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Dumping coolant

Chazwazzer

New Member
Joined
November 12, 2008
Messages
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City, State
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Year, Model & Trim Level
94 XLT
Was driving last year when it was about -45 Celsius and noticed my temp gauge shot up to red. It was night time so I couldn't get a good look at anything and I was pretty close to home so I parked, let it cool and drove home. Next day I fire it up and once the engine warmed up it started dumping coolant, seemed to be comping from the front/center somewhere. I was told by a friend it was probably the water pump and was also told by a mechanic who took a quick look at it that it was a head gasket.. Just wondering if it's even possible for a blown head gasket to spew out coolant. It doesn't start leaking (at least noticeably) until the engine has been running for a minute or two.

Thanks in advance for any info!
 



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Just a thought but have u checked the hoses and thermostat,had a rental car do this and it was caused by an incorrect mix of collant to water freezing in the hoses and overheating the engine luckily it just blew a hose but its entirely possible to cause a head gasket or water pump to blow.

Hopefully its that simple, but if it only leaks when its warm i would check around the thermostat area
 






I'm actually facing this problem right now. Mine though, is the head gasket. So i bought the whole upper engine gasket set and is going to town on it. I'll follow this post and see if you find the solution to this problem. If not ill take pics and show the follow up on my head gasket replacement.
 






So it's possible for coolant to leak from a blown head gasket? It's been a year since it happened (and since I've looked at it) but if I remember correctly it didn't look like anything was mixed in with the coolant. Also seem to remember the engine still sounded like it was running fine, no loud noises, knocks or ticks. I'll be taking a look at her today at some point, finally warmed up.. was -30 yesterday and going up to 0 today haha


Also, would driving on a blown head gasket even be possible without some serious problems occurring? a day after the leak started I drove across town to park the truck and the temp gauge didn't go up til almost at the end of the drive, didn't notice any odd noises either. Buddy driving behind me said he didn't see anything leak until near the end of the drive also.

Thanks again for any tips/info!
 






Like in the above posts....id look up by the thermostat area. You say its not leaking until it has ran for a few minutes, that sounds like when it does leak that its the thermostat opening up fianly. Yes check the hoses up by the thermostat gooseneck. (Right under the upper intake and to yur left) Good luck!
 






It is possible for the X to run and drive with a blown head gasket, but overheating will occur within a few minutes, then possible cat. failure. Its not a bad idea( if you assume your head gasket) to turn it over, move it 10 ft. front and back and then park it. This makes sure it doesnt lock up and also isnt long enough for anything you dont want getting in your oil. Its not a bad idea to adress a couple areas either too. There is a possibility it can be the thermostat, but mine leaks from the head gasket, dumped every bit of it when it happened.
 






So it's possible for coolant to leak from a blown head gasket? Thanks again for any tips/info!


Simple answer is YES

Depending on how the Head gasket blew, you can pump Coolant into a Cylinder or out of the engine.

It starts to leak after a minute or two. Sounds like the system has to build up pressure. makes sense. Still, it could be just the intake gasket, it could be the Temp sensor fell apart, that is up top, in the front of the engine, It could be the Water Pump. You need to fill the Radiator and watch where it is coming from..
 






Ummm, I don't know who looked at the vehicle, however given the leak was noted to be around the front-center, my money is on the rad. Why? Glad you asked! The 1991-1994 Exploders had an aluminum rad core, with plastic tanks on the sides, and rubber seals in the middle. The aluminum was crimped over the plastic with the rubber sandwiched in between. When I bought my first one (a 1992 model that was 8 years old at the time), Starting it in sub-zero temperatures caused the cooling system to take a piss in about that area until the temp started coming up, then everything would expand, and the seals would stop the leak.

Long story short, the aluminum crimps failed over time, but temperature/expansion would correct it. Check your rad. Make sure your cooling system is full, then start the truck cold. Jump out immediately and lay down in front of the truck, and you will visually see if it is leaking from the rad. It's alot cheaper than a head gasket!
 






I took off the heads today, no blown out or burnt parts... So i'm in the process of replacing them. If the leak stops then good. If not then ill replace the thermostat. And on from there.
 






Ummm, I don't know who looked at the vehicle, however given the leak was noted to be around the front-center, my money is on the rad. Why? Glad you asked! The 1991-1994 Exploders had an aluminum rad core, with plastic tanks on the sides, and rubber seals in the middle. The aluminum was crimped over the plastic with the rubber sandwiched in between. When I bought my first one (a 1992 model that was 8 years old at the time), Starting it in sub-zero temperatures caused the cooling system to take a piss in about that area until the temp started coming up, then everything would expand, and the seals would stop the leak.

Long story short, the aluminum crimps failed over time, but temperature/expansion would correct it. Check your rad. Make sure your cooling system is full, then start the truck cold. Jump out immediately and lay down in front of the truck, and you will visually see if it is leaking from the rad. It's alot cheaper than a head gasket!

I've had dozens of tanks burst.... but I almost never see those crimps fail. Just saying. And believe me, I live in an area where you get to see a lot of REALLY sub-zero temperatures. I used to live in North Dakota, where I frequently saw these -45 temperatures the OP is talking about..... Now even here in SD, I still see -20F semi-regularly.
 






I took off the heads today, no blown out or burnt parts... So i'm in the process of replacing them. If the leak stops then good. If not then ill replace the thermostat. And on from there.

So..... troubleshooting by replacing the most expensive parts and then moving on down to cheap ones..... Wish my wallet was that big. How did your intake manifold gaskets look?
 






No.. Thats what i was told was wrong.. So thats where i started. And my intake was absolutley filthy, there was probably 1/4 inch of carbon just on the manifold. I'm taking all of it to a parts washer tomorrow, ill do the whole 9 yards, rocker arms, push rods, heads, intake, etc.
 






Yeah, carbon deposits in an Intake is very common... thank you very much EGR, LOL!

Oh, and FIND... I live in Canada. I know all about sub-zero temperatures. I have never seen a cracked tank, however I fully understand why it would happen. I have owned 3 of the 1st gen Ex's, and all three of them eventually developed a rad leak, and it was right at the seal each time. Just saying...

Either way, lay down in front of the truck after a cold-start, and you should be able to see the source of the leak without an issue.
 






I've had dozens of tanks burst.... but I almost never see those crimps fail. Just saying. And believe me, I live in an area where you get to see a lot of REALLY sub-zero temperatures. I used to live in North Dakota, where I frequently saw these -45 temperatures the OP is talking about..... Now even here in SD, I still see -20F semi-regularly.

So if you have busted dozens of plastic tanks, are you just using water? No antifreeze? This is the first I have ever heard of this phenomenon. Do broken plastic tanks correct their leaks after warming up as well? Please advise, I am interested.
 






No, broken plastic tanks correct the leak when they are cool and leak when they warm up and the crack opens up. I have seen many of these myself in addition to seam leaks. Actually I have seen more seam leaks on "new" plastic tank radiators than on older ones. On the older ones it's the tank cracking. As the years go by the plastic just weakens and cracks. You can patch it over with a plastic zip tie and soldering iron but if the tank's ready to go it's time for a new rad. Rads are too cheap these days to risk an overheat that might strand you, wreck your motor or worse.
 






So if you have busted dozens of plastic tanks, are you just using water? No antifreeze? This is the first I have ever heard of this phenomenon. Do broken plastic tanks correct their leaks after warming up as well? Please advise, I am interested.

Plastic gets brittle over years, especially after heat cycling hundreds or even up to thousands of times a year. Pressure inside these brittle plastic containers cause them to burst....

If one was just using straight water, that would crack them too after it gets down to freezing.... or if you get you 50/50 antifreeze/water mix down below -60, that will freeze, expand and crack your tank too. But what I was talking about is the tanks cracking or bursting under pressure. Even all metal tanks to it, though for them, it is also from the corrosion that occurs which eats away metal until it is no longer thick enough to withstand the force of the pressure.

No.. Thats what i was told was wrong.. So thats where i started. And my intake was absolutley filthy, there was probably 1/4 inch of carbon just on the manifold. I'm taking all of it to a parts washer tomorrow, ill do the whole 9 yards, rocker arms, push rods, heads, intake, etc.

No, I was wondering about your LIM gasket.
 












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