Driving with a coolant leak from the timing cover | Page 23 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Driving with a coolant leak from the timing cover

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.

That's what I hear too but my PS fluid is clear in color.

It's still early but I am optimistic. In the first couple of small tests today, the drops are now smaller after putting in the Lukas. I smelt it off the cardboard and it smelt more like PS fluid than motor oil. Motor oil has a very distinct strong smell especially when hot.

Checked the PS res and the level hasn't dropped at all. Weird.

Will see how the ground looks in the morning.

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.

Thanks. If a rack leaks, do most just use PS stop leak stuff or do they replace it? I am guessing the hoses can be gone in a couple of hours and not too much has to come out. You should be able to do it from under the car without removing much I would think. I tried looking for the PS lines but need a hoist.
 



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If my rack starts leaking, it gets replaced. I don’t **** around with steering or braking.

Doing a rack on a 4.0L kinda sucks. Doing a rack on a 5.0L really sucks.
 






That's what I hear too but my PS fluid is clear in color.

It's still early but I am optimistic. In the first couple of small tests today, the drops are now smaller after putting in the Lukas. I smelt it off the cardboard and it smelt more like PS fluid than motor oil. Motor oil has a very distinct strong smell especially when hot.

Checked the PS res and the level hasn't dropped at all. Weird.

Will see how the ground looks in the morning.



Thanks. If a rack leaks, do most just use PS stop leak stuff or do they replace it? I am guessing the hoses can be gone in a couple of hours and not too much has to come out. You should be able to do it from under the car without removing much I would think. I tried looking for the PS lines but need a hoist.
Best to replace the rack but only with a Motorcraft Reman. I would almost say to use stop leak instead of a cheap reman.

Hoses can be done just laying on a cardboard. You just need a flare wrench and something to undo the hose clips. Everything is easy to see.

Another preventative maintenance you can do - If your lower steering rubber rag joint boot is torn (just look above the rack on the steering shaft), liberally spray fluid film on the U-joint once a year. Try to get it into the side bearings with the spray tube. Nothing to disassemble. It is like spraying a door hinge.

Those are impossible to get new, and not good if they get stiff. That is something you can easily do yourself.
 






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If my rack starts leaking, it gets replaced. I don’t **** around with steering or braking.

Doing a rack on a 4.0L kinda sucks. Doing a rack on a 5.0L really sucks.

Thanks. I don't believe it to be my rack though as I'm not showing any symptoms. I guess checking the hosts under would be the first thing to rule one thing out at a time.


Best to replace the rack but only with a Motorcraft Reman. I would almost say to use stop leak instead of a cheap reman.

Hoses can be done just laying on a cardboard. You just need a flare wrench and something to undo the hose clips. Everything is easy to see.

Another preventative maintenance you can do - If your lower steering rubber rag joint boot is torn (just look above the rack on the steering shaft), liberally spray fluid film on the U-joint once a year. Try to get it into the side bearings with the spray tube. Nothing to disassemble. It is like spraying a door hinge.

Those are impossible to get new, and not good if they get stiff. That is something you can easily do yourself.

I have to figure out if it's the rack or hoses but I don't believe it to be the rack as I'm not showing any symptoms. What does this rubber rag joint look like? I will try checking the hoses but can't make the connection from underneath to the PS pump. Sorry forgot to answer your question from yesterday. Yes I drive this truck daily. It sees anywhere from 300-500km weekly. Mostly 300km but more in the warmer months as I do longer trips.
 






Best to replace the rack but only with a Motorcraft Reman. I would almost say to use stop leak instead of a cheap reman.

Hoses can be done just laying on a cardboard. You just need a flare wrench and something to undo the hose clips. Everything is easy to see.

Another preventative maintenance you can do - If your lower steering rubber rag joint boot is torn (just look above the rack on the steering shaft), liberally spray fluid film on the U-joint once a year. Try to get it into the side bearings with the spray tube. Nothing to disassemble. It is like spraying a door hinge.

Those are impossible to get new, and not good if they get stiff. That is something you can easily do yourself.

View attachment 328407


View attachment 328408



Thanks. Is this joint easily seen from under the truck?
 






Yes it is
 






Yes it is

Thanks. Couldn't find it today but will get it checked out.

I am now 99% certain it's the PS fluid. Will check the ground again in the morning.

Did a couple short tests today and there seemed to be a lot less oil drops on the ground even after an hour sitting, like an 80% improvement.

The Lukas does worry me though. I notice the first start up after putting 80% of the bottle into the res, the truck started up with a delay. It did it again this morning. It just cranked for a second longer than it normally does. Almost as if the PS pump was out of fluid or something but it's full right to the top. I hope the Lukas isn't putting strain on my starter now because it's so thick.

I also notice the cap to my PS fluid res to be a bit lose, I can wiggle it a bit side to side if I push on the ends, one end at a time. Is this normal? I wonder if I should get a new cap. Perhaps air can get in or some fluid could be leaking out of the top when I go over bumps.
 






PS fluid viscosity has no impact on your starter and/or crank speed.

These things sometimes take an extra second to fire up.
 






PS fluid viscosity has no impact on your starter and/or crank speed.

These things sometimes take an extra second to fire up.

Thanks. Weird, I wonder what caused that.

After today, I am still not sure if it's oil or PS fluid but 80% certain it's PS fluid. I mean it smells like PS fluid but it's just the color isn't red and when I just sucked out more PS fluid from the res, the fluid came out more redish (from the Lukas). So either all my PS fluid is now red from adding the Lukas or whatever I dumped in the res 3 days ago or the Lukas has not got into the system yet.

I added the rest of the bottle of Lukas. Stuff is quick thick and took forever to get it all out. I notice that 90% of my whine from the PS pump is gone and it's only audible when I have the wheel cranked to the absolute extreme left or right (which I have no reason to ever do). So this is good news, sounds much better.

If I am losing PS fluid, how am I never having to top it up? Like my level literally never drops.

What I think is happening is, it's PS fluid that's leaking but when it hits the ground, it's dyed by the leftover oil sitting on my chasis. So when the PS flows down, it mixes in with leftover oil on the way down and the color changes. Since the previous mechanic never cleaned up all the leftover oil, he did some but the only way to get it all out is to visit the car wash. But I had so much oil on the underside of the car accumulated from the past 2 years from the valve cover and timing cover leaks that it's just built up under the truck. Also since my crankseal is leaking a bit and it flows towards the back, that could be throwing things off and perhaps leaving a drop or two as well.

Will give it more time but I may add a second bottle of Lukas PS stop leak. I just hope this stuff doesn't freeze in the winter.

I would be shocked if my rack was leaking but it doesn't sound like it is. Still think it's a hose.

I have Lukas Oil stabilizer too, I may add some of this when my oil level drops just to make the motor oil thicker. Right now it doesn't seem to be leaking very much oil. And I am doing quite a bit of driving on this truck daily and the motor oil isn't losing near as much oil as it was prior to the gasket repairs.
 






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Have any of you guys used this in your explorer? Will it mess up the chemistry of my Castrol high mileage oil?

I mainly want to add it to make my oil a bit thicker. I would only add 1/4 quart to start. I think the whole bottle to a 1:4 Lukas:Oil ratio like the bottle suggests is way too much. Over time with oil changes I would imagine some of this stuff to remain in your motor.
 






I’m going to preface my post with this: I generally don’t believe in additives. I have a few exceptions like LSD additives, diesel fuel additives, but they’re also typically called for by the manufacturer.

I’ve seen guys use products like K-seal to help a vehicle that would otherwise get junked make it another year or two, or dump a bottle of transmission fix into a half blown trans...but I would be hesitant thickening the lifeblood of an otherwise good running vehicle just to keep the driveway clean.

I know that leaks are annoying. That said, fluids and lubricants are specified to be a particular viscosity for good reason. You may get those leaks to stop by thickening the hell out of your fluids, but you may also damage your motor/PS pump/etc in the process.

Adding what is recommended on the bottle likely won’t hurt, but I absolutely would not exceed that.

That all said, I’d sooner just park over a sheet of cardboard and check the fluid levels weekly than mess with costly additives.
 






I’m going to preface my post with this: I generally don’t believe in additives. I have a few exceptions like LSD additives, diesel fuel additives, but they’re also typically called for by the manufacturer.

I’ve seen guys use products like K-seal to help a vehicle that would otherwise get junked make it another year or two, or dump a bottle of transmission fix into a half blown trans...but I would be hesitant thickening the lifeblood of an otherwise good running vehicle just to keep the driveway clean.

I know that leaks are annoying. That said, fluids and lubricants are specified to be a particular viscosity for good reason. You may get those leaks to stop by thickening the hell out of your fluids, but you may also damage your motor/PS pump/etc in the process.

Adding what is recommended on the bottle likely won’t hurt, but I absolutely would not exceed that.

That all said, I’d sooner just park over a sheet of cardboard and check the fluid levels weekly than mess with costly additives.

Up until now, I've never put any addictives in any of my cars in my life. I am now a fan of K-seal though, it did wonders. Wish the same existed for motor oil and PS fluid.

I am hesitant to put all of the Lukas oil stabilizer in but the reviews on it are just so good. If I did add it, it would be maybe 250ml per oil change which shouldn't be enough to cause the oil to be too thick in the winters, but enough to add some viscosity to it. The only thing I don't like is that this doesn't have addictives in it, it's pretty much just an oil thickener and it will water down your addictives in your current oil.

I think I may have to go back to conventional oil. Since doing the oil change 3 weeks ago to high mileage oil, it leaks more. Before that, it wasn't near as bad. The high mileage oil I put in is Castrol which is a syn blend.

Unfortunately I park this truck on the street so can't have cardboard under it all the time. It would get tedious sliding in and removing it each time too. I don't mind checking all the fluids weekly, should be done anyways on a truck this old.

Honestly, chances are I don't even bother fixing this leak.
 






Update:

Is there any chance that the PS fluid in the res does NOT mix into the rest of the PS fluid in the pump and rack and hoses? If not then I am not leaking PS fluid, though when I smell it off my finger with the truck hot it smells nothing like motor oil. But after adding the Lukas, my PS fluid in my res is strawberry red right now so it's a noticable color difference from motor oil.

The return line from and the to line at the PS pump is not leaking anything. I can get a good view from up above. I checked the clamp and bolt on the lines and they are tight. The fact that the oil is blowing right back to the driver side valve cover as I drive means the leak is more in the centre of the bay than where the PS hoses sit.

I'm thinking it has to be the oil pan gasket. But this doesn't make sense also because the oil pan sits much lower than the driver side valve cover and as I drive, the oil would get blown straight back not back and then up. I can't remember if the oil pan had to be removed when the timing cover gasket was done. I think the front part has to. Because unless it's the PS pump seal right inside the pump, where the leak is, it just doesn't add up. The color of the fluid that is leaking is not red.

Even though I am getting 8-10 drops a night on the floor from the truck sitting, Im not having to top up oil often. But time will tell when I do a road trip and then will be the real test.

If I am losing 8-10 drops a night of fluid you would expect my level in the PS res to drop over time but it's not moving at all. But my motor oil level is dropping but it's not dropping fast at all, which is good.

I'm probably going to go back to conventional oil as I am 99% certain I was only getting a few drops a night before I switched to high mileage. Either that or I add in 500ml of Lukas oil stabilizer to thicken the oil in it now. But I also know that it can take time for high mileage oil to work so I also don't want to give up on it too soon. I hate wasting good oil as I'm only 3 weeks into this oil change interval though.

Honestly I think this truck is haunted or possessed by a demon or something.
 






Gear oil? Has a very interesting and distinct smell... and the spinning shafts will get it places you didn’t think possible...
 






Gear oil? Has a very interesting and distinct smell... and the spinning shafts will get it places you didn’t think possible...

Do you mean tranny fluid? If so, isn't the tranny sit much further back well behind the motor and PS pump? I'm going to order this after reading reviews on it. Would rather trust this than Lukas oil stabilizer. Surprised how hard it is to find, won't be able to get it for a couple of weeks online.

May go back to Napa and get the Liquild Moly Oil Saver that I just saw. Great reviews on that one too.

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No, gear oil. Your front differential has a few quarts of heavy gear oil in it. When the axle and pinion seals wear, oil seeps out and the rapidly spinning pinion yoke and/or CV axles sling the oil onto the oil pan and other places...where it then drips down. I’ve seen people chase ‘engine oil’ leaks for months, just for me to take one whiff and realize that they’re actually leaking gear oil.

Stop throwing additives at the problem. You don’t even know what’s leaking.
 






No, gear oil. Your front differential has a few quarts of heavy gear oil in it. When the axle and pinion seals wear, oil seeps out and the rapidly spinning pinion yoke and/or CV axles sling the oil onto the oil pan and other places...where it then drips down. I’ve seen people chase ‘engine oil’ leaks for months, just for me to take one whiff and realize that they’re actually leaking gear oil.

Stop throwing additives at the problem. You don’t even know what’s leaking.
oh okay thanks. How do I find and check my gear oil level? Had no idea I had front differential. I bet you it is that.

Oh I picked up the Liquid Moly to see if I can stop my rear main seal and front crank seal leaks. Anything on top is a bonus.
 






There is a threaded plug in the left side of the differential housing that takes a 3/8” ratchet. Remove the plug with the truck level and the oil level should at To slightly below the level of the opening.

Filling the diff is a messy endeavor...for me, anyway.
 



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There is a threaded plug in the left side of the differential housing that takes a 3/8” ratchet. Remove the plug with the truck level and the oil level should at To slightly below the level of the opening.

Filling the diff is a messy endeavor...for me, anyway.
Thanks. Trying to see where the front differential is. I know where the rear one is.

If its messy I forsure can't do this. Surprised nobody has a picture online of a diagram.
 






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