92 XLT radiator leak | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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92 XLT radiator leak

dmorris

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September 22, 2007
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City, State
Orlando FL
Year, Model & Trim Level
92 xlt
now that I have the AC working I am paying more attention to my exp (driving it) and noticed the radiator was a bit low, topped it off and check and it was low again after a few days. Checked again today and could see rust stains on the side (trans cooler side). Not sure but it almmost looks like its leaking around the trans cooler top fitting, The water loss seems to stop once it gets that low.
At least I know its the radiator and not the block or pump.

So whats the skinny on replacement radiators? I am looking for something that will have the least drama to put in (not looking for anything that needs to be hacked to fit etc...) and of course cheap (I don't put a lot of miles on this car, but I do want a radiator that does not leak).

I am assuming there are aftermarkets for this. Oh and it does have the towing package. I did not know that both the internal trans cooler was used with the external as well.

maybe this?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1991-1994-F...iter_Display:4.0L&hash=item53ffe623a0&vxp=mtr

I will of course try a new cap, JIC that is where its leaking and just fooling me with looking like around the AT cooler connection.
 


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larrydd999

Elite Explorer
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December 14, 2010
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City, State
Port Angeles, WA
Year, Model & Trim Level
92 XLT, 94 Limited
If you've a large auto store nearby they probably have a loaner cooling system pressure test unit (I bought my own) which will tell you whether it's the cap or the radiator.
The Gen 1 Explorer radiators are a combination of aluminum for heat exchanging and plastic for tank capacity. The sides are plastic - as you can easily tell - so are crimped onto the metal with (I assume) an o-ring to make the seal. Over time (in my experience about 3 years +/-) the seal goes away and you have a leaking radiator. There are a few options for replacements... You can purchase another aluminum/plastic unit that will last about as long as the one you're about to throw, you can purchase a two row fully aluminum radiator on-line (EBay and others) that will last much longer and cost 2-3 times as much, or you can purchase a 3 row aluminum radiator when they become available again - supposedly next month. I won't go into warranties other than to say that a warranty that requires you to take or send your failed one back and wait for another isn't much help to me.
There are a few threads that discuss the radiators and what others have done. I'll be purchasing all aluminum ones for our two Gen 1's soon. Since we live in WA state, I don't know that the difference between a 2 row and a 3 row is significant to me.
 




dmorris

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September 22, 2007
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City, State
Orlando FL
Year, Model & Trim Level
92 xlt
I have a pressure tester, will check it out tomorrow. I will prob just get the cheapo radiator, I just don't put that many miles on it to justify the exp alum radiator. If I can I will make a video of the test (depends on time of day and lighting).
 




natenkiki2004

Blue Bomb!
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Location
North Idaho
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 & 1994 Explorers




vq5speed

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Joined
June 17, 2008
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652
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City, State
1991 XLT Manual Locks
Year, Model & Trim Level
Stockton,Ca
Maybe after driving it around when pressure builds up you can pop the hood and listen for hissing sounds or even steam coming out. I would try to find exactly where the leak is before buying a new radiator. You might have a tiny leak in one of the radiator hoses or heater hoses.
 




dmorris

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City, State
Orlando FL
Year, Model & Trim Level
92 xlt
looks like I may have gotten lucky on this one. I put the pressure tester on it and the leak was right at the top AT cool port. The large nut was not even finger tight, I could spin it by just touching. I do not know the correct torq but just snugged down finger tight then used some water pump pliers to give it about 1/4 more. Retested and no leak and the pressure held fine (I would bleed off within seconds before). Video to come. I will make sure its not leaking by checking levels if all good will put in some new AF and call it done.
 




dmorris

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Joined
September 22, 2007
Messages
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City, State
Orlando FL
Year, Model & Trim Level
92 xlt
video of leak and fix

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zo_ApCZI5vo

BTW, the slow looking leak down of the gauge after the fix was from the bleed off button, I could hear it hissing, I had to use my hand to cup over it to try and keep the air from bleeding out.

I will drive it and see if all good before refilling with new AF.
 




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