Coolant Leak Help! | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free! This box and some ads will disappear once registered!

Coolant Leak Help!

Zipper

New Member
Joined
May 15, 2008
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Year, Model & Trim Level
99 Ranger XLT
Hey Folks;

I'm new here and am hoping someone might be familiar with my problem. I have a 99 Ranger XLT 4X4 with the 4.0L V6.

For a while now I've been noticing the smell of coolant when I get out of my truck after driving it and had been having to top up the coolant every once in a while but couldn't tell where the leak was coming from.

Over the last couple of days the leak has become a steady stream that results in a pool of coolant under the truck after parking it. The leak stops shortly after the truck is turned off.

I checked the hoses and the water pump. They all seem fine. I got underneath my truck last night and the leak appears to be coming off the left (drivers) side of the engine block. I think it might be a drain plug or something similar, but the haynes manual I have doesn't seem to cover sources of coolant leaks that aren't either the water pump or a hose.

Can anyone help?

Regards
Jim
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




ld50

Oh, the money you`ll blow
Joined
April 16, 2002
Messages
3,333
Reaction score
23
City, State
British Columbia
Year, Model & Trim Level
93 4 dr 4x4 manual XL.
Frost plug maybe? Are ya familiar with those?
it`s round press fit plugs in your block which are designed to pop out if you ever froze water in your coolant system.
 




Zipper

New Member
Joined
May 15, 2008
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Year, Model & Trim Level
99 Ranger XLT
I thought of that one and we did have a cold winter here, but I've kept the coolant topped up with sutable anti-freeze, the truck was driven everyday, and on the coldest days it was plugged in overnight so I don't see how it could have frozen.

Also if it was a frost plug, wouldn't the leaking continue after the truck is shut off?
 




wood1

Explorer Addict
Joined
May 3, 2007
Messages
2,921
Reaction score
4
City, State
North of Edmonton
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XLT, Cayman Green RIP
Frost plugs can rot away, that's why they leak. Check them all to make sure. If it's not a frost plug, you aren't planning on ripping your motor apart to fix this and just want it to stop, try snugging the lower intake bolts and feeding it a bottle of Barrs Stop Leak. It's sometimes the lower intake manifold gaskets that are leaking. Worked for my '93 X.
 




Zipper

New Member
Joined
May 15, 2008
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Year, Model & Trim Level
99 Ranger XLT
Thanks. My Hayne's manual is pretty sketchy on the location of the frost plugs....can you tell me their locations? Also if it is a frost plug that's rotted what can I do about that? Can they be replaced?

I was thinking it might be the lower intake gaskets, but am not so sure the leak is coming from that area. Is there an easy way to verify if it is the lower intake gaskets?

Thanks for the help
Jim
 




BrooklynBay

Moderator & long time member.
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 11, 2005
Messages
55,133
Reaction score
697
City, State
Brooklyn, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
88 89 93 95 96 Aerostars




wood1

Explorer Addict
Joined
May 3, 2007
Messages
2,921
Reaction score
4
City, State
North of Edmonton
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XLT, Cayman Green RIP
The frost plugs are along both sides of the block and they can be replaced. If you want to find out exactly where it's coming from you could pressure test the colling system. Might have to take it to a rad shop, but it'll answer your questions if you can't find it easily.

Try snugging up the lower intake bolts, you may find a few are loose... I did.

If you want to get fancy you could buy a dye kit. It works with a black light and will glow where the leak is.
 




Zipper

New Member
Joined
May 15, 2008
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Year, Model & Trim Level
99 Ranger XLT
Thanks! I'll try snugging up the lower intake bolts tonight and see if that has an effect. I live in a small town in Canada so we don't have an Autozone here, but I'll try to borrow a pressure tester and see what happens.

Thanks Again.

Jim
 




radsr2002

Member
Joined
May 11, 2008
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
ok

A easy pressure test is: Run the truck for about a 5 mile round trip. Pull in on a nice clean spot, set the E brake and climb under for a look. Follow the drip to the location. When you have the area located, let the truck cool down and take a closer inspection.

I strongly advise not to put any stop leak in your cooling system. That is like pouring in a can of instant gum-up. The radiator is older and could have water deposits in it and the stop leak could cause a blockage.

Simple rule: Find the problem, fix the problem, no more problem.:salute:
 




Zipper

New Member
Joined
May 15, 2008
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Year, Model & Trim Level
99 Ranger XLT
On the way home last night I noticed the truck was running hot, so when I got home I looked under the hood and noticed that it hadn't taken up any of the coolant I put in the reservoir. I waited for the truck to cool down, removed the rad cap and topped it up directly with water. As soon as I did that coolant began pouring out (no need for a pressure test anymore). I got under the truck, but couldn't really tell exactly where the leak is coming from, but the only logical conclusion is that it's coming from the lower intake manifold.

As much as I'd like to do this myself I don't really have the tools or the time, so I guess I'll just have to park the truck until I can get it to the shop next week. Luckily we have alternate transport we can use until it's fixed.

Thanks for the help.
Jim
 




explorerjim

Member
Joined
November 30, 2005
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
City, State
minn
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 and 2001 Explorer XLT
manifold gasket

Zipper, how did this turn out? ( 1996 Explorer XLT, 4.0, SOHC vin X) I've got a similar leak and I hope it is a manifold gasket. Trying to convince myself it's not a head gasket. Mine has a pretty good drip going at the firewall on the drivers side and I can't pinpoint it.

Was yours a manifold gasket problem?


Jim
 




Zipper

New Member
Joined
May 15, 2008
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Year, Model & Trim Level
99 Ranger XLT
manifold gasket

Hi Jim;

It was the lower intake manifold gasket. Had it replaced and my truck has been fine since.

Jim
 




ddub2501

New Member
Joined
January 18, 2010
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
City, State
Indianapolis, IN
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 XLT
How much did the labor run you or did you fix it yourself????
 




Batman45

Member
Joined
April 2, 2008
Messages
44
Reaction score
0
im too lazy to read so i will give my $.02 and that is let your truck run and look for the leak, mine was leaking coolant nonstop and would leave a puddle on the ground later to find out that because it looked like it was the t stat leaking that instead it turned out to be the lower intake. just an fyi if it is a new gasket kit costed me $100
 




Top