Radiator
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Thread: Radiator

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    TruckFarmer55's Avatar
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    Radiator

    My 1996 f150 has a new issue. The water temperature gauge goes to the hot end and it smells like warm anti freeze. Water pump was replaced two years ago. Does the radiator need to be flushed?

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    56FordGuy's Avatar
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    Maybe. Could be a bad thermostat, or a failed water pump.

    If you have an IR thermometer, with the truck warmed up check the temperatures on either side of the thermostat and see if it's opening. A lot of folks will say remove the thermostat and test it in boiling water, but the part is so cheap that if I go to the trouble of removing it I just replace it.
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    You need to check your engine oil and make sure the coolant isn't mixing with it. If you do then it's a blown head gasket. What engine do you have in there is it a 5.0 or the 4.6. 4.6's have a history of having the passenger side head gasket fail when they get a lot of miles on it. Also on 4.6's there is a small coolant pipe that goes from the back of the engine through the intake valley to the back of the water pump. Sometimes those get a small hole and leak your fluid out. I just did a head gasket and coolant pipe replacement on a 2000 Expedition with that problem.

    Check your coolant level, if it is low and you knew it was filled prior to checking then check for leaks, if no leak, the coolant went somewhere inside the motor which is never good.

    Since you are smelling the fluid, I am thinking you have some sort of external leak. I would fill the radiator up with water and run the engine and then see if you see where it is leaking from. I would not be surprised if it was coming from the back of the motor or possibly a heater hose. Those like to leak on Fords as well, the ones going into the firewall. They are a real joy to get to.

    I wouldn't do any driving until you get it figured out.

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    Try taking out the thermostat and put it into a pot of boiling water on the stove, if it doesn't open while the water is boiling, then there's your problem

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    TruckFarmer55's Avatar
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    Resolved this issue shortly after my first post. Thermostat was bad as was the old gasket and a small rubber hose. Replaced both now runs like a champ. Just have to fix an exhaust leak and the AC compressor now.
    Gizmo2 and 69project like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruckFarmer55 View Post
    Resolved this issue shortly after my first post. Thermostat was bad as was the old gasket and a small rubber hose. Replaced both now runs like a champ. Just have to fix an exhaust leak and the AC compressor now.
    Nothing like owning an old pickup, always something to tend too...Glad you found the problem and that it seemed like a simple fix.

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    I plan to redo my truck. Shes not too far gone.

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