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Old 10-25-2015, 06:05 PM   #1
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Do I need a new radiator or is this an easy fix?

Not the expert mechanic here...looking for advice.

Engine: 2008 6.0 with about 59K miles. Probably has the factory coolant in it...I know I've never changed it since we bought it 2.5 years ago.

I noticed a small damp spot on the driveway. Following it upward, I see that both fittings that go into the bottom front of the radiator are leaking a little. The picture is of the driver side one, and the passenger side looks about the same.

Can I drain it, undo the hoses, unscrew the fittings from the radiator and apply a sealant? If so, what sealant should I use? Or is there an O-ring?

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Old 10-25-2015, 07:51 PM   #2
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Re: Do I need a new radiator or is this an easy fix?

Those are the transmission cooler lines going into the radiator tank.

Are you leaking ATF or coolant?
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Old 10-25-2015, 09:27 PM   #3
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Re: Do I need a new radiator or is this an easy fix?

It doesn't appear to be pink. It's nearly clear, and it feels like antifreeze. Can't detect an odor, but my sense of smell isn't that great.
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Old 10-25-2015, 10:05 PM   #4
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Re: Do I need a new radiator or is this an easy fix?

The problem then is the Bulkhead fitting going through the tank - perhaps you can tighten it.
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Old 10-25-2015, 11:16 PM   #5
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Re: Do I need a new radiator or is this an easy fix?

Thanks, Ramsey, you are a wealth of information and an asset to all of us on the forum. I'll get out the wrenches tomorrow.

Just wondering: I replaced the factory Ford coolant cap with a Stant because of the advice of this very passionate guy on YouTube. I figured I couldn't go wrong for $5 (actually $3) for a new cap.

That was about a month ago. Because I replaced the cap, would this make the new leaks appear? He says this might happen in the video, but what does your experience tell you?

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Old 10-26-2015, 03:44 AM   #6
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Re: Do I need a new radiator or is this an easy fix?

The video guy is correct in that any radiator cap needs to be able to hold design pressure of the engine system for which its intended. His advice is very sound regardless what brand, make, model or year vehicle we'd discuss.

It's possible the newly discovered leaks were already present but the older cap not holding proper pressure, the bulkhead fittings not under enough pressure at that time to leak fluid. Since the new cap will hold pressure the leaks appear. This means the fittings were already in need of proper installation or minimally re-sealing.

Proceed carefully when/if you remove the fittings into the radiator tank as they might need a bit of gentle persuasion and the tank is plastic. Personally I'd use Teflon tape or a Loctite PST-like product, follow directions to seal those back into the radiator.
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Old 10-27-2015, 08:08 AM   #7
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Re: Do I need a new radiator or is this an easy fix?

I thought you took a picture of the leak my radiator had two years ago. Mine was dripping coolant not trans fluid. I have a 2005 6.0 PSD, 80k ish miles. I went ahead and replaced the rad because of it. I replace stuff on the Shuttle because of it's unknown and untruthful history. I just want to offer my story with this leak. I think my leak was mostly caused by really high transmission temps (240* and higher) that weakened the plastic to metal seal. Since the tanks are made of plastic I was concerned what other seal in the rad was ready to let go. I believe there is all aluminum radiators available now. My transmission story is a long one for another day but I would highly recommend a gauge to monitor trans temps. There are discussions on the forum on different ways to monitor almost everything on our vans. The more the better with a 6.0. Also I was able to slide out the rad without removing the refrigerant from the A/C. Its a lot to take apart to get it out but can be done in the driveway.

-Eric
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:55 PM   #8
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Re: Do I need a new radiator or is this an easy fix?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShuttlePilot
I thought you took a picture of the leak my radiator had two years ago. Mine was dripping coolant not trans fluid. I have a 2005 6.0 PSD, 80k ish miles. I went ahead and replaced the rad because of it. I replace stuff on the Shuttle because of it's unknown and untruthful history. I just want to offer my story with this leak. I think my leak was mostly caused by really high transmission temps (240* and higher) that weakened the plastic to metal seal. Since the tanks are made of plastic I was concerned what other seal in the rad was ready to let go. I believe there is all aluminum radiators available now. My transmission story is a long one for another day but I would highly recommend a gauge to monitor trans temps. There are discussions on the forum on different ways to monitor almost everything on our vans. The more the better with a 6.0. Also I was able to slide out the rad without removing the refrigerant from the A/C. Its a lot to take apart to get it out but can be done in the driveway.

-Eric


Maybe you need one of these all Aluminium, http://www.performanceradiator.com
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Old 10-27-2015, 06:41 PM   #9
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Re: Do I need a new radiator or is this an easy fix?

I found this same problem on my rad just last week when dealing with coolant leak in the hose that goes over the top of the engine. I found out that some of these vans have replaceable tranny cooler line connectors and some don't. Mine, which looks just like yours is not replaceable.
I did try to tighten it just a bit. Seemed to help for a few hundred miles but just went out to look at it and the leak is back. Not a big enough problem at this point not to drive it but will be keeping an eye on it.
A new radiator is the only fix here. Like ShuttlePilot suggested, at this point it may just be a sign of weakening radiator and bigger problems could be just around the corner (I have 105K on mine).
I'll be looking into that all aluminum radiator that Sheriffdoug posted.

Good luck,
John
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Old 10-27-2015, 07:17 PM   #10
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Re: Do I need a new radiator or is this an easy fix?

Quote:
Originally Posted by photographix
Not the expert mechanic here...looking for advice.

Engine: 2008 6.0 with about 59K miles. Probably has the factory coolant in it...I know I've never changed it since we bought it 2.5 years ago.

I noticed a small damp spot on the driveway. Following it upward, I see that both fittings that go into the bottom front of the radiator are leaking a little. The picture is of the driver side one, and the passenger side looks about the same.

Can I drain it, undo the hoses, unscrew the fittings from the radiator and apply a sealant? If so, what sealant should I use? Or is there an O-ring?

G'day,

Carry a bottle of Bar's Leaks www.barsleaks.com just in case as insurance.

Cheers Doug

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