Do I need a new radiator? Or just some mods? | Page 2 | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
  • Register Today It's free!

Do I need a new radiator? Or just some mods?

doonze

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
506
Reaction score
3
City, State
Fayetteville, Ar
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 X Sport
Well, while your working on it I would suggest using just water at least for now. So far I have yet to boil my fluid and it kills the grass where I work on the truck and cost just far too much. I will return to using AF and waterwetter once I have my issues finally resolved 100% (right now I'm having issues with what I think is crappy thermostats)

Also on a side note, after my last flush last weekend I seem to be losing fluid "somewhere" like you. I can't find a leak anywhere, nothing hits the ground at all, and I can't find a sign of leaking on the engine...yet. I did the flush Monday, checked it Wednesday and the overflow was empty and I was able to add maybe 1/4-1/2 a gallon of water. Checked it again today after driving home last night and back into work today (about 25 miles) and it seems like it might be about an inch lower in the overflow then it was.

Going to dig into it again this weekend, was going to add all the correct fluids then, but I'm going to hold off for now until I track down this leak.
 



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!
.





titansarrow

Active Member
Joined
August 5, 2009
Messages
91
Reaction score
1
City, State
dayton, oh
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 explorer
well let me know if you find anything out. i won't be doing anything this weekend but figuring things out, i may play with my sending unit too, since that's obviously f'd too.

my mechanic guru just got done with some surgery, so i'll be calling him with his advise as well.

this is an irritating problem, and i'm sure it's something simple....which is all the more reason that i don't want to bring it to a shop, get charged 60 bucks for them to say something i already know- "well this and this might be bad and....." then spend more time and money to replace parts i may not have to.

i have a feeling i should replace the radiator because of the damage to the fins, but that probly isn't the root cause anyway.
 






doonze

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
506
Reaction score
3
City, State
Fayetteville, Ar
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 X Sport
If you have the spare cash, replace the radiator.... can't really go wrong. At 15+ years old it can't hurt. AZ has one for manuals for like $109.00 (much more for autos)

But if you have more time then money, like me, we can save your radiator, or at least limp it into next summer.... :)
 






shaggymane

Well-Known Member
Joined
March 4, 2008
Messages
317
Reaction score
2
City, State
topeka, kansas
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 navajo
Well, while your working on it I would suggest using just water at least for now. So far I have yet to boil my fluid and it kills the grass where I work on the truck and cost just far too much. I will return to using AF and waterwetter once I have my issues finally resolved 100% (right now I'm having issues with what I think is crappy thermostats)

Also on a side note, after my last flush last weekend I seem to be losing fluid "somewhere" like you. I can't find a leak anywhere, nothing hits the ground at all, and I can't find a sign of leaking on the engine...yet. .

I wonder if all that gunk you got out was actually stop leak.

Those side tank radiators will develop side gasket problems. The ones i've seen were very noticable leaks. IIRC they were also hot leaks.
Replaceing them is not usually a DIY but i've read soemthing about you can set a vice grip to a certain ..........Ah heck.........Set it to just clamp on a certian size nut and that's the depth for the crimping needed. Don't know what it is though. Not something I'd try.

Don't you guys have auto stores close by? I have 3 within 7 blocks. Was in there tonight, Mat on the counter lists the tools they loan. Rad pressure tester and compression check were amoung them.
 






titansarrow

Active Member
Joined
August 5, 2009
Messages
91
Reaction score
1
City, State
dayton, oh
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 explorer
i have a few near me. but the point in this thread was that i have no idea what i'm doing with this. i don't know about pressure tests, nor do i want to spend the money to rent a $50 tool (or what ever the price) when i can just buy a new radiator for 50 more.

and on the flip side, if buying the radiator doesn't fix it...i'm at square one.

so if these radiators develop gasket problems, ultimately your answer would be to get a new one correct?
 






doonze

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
506
Reaction score
3
City, State
Fayetteville, Ar
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 X Sport
For me, it's partly a pride thing, I'm not letting this thing beat me! But mostly it's a cash thing, with the kids home all summer my budget for parts on the truck has been exactly $0.... I've spent about $30 so far so I'm a bit over budget. It's also a DD, so overheating is out of the question, for some reason work seems to be kinda high priority.

As far as what all the gunk that I'm getting out is, well could be stop leak, could be fried eggs, but whatever it is it's coming out and the truck is drivable and reliable and wasn't before!

However if it starts leaking, it's getting replaced, story over. But I was able to get it to the point I can trust it, I've even wheeled it pretty hard, does fine. If it's not 100% by next summer it's also just getting replaced.

But this isn't my thread...... But I'm with titan, at first I wasn't sure it WAS the radiator, and I didn't want to spend money on stuff I didn't for sure NEED at that moment. Then it just became a project, I was going to fix it without replacing it, or kill it trying. :)

Titan, I'll have a how to up this weekend if you want to give it a try, total cost is about $20 from start to finish, but you don't have have it all at once, it takes at least 2 weeks on the fast track start to finish. A month if your lazy about it! LOL. I've been working on it 3 months...I'm SUPER lazy!

And yes, if the radiator leaks, I suggest just replacing it, I'm not a big fan of stop leak stuff unless it's a emergency situation. I used some head/head gasket fix stuff once, and it worked, but I was on the road and it looked like I was James Bond trying to throw a smoke screen behind me. But for stuff as cheap as radiators in the end it's not worth it!!

Let me know if you find your leak, mine seems to have disappeared for the moment but I'm going to take a good look at it this weekend.

Edit:
Oh, btw, I'm kinda with Titan on the tool rental thing too, but I do have a Autozone, O'Reilly's, Advanced Auto, and a NAPA within a mile of me! LOL I get the best deal on ALL my parts, I play them off each other! :p
 






titansarrow

Active Member
Joined
August 5, 2009
Messages
91
Reaction score
1
City, State
dayton, oh
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 explorer
lol. well i'll be awaiting your how to. i'm sure i can figure it out, (i've done it with 2 types of wheel bearings thus far) but i don't really care to get to a point and go, "well what in the hell is this thing!?".

but i just thought of something, i don't know if it'll do any good with the radiator, but i saw some stuff you can buy to trace an oil leak, it's UV light sensitive. so my thought is that there must be something for the radiator. i know the radiator its self will probly light up with this stuff, but after an engine bay cleaning , there are just some areas that shouldn't.

but i sapose i were more of an off-roader, i would just shell out $500 for the be-cool radiator. it look a bit more mightier than the oem part
 






doonze

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
506
Reaction score
3
City, State
Fayetteville, Ar
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 X Sport
but i sapose i were more of an off-roader, i would just shell out $500 for the be-cool radiator. it look a bit more mightier than the oem part

Strangly enough wheeling was not even a strain on my truck, I spent my entire time in 4 low, and the temp never left O the whole time. I think the engine doesn't throw alot of heat wheeling, it's highway speeds and stop and go traffic that seem to be the worst.... or just sitting at low RPM's, like in the drive through, bank ATM lines and such.

I've offroaded it a couple of times since I got it cooling well, and it runs much cooler then it does on the Freeway....so yeah......
 






titansarrow

Active Member
Joined
August 5, 2009
Messages
91
Reaction score
1
City, State
dayton, oh
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 explorer
i'll be pulling the radiator to clean in the morning
 






doonze

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
506
Reaction score
3
City, State
Fayetteville, Ar
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 X Sport
Great start, you'll be blown away by how much stuff is between the radiator and the AC cooler thingie, at least if it's not been cleaned before.


When "flushing" the radiator out of the truck make sure you use a hose sprayer and shoot water in EVERY hole from EVERY angle. Then put the radiator on a different side and repeat, this included shooting water up the drain plug hole. Do this till you get clean water out all holes at all angles. Then once you think it's clean, shoot water in one hole, cup our hand under whatever hole it's coming out of, then keep running water until you don't get any pieces of crap in your hand anymore, you'll see what I mean. Do this at every angle and in every hole and make the water come out every other hole from each angle.... does that make sense? If you spend less then an hour (well, at LEAST 30 mins), your doing it wrong. Also lay the radiator flat, put the cap on the fill hole, fill the radiator about 1/2 up with water, then tilt it back and forth so the water is running from one plastic side to the other, and keep doing this also until the water runs clear.

Also pick up some "super radiator cleaner", it's $5.99 or so, and leave it in for a week (bottle says 6 hours of driving, if you don't dive 6 hours in a week then make it 2 weeks), then you'll repeat this all again NEXT weekend. :)

If you have the cash, get new hoses as well. It's about $50 for upper, lower and both heater hoses. These are parts in never hurts to replace just because you have the chance. That way while your flushing you don't get more crap off the hoses into the radiator that you will have to flush out later. If you don't have the spare cash don't worry about it, it's not a deal breaker or anything.

I honestly don't know exactly how much crap your going to get out of the radiator the first time, without having run the "super flush" first. But I bet you get a lot. Let me know, I didn't do a flush with the radiator out until I had already flushed it 2x and run the flush stuff.

I'll have my full how to up by tonight!
 






titansarrow

Active Member
Joined
August 5, 2009
Messages
91
Reaction score
1
City, State
dayton, oh
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 explorer
UPDATE

cleaned out the radiator, the interior looked pretty good. between the metal fins was the dirties part. and i stand corrected on the damage. it was on the a/c unit, not the radiator. i will not be buying a radiator.

i also took out my new thermostat and tested it by putting it in boiling water- it didn't open. so i took it back and told the guys at advanced auto. they gave me a new one, i boiled it, it tested fine, then installed.

i haven't drivin it too much, but the gauge seems to respond [more] correctly. before i pulled back in the driveway it seemed to be at the R in normal, maybe towards the m. i'll be taking out for a bit tomorrow morning, or i'll let it idle for a while to see if it increases any.

i did notice though, that my idle increased a pinch. just a side note.

i'll be adjusting a few thing tomorrow as there's an annoying knock that has been needing taken care of. it should settle a few things all and all anyway.

plans are also in the making to get a builder motor.
 






doonze

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
506
Reaction score
3
City, State
Fayetteville, Ar
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 X Sport






titansarrow

Active Member
Joined
August 5, 2009
Messages
91
Reaction score
1
City, State
dayton, oh
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 explorer
damn, didn't work, it would seem that it's worse.
 






shaggymane

Well-Known Member
Joined
March 4, 2008
Messages
317
Reaction score
2
City, State
topeka, kansas
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 navajo
But this isn't my thread...... But I'm with titan, at first I wasn't sure it WAS the radiator, and I didn't want to spend money on stuff I didn't for sure NEED at that moment. Then it just became a project, I was going to fix it without replacing it, or kill it trying. :)


Edit:
Oh, btw, I'm kinda with Titan on the tool rental thing too, but I do have a Autozone, O'Reilly's, Advanced Auto, and a NAPA within a mile of me! LOL I get the best deal on ALL my parts, I play them off each other! :p

Hey guys, I'm with ya on the low cost thing. I go after what I call bargain vehicles and if ya spend big bucks on them, they aren't bargains anymore.

This navajo I got ....traded my oldest riding mower for it. Hey, he really wanted that mower really bad. The nav was draining the battery. I wasn't about to pay 100 - 146 for a rebiult one. Found one for $25.


What I'm thinking about is tool loan not rental. Works about like this, you pay the price of the tool to insure you bring it back. They refund your money. I did it with coil spring compressors.
I was thinking the parts bizz was getting competive so they started these kinds of programs. hoping you'll then buy parts from them. Am i wrong?

The side tank gasket thing - some will lose coolant only when it's running so you don't see stain on the ground. About 5 yrs ago on a ford taurus, a shop pulled the radiator, redid the side gaskets, reinstalled for 105.00.
If one of yours is leaking there, take the radiator in to them. Suggestion - that's all.

And titan if you saw the radiator/coolant system tester i think you'd figure it out just by looking at it.
 






doonze

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
506
Reaction score
3
City, State
Fayetteville, Ar
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 X Sport
Shaggy, I know what you were trying to say. I don't think Titan or I were trying to get sideways with ya.

But honestly, at this point in time, I don't even have the spare cash to give them any even for a few days!!! LOL, the kids and the summer have me to the point of eating ramen noodles!!

But your suggestions are good ones, but I think Titan is a little unsure exactly what his problem is, and so far I lost fluid one day, but since then haven't really lost a drop. I'm starting to think I just did a bad burp with the new stat because it behaves differently then the old one did.

So no loss of fluid, so no need for testing! :)

Now about Titans issue, man honestly a pressure test might be in order. I would think it could go something like this, if you pressure test it it should show if you have a leak. And if the pressure rises big time with the truck running, well that might help prove you have some compression leaking in the water channel.

I would think if you build up more then 13 PSI in the system before it even gets hot then you are getting some cylinder leakage. But it's just a thought, I'm a little in the dark about exactly how to figure this out.

One test I've heard of is a bubble test. If you try to burp it like I show in my How To, if you just keep getting bubbles then you have a leak into the water channel. If not..... well, then it's less likely.
 






titansarrow

Active Member
Joined
August 5, 2009
Messages
91
Reaction score
1
City, State
dayton, oh
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 explorer
lol. i guess i'm just carrying this thread over to the one i just started. slowly getting things together
 






Top