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Solved: Coolant leak 95 4.0L OHV, got an odd coolant leak

Pete Deering

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I've got an odd Coolant leak on a 95 4.0L OHV. My 'ex is leaking on the oil filter side of the engine (above filter), Below the heater valve, hoses in and out heater core. The heater valve and hoses are dry. I'm having a problem pin pointing the leak of the engine. I cant where it coming from. I'm thinking it's a core plug. From the search, I did on the forum. Someone had a lower manifold coolant leak. Any idea? Thanks pete
 



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EB4X

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/\ Hey buddy, you have the automotive cell attached endoscope...if you can't find it nobody can.
 






Pete Deering

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/\ Hey buddy, you have the automotive cell attached endoscope...if you can't find it nobody can.
My friend pointed that out too me tonight. After I drive it and stop the leak shows it self. I can fit it in between the hoses. I am thinking about just removing the wheel liner. Take it for drive and take a look then. It cold here now in the 20. Don't like too service my cars, when its cold.
 






410Fortune

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Flashlight and a mirror or take pics of the area w your phone
It could be a freeze plug or it could be the lower intake at the back of the engine

If it is leaking down the firewall and not the back of the engine it could be the heater core is leaking and it is draining through the firewall

It could also be a bad head gasket, with a 4.0 I have seen coolant dripping right out the side of the head

Flashlight or cell phone camera are great tools for this,
Follow the wetness to its highest point
 






Pete Deering

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Flashlight and a mirror or take pics of the area w your phone
It could be a freeze plug or it could be the lower intake at the back of the engine

If it is leaking down the firewall and not the back of the engine it could be the heater core is leaking and it is draining through the firewall

It could also be a bad head gasket, with a 4.0 I have seen coolant dripping right out the side of the head

Flashlight or cell phone camera are great tools for this,
Follow the wetness to its highest point
Update: Just Remove the splash guard and took a look. Looks like the Freeze Plug (see Pictures). Is there any thing I need to be careful about? R they just a brass plug with sealant on the perimeter of the plug? Is there a good way to remove them? Should replace all of the them on pass side , or just the rusted ones? Thanks in advance Pete.

DSC01000.JPG DSC01001.JPG DSC01002.JPG
 






96eb96

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I have a brass plug (with a screw top) for years. I think it needed two full turns but not sure.

I tried(even with a special tool) to get a freeze plug in but it won't go in that position. They are removed by carefully punching thru with a long screwdriver and hammer. Only replaced one. I have sealer in there anyway.
 






410Fortune

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A good self tapping metal screw can be used to pull the old rotted one out
Various means to pry it out once it has a hole in it

Yes they are just a brass freeze plug with sealant

If that is the one on the back of the head…. Yikes Can be a real challenge to get at some of those locations. Are you able to see it? Get directly at it?
 






Pete Deering

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A good self tapping metal screw can be used to pull the old rotted one out
Various means to pry it out once it has a hole in it

Yes they are just a brass freeze plug with sealant

If that is the one on the back of the head…. Yikes Can be a real challenge to get at some of those locations. Are you able to see it? Get directly at it?
Yes, I am planning on removing wheel liner, too get in there. My local AutoZone has steel plugs in stock. I ordered brass plug from Rockauto.
 






410Fortune

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I've put steel ones in there before, dang parts stores!!

To gain extra room to work in that area sometimes I will unbolt the two nuts holding the transmission down and then lift the t case up until it touches the floor..... this jacks up the back of the engine a little bit
 






fast_dave

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Just sayin ' after reviewing those pictures -

They're all the same age, in the same coolant, exposed to the same heat cycles, road salts & grime.

Replace all of them or dollars to donuts one of the old ones will fail at the worst time and place possible.

Pressurized water follows the path of least resistance...
 






Pinout

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Update: Just Remove the splash guard and took a look. Looks like the Freeze Plug (see Pictures). Is there any thing I need to be careful about? R they just a brass plug with sealant on the perimeter of the plug? Is there a good way to remove them? Should replace all of the them on pass side , or just the rusted ones? Thanks in advance Pete.

View attachment 424072 View attachment 424073 View attachment 424074
I'd also recommend some evapo-rust to clean the coolant system, and to make sure all your block ground straps are intact.
 






fast_dave

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^^^^ THIS

@Pinout - +10 suggestion - that same road salt & grime that has attacked the freeze plugs has for sure attacked the block ground straps!
 






Pete Deering

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^^^^ THIS

@Pinout - +10 suggestion - that same road salt & grime that has attacked the freeze plugs has for sure attacked the block ground straps!
Update: just received the brass freeze plug kit from rockauto. RockAuto plugs are a quarter of inch side wall ( deep). Where AutoZone plugs (dormans) are 1/8 inch deep brass or steel.
 






TheDudeAbidez

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For what it's worth, and maybe for folks in the future...if a fella is in a pinch and needs to get by until better weather allows...I have used a temporary fix aka band-aid solution to get me thru to spring. Driver side head had a casting plug leak at the rear. Didn't have the time or location to pull the head. Drained out some coolant to get fluid level down, scrubbed plug down to clean metal. Made a small 3/16 steel plate with 3 holes to bolt to back of head, crammed the recess full of jb weld, and snugged down the plate.
It held up fine through the winter. Was it a gamble? Absolutely. Is it an approved repair procedure? Probably not. Did it work? Yep.
Just used the front of the pass. side head to graft the hole locations for the "patch" plate...under the alt. bracket.
 






Pete Deering

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^^^^ THIS

@Pinout - +10 suggestion - that same road salt & grime that has attacked the freeze plugs has for sure attacked the block ground straps!
A few months ago I took care the ground straps. Posted it on the forum.
 






Pete Deering

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A few months ago I took care the ground straps. Posted it on the forum.
update- finished. Attached writeup with pictures
Freeze Plug Replacement on a 1995 ford Explorer 4.0L OHV 4X4 engine in the Vehicle-

This is from my experience and my opinion.



Choice of Freeze Plug to use. Steel, Brass and Rubber. Standard Size for the side Plug are 1 ½”.

Steel is the factory standard, with a sealant. The PRO- if you drop the freeze plug in the block you can grab it with a magnetic, CON- it will rust out in 25 years.

Brass- non-magnetic, if you drop the freeze plug in the block, SOL, unless you can grab it with a pickup tool.

Rubber- short life span, Fast and simple.

You need to uses an installation tool. See pictures 1, of what I used.

I used a caught pan for the coolant. I figure there was a hole in the plug , coolant was leaking out and couldn’t be a lot coolant left in the block. When the plug was remove about ¾ of a gallon came out. Picture 3

A lot of people use a socket with an extension. That only works if the block is out of the vehicle or you have are straight on installation.

The problem I had if the plug is not square to the face (opening) its does not square itself up during the installation. I thought the plug would square up because of the outside shoulder of the tool, but it does not.

First I removed the original steel plug with my air hammer( picture 2) with a long shank. It made it easy to knock the plug loose. It drop into the block, I grab it with a vise grip. Took a long pry bar and bent the edge and it came right thru the opening.

Second Plug (brass) was not square, so I remove it. I drill a small hole in the plug, Put a soft wire thru the drill hole to whole the plug, while I bent the edge and pull it right out. A self-tapping screw and the socket method did not work for me.

Third Plug Brass. Now I used the installation tools. The 4603 made it easy to get in there and install the plug. When I notice it was not square I switch over to the impact arm from Tool 4604 and used the air hammer so I did not have to swing a hammer. See Picture.

Fourth Plug brass I drilled a small hole in the plug. so I could insert a small bend wire in the hole to caught it as I knock it free.

Sealant – Everyone uses something different. Some use Red RTV, Some use Black RTV, I first used Form A gasket. Then I switched to Permatex Indian Head gasket shellac. This is what I use on the coolant hose. It worked the best for me. They make a core plug sealant, but very expensive. Locktite makes a sealant same as the other brand. which is the red thread lock sealant; same spec.

Pre cleaning the core plug opening. I used Green Scotch brite pad. Worked Fine. I also used a long neck die grinder with a sanding drum on it. The core was in good condition.

Tips: I set the new plug in by hand, and try to keep it square to the hole. To straighten it out I used ½” drive extension about 24“ long. I Tap the shoulder of the plug to square it up. What I notice, was the core plug installation tool fit the plug just right before installing the plug in the block, but did not work if the plug was installed, because the wall of the plug push inward when installing. So I used smaller plug socket. See finish picture.

1 Installation tools.JPG 1a.JPG 1b  Installation tools.jpg 1c.JPG 2 air hammer.JPG 2a air hammer.JPG 3 coolant pan.JPG 4.JPG 5 -with text.JPG
 






Carwreck

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I've got an odd Coolant leak on a 95 4.0L OHV. My 'ex is leaking on the oil filter side of the engine (above filter), Below the heater valve, hoses in and out heater core. The heater valve and hoses are dry. I'm having a problem pin pointing the leak of the engine. I cant where it coming from. I'm thinking it's a core plug. From the search, I did on the forum. Someone had a lower manifold coolant leak. Any idea? Thanks pete
It's gonna be either the intake gaskets or a freeze plug
 






EB4X

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/\ Good job and good write-up Pete!
NOW it's time for your shocks!.... those look original! I just put these up front on my matching Explorer >>

Monroe Shocks & Struts Gas-Magnum 34804 Shock Absorber $38.95 each - Walmart​


...happy with outcome considering truck suspension.
Don't even try replacing with wheels on.... remove so you have easy access to second nut to keep shock from spinning... I know I'm preaching to the choir but throwing out tips anyway:
SHOCK.JPG
 






96eb96

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I was never able to drive a plug in with the tool. I tried with a steel plug, it was just a bit too offset, it would pop out. Gave up.
I have a special copper plug with a tension screw. Holds for years.
It is probably welded in by now from the corrosion.
Forgot the size but its the same.
 



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Pete Deering

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I was never able to drive a plug in with the tool. I tried with a steel plug, it was just a bit too offset, it would pop out. Gave up.
I have a special copper plug with a tension screw. Holds for years.
It is probably welded in by now from the corrosion.
Forgot the size but its the same.
The copper plug should not corrode. Just turn green.
 






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