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Overflow Overflowing

Cobbie

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'92 XLT
my 91 XLT is having an issue behaving lately. I'm having coolant being blown out of the overflow tank. I replaced the thermostat, did a system flush made easy by Prestone's Flush kit. Ran great for like a day, now the same thing. I filled the radiator up to top and again blew out the overflow until the levels looking inside the radiator where about half (same as before). Could this mean that my Water Pump is failing? Side note, yes the head gasket went (blowing white smoke with water from exhaust) probably because I flushed out what ever was holding the gasket leaks closed. I really want to tackle the whole overflow overflow situation first though....any thoughts?
 
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90ranajo

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You probably have a warped/cracked head. If you could be having some blowby entering the coolant system and pressurizing it, causing it to overflow.
 
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Willard

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I'm gonna jump in on this, because I've had the same problem for a few months.

Not sure when it started, but I can say the whole cooling system is new. Radiator, water pump, thermostat, all new.

If I had a warped head, wouldn't I be noticing other problems by now? It runs beautifully. Oil is always perfect. Doesn't leak oil, except for the rear main, which is a completely different issue.

So can anything else cause this? I've always wondered why mine did this, but never worried because I never lose any coolant (somehow, even though I can tell it overflows) and everything works fine. Mine's been doing it long enough to permanently warp the overflow reservoir lid.
 
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90ranajo

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Could just be a small enough gap in the sealing surface to let cylinder compression into the water jacket.
 
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dogfriend

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Side note, yes the head gasket went (blowing white smoke with water from exhaust) probably because I flushed out what ever was holding the gasket leaks closed. I really want to tackle the whole overflow overflow situation first though....any thoughts?

I think that your head gasket is causing the overflow problem. I agree with 90ranajo.
 
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Willard

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Huh, well, I'm not gonna do anything about it. It's served me well, and as many times as it's been overheated, I wouldn't be surprised if a head was a little warped.

I guess that could explain my fluctuating temp gauge too.

Edit: sorry for the little highjack, at least I'm still on topic
 
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Joes4x4Ranger

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I'm 99.9% sure its the head gasket. My 91 did the EXACT same thing. You are not going to solve the coolant blowing out problem till you replace the head gasket. The head blown head gasket/ warped head is what is causing the over-pressurization of the cooling sys.

Depending on the miles you my be better off putting in a long block. I got my MOTORCRAFT long block here. http://fordrebuiltengines.com/ I researched the piss out of the ENTIRE Internet, and found by far, the best deal here. I believe they have just heads also, again Motorcraft parts.
 
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Cobbie

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I'm gonna jump in on this, because I've had the same problem for a few months.

Not sure when it started, but I can say the whole cooling system is new. Radiator, water pump, thermostat, all new.

If I had a warped head, wouldn't I be noticing other problems by now? It runs beautifully. Oil is always perfect. Doesn't leak oil, except for the rear main, which is a completely different issue.

So can anything else cause this? I've always wondered why mine did this, but never worried because I never lose any coolant (somehow, even though I can tell it overflows) and everything works fine. Mine's been doing it long enough to permanently warp the overflow reservoir lid.

Mine runs great too, even though the white smoke billows out, and yes my cap is starting to warp too. What I noticed is that as long as I let the coolant to overflow to the point that it stops, I have no problems. I see that if I keep the radiator half full, it runs better. Not a drop of oil leaking ( I replaced my rear main about 4 months ago). So it sounds like nobody thinks it is a water pump issue at all. The pressure forcing the coolant out is a head gasket?
 
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90ranajo

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More than likely yes. With the radiator half full, its allowing the pressure to escape with out taking the coolant with it.
 
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dogfriend

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So it sounds like nobody thinks it is a water pump issue at all.

Water pumps usually fail when the seal on the shaft starts leaking and coolant starts to leak out the "weep" hole in the water pump housing. The other way a water pump might fail is if something happens to the impeller (the fan like piece inside the housing) that would cause it to have a low (or no) flow rate. In either case, the pressure would not increase; it would probably lose pressure in either case.
 
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marragtop

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I drove my 92 for a couple with the same overflow problem. As long as I didn't keep the system full, it was fine. I'm sure a head gasket blown, but it never overheated so I drove it until it dropped (trans problem).
 
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yellowcat

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I have had good luck with that copper looking head gasket sealer. Follow the instructions exactly. I used it on a car i was going to junk, I got another three months out of it.
 
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seth247

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head gaskets aren't the knel ofdoom everyone makes them out to be. If your mechanicaly inclined buy a haynes manual and take a few days off work to replace it in the drivewaay.

As long as all you have is some coolant overflow and you don't let it go on for a while the the block should still be in decent shape.

As for warped heads. Might as well buy some good'ens off ebAy and have em ported while your at it.
 
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Anime

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Might be a defective 'stat, despite having been replaced. When those things get stuck closed or can't open all the way, an overflowing coolant reservoir is what you get. If it's taking awhile to get to operating temp, and then goes past the middle of the gauge, I'd say it's worth your while to try another 'stat.

Haven't seen any coolant reservoir issues due to head gasket leaks, except maybe oil getting into the tank when it's mixing with coolant at the leak.
 
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yellowcat

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if he has got white smoke coming from the tail pipe, its the head gasket. You coul d do commpresion test
 
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ldearroz

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Two things you need to check; 1 - The radiator cap is not keeping the pressure and 2- The thermostat is not opening.
 
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Cobbie

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Okay, replaced the had gasket and every gasket that needed to be changed on the way to the head. changed the thermostat 2 times, radiator cap is brand new, replaced several hoses, still had an overflow last week.
 
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Masterd

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Compression test it.
 
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