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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, here is the 3rd thing to go on the bull. The first two being the 1) water pump, 2) A/C has a leak, and now there is a leak from what seems to be the upper trans-cooler line.

The mechanic noticed this when he was looking for the refrigerant leak. He was down below and noticed that on the splash sheild/ lower bumper there was a small pool of Transmission fluid. I knew that it was either Transmission fluid or P/S fluid, seeing as they are both Mercon V ATF. At least I've learned something being on these boards.

He went above and noticed that I have 2 steel lines coming into and out of the Radiator (1 going in and 1 going out to be exact). They both lead to the transmission, just below the battery housing.

I would assume that these are factory trans-cooler lines. Is this correct?

Also, he said that it could be 1) the o-ring seal or 2) the Radiator has a crack where the bolt attaches. It would figure that I had this radiator replaced just OVER a year ago (10/18/07) to be exact due to to a coolant leak.

It's hard to tell how long this has been going on because it's a very slow leak. I had him pull the Trans Dip stick and check the fluid. It's down a bit, but not much. Maybe a 1/2 a quart... but still just on the XXXX hatches.

So, what do you all think? Last time this job cost around $600 including parts and labor. I really don't have the money right now. Is this something that I can just bandaid, maybe just keep an eye on the Trans fluid and refill as necessary? Is there any way that dirt can get into the transmission with this slow leak (I'm assuming yes, but who knows)

TCCA, I'm asking for your help again. It seems that things come in three's... this is just my luck on this Bull. It may be time to trade it in. Especially with the cost of the A/C system and now the radiator.

Thanks all!

~Matt


P.S. I tried posting pics, but I'm getting the following error: The total filespace required to upload all the attached files is greater than your per post or global limit. Please reduce the number of attachments or the size of the attachments.

The site says that I have 48+ MB of free space and the pic is only like 138K.
 

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We have a max limit of 200kb worth of file(s) per post. If you host the pictures on an outside source such as photobucket or imageshack you won't run into this issue :)
 

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Aftermarket radiator cost about $100.

So if you are that low on cash, replace it yourself. Replacing the radiator doesn't have to cost $100, unless your too lazy to install it yourself.

Didn't you get any warranty on the radiator you say you had installed last year? The shop that did the work should still cover it under warranty, even if the warranty was 1-Year, on a customer satisfaction basis.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Aftermarket radiator cost about $100.

So if you are that low on cash, replace it yourself. Replacing the radiator doesn't have to cost $100, unless your too lazy to install it yourself.

Didn't you get any warranty on the radiator you say you had installed last year? The shop that did the work should still cover it under warranty, even if the warranty was 1-Year, on a customer satisfaction basis.
[/b]

I'm glad that you think that 'customer-satisfaction' means something now a days, especially in the car repair business and with the economy the way it is.

The fact is, the place I was going was very expensive for what it was... just shy of Dealer costs. The other thing is, if the rad has to be replaced again, I have learned it's best to just cut and run.

As you can tell, I'm not a mechanic, I'm a software engineer. Give me a computer and I will diagnose that. But I don't have the tools, nor the time to be dropping the rad, refilling and purging the coolant system and everything else in between.

So, what is the consensus on refilling the trans fluid to prevent the fluid from dropping too low? Can and will this work until I save up enough to go and get my sports car?
 

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And I'm a EEE.

But that's doesn't mean I can do anything else.

You're willing to pay someone $500 for labor, for a 1.5 hour job? How much are you getting paid per hour, and are there any job opening?

Send me a round trip airline ticket, and I'll replace the radiator for $100 (you buy the radiator).
 

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Buy a radiator for approx. $100...buy a Haynes or Chilton Manual approx. $10-15...buy some new coolant and distilled water approx. $40....and do it yourself...priceless....you'd save about $350...at that point...now lets say you don't have a tool or tools you might need to do the job...you may or may not have to spend another $20-$40....you'd still be saving $ and now you have more tools in your tool collection...come on...think of all the positives...changing a radiator is one of the easier fixes....and when the one in your sports car goes...then you'll have some experience under your belt...and the tools to fix it :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I took it to the mechanic twice. The first time there was no charge.

He said that he checked the radiator and it did not appear to be cracked. He replaced the Trans-cooler line O-Ring (the O-Ring that is inside the metal bronze bolt).

2 days later, same leak.

Brought it back today, and he pulled the line and replaced the o-ring again. Charged $40. After I paid, I checked and the leak still existed.

So he had me pull up and we looked at it together. Seems like it is def. coming from inside the bronze bolt. He pulled the line off (using that special tool - which was good cause I saw how to use it for my future projects!) and I put a paper cloth in there to soak up as much of the fluid as possible. No worries, I made sure that I didn't leave anything in there for re-assembly :)

The O-Ring was in place and it was green. He said that he had not used a Ford factory o-ring. We checked the metal line and the bronze bolt. No signs of cracks.

So here's the question, could the after market o-rings be just a hair smaller than the Ford factory ones? He said that he would order a new Ford factory o-ring and put it in, for little to no charge.

What do you all think? Worth a shot? What if it still leaks? It seems to have gotten worse with the two 'new' aftermarket o-rings put in versus the slow stain that I started with.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just thought I would follow up with this, for anyone in the future.

The mechanic failed to repair twice (supposedly by replacing the o-ring inside the trans-cooler line connector bolt).

I figured, for $10 I would try it myself. I bought the trans-cooler line connector bolt and the transmission/fuel line quick disconnect tools ($20 at AZ).

Took the upper line off, put a 1 1/16" shallow socket ratchet in there and removed the bolt. I noticed that I was losing a bit of Antifreeze. It seems as though the trans-cooler tank sits inside the radiator surrounded by Antifreeze. And when you removed the tension off the bolt, antifreeze will leak out from underneath the bolt. This seems like a stupid design, primarily because your hot transmission fluid is surrounded by hot antifreeze, but whatever!

Finished removing the bolt, put on the new bolt that had it's own red thread sealer and new plastic quick connector. Tightened down BY HAND! I read somewhere that it's only supposed to be torqued to 30 ft lbs. So I tightened to where it stopped and then went approx. another 1/8". That's it!

Put the transmission-cooler line back and and heard the click of the plastic connector. I sprayed down under the bolt with Brake cleaner so that I could monitor the progress.

Since then, no leaks! This was done Saturday afternoon (Nov. 1st) and now it's Tuesday Morning (voting day Nov. 4th). From start to finish it took me just over 1/2 hour.

Thanks TCCA!

Good luck to anyone that needs this in the future.

BTW, if you go to RockAuto to order the part (or to the dealer) check the part that you have first. I went to the dealer and they gave me something similar to this: DORMAN Part # 800602. That part is much smaller than the one that actually fit my Motorcraft Radiator: DORMAN Part # 800601. Thanks dealership! :glare:
 
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