antifreeze leak (serious) help needed | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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antifreeze leak (serious) help needed


Explorer Addict
January 6, 2005
Reaction score
City, State
Mountain Home, AR
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 mounty / 56 f-100
Hi guys and gals,

This is not quite a 911 case. It still runs as long as I keep dumping water in it every so many miles. The brakes on the 56 are out, so this is my only set of wheels. Unfortunately, I have to drive between 300-400 miles a week for work. :confused:

I have a serious antifreeze leak, but I cannot find it.

Here is where its coming down. I hope you can help me with some ideas.


This is the front passenger side of my engine. Basically (somewhere) above the front crossmember. This is as close as I could get the camera. All the hoses look dry. The front of the engine is dry. There is no water in the oil or anywhere it should not be. It runs fine.

Are there still freeze plugs in modern engines? Above that area is where they would have been years ago. Please don't tell me its a head gasket. :(

Anyone have any ideas where it might be coming out?

2001 explorer (4 door) 4X4, 4.0 SOHC. 82,000 miles (or so).

Thanks in advance everyone,

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all motors that have water jackets should have freeze plugs. thats also the side of the sohc motor that has everything to do with the water hoses. i'd double check all of them again

Wrong area for a freeze plug. I'd suspect the water pump or a hose.

Looking under the engine will not locate your leak.
For hard to find leaks I suggest you rent a coolant pressure tester.
This device hooks up to your radiator and you apply 16-18# of pressure to the system. Your leak will show itself then.

coolant leaks can be a bear to locate, they are also talked about on this forum alot.
Have you tried a search to find common leak locations? actually I have not searched a lot (yet). I am in the middle of midterms at two colleges (in class now-shhhhh LOL). Its a bad week for both trucks to break. :( Where do I rent one of the testers? I have never seen one.


How fast is it leaking? If your loosing alot of coolant fast you can probably see it if you look under the hood with it running, and manually adjust the throttle.

I agree with 410. Possibly autozone will rent them out


The heater contol valve was leaking on my 2000 4.0 SOHC... It's located on the passenger side, in front of the engine (follow the heater hoses down)... easy fix!!!

I suspect water pump as well.

Push comes to shove I can send you my Snap-On pressure tester.

I once had a severe coolant leak on my 88 with a 3.0. One of the heads of a bolt on the engine broke off. I was able to get the rest of it out. It looked like a threaded stud without that head on the bolt. I replaced the bolt, and that was the entire job! It didn't even need any gasket paste, or a new gasket.

I will tear into it (remove some stuff-not essential to running) so I can see down there better tomorrow. I am hoping its an easy fix. I have replaced many pumps, but never saw anything wet on the side like this. The front of the engine is dry.

I have to take my moms mini-van into the shop in the morning. I hope the weather holds for the afternoon. I need one vehicle running at least. Thanks for the ideas guys. :)