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Coolant leak! Where is it coming from?

New2fixing

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Hey everyone. I have a 2001 Explorer Sport Trac 4X4. So I've been having radiator issues and the like for a while. First it was just a leaky upper hose but now I'm losing tons of coolant from somewhat near the front of the engine. I can actually see it dripping but I can't see the source. I'll post some pics but I couldn't get a very good shot of it.

Is it the thermostat housing unit? Blown head gasket? I've noticed a yellowish build up around the thermostat housing also. But I haven't noticed the upper hose going into the thermostat housing leaking at all so I don't think it's the upper hose.

Thanks for any tips or advice! I hope everyone had an awesome Christmas and Happy New Year!

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New2fixing

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Ok, so i got under the truck and took some pics. I'm definitely not liking the looks of this but I still can't figure out where I'm leaking from.

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swshawaii

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If you have coolant puddling on top of the thermostat housing it's very likely the source of your leak. One of the most common failures with the 4.0L SOHC engine of ANY year. OE lower thermostat housings have an extremely high failure rate within the first 10 years. If yours hasn't been replaced you're pushing 20 years. Highly recommend an aluminum replacement. Whether it's the Simmons or Austekk is up to you. Almost fail safe way of isolating leaks is renting a coolant system pressure test kit from most larger auto parts stores with a 100% refundable deposit upon return. Call around.

4.0 SOHC Metal Thermostat Housing Comparison
 




New2fixing

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Oh ok. Thanks a lot for the advice! I really appreciate it. Have a great rest of your day!
 








New2fixing

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Great! Thanks again for the help.
 




New2fixing

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I forgot to mention that the leak doesn't start until the engine has been running for a few minutes.
 








New2fixing

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Will do! Yeah I figured as much. I can probably replace the thermostat housing myself if that's the issue but anything bigger than that is going to be tricky.
 




dfkimbro

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Spot on advice from swshawaii as usual. The how-to he posted a link to is excellent.

Take a look at the aluminum housings at Zabteck.com.
 








massacre

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Not in explorer but same engine I had the same symptoms. Couldn’t nail it down, ended up being t stat housing
It ends up dripping from a weird place that is not necessarily near the cause of the leak
 




New2fixing

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I hear ya! I'm looking all over trying to see where the leak is coming from but it's a tight spot.
 




New2fixing

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Hey everyone. A big of an update. I still can't see where the leak is coming from but I did notice 2 things. One, now I'm getting a pretty decent amount of smoke coming from the rear of the engine on the passenger side and it smells like oil. Also there's liquid on the thermostat housing unit. I'll post pics. I can't tell if it's oil or coolant. I really hope I didn't blow a head gasket. Anyway thanks for the help!

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gtyates

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Hey everyone. A big of an update. I still can't see where the leak is coming from but I did notice 2 things. One, now I'm getting a pretty decent amount of smoke coming from the rear of the engine on the passenger side and it smells like oil. Also there's liquid on the thermostat housing unit. I'll post pics. I can't tell if it's oil or coolant. I really hope I didn't blow a head gasket. Anyway thanks for the help!

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Welcome to the "club". When my upper housing went I had coolant just where you show it in the pics. There are 2 types of Sport Trac owners. There are ones that have not replaced the housing but eventually will, and there are those that have done it.. :) Basically they glued the 2 halves together. Does glue and constant heat with pressure ever work? Not often..
 




New2fixing

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Haha! Thanks for the welcome. I already had to replace the coolant temp sensor and it was a pain to get out and I'm not looking forward to doing that again. I couldn't believe when I saw that the whole unit is held together by glue. That's pretty crazy. Thanks for the info!
 




swshawaii

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OP, you started this thread five days ago and continue to find classic symptoms of a lower t-stat housing leak, yet you still can't find it. Again, if you are uncertain with the replies and advice from others above, borrow a coolant system pressure test kit or at the very least add dye that will require a UV light to help pinpoint the leak(s). Others as well as myself are confident you're just another "victim" of a lower thermostat housing splitting it's seams. Don't overthink this. Good luck..
 




New2fixing

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Thanks. I'm confident in everyone's knowledge on the matter I'm just being a little cautious because money is tight and I can't afford to fix the housing unit just for the problem to lie somewhere else. But you guys have been great and I appreciate all of you. This forum rocks!
 




donalds

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Get metal one it's worth it

I replaced my plastic one four Or five times
 


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New2fixing

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Great point. I'll look around. Thanks!
 




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