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cold weather radiator leak

JStrider

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cold weather radiator leak/ radiator replacement

ok so the other day we had a bit of a cold front blow thru and a I noticed a leak from the radiator when the car was on, right now its not too bad about 1 drop every 2 or 3 seconds

it appears to be leaking from directly behind the fan shroud on the driver side, where the plastic and metal join...

since finding this site i've been feeling rather inspired and I want to try and fix this myself.

i've got a 93 XLT 4x4 with auto transmission

I read this thread http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=131083

and had a couple questions from the thread...

someone mentioned that there was a special process to filling the system after getting the new radiator on there... I dont know that process

it was also mentioned that it was a good time to replace the fan if it had cracks around the hub... well my fan is cracked between almost every blade.. . so it should probably be replaced also

are there any tricks that can make the job easier... or special tools or anything like that...

i'm planning on getting the second radiator on this page http://www.radiatorbarn.com/s7.asp?...submodel=ALL+MODELS&engine_size=V6,4.0L,245ci

and dont know where to get the fan yet... any recomendations?

thanks in advance for the help...
 


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Darrman

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The only special tools you will need is a fan clutch removal kit, you can rent one at your local chain parts store, very easy to do, the fan just unbolts to the clutch, radiator replacement is a snap also, as long as you dont have a front mounted trans cooler, then you have to mess with the though-the -radiator/condenser mounts. If you do a search, you should come up with some info on flushing/burping the cooing system.
 




410Fortune

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You dont HAVE to remove the fan to swap out the radiator but it sure does help. You can unbolt the shroud and put it over the fan, giving you enough room to pull the rad and ac condensor assembly out of the truck.

Hoses expand and contract, when it gets colder outside they condense a little more. It is not uncommon for cold weather tobring leaks from the rubber hoses, so be sure to check those before you replace the whole radiator.

Also with these types of radiators (aluminum core, plastic side tanks) sometimes the crimping that holds the core to the tank can be fixed either by you or by a radiator place for far cheaper then a new unit. If your radiator is over 100K miles old then it might be time anyways, ESPECIALLY if the coolant was not flushed as often as it should be
 




JStrider

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is this the front mounted trans cooler?
P8060152%20(Small).JPG

the lines for it go down and below the radiator and back towards the transmission.

as far as i know the radiator is the original... which would mean its got a bit over 140k miles... and I dont know if it was flushed like it should have been for most of those miles...
 




savagefan

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Yes.
 




JStrider

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how much harder will that transmission cooler make this job? after a certain point it probably becomes better to just pay the $100+ to have someone else do it... especially when it comes to the transmission stuff... i dont wanna have to have mine fixed again for quite a while...

as far as flushing it after searching around I think i'll add some Prestone Super Flush a few days before I do the switch and make sure i get a good bit of driving in... and then once i have the hoses and thermostat disconnected just put a garden hose in the top radiator tube on the engine and run it like this guy did in this thread http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=141272
will that work alright? i figure the radiator wont need it... since its new...

as for burping just run it with the radiator cap off for 10 minutes after I fill it and then do it again a day or 2 later... I shoulda known this... i have to do this with my computers water cooling system...

that sound like the right way to do things?
 




Rhett

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JStrider said:
how much harder will that transmission cooler make this job?

The tranny cooler doesn't make it harder, but having an automatic transmission does. That is because auto trans trucks have two hard trans fluid lines going into the rad on the drivers side. The fittings are often not easy to remove, especially if it has been a while since they were last removed.

In your case that's probably a long, long time. You'll want PB Blaster to help loosen those fittings. You'll want a shop rag or two to stuff in the tubes while you pull the rad out. And probably a few swear words wouldn't hurt either.

If you get it re-crimped, chances are it will only last a year or so. The OEM plastic tank rad's are not the best, but they are ok imo. Mine lasted 7 years, and yours has lasted even longer.
 




savagefan

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To burp it quicker, loosen a heater hose or install one of those prestone flush tees and back off the cap. Really speeds things up.
 




JStrider

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Darrman

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If your is the same as mine, that front mount trans cooler will have two plastic zip tie type fasteners that run through the condeser and rad, and have two big round plastic ends. I had a hell of a time trying to get them off, I ended up cutting the line flush behind the round part, then tightening it to the condenser, there may be a better way, but I was sick of messing with it.
 




Rhett

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Darrman said:
If your is the same as mine, that front mount trans cooler will have two plastic zip tie type fasteners that run through the condeser and rad, and have two big round plastic ends. I had a hell of a time trying to get them off, I ended up cutting the line flush behind the round part, then tightening it to the condenser, there may be a better way, but I was sick of messing with it.

??? I have never had to move the tranny cooler itself (or the a/c condensor) when removing the radiator.
 




Rhett

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JStrider said:
ok cool thanks for the heads up on the pb blaster... will autozone or similar have that?

Yeah AutoZone carries PB. Those fittings are a little tricky, you will need two wrenches, one to hold one side of the fitting, and another to hold the other side of the fitting. :) And they need to be fairly long wrenches, in my opinion, to make it easier to reach the bottom fitting. My suggestion is to loosen the top fitting first to get an idea about how it works, because the top fitting is easily accessible.

JStrider said:
I was also wondering where I should get the fan at?

I replaced mine a few yrs ago and got it at www.fordpartsnetwork.com

The new fan you get might have more blades--some of the early first gens had fans with fewer blades. The OEM replacement fans they sell now are supposedly an improved design that doesn't crack so much around the fan hub.

One of my friends recently bought a 98 Limited (very nice truck) and it has a METAL fan. I was impressed with that fan. You might look into whether or not one of those metal fans will fit in our gen truck. If you find out let me know!!

JStrider said:
Is the radiator I linked to at radiator barn the best option? and is that the best place to get it?
http://www.radiatorbarn.com/s7.asp?...submodel=ALL+MODELS&engine_size=V6,4.0L,245ci

I'm getting pretty psyched about this... it'll be my biggest car repair
yet!

Don't worry about it, radiator replacement is very easy on these trucks, like I said the hardest thing will be those auto trans fittings.

A lot of people like Radiator Barn, I can't comment on them. If I were buying a new rad, I would get a 3-core, that will be an upgrade for your cooling, no question. When I replaced mine, I got an OEM radiator but I got the rad that Ford put in trucks that had the "Super Cooling" factory option. Again, I got it from www.fordpartsnetwork.com. I looked into getting a custom built aluminum radiator from Griffin or Be-Cool, but that was $500+ and I didn't feel like I needed that.
 




JStrider

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maybe Darrmans is an aftermarket one attached to the actual radiator instead of how the stock one is setup?


anyways... about to dthe bank account money shuffle and order the radiator...

i'm excited... this should be an adventure :) hopefully a fun adventure
 




410Fortune

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the bottom fitting I usually get from under the truck, and you should be using line wrench's if you want to get picky :)

The factory 2 core aluminum unit should provide adequate cooling, a 3 core might not fit.
 




Darrman

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I honestly dont know what the deal is with mine, they (previous owners) bypassed the cooler in the radiator and ran it to the front cooler. They just cut off the metal lines, pretty sorry job too. Anyways, ya'll dont have the two little plastic lines that run through the condenser and radiator? Thats what was holding my front trans cooler in place.
They go through the radiator, so I had to cut the ends off to get the radiator out.
 




410Fortune

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from the factory no they do not have the zip tie mounts for the trans cooler, however it is very common for aftermarket coolers to be mounted this way.
Best bet is to cut them off with a long knife being careful not to damage the radiator fins. Sometimes there is a metal spring between the cooler and the rad, if you push you can get more length on the end of the zip tie, making it easier to cut.

There is nothing wrong with mounting the cooler this way, but it is not the preferred method.
I suspect the previous owner either did not like having two coolers, added an aftermarket cooler and bypassed the radiator, or the radiator was clogged?

It is better to have both the radiator cooler and the remote mounted trans cooler IMO
 




Rhett

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410Fortune said:
the bottom fitting I usually get from under the truck, and you should be using line wrench's if you want to get picky :)

Line wrench? That threw me a curve when I first read it...but I see now that you mean a socket with the end cut out, hehe. Thx for the tip, I never used one of those for that.
 




410Fortune

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No its a wrench specifically made for pipe fittings, etc.
It has more surface area to grab on more sides, ut I was just being picky on these fittings a normal open ended wrench will work fine, on things like brake lines and smaller fittings you want to use line wrenches.

like the 11/16 in this picture:

istockphoto_102378_wrenches.jpg
 




JStrider

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man.... the fan costs $70 -_-

so... what bad things happen if the fan fails while i'm driving?

heh... prolly mess up my new radiator x_X
 


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Rhett

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