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Another Coolant Leak Thread

duke16

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I have developed a coolant leak on my rebuilt engine. It seems to be intermittent. When it's leaking, it's pretty bad and I get a nice pool of coolant under the truck, center to drivers side. Yet this morning I drove to work and it was fine (so possibly only leaking when the engine gets really hot, I only drive 7 miles to work). It drips down on the driver side above the sway bar. The highest I can see it is about where the hose from the water pump to the oil filter adapter is, there's coolant on the bottom of that, but none on the top. When I hook a pressure tester up I can hear the leak near the center, just a little on the passengers side. So I guess the fan may be pushing all the coolant to the driver's side as it drips down. It's not spraying anywhere, so I feel like it's pooling somewhere on the engine and then overflowing. The water pump is new, so I doubt the seals are bad... but I wouldn't want to rule that out. Only other thing I can think is the lower intake gasket is bad. Any other ideas? All the hoses appear fine.
 
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Turdle

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ok,
take off the fan, shroud and belt so you can get a flashlight in there-
look along the water pump bolts and seal-
you might need to pull the longer bolts, one at a time, and apply sealer-
re torque all the remaining bolts also.
 
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duke16

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I hooked the pressure tester back up and this time had a really good listen. Managed to track it down to near the top of the radiator. I can't really explain why the coolant seeped down like it did though, but oh well. The radiator itself looks pretty dry.

If I try and tackle the radiator removal (without touching the condenser) myself, are there any radiator brands I should avoid?
 
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team

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I hooked the pressure tester back up and this time had a really good listen. Managed to track it down to near the top of the radiator. I can't really explain why the coolant seeped down like it did though, but oh well. The radiator itself looks pretty dry.

If I try and tackle the radiator removal (without touching the condenser) myself, are there any radiator brands I should avoid?

I just got one today from this place http://stores.ebay.com/radiatorclassic
for $100.00 to my door brand new, the cheapest one I could find at the local parts stores was going to be 200.00. I haven't put it on yet but it looks exaclty like the oem one.
 
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duke16

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I just got one today from this place http://stores.ebay.com/radiatorclassic
for $100.00 to my door brand new, the cheapest one I could find at the local parts stores was going to be 200.00. I haven't put it on yet but it looks exaclty like the oem one.

Odd, I don't see the correct radiator on their page. For the 97 5.0, they only have a 1 row, should be a 2 row. It also doesn't list the 97 as even having the 302 engine.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/96-9...62QQcategoryZ33602QQihZ018QQitemZ280305503167
 
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duke16

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Stage 1 is complete. I managed to get the radiator out and off the condenser with a little bit of force. I removed the battery and the electric connection on the high side of A/C to get a little extra room.

I think I'm going to get order the new one from radiatorbarn.com. There's come with a life time warranty and free shipping.
 
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CDW6212R

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Get one with a full thickness core if possible. Most of the replacements are half as thick, and Ford does that too. I'm having mine tanked soon to keep the stock part. Regards,
 
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duke16

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Get one with a full thickness core if possible. Most of the replacements are half as thick, and Ford does that too. I'm having mine tanked soon to keep the stock part. Regards,

How do I tell if it's full thickness? The one on radiatorbarn is 20-13/16 X 23-5/8 X 2-3/16, it's a 2 row.
 
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CDW6212R

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That sounds right, about the full thickness. Today's radiators use thicker "rows" than 30 years ago. Now basically in a full size vehicle, the core will be full or half sized(thick). Back in the 70's the same thickness radiator would have 2, 3, or 4 rows in it. Each of those rows was half as thick as today's rows. So then a 4 core radiator was the maximum.
 
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duke16

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I got the new radiator installed. I found it was pretty much impossible to try and and get that middle slider thing to connect with the condenser, so I just broke it off on the radiator. It seems plenty sturdy enough with just the upper slider attached.
 
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duke16

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Well turns out the leak was not the radiator. The radiator did have a small leak in it, but in fact that leak seems like it was stopping the cooling system from getting to pressure. Now the radiator is fixed, the system is getting to a higher pressure and the real leak has gotten a lot worse.

I can see a small pool of coolant just to the right of this plug thing on top of the block. This is the highest point where the coolant seems to be. This is behind the water pump, so it appears to rule it out. But this weekend I'll probably remove fan and shroud and torque the bolts up. I should have done it when replacing the radiator.

DSC1833.JPG
 
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CDW6212R

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Look hard at the tiny bypass hose and the water pump. Leaks in that area usually come from those. The WP has front and rear seals for its shaft, and holes in the WP housing to let leaking fluid out.
 
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eXcali

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right behind that pulley wheel there should be about a 6 inch drop, and you can see the top side of the timing cover where the coolant passes thru into the engine. It's usually caused by a leak in the timing cover gasket in this area but could also be the top of the WP seal. I'd check the torque on the bolts of your WP. Also sometimes the brand new seals for your WP are bad straight from the box.
 
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duke16

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Look hard at the tiny bypass hose and the water pump. Leaks in that area usually come from those. The WP has front and rear seals for its shaft, and holes in the WP housing to let leaking fluid out.

Which is the bypass hose? The one to the thermostat?

Nothing seems to be leaking out frontward. I torqued up all the water pump bolts a little, but that didn't seem to help. I just can't for the life of me figure out where it's leaking from.

Where are the bolts for the timing cover? Does the water pump need to be removed before I can get at them?

Thanks
 
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CDW6212R

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The bypass hose is the very short 90 piece just below the thermostat housing. That hose should be replaced any time work is done on the coolant parts right there.

The holes in the WP next to the seals are near the front flange where the pulley mounts. I think that one is on top, the other below. the other parts around there make it hard to find the leak.

It appears that you will have to remove some parts there to repair the leak. Unless you can find it all intact, I'd pull the belt off and the fan/shroud and WP pulley. That should help, and you can start the engine with the belt off and run it for a very short time.
 
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duke16

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I'm pretty confident the hoses are fine. There is coolant dripping down what I assume is the timing cover gasket, driver side.

DSC1841.JPG


But there is also coolant pooling on top of the engine (see image is post 12). I've torqued up all the bolts I can see, which was pretty much all the water pump bolts. But I can't find the bolts for the timing cover.

Fan and shroud are removed
 
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CDW6212R

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it shouldn't be a gaskets, unless they had leaked to start with. One of the WP relief holes for the bearing seals can leak out onto the top of the timing cover. The timing cover has slots on each side next to the block to allow fluid to get down from the top without pooling too much. So that fluid you see is likely from the same area at the top of the timing cover.
 
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wpurple

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Just a comment about radiators:
I replaced mine a couple of years ago, I ordered one from Ford and it was 1 row thick, 1/2 the thickness of the original, so I went with one from a local radiator shop which was the same thickness. (My thoughts were the more core's the better.....yup old school)
The new 1 row radiators are just as good if not better, they use more fins per inch and are designed to dissapate more heat than the old style fins.
They actually pull more air thru at idle too because they are thinner.
 
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duke16

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it shouldn't be a gaskets, unless they had leaked to start with. One of the WP relief holes for the bearing seals can leak out onto the top of the timing cover. The timing cover has slots on each side next to the block to allow fluid to get down from the top without pooling too much. So that fluid you see is likely from the same area at the top of the timing cover.

The engine wasn't leaking after the rebuild... so I agree, it's unlikely that it's the gasket. But then again, the water pump was also brand new.

Is this the relief hole for the water pump? If so, I don't think that could be the leak because I don't see how coolant could get from there to the other side of the timing cover where the coolant is pooling.

waterpump.jpg
 
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