Driving with a coolant leak from the timing cover | Page 22 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Driving with a coolant leak from the timing cover

I would start with retorque. Make life easy. Make sure to do it to spec!

I had a good look at it today with the mechanic. He looked at it for almost an hour and never charged me. Honestly, we don't believe the driver side valve cover is leaking. The side where the spark plugs are is completely dry. He says the leak is coming from the front of the driver side valve cover and then it blows back as you drive, but doesn't know if it's the valve cover or the power steering pump. He suggested I wash the engine bay to get as much oil out and from underneath and I did that. Ran it for a good 15mins right after and I didn't see any oil coming out of the driver side valve cover. He thinks it could be the bottom seal of the power steering pump leaking.

Is the front main seal and the crank seal the same?

Any good power steering leak products out there that are as good as K seal?
 



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They look right to me...although those are not Explorer wheels. Thy appear to be Ranger wheels.

Someone in here may know if the Ranger wheels are thicker, requiring a longer stud for proper nut engagement?
Thanks. I have to fix this fast. Mechanic swears that it's a huge safety risk driving with these wheels and those lugnuts on them. Even though I've been driving on them for 25 months now, he says it's a huge safety risk and I just can't continue to take any chances. So I'm guessing the cheaper route would be to just get lugnuts that would be better suited for the wheels.

Either that or I buy steelies that will come with it's own lugnuts. But then I would have to pay to have the tires mounted on them and it will be a lot more.
 






Yeah....I think those are predominately Ranger wheels....that's what my '94 had.....but I have seen a couple pics online with 2nd gens with them....although they might have been added later like apparently his are. My Ranger ones were only 14" rims too.....got rid of those quick....
**And IF your first mechanic actually did replace V.C. gaskets hopefully he used rubber instead of cork....otherwise a re-torque will be useless.

The ones you've seen likely have different lugnuts on them. I will have to visit my lugnut store tomorrow and see what they say. Mechanic says to not drive on these anymore until I get it fixed.

Yes the first mechanic did replace the V.C gaskets and he used Felpro rubber gaskets. But after a close inspection today, we don't believe it to be the driver side valve cover that's leaking. It's coming from the front area of the driver side valve gasket but it also could be the power steering pump seal.

Water pump is dry
Timing cover is dry
Spark plugs are dry

The leak is coming from where the front of the driver side V/C meets the power steering pump.
 












These definitely look to be Ford Ranger wheels. So if I go buy lugnuts for the 96 Ranger then the lugnuts should be different.
 







That works? Let me get a bottle and put it in the res. I've heard bad things about Lucas stuff because it's too thick. I figure it wouldn't hurt to try out a PS leak fix, this will tell me for sure if it's the PS seal. Could be a hose too. In front of the driver side V/C you can't see anything.
 






Before you add that stuff, replace the PS system fluid. Fresh fluid is cherry red, and easy to identify. It’s probably due anyway.

Disconnect the spring clamped hose from the cooler (it’s bolted to the front of the engine cradle, visible from under the front) and drain it all into a bucket. Reconnect and re-fill. Easy day.

When you first drive after you re-fill, the steering is going to vibrate bc of air in the system. Make lots of turns and it’ll bleed out.
 






Before you add that stuff, replace the PS system fluid. Fresh fluid is cherry red, and easy to identify. It’s probably due anyway.

Disconnect the spring clamped hose from the cooler (it’s bolted to the front of the engine cradle, visible from under the front) and drain it all into a bucket. Reconnect and re-fill. Easy day.

When you first drive after you re-fill, the steering is going to vibrate bc of air in the system. Make lots of turns and it’ll bleed out.

Thanks. I happened to do this last week by myself. Did 2 drain and fills and got good new fluid in it now.

I should be able to dump the Lukas stuff right in the PS res right? The reviews look good.

Those PS hoses aren't easy to see to check if it's a leaking hose.
 






Dumb question. What seal connects the driver side valve cover to the power steering pump? Or are they even connected and perhaps just touching each other because they are literally pressed up against each other.
 






Our '95 4 Door Explorer XLT wheels that came on the truck from the factory.

06.jpg
 






Without the cap.

20210308_231810.jpg


20210308_231852.jpg
 






Dumb question. What seal connects the driver side valve cover to the power steering pump? Or are they even connected and perhaps just touching each other because they are literally pressed up against each other.
There is no seal. There are 4 pump leak points - plastic res to body, front seal, pressure line, return line. Otherwise the pump would have to be cracked.
You can check rockauto for diagrams. I think it is pretty reliable for the most part, used on almost 20 years of cars. Some are a bit noisy, its kinda rare they fail. Usually they fail because the fluid leaks out and they run dry (any pump would have this issue).
The ex also has a PS cooler to keep the temps low.
 













Thanks. Very interesting, so it looks like I have explorer rims? Is there a gap between your lugnuts and the wheel? Can't tell in your pic as it may be a reflection too. Looks like there is a gap from the lugnut to the wheel.

Trying to figure out if you and I have the same lugnuts.

There is no seal. There are 4 pump leak points - plastic res to body, front seal, pressure line, return line. Otherwise the pump would have to be cracked.
You can check rockauto for diagrams. I think it is pretty reliable for the most part, used on almost 20 years of cars. Some are a bit noisy, its kinda rare they fail. Usually they fail because the fluid leaks out and they run dry (any pump would have this issue).
The ex also has a PS cooler to keep the temps low.

Thanks. Wish it was easier to inspect the PS pump and body. It's almost impossible, would have to almost have it up on a hoist. Will try the Lukas stop leak today first. But I don't need to be losing any PS fluid so it's odd. I would think if it's a hose or line then I would be constantly having to top up in the PS res.

My PS pump has always had the typical whine on Ford pumps. It's not overly loud, I just avoid cranking the wheel from extreme to extreme and if I have to, I do it with the car moving. Since both of the long sides and the back side of the driver side valve cover isn't leaking, that tells me the valve cover isn't leaking at all unless the first mechanic messed up on the front tip of the cover. But you can't see anything in there anyways.
 






Thanks. Very interesting, so it looks like I have explorer rims? Is there a gap between your lugnuts and the wheel? Can't tell in your pic as it may be a reflection too. Looks like there is a gap from the lugnut to the wheel.

Trying to figure out if you and I have the same lugnuts.



Thanks. Wish it was easier to inspect the PS pump and body. It's almost impossible, would have to almost have it up on a hoist. Will try the Lukas stop leak today first. But I don't need to be losing any PS fluid so it's odd. I would think if it's a hose or line then I would be constantly having to top up in the PS res.

My PS pump has always had the typical whine on Ford pumps. It's not overly loud, I just avoid cranking the wheel from extreme to extreme and if I have to, I do it with the car moving. Since both of the long sides and the back side of the driver side valve cover isn't leaking, that tells me the valve cover isn't leaking at all unless the first mechanic messed up on the front tip of the cover. But you can't see anything in there anyways.

I don't know how much fluid you are seeing, but even a teaspoon over a few 100 miles can create a mess. Do you drive the truck a lot?

I had a rust pin hole once in one of the lower PS lines on the rack, I used lucas to get me home. If you ever see a leak on the rack, some of the tubes are serviceable (the mechanic when I was 200 miles from home insisted on installing a new rack, that is over a decade ago). Wouldn't be a bad idea to change them ONLY if they look very rusty. Available on Rockauto and elsewhere.
 






If the highlighted area is what's causing concern, I believe that is there to prevent a socket from contacting the rim during tightening/loosening of the lug-nuts. The contact point of the lug-nut to wheel occurs in the recessed area which is cone-shaped. IIRC

20210308_231852HiLite.png
 






There is no seal. There are 4 pump leak points - plastic res to body, front seal, pressure line, return line. Otherwise the pump would have to be cracked.
You can check rockauto for diagrams. I think it is pretty reliable for the most part, used on almost 20 years of cars. Some are a bit noisy, its kinda rare they fail. Usually they fail because the fluid leaks out and they run dry (any pump would have this issue).
The ex also has a PS cooler to keep the temps low.

Thanks. Wish it was easier to inspect the PS pump and body. It's almost impossible, would have to almost have it up on a hoist. Will try the Lukas stop leak today first. But I don't need to be losing any PS fluid so it's odd. I would think if it's a hose or line then I would be constantly having to top up in the PS res.

My PS pump has always had the typical whine on Ford pumps. It's not overly loud, I just avoid cranking the wheel from extreme to extreme and if I have to, I do it with the car moving. Since both of the long sides and the back side of the driver side valve cover isn't leaking, that tells me the valve cover isn't leaking at all unless the first mechanic messed up on the front tip of the cover. But you can't see anything in there anyways.
If the highlighted area is what's causing concern, I believe that is there to prevent a socket from contacting the rim during tightening/loosening of the lug-nuts. The contact point of the lug-nut to wheel occurs in the recessed area which is cone-shaped. IIRC

View attachment 328391

Thanks for the pic. I just finished getting it checked out by two wheel businesses (not tire shops but actual lug nut vendors) and the lugnuts on the truck right now are correct.

We took one out and compared it to the 1/2" ones they had in stock, spun both on the studs and everything was the exact same. The lugnuts on my truck right now easily go 9 full turns, tightened by hand. So not sure how that mechanic came out to the conclusion that I had the wrong lugnuts and driving on it was a huge safety risk. Even though I've been driving on them for 25 months now and no issues. The guys and owner at the shops were completely confused how the mechanic concluded that they are the wrong lug nuts.
 






I don't know how much fluid you are seeing, but even a teaspoon over a few 100 miles can create a mess. Do you drive the truck a lot?

I had a rust pin hole once in one of the lower PS lines on the rack, I used lucas to get me home. If you ever see a leak on the rack, some of the tubes are serviceable (the mechanic when I was 200 miles from home insisted on installing a new rack, that is over a decade ago). Wouldn't be a bad idea to change them ONLY if they look very rusty. Available on Rockauto and elsewhere.

I just put in 80% of a bottle of the Lukas stop leak PS stuff and hoping I can see some improvement. Over the past week or so, with the truck parked for a couple of hours, I was getting 6-7 drops hitting the ground. Mechs were not happy with the mess I would leave.

I wonder what the labour would look like to replace the rack or hoses. I am thinking it's one of those two especially since these hoses are still stock. Really hope it's not the PS pump itself, I hear that's a huge job. Obviously much easier and cheaper to replace hoses and a rack than replacing a valve cover. Will monitor over the next couple of days to see how it goes with the Lukas stuff in now. But right now I'm quite relieved that the valve cover is not leaking from what I've seen so far.

Almost wish I could tell for sure if it's PS fluid or oil dropping down. Can't really differentiate by smell alone.
 






PS fluid is transmission fluid. If you recently changed it, it should be cherry red.

If the fluid on the engine is Amber/brown/black, it isn’t your fresh PS fluid, it’s engine oil. Dab it with a paper towel to determine the color.
 



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I just put in 80% of a bottle of the Lukas stop leak PS stuff and hoping I can see some improvement. Over the past week or so, with the truck parked for a couple of hours, I was getting 6-7 drops hitting the ground. Mechs were not happy with the mess I would leave.

I wonder what the labour would look like to replace the rack or hoses. I am thinking it's one of those two especially since these hoses are still stock. Really hope it's not the PS pump itself, I hear that's a huge job. Obviously much easier and cheaper to replace hoses and a rack than replacing a valve cover. Will monitor over the next couple of days to see how it goes with the Lukas stuff in now. But right now I'm quite relieved that the valve cover is not leaking from what I've seen so far.

Almost wish I could tell for sure if it's PS fluid or oil dropping down. Can't really differentiate by smell alone.
Rack could be a bit of labor but hoses are easy. Racks aren't a big failure item.
All my hoses are new (thanks to the nuclear salt they use here). And the new Ford brand pressure hose looks 10yrs old already (one winter :( ). One of the return aftermarket ones seems to weep slightly at a crimp, I'll have to add a better clamp. Not under pressure so not an issue.
 






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