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Adventures with Radiators

EddieBronco

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2006 Explorer Eddie Bauer
Hi all,
I'm just alerting everyone in regards to replacement radiators, especially on 2006 Explorers. I know it's been documented here many times but inaccurate information has been previously posted.
4 years ago, our EB Explorer 4.0 started leaking at the upper tank crimp, I decided to go with a Spectre Premium replacement after reading positive reviews. last week there were puddles under the car and found the 4 year old radiator leaking at the lower tank crimp. Oh well, buy another Spectre and be done with it. Next day after installing the new radiator there's puddles under the car, coolant and transmission fluid dripping. The old Spectre radiator had double O rings on the transmission coolant line fittings but the new one only has a single O ring that just leak. In addition, coolant is leaking all along the upper tank crimp.
Luckily, Amazon refunded my money and after researching on line most agreed just go with a Motorcraft radiator for the better quality AND double O ring cooler line fittings.
RockAuto had one in stock so I decided to pay more and fix my leaky radiator for good, it arrives today and what do I find? The American made Ford replacement radiator only has one O ring cooler line fittings, fingers are crossed it doesn't leak:crazy:

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94Eddie

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I replaced the Spectra fittings with these. They have double o-rings. They might fit the Ford radiator. Also, I would recommend trying a 16 psi radiator cap instead of the OEM 20 psi cap. I have been running 16 psi for a while with no issues. The lower pressure puts a lot less stress on the cooling system. On the odd chance you see a problem than just reinstall the OEM cap you took off.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YWCZLO2/?tag=serious-20
 






Blackhawkxx

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I also installed the Ford rad with no issues so far and I wholeheartedly agree with the 16 lbs Ford cap.
 






06MountaineerPA

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You could un-screw the old double O-ring trans fitting and use them instead of the single O-ring one's in the new radiator.
 






EddieBronco

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I replaced the Spectra fittings with these. They have double o-rings. They might fit the Ford radiator. Also, I would recommend trying a 16 psi radiator cap instead of the OEM 20 psi cap. I have been running 16 psi for a while with no issues. The lower pressure puts a lot less stress on the cooling system. On the odd chance you see a problem than just reinstall the OEM cap you took off.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YWCZLO2/?tag=serious-20
The Dorman fittings have a different size thread than the Dorman fittings, ask me how I know;)
I had installed a 16psi cap along with the new Spectre radiator, it still leaked
 






94Eddie

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The Dorman fittings have a different size thread than the Dorman fittings, ask me how I know;)
I had installed a 16psi cap along with the new Spectre radiator, it still leaked
Did you use the 16 psi cap on the Spectre radiator the entire four years? I am trying to find some reason to think mine will last forever.
 






EddieBronco

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Did you use the 16 psi cap on the Spectre radiator the entire four years? I am trying to find some reason to think mine will last forever.
No, I installed the 16psi cap on the new Spectre radiator after reading many threads on the subject.
 






Trainmaster

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Spectre, Dorman? All Chinese crap. You use this stuff and you're surprised that it's junk? Man up and spend the money for real parts if you only want to do the job once.
 






94Eddie

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Spectre, Dorman? All Chinese crap. You use this stuff and you're surprised that it's junk? Man up and spend the money for real parts if you only want to do the job once.
It is easy to spend other peoples' money.
 






michael loibl

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I’ve had my original ford radiator replaced in 2007 with a ford radiator, and that one failed in 2009 right before it went out of warranty. That third ford radiator went 4 years before it began dripping a little, and I’ve been dealing with it all these years til it finally cracked the upper tank last month
 






94Eddie

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I’ve had my original ford radiator replaced in 2007 with a ford radiator, and that one failed in 2009 right before it went out of warranty. That third ford radiator went 4 years before it began dripping a little, and I’ve been dealing with it all these years til it finally cracked the upper tank last month
The reason I went with the Spectre Premium is Fordtechmakuloco recommended it as an alternative to the OEM piece. I bought my Mountaineer with 100k miles on it knowing it needed the radiator replaced. Who knows if it was the original factory radiator. I think one of the main reasons the radiators in the 4th gens fail is they run at 20 psi which puts a lot of stress on the cooling system. So far I have seen zero issues running a 16 psi radiator cap on my Mountaineer. Also, the reason we have so many radiator threads in this forum is because the OEM part is so unreliable.
 






Blackhawkxx

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The reason I went with the Spectre Premium is Fordtechmakuloco recommended it as an alternative to the OEM piece. I bought my Mountaineer with 100k miles on it knowing it needed the radiator replaced. Who knows if it was the original factory radiator. I think one of the main reasons the radiators in the 4th gens fail is they run at 20 psi which puts a lot of stress on the cooling system. So far I have seen zero issues running a 16 psi radiator cap on my Mountaineer. Also, the reason we have so many radiator threads in this forum is because the OEM part is so unreliable.
I believe you are right about the high pressure cap. I had the same issue in my home with too much water pressure causing things to fail. I was only getting 5 years out of the water heater and water filters were failing at a large rate. After I reduced the pressure, I haven't have any issues.
 






2010 Eddie Bauer

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The reason I went with the Spectre Premium is Fordtechmakuloco recommended it as an alternative to the OEM piece. I bought my Mountaineer with 100k miles on it knowing it needed the radiator replaced. Who knows if it was the original factory radiator. I think one of the main reasons the radiators in the 4th gens fail is they run at 20 psi which puts a lot of stress on the cooling system. So far I have seen zero issues running a 16 psi radiator cap on my Mountaineer. Also, the reason we have so many radiator threads in this forum is because the OEM part is so unreliable.
Is this isolated to the 2006 model year? For example, are 2009 or 2010 models affected by this as well? As far as I know, my 2010 has the original radiator and it does not leak. Would changing the coolant often prolong its life? Is it imminent that all 4th gen radiators will fail at some point? With the shortage of steel and aluminum components in the automotive industry at the moment, should I preemptively order an all aluminum one off of Ebay?
 






94Eddie

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Is this isolated to the 2006 model year? For example, are 2009 or 2010 models affected by this as well? As far as I know, my 2010 has the original radiator and it does not leak. Would changing the coolant often prolong its life? Is it imminent that all 4th gen radiators will fail at some point? With the shortage of steel and aluminum components in the automotive industry at the moment, should I preemptively order an all aluminum one off of Ebay?
This seems to be occurring across all 4th gen models since they share the same radiator. Some people go a long time without a failure but many do not. IMO, I think the failure rate is tied to the cooling system operating at 20 psi which is straining the cooling system components. It would be interesting to hear from those using a 16 psi cap over a long time and knowing if they see few, or no, radiator failures. It seems that most using a 16 psi cap have only been doing it a short while.

I don't think more frequent coolant changes will make much of a difference. It looks to me that the cracks in the radiator are mechanical in nature and not due to a chemical process. This is why I think the failures might be caused by the high psi number the system operates under. I have bee running a 16 psi cap for a number of months with no overheating issues. This has been in the winter months so it will be interesting to see if I will see the same in the summer months.
 






EddieBronco

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Hi all,
I'm just alerting everyone in regards to replacement radiators, especially on 2006 Explorers. I know it's been documented here many times but inaccurate information has been previously posted.
4 years ago, our EB Explorer 4.0 started leaking at the upper tank crimp, I decided to go with a Spectre Premium replacement after reading positive reviews. last week there were puddles under the car and found the 4 year old radiator leaking at the lower tank crimp. Oh well, buy another Spectre and be done with it. Next day after installing the new radiator there's puddles under the car, coolant and transmission fluid dripping. The old Spectre radiator had double O rings on the transmission coolant line fittings but the new one only has a single O ring that just leak. In addition, coolant is leaking all along the upper tank crimp.
Luckily, Amazon refunded my money and after researching on line most agreed just go with a Motorcraft radiator for the better quality AND double O ring cooler line fittings.
RockAuto had one in stock so I decided to pay more and fix my leaky radiator for good, it arrives today and what do I find? The American made Ford replacement radiator only has one O ring cooler line fittings, fingers are crossed it doesn't leak:crazy:

View attachment 327829

View attachment 327830

View attachment 327831
Just an update, I installed the Motorcraft radiator along with the 16psi cap and so far no leaks from the tanks or the single O ring transmission cooler line fittings:thumbsup:
 






michael loibl

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I switched to the 16 psi cap about 7 years ago with no issue, but now plastic upper tank is cracking.
By the way, my other explorer is a 2020 with the turbo 2.3 liter, and it has a 21 psi cap!
 






94Eddie

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I switched to the 16 psi cap about 7 years ago with no issue, but now plastic upper tank is cracking.
By the way, my other explorer is a 2020 with the turbo 2.3 liter, and it has a 21 psi cap!
How many miles did the radiator last?
 






Killermike771

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Anybody get a TYC or other cheap unit to last with a 16lb cap? Are any of them any good besides the 300 dollar Motorcraft? I’ve heard the new Spectras have cooler problems and mix the fluids.
 






94Eddie

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Anybody get a TYC or other cheap unit to last with a 16lb cap? Are any of them any good besides the 300 dollar Motorcraft? I’ve heard the new Spectras have cooler problems and mix the fluids.
I don't think many have been doing this long enough to get a reading on if it promotes longevity of cooling system components. All I can say with reasonable certainty is if running at 16 psi causes no cooling issues then it can't hurt to do it.
 



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digifoss

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I have an 07' 4.0L with 105K miles on it now, I bought it in December 2018 90K on it. The only cooling system problem I have experienced so far has been having to replace the thermostat housing which I read here is a common problem. After reading this thread, I'm wondering if using a 16# radiator cap might be a good proactive move to get more life out of both the radiator and the thermostat housing.
 






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