of the rads I installed had adapters, the trans lines just screwed directly into the rad.
     
  12. SteveRosenow

    SteveRosenow New Member

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    As a side note...

    Has anyone ever replaced a radiator (which involved thermostat replacement as well as a cooling system flush) only to have the water pump start leaking?

    That happened to me and I swear I just want to be done with this nightmare!
     
  13. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    Sometimes the only thing that's preventing cooling system leaks is the crud in the system. Yes, I have experienced various cooling system leaks after flushing and replacing the antifreeze. If it's been a few years since you've replaced cooling system parts it's a good idea to consider replacing the hoses, t-stat, water pump and radiator cap along with the radiator and flush. Yes it will cost you more, but not replacing the other parts is the equivalent of crossing your fingers.
     
  14. SteveRosenow

    SteveRosenow New Member

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    The radiator and thermostat was already replaced.
     
  15. donalds

    donalds Elite Explorer

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    T stat
    radiator
    upper radiator hose
    lower radiator hose
    All 4 heater hoses
    Water pump
    Radiator cap
    Flush the heater core thoroughly
    And if your feeling squirrelly a nice new motorcraft water pump
    And NEW coolant

    What I did Fix it the right way only one time just my 2¢
     
    Last edited: July 12, 2019

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