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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, i was driving to a friends house 50 miles away, and all of a sudden POOF! a bunch of water shot out from under the passenger side of my hood while i was passing someone. i then noticed how hot it was running, so i backed way off, slowed down to 55, and drove to his house (i was one exit away). After a while, i gave the friend a ride to a computer store, about 2 miles away. it was running real hot, so i checked the water when i got back to his house, it was pretty dry looking. i put some more water in (i checked the water about a week ago and it was fine) and noticed it was leaking from the driver side, near the drain on the radiator. it wasnt comming from the drain, but all around/above it. i shut it off and it was still dripping, i figured because i spilled a bunch of water when filled it. after a while it stopped, i turned it back on and it started agian, from the same spot. i checked the hoses, and they seem fine, so i bought a thing of stopleak, put it in, and it seems to have either fixed it, or at least helped. either way thats just a band aid, i need to replace stuff. if i just take it to ford and said "fix it" how much will that cost? just a ballpark would be nice, i just want to know if i should take the checkbook or the platnum card. the only reason i want to take it to ford is that way it will get fixed, i dont want to buy a new radiator only to find out something else caused the radiator to die and have to do it all agian. Kragen lists a new radiator for my car at $154, but the closest one is 33 miles away.

Im going to attempt to drive home tonight, keeping a watchfull eye on the temp & stopping often to check the water level (as of right now it is not leaking when it is idleing due to the stop leak)

Also, when it was running super hot, i turned the heater on full blast to see if that would help, and it was not hot air blowing. it did get a little colder when i turned it to cold, but when it was on hot, it was more like ambient than hot.
 

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Overheating any engine is a bad thing, but it's worse on a 3.8L cause that engine will take any excuse it can get to blow a head gasket (I assumed you had this cause that's what shows up when I clicked your name to find out about the car)...My 3.8L T-Bird did it once (I fixed in the garage), my mother's Windstar did so twice as well (Ford covered the first under warranty, the second they replaced the engine under warranty/recall)...ugh...

If you're mechanically inclined, you might want to try replacing the radiator yourself, also replace hoses and such and flush the rest of the system while you're at it - it's not all that hard to do, although space is at a premium in the bull with the 3.8L. If your car is a '93, and it was the original radiator, it is reasonable to have to replace it now, they don't last forever...

Good Luck with it!
 

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Well if you were running dry and you were running real hot, I'd consider getting more than just the radiator checked. In this case there is a strong possibilty that you may have more damage then just a blow radiator.
 

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Is it making any squeaking/squealing sounds? When you replace missing "water", are you just putting in water or coolant as well? Don't run just water, make sure you mix the two, 50/50. Check your hoses, upper and lower, while the car is running to see if there are any pinholes that leak under pressure. Is the petcock on the lower-left hand side closed fully? Belt tension is tight, turning the water pump? How old is the thermostat?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Its just water, i dont see the point in using coolant for 2 reasons. one is its wastefull, the other is its bad for the environment.

While i was troubleshooting, it was going through about a gallon of water every few minutes.

It never ran all the way dry, and never past the L of the word normal on the temp guage.

Right now its sitting with no fluid at all in it, i have the new radiator in place, but i cant fucking get the damned tranny cooler lines back in. any tips on that? i spent 3 hours on JUST the lines last night, both getting off and putting back on. ony i never got them back on. im ready to give up.

And im still stuck at a friends house, doing all this work on the side of the road, ive been here since sunday morning. ive been sprayed with boiling coolant 3 times, am still wearing the same clothes, and generally not having a great time.

and yes, i have a bottle of antifreeze to go in the radiator if i ever finish.

*edit* and it was definatly the radiator, and napa just happend to have one in stock for around $160
 

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Originally posted by Mr. Tom@Aug 10 2004, 01:03 PM
Its just water, i dont see the point in using coolant for 2 reasons. one is its wastefull, the other is its bad for the environment.

Coolant is also a lubricant. If you think the radiator is a PITA to put in, try doing the water pump after it seizes. :neutral: Ranks up with root canals in the fun factor.

That's good about the radiator, the reman units go for under $100 but I've heard no good stories about those. So far as tranny lines go, I don't have any tips except get a friend to assist in holding the lines square while you reconnect the fittings. Make sure you use a pipe sealant so you don't lose anything under pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dont have any pipe sealant, dont have any friends to help. had one last night, but have you ever tried to mess with those lines? its near impossible to get one hand in there, let alone 4.

and my point was i would have needed to buy several cases of coolant, and it would have all run out.

Right now i am willing to just cross thread it in there and force it, but i cant even get that far. i just want it good enough to get me home. if i could just connect the oil lines together and cut the cooler out of the loop i would, but if i could move them around that much i wouldnt have a problem getting them in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
i got the top one in, but the lower one got bent when i removed the radiator. no matter what i try, i cannot bend it back. ive even removed it, bent it, and reinstalled it, and it will not fit. there doesnt seem to be enough space between the AC lines and the radiator for the fitting.

This is a very good example of why i want to use steel braided lines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Like ****.

But thats because i need to change the plugs and timing.


I could actually see the water shooting out of my radiator, so i think that was the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I already have the radiator, its already installed. I just cant get the lower transmission cooler line installed, it refuses to line up properly.
 

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Well how ****** does it run? there is timing and tune up and then there is a lack of compression. My car would run perfect when the coolant ran out and it wasn't fouling the combustion chamber any more.

As for the transmission line, you have the radiator pegged in the right spot right? well what if you loosened the radiator off so you could maneouver it a bit so you could get the line in the right place? then after you get it tight you could gently work the radiator into the right spot...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Already tried moving the radiator around, doesnt really help much.

And its been running like this for a while, so the problem was not caused by the radiator issue. it runs the same as it has for some time.

im giving it one last shot, then giving up and having someone else do it.
 

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AReyou trying to move the radiator around with the fan on or off the radiator? Also is there a possibility that there is a nother bolt holding the line in place that you might be able to undo?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ive taken the line off completly, and tried to rebend it, and put it back on. I cant do it.

I moved the radiator out of its little spot, and it almost lined up, but i ended up dropping the fitting, it went right in the hole the radiator peg goes in, then to the right. so now its inside that little crossmember, and i dont feel like getting it out.

I just walked away. i cant do it. ive spent a solid 8 hours on changing the radiator now. 95% of that time has been on the ONE line. had i take it to a shop i woulda paid 4 times the cost of the radiator, but i would be home. i cant even drive it to a shop now.

im having someone come out to fix it tonight. its not my problem anymore. the platnum card is out and i dont care what happens as long as i get home tonight.
 

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Zeptoplix has a point...If this thing has been running shi-ty for a while, you may have had a small leak in the head gasket, on top of the radiator going bad...hopefully the head gaskets are okay and it's only the radiator, but don't be surprised if you're replacing the head gaskets in the end too...One thing you probably should do is the check the spark plugs for fouling...Depending on what you find with the plugs, you might be able to tell if there was coolant being burned...Even check the oil cap on the valve cover - is there any whitish residue on the inside of it?
 

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Originally posted by Mr. Tom@Aug 10 2004, 04:00 PM
I already have the radiator, its already installed. I just cant get the lower transmission cooler line installed, it refuses to line up properly.
install the bottom hose first. if the top one is already in place, the line will not move and may hinder installing the bottom one.

ALSO check for leaks. I was stupid enough to NOT put any kind of sealant on the brass nut that connects the tranny line and ended up having to redo those lines.

No leaks now
 
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