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Radiator Leak Questions

Thread in 'Fluids: Oil, ATF, Coolant, etc.' started by Wade Abnett, May 29, 2012.

  1. Wade Abnett

    Wade Abnett Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

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    I have a slow drip of coolant on the driver side next to the drain plug. Looks like it coming through out of the hard plastic mount on the bottom. Hoses look good, took off the front cover but could not see any hose holes or residue.



    Can the radiator have a hole already? Is this a common thing with Fords? Would a "Stop leak" work or does the whole radiator needs replaced? Is there a specific radiator that will fit or any OEM aftermarket be ok?



    Thanks!
     
  2. MikeSondra Grossen

    MikeSondra Grossen Well-Known Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

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    yes, we have a leak in ours. We have a new radiator ready to be installed when we find the time.
     
  3. Richard L

    Richard L Well-Known Member 1st Gen Owner

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    Wade,

    I think a new radiator is in order. Older radiators were often repaired but over the years, it has not been shown to be cost effective. If you cannot afford a new one, perhaps a used, low mileage radiator would be more cost effective.



    It seems that radiators that have been repaired by radiator shops only last about a year...or less, and then they need to be repaired again, and again, and again...etc.



    I think the problem is related to the new aluminum core and plastic tank radiators use on newer cars (last 20+ years or so). When radiators had copper or brass cores and tanks, they could easily be fixed and often outlasted the vehicle....but sadly, those days are long gone.



    ...Rich



    ...Rich
     
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  4. Robert Caffyn

    Robert Caffyn Well-Known Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

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    GenII trucks are notorious for springing leaks in the radiator. Don't know if its the difference between the plastic side tanks or the metal core. Time for a new one. Don't know if Ford has an updated version. Contact Torrie at the link below. At least he'll give you a good deal! Its not too hard to change yourself. Bob
     
  5. Les C

    Les C Active Member

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    Wade,



    We just put a new radiator in my '01 Sport Trac 2 weeks ago tomorrow, our local Ford dealer wanted over $600 for aq new one, but they didn't have it in stock & it would have taken 3 days to get it. So I asked [even thinking he wouldn't say] where he'd recommend getting one quicker. He recommeded 1-800-Radiator or Radiator Plus here in Nashville. I bought it from Radiator Plus for $138. Mine had blown a 1/2 inch crack in passenger plastic side tank.



    FYI: my son & I changed it out in less than a hour, it's quicker to put in new one in than to take the old one out.



    And filled w/Zerek G0-5 antifreeze, plus put a new Stant radiator cap on too.



    On the road again w/152k miles on it.



    Good Luck,

    Les C



    PS: supposely there are 2 diffreent ones, a 1 inch & a 2 inch, measuring the top from metal flang to metal flang. My '01 took the 2 inch & out of curosity we looked @ the son's '05 ST & his is a 1 inch, the gentleman that sold it to us, said having the correct size only aides in the installation process.
     
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  6. OLE442

    OLE442 Well-Known Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

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    Do they make an aftermarket that is all metal that will just replace the original? Why buy a variation of the same crap that was installed at the factory?
     
  7. Wade Abnett

    Wade Abnett Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

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    Thanks for the advice, guess I have to bite the bullet. Not sure how easy it is to replace. Looks like you have to use special tools to remove the fan, the transmission fluid connector may leak and it looks difficult to lift up past the AC line above it. Hope their is something on you tube on how to do it properly.
     
  8. Gavin Allan

    Gavin Allan Well-Known Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

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    If you have an early radiator failure, you might want to check for electrolysis. Here is one procedure- I am sure there are others.
     
  9. Tommy Moore

    Tommy Moore Active Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

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    replaced mine for the same reason at 61,000 miles
     
  10. Frank Scheer

    Frank Scheer Member

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    I have an '01 sport trac and I just noticed the same thing today. I am not driving it because I dont want to cause more issues. I am wondering if anyone has any helpful tips or guides to replacing it yourself? I am looking to try and save a few hundred by doing it myself and any advise would be much appreciated.
     
  11. Wade Abnett

    Wade Abnett Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

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    Finished changing out mine. Bought a two row spectra radiator for $139. Perfect fit, did not need to remove fan, but had to lift the condenser up about an inch to get radiator out of side rails. Had trouble with trans cooler fittings. Ended up using old ones. Do not remove both at same time as cooler will fall inside. Do one at a time and you can keep it in position. Two bolt clips were wrong size but used old ones. Took me about 3 hours to install and to flush and fill. I used xerox go5 coolant as it is ford approved and motorcraft gold wasn't easy to find



    Radiator was leaking at top seam, coolant had a green tint which may not have been the correct coolant



    Hope this is helpful.
     
  12. Art G

    Art G Active Member 1st Gen Owner V6 Engine

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    I have an 05 ST 4x4 with 163K miles and replaced the radiator already 3 times. The two previous leaks happens at lower driver side of the radiator between the core and plastic tank. Now my 3rd one is leaking again at exact location. Local 1-800-radiator replaced them twice before, but maybe this a manufacturing defects from Spectra Radiator. Any of you out there had this problem?
     
  13. blksn8k

    blksn8k Well-Known Member 2nd Gen Owner V8 Engine

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    I thought there was another thread on this subject involving Todd Z. IIRC he speculated that the problem on the Gen 2 STs was that the radiator is mounted solidly to the core support with nothing to absorb shock and vibration which could explain all the premature failures (leaks). I have yet to replace mine but the radiator on my brother-in-law's '07 was replaced by the Chevy dealer where he bought it. They didn't get the transmission cooling lines attached correctly which resulted in one of them blowing off and the loss of several quarts of fluid.
     
  14. Johnny O

    Johnny O Well-Known Member 2nd Gen Owner 4 Wheel Drive V6 Engine

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    The problem with radiators on newer cars is the plastic tanks. They crack easier and are not repairable like a metal tank. When mine cracked it was replaced on warranty but then I replaced the cap with an 18 or 16 lb unit (I forget and it's raining so I'm not going out to look) to lessen the odds that it happens again.
     
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