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Radiator leak?


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May 31, 2015
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2006 Explorer V6
I'm new to the forum today - and I'm no mechanic at all - but... I'm leaking coolant and the attached photo shows where it's leaking from - both sides actually.

Would anyone like to confirm the bad news?

2006 Explorer V6 154,000 miles


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From the top it looks like there is coolant in the bottom of the fan housing. No leaks at the thermostat or anywhere else I can see. I can't see any on the rear face of the radiator but I can't see the whole thing.


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Connect a cooling system pressure tester to pin point the exact location of the leaks. It might just be a hose clamp or an O ring seal in the fitting.

That would be nice, but highly doubt it based on the location (tank to core seam).

Mine leaked at the exact same place, just put in a Spectra Premium yesterday. 3rd radiator since new! And I'm only running a 13 psi cap.

BTW, you can build a cheap pressure tester from an old cap (highly recommend everyone to toss the 20 psi cap), drill out the spring assembly, and stick an old bicycle valve (along with 1.5" diameter of rubber) through the hole. Cushion it with some rubber / foam mat to seat it against the neck, and carefully pump in 15 psi of air.

Need new radiator they are known to leak get on Amazon go to CarPartsDepot Trac 4.0L 4.6L V6 1 Row Radiator Automatic, 409-2952 FO3010281 2952
4.4 out of 5 stars 8 Reviews
they are 110 free shipping put one in mine last September it's easy to put in you can go to YouTube an look up FordTechMakuloco he has the best videos for working a on fords I've seen an look for radiator replacement on a 2007/2010 Ford Explorer will show you what to do took me about 45 mins would have took ? If not for his videos

Is not it common radiator leak?
He was not repaired (at least in our region do not do).
I myself have had this crash last summer, I had to change to a new, as it was too far from the city.

Reference to order:
8L2Z8005A - radiator
6L2Z8100AC - radiator cap
antifreeze Motorcraft® Gold

Just got my (original) radiator replaced during the last couple days. I finished it yesterday. I did it in my garage with normal hand tools. Took about 5 hours total, including frequent breaks to chill down indoors. (It was nearly 100F here, and the garage certainly was hotter than that!)

As most I was not able to release the trans cooler lines, even when I had the Lisle tool. I unscrewed the connectors and used them with new rad. Luckily the $88 ebay radiator (brand seems to be Sunbelt) had exactly the same fittings. I lost maybe a cup of tranny fluid.

The radiator itself wasn't too difficult to remove and put new one in. Based on the stories here I was expecting more trouble...

By quick look at the old rad it does seem the leak was at top of the core right under the coolant hose where hot coolant enters radiator. I did not see leak through the seal between the core and tank. Because of this I'm revisiting the galvanic corrosion (electrolysis) theory... I'll look into the old radiator in more detail on the weekend to see if I can see more evidence of galvanic corrosion damage.

I did look into the old radiator over the weekend. I cleaned it up and looked into the leak area. My radiator was original part with -AB revision code.

It does not seem corrosion or electrolysis has played a role. Everything looked bright/shiny and did not see any pitting you would expect with corrosion. (If electrolysis was the reason, I'd have expected hearing many reports of failed heater cores by now.) The leak is in the very first vertical tube joining to the big top aluminum piece. (The piece where the plastic tank attaches.)

It does seem (optical illusion?) the vertical tubes are slightly bent. (This was visible on all four corners.) I think thermal expansion forces are strongest at the corners and causes these joints fail over time. In particular the top left (driver side) corner is worst because it is the first area to be hit with hot coolant once thermostat opens on otherwise cold radiator.