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Radiator questions...

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by SteveRosenow, August 9, 2019.

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  1. SteveRosenow

    SteveRosenow Member

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    So when installing the new radiator (warranty replacement, ATF was leaking into the coolant from a broken AT cooler), do I install thread sealant or PTFE tape on this part here, or just the threads of the fittings on the AT cooler lines going into the radiator?

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. SWIGIN

    SWIGIN Active Member

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    The hardlines should have a flared end so no, no need for sealant.
     
  4. 974X4BLACKSPORT

    974X4BLACKSPORT Active Member

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    The adapter (part shown in picture) must have thread tape on the threads.
    Now, the threads on the fluid cooler lines don't always need thread tape, (flare fitting nut) but it also does not hurt to put some on the threads just to make sure they dont leak. If you do put thread tape on the flare fitting nut, be sure the tape is only on the threads of the nut and does not interfere with the flare interference fit.
     
  5. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    IIRC the last radiator I changed had O-rings in the holes where the trans cooler lines go. IDK if all the explorer rads I've replaced had O-rings, but I've never used PTFE tape or sealant on any of them and I've never had a leak.

    Be sure to use two wrenches when tightening the fittings. One on the rad side to hold that part from moving and another on the fitting to tighten it. They don't need to be super tight to prevent leaking. I little beyond snug has always worked for me.
     
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  6. 410Fortune

    410Fortune Firewood Season Staff Member Moderator

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    There should be O rings in there like Koda said, no tape or sealant.

    The trans cooler lines are flared, no sealant there either

    If you were mixing water with your transmission fluid and your auto transmission got water in it, the transmission is doomed.
    Water inside the auto trans will remove the friction material off of the bands....it is on borrowed time.
    Hate to bring the bad news but it is a fact
     
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  7. SteveRosenow

    SteveRosenow Member

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    I think I caught it early enough to where no mixing occurred inside the transmission. When I removed the radiator, there was no sign of coolant in the ATF coming out of the cooler.
     
  8. EB4X

    EB4X Active Member

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    "the transmission is doomed.
    Water inside the auto trans will remove the friction material off of the bands....it is on borrowed time.
    Hate to bring the bad news but it is
    a fact"
    SINCE ORIGINAL RADIATOR WAS STILL UNDER WARRANTY and failed / caused this I would get transmission rebuild quote and send to radiator manufacturer...tell them you're going to be talking to a lawyer if they resist.
     
  9. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    More than likely the radiator has a "limited warranty". That usually means the warranty applies only to that part.

    As its name implies, a limited warranty is limited to just the specified parts, certain types of defects, or other conditions. But since it can mean virtually anything the retailer decides, it is important to fully understand the meaning of "limited" when buying such a product.
     
  10. EB4X

    EB4X Active Member

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    Guarantee it's made in China..... with something as critical as a radiator make sure to buy American / or other quality source, like many other products Chinese ones have flooded the market now...
     
  11. SteveRosenow

    SteveRosenow Member

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    So I took a deeper look at those fittings on the new radiator and it appears as though they may be sealed already?

    I cannot move them at all with even moderate force by way of a Crescent wrench and I am afraid if I break that bond it may damage them.

    Do I still remove them and seal them with thread tape or...?
     
  12. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    If they're not leaking don't worry about it. Did you use 2 wrenches when tightening the fittings? As I said earlier the "adapters" do not have to be super tight, but you need to use 2 wrenches when tightening them to not damage the radiator. If they're not leaking currently keep a eye on them for a few days to make sure they remain dry.

    BTW a crescent wrench is not a very good tool for this job, or IMO any automotive repair job, but I guess they're better than using vice-grips.
     
  13. SteveRosenow

    SteveRosenow Member

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    I can't tell if they're leaking since I have yet to install the radiator. Having said that I would presume since the fittings are in there pretty well snug, that it must have been set that way at the factory with no need for thread tape, right?

    I did apply thread tape to the hardline flare nuts, though, and a good amount of it too
     
  14. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    You should not be using any kind of sealant on the flared fittings. It can cause the fitting to not properly seat and leak.
     
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  15. SteveRosenow

    SteveRosenow Member

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    What about PTFE tape?
     
  16. 410Fortune

    410Fortune Firewood Season Staff Member Moderator

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    NO TAPE
    the fittings are seated in the new radiator at the factory
    Those brass colored fittings that thread into the radiator bottom out on O rings = NO TAPE

    the trans cooler line that thread into those brass fittings have a flare = no tape

    O rings = no tape
    Flare = no tape
     
  17. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    NO TAPE, NO SEALANT OF ANY KIND, NOTHING, NADA, ZIP, ZILCH...
     
  18. SteveRosenow

    SteveRosenow Member

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    UPDATE: This thread is now moot since I had to warranty the _BRAND NEW_ radiator through work. The left side tank (looking aft from the front of the vehicle) shattered where it catches the bracket just above the frame.

    I discovered this as I was filling it with fresh coolant. I heard what sounded like a waterfall underneath the vehicle when I was filling it, and led to the discovery of a rather large hole where the side tank bracket meets the bracket.
     
  19. donalds

    donalds Elite Explorer

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    No tape just a o ring

    20190711_173826.jpg

    20190711_173758.jpg
     
  20. SteveRosenow

    SteveRosenow Member

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    UPDATE:

    I followed the directions of all who suggested _NOT_ to use PTFE thread tape or thread sealant AND I STILL ENDED UP LEAKING OUT OF THOSE FITTINGS!!!

    What do I do to stop this leak? I am tired of my freshly detailed engine bay wearing ATF all the time and I cannot afford to warranty exchange YET ANOTHER RADIATOR because I may LOSE MY JOB over it.

    I feel as though I am perpetually doomed now! :(
     
  21. crunchie_frog

    crunchie_frog Active Member

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    PTFE tape will not hurt anything if you use them on the threads. Also, I am guessing you checked that the O-rings were in place prior to installing/connecting?
     

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