Block full of coolant | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Block full of coolant

personally... i feel that motor is ruined. get a good one from a junkyard for 600$ swap it out and wheel it like it was stolen :exporange !! it will cost more to do a head job correctly (mine was approx 800$ with new rebuilt heads 185$ a piece shipped, e-bay has them, new head bolts, new headgaskets, and other necessary gaskets) doing the work myself. The rest of the motor is questionable now due to the coolant in the oil, bearings, and cylinders. The previous owners redneck repairing style(loose bolts, no t-stat... etc) worries me the most. How bad of shape is the cooling system in, cracked heads are a sign of overheating. Pulling the t-stat is a desperate move to try to help stop overheating. Is the radiator plugged, water pump any good, heater core plugged? This project could get very expensive very fast. How long did the previous owner run it overheating on loose cracked heads, smoking like crazy till it wouldnt run anymore? it could have a bearing knock, the transmission might be bad(very expensive), or it might have other issues, you have never heard it run so you just dont know...

Im not trying to be pessimistic, just point some of the possible bad things. i have dumped a ton of money into project cars trying to get them up to snuff before, when i should of junked them and got a running vehicle in better shape for much less money. Good running old explorers are going for less than 2k around here right now. good luck.
-joshua :D

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Well after weighing the options, and judging by the overall condition of the vehicle I have bitten the proverbial bullet and ordered the heads from $185 a pop no core, 3 mos warranty, and shipping from CA.

I had an engine lined up as well but with the expense of installation, (I just don't have the room or time) it would be more than doing the heads myself.

I bought a gasket set for $160 and new head bolts for $48. It's overpriced in my opinion but still cheaper than paying someone else to do it. I'm going to do a full system flush (cooling -water and oil) as well.

I have sprayed the entire affected area with WD-40 to be safe. According to the previous owner and his documentation, he drove the car for a year with no issues and had just recently run into this overheating problem. In fact, he claimed it was still starting and running, albeit poorly, up until I bought it. (Of course, you can't believe what others tell you but my cursory inspections do not reveal any visible damage)

I'll keep my fingers crossed on the trans... :p:

I'll post some pics of the heads and my progress when they arrive. Hopefully this weekend!!! Wish me luck :thumbsup:

Well if nothing else, you will have a new set of heads!!!! Even if you did have to put an engine in it I would still put the new heads on it.

Good Luck! :thumbsup:

Keep us posted!

Finally back together!!:D

I got it back together yesterday after a few minor stalls...

Anyway, went to crank it over and it simply clicks. I'll be checking the starter and solenoid today to see fi that's my problem. Battery is brand new and I even jumped it to make sure.

I do, however, have a plug that is not connected but I cannot see to locate where it goes or if it's one of the many diagnostic type plugs...

Here's a pic... Can anyone tell me what this it for. It comes off of the harness right in front of the t-stat housing. Also, any starting tips are welcome too. Just in case...



A/C compressor clutch

There's a stickie for starting problems

Did ya notice??

Rust, then no rust , no rust, no's been going on for awhile, IMHO.

Aloha, Mark

PS........nice pics.....and glad you got it together.......keep us posted when it gets running or sooner. How about some pics of the old cracked heads (pic of crack) and the new virgin heads.

BTW....that link Shamaal provided earlier, to, isn't working right now. So, when or if it comes back is a guess.

Found the problem. At first, we thought it was the fender apron relay. Turned out to be the power cable. It was severely corroded. I swapped it and the car turned over with no issues.

Drained the oil and swapped the filter after running for a few minutes and it starts and runs fine:D

A couple of issues...
1. the serpentine belt seems to want to keep "walking"out toward the fan and is starting to eat up the edge. Is this common or is this an oddball issue?

2. What needs to be done to fix the fuel gauge? Sending unit? If so does anyone have part numbers and or resource to buy it from?

3. I assume that the buttons that control the 4x4 supposed to press in and/or light up? If they don't light up what is the troubleshooting procedure? I pressed them and they don't go in... (new to 4WD...)

I'll try and post pics in a little while

1. the serpentine belt seems to want to keep "walking"out toward the fan and is starting to eat up the edge. Is this common or is this an oddball issue?

I had that happen to a '98 Chevy, V6, I used to own.......the problem was the belt alignment w/ all the pullys......DUH.

OK.....I'll be more specific. The harmonic balancer wasn't the usual one piece, it was a two piece affair. Hummmm, so the harmonic balancer had separated and spun abit. Here is a pic of the Chevy unit.........see how it's not like the old time one piece unit:

Don't KNOW for sure if FORD has the same, you might want to explore (hey, I made a pun) that. Check the alignment on all of the pulleys.

Aloha, Mark

Glad to hear it! :bounce:

1. Definitely oddball, belt is serpentine with V grooves. It should stay put. Possibilities are not installed properly on all the pullies, wrong type of belt (non V?) belt, something out of alignment (less likely). Does the water pump pulley/shaft move in and out (it shouldn't)?

2. See post #11 in
Most people replace the entire pump as long as the tank's down. But the float by itself can be replaced.

3. Button should light up when pressed. I can't help in troubleshooting, perhaps someone else with experience?

It's the proper v-belt but for some reason it keeps walking from the back edge of the pulley to the front and it's already getting eaten up!

I was hoping to avoid dropping the whole tank...

As for the 4x4, I'll first check that rear antilock light that's on and then start tearing apart the dash to find out what the deal is.

I know I promied pics. I'm working on it...

What pulley we talking about?
I've had a water pump go bad where the shaft had .25 inch play in and out. Not enough to knock the belt off guide but I could see where it was headed. :dunno:


  • 4.0 Belts.JPG
    4.0 Belts.JPG
    58 KB · Views: 173

The belt on the on the crankshaft keeps slipping but I cannot figure out why. The belt is new and the grooves were all aligned. Seems like the belt walks forward as the engine turns...

I'm stumped. Holding a straightedge on the crankshaft pulley and see which other pulley is out of the plane. I don't have specs but if it's out of whack enough to walk the belt off of the V's it should be obvious. I'd bet the waterpump. The fan blade pulls wants to pull forward like a propellor. :dunno:

I'm stumped too! I checked and rechecked everything. I did discover a small chip in the power steering pulley and that was corrected with some JB Weld craftsmanship :p: I cleaned up the frayed belt edges and took her on the maiden voyage...

Issues so far...

1. Drivers side brake light was out. I replaced the top mount light on the drivers side and the lowers started to work, then they stopped.

2. Rear Antilock light is on. I went under the car to remove the sensor but it's a royal pain so I disconnected it. Still need to find the fuse...

3. Fuel gauge doesn't work- need to drop the tank and fix that.

4. Coolant temp gauge is working- I think. It stays cool and then rolls up to the middle setting and then swings back down to cool...

5. 4x4 buttons don't light up. I pulled the dash mounted module and proceeded to break the little light that illuminates the module.. (any one have a part number or resource where I can find this)?

6. Power door lock doesn't work from drivers side. If I push the passenger side switch it will click- on the drivers side; but apparently the actuator(?) is not properly secured to the door and will not engage. Any suggestions (pics would be nice too)

7. Rear tailgate does not seem to want to lock. I tried to pull off the plastic cover but the small round tabs that hold the upper part on are brittle as hell and when I attempted to pry one it shattered. So I pulled off the bottom as carfully as I could and at least re-aligned the little black pull thing that's supposted to go up and down to let you know the door is locked or not. Not sure how t fix...

8. The block that bolts to the back of the A/C compressor does not want to sit flush. When I fianlly got it to it seems as if the bolt that holds it in decided to strip... yipee.

9. The worst news.... The trans is slipping 2-3 and 3-4 intermittently. She's with my trans guy tonight to see what he can find out. Hopefully some thing cheap. yeah right. hahahahahahhaha:fire:

Anyway, that's about it...

Oh yeah, as promised, here's the pics of the cracked heads and the new ones.






that crack is incrediable!!! usually you can not see head cracks with the naked eye that big on the outside of the head!! that motor got extremely overheted!!! :eek:

trans slipping, if it isnt something simple its major $$ to fix. this truck is a basket case. ask yourself how much time and money you are willing to spend to fix it, then sell your new heads on ebay and tow it off to the junk yard.:confused:

Some crack!

#4. Engine heats up (idle in traffic), thermostat opens, temperature drops. Most noticeable during cooling weather. I'd change the thermostat just as good practice for an overheated vehicle.

#8. That's the refrigerant lines, they fit over lips that hold the o'rings on the compressor. They can get ****ed if not lined up. You're lucky if it's the screw stripped, I'd bet compressor. It only needs 15 ft lb to torque down.

#9. Good luck! :hammer:


  • Compressor Lines.JPG
    Compressor Lines.JPG
    76.8 KB · Views: 174

Trans was fine! Had a service and flush- no problems. They did find a module that was soaked with oil. They cleaned it up and it shifts good as new!!


Just a few more things to do and we'll be ready to go...

Having an issue with the fuel gauge. Dropped the skid plate and tank:mad: ...

Moved the float arm and nothing changed (with power on of course)

Was going to replace float but the float is fine.

I'm guessing it's the sending unit. (the fuel pump works fine.)

Does anyone have the part number for the sending unit? (either OE Ford or aftermarket...) Don't really care, what ever is easy to work with and reasonbly priced. I'm assuming it can be replaced w/o replacing the pump.

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!