Driving with a coolant leak from the timing cover | Page 24 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Driving with a coolant leak from the timing cover

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.
Jack up truck. Take off the driver tire. Look thru the left side, there is a square drive plug on the differential (use the square 3/8") end. May be a bit hard to see. Check the fluid level. Also see if there is liquid on the front diff body. It is a common leak spot. Gear oil smell is hard to not to recognize. I have a small leak, I just add a bit of fluid every oil change.
 



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Jack up truck. Take off the driver tire. Look thru the left side, there is a square drive plug on the differential (use the square 3/8") end. May be a bit hard to see. Check the fluid level. Also see if there is liquid on the front diff body. It is a common leak spot. Gear oil smell is hard to not to recognize. I have a small leak, I just add a bit of fluid every oil change.

Thanks. Oh so it's in the wheel well pretty much. I don't know what a differential looks like, never seen one before. Would this be below the driver side valve cover and PS pump?
 






I think I can find it now from finding this pic on ebay. Going by the location of the tire, it looks to be in front of the tire.

Capture4.JPG
 






Do you have 4WD, because the 2WD won't have a front diff. It'll look similar to this; my 98 302 without the diff, which mounts behind the front frame cross member. The V6 has a different shaped exhaust pipe, so don't expect yours to match this one. The control arms are out also, those visible bolts holes are for them.

PICT2327.JPG


PICT2313.JPG
 






It’s a pumpkin sized object wirh a driveshaft coming out the back. It’s biased slightly to the left of the vehicle, behind the engine cradle, underneath the front of the oil pan. You can’t miss it.
 






Do you have 4WD, because the 2WD won't have a front diff. It'll look similar to this; my 98 302 without the diff, which mounts behind the front frame cross member. The V6 has a different shaped exhaust pipe, so don't expect yours to match this one. The control arms are out also, those visible bolts holes are for them.

View attachment 328575

View attachment 328576

Wow did you replace yours? I will keep looking for it, so far no luck though.


It’s a pumpkin sized object wirh a driveshaft coming out the back. It’s biased slightly to the left of the vehicle, behind the engine cradle, underneath the front of the oil pan. You can’t miss it.

Ah ok, so it must be right near the belt, just right below. I didn't even know these have a dipstick to check oil level.
 






No dipstick. You’ll see a small threaded plug that has a square to accept a 3/8” ratchet or extension. Remove the plug and add fluid until it is at to slightly below the bottom of the hole. Reinstall plug.

The ***** of the job is getting the fluid in. I slip a couple feet of rubber hose over the tip on the bottle and gently squeeze to force oil into the diff. Go slow if the level is close to full (check with your finger first). Once it starts running out the hole, put the plug back in.
 






It’s a pumpkin sized object wirh a driveshaft coming out the back. It’s biased slightly to the left of the vehicle, behind the engine cradle, underneath the front of the oil pan. You can’t miss it.

Is this accessible without taking the wheel off? Can I get to it from under? It sounds familiar, believe I saw it when I had the ball joints and front shocks done.
 






Yes...just much easier with the wheel off
 






If you have 4WD it will have front axles, visible going into the backside of each wheel. It sounds like yours is 2WD, which would leave those areas void of the parts(axles and front diff).

Notice the front axle below of my 98 truck, new and old on the right side;

PICT2331.JPG


PICT2319.JPG
 






Yes...just much easier with the wheel off

Darn. I don't have the tools to pull a wheel off. Don't even have a jack anymore.


If you have 4WD it will have front axles, visible going into the backside of each wheel. It sounds like yours is 2WD, which would leave those areas void of the parts(axles and front diff).

Notice the front axle below of my 98 truck, new and old on the right side;

View attachment 328588

View attachment 328589

Thanks. Mine is for sure 4WD. You changed the axle just recently?
 






Do you have ramps? How to you plan to do this from underneath?
 






Do you have ramps? How to you plan to do this from underneath?

I don't have ramps but I could easily pick up a set. I would need chalks for the rear wheels too I'm guessing. What height of ramps would you suggest I get?

I know I have a 3/8" ratchet for sure.
 






I don't have ramps but I could easily pick up a set. I would need chalks for the rear wheels too I'm guessing. What height of ramps would you suggest I get?

I know I have a 3/8" ratchet for sure.
Lets know if you have a leak first ( I don't know if you checked already).
You don't need stands for this. You can just look under the truck.
Find the front driveshaft (on driver side)
Follow it to the front, then you will see the diff.
See if it has any fluids on it.
 






Ramps won’t work for checking level, that’s why I asked if you planned to do this from underneath.

If you put the truck up on ramps, you won’t get an accurate fluid level. They will allow you to do a better leak inspection from below, though.
 






Lets know if you have a leak first ( I don't know if you checked already).
You don't need stands for this. You can just look under the truck.
Find the front driveshaft (on driver side)
Follow it to the front, then you will see the diff.
See if it has any fluids on it.

Sorry when you say front driveshaft, is that going front to back or side to side of under the truck?

Ramps won’t work for checking level, that’s why I asked if you planned to do this from underneath.

If you put the truck up on ramps, you won’t get an accurate fluid level. They will allow you to do a better leak inspection from below, though.
Darn. Okay going to try to crawl under and see what I can find.
 






Okay I got a good luck from under. May have found it. Guess this is it (where in focus).

I took another closer look at the oil under the truck and it smells just like PS fluid or gear oil.

20210316_151426.jpg


20210316_151353.jpg
 






Sorry when you say front driveshaft, is that going front to back or side to side of under the truck?


Darn. Okay going to try to crawl under and see what I can find.
front to back. The diff should be "around" under your feet.
 






That drip is at the water pump/timing cover interface......
 



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front to back. The diff should be "around" under your feet.

Thanks, I think I found it.

That drip is at the water pump/timing cover interface......

Oh no. But the timing cover sits lower than the driver side valve cover gasket. How can it blow right back and upwards to the side of the gasket?

What's inside the timing cover? Oil or coolant? I know for sure I'm not losing coolant, the rad level has stayed at the neck ever since I put 1.75 bottles of K seal in.
 






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