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  #1  
Old 09-17-2009, 02:33 AM
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Default Coolant leak. Bad rad?

Just covering my bases here and making sure there is not a hidden problem I dont know about before I plan on buying a new radiator. I bought this truck a couple weeks ago. So far I have replaced ball joints and flushed rear end and transmission. I didnt touch the radiator as it is new and so is the coolant and hoses and clamps. When I picked up truck from mechanic I noticed coolant was low. The first thing I thought of with my paranoid self is head gasket issue. I took the truck home and when it cooled down I topped off coolant, left cap off (old cap) and ran truck until at operating temp. thinking maybe air in system. No bubbles, coolant circulates just fine. Shut truck off and replaced cap, went grab a few beers. Took truck to work this afternoon (71 miles) and let cool off. On the way I picked up another cap. I checked coolant and it was a little low, topped it off an put on new cap figuring on checking it when I come back to work tomorrow afternoon.

About an hour or so ago, I walk outside to smoke cigarette and notice puddle under front of truck. I pop hood to investigate. Coolant overflow hose (the one not connected to anything) is damp at end, not sure what this means. There is a fairly good sized puddle under truck, I did not spill that much when refilling rad. I also noticed this puddle the first night I took truck to work but figured on it being condensate from A/C. Far as I can tell no hoses are leaking nor where they connect to rad or engine. It is damp in lower shroud area, and I have a drip coming from around petcock area where the plastic crimps onto metal part of rad (what a stupid ass design). Everything else is dry except a little dampness in lower most part of lower shroud, and where it is dripping onto power steering return line. Coolant is also about 1/4 inch lower than where I topped it up to earlier. Is there anything I could be missing. Water pump area is dry and so are belts. Could a new radiator just be bad? No leaks from petcock at all, inside of drain is dry. Truck was never started between time I topped off an now. Thanks for any help.
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:55 AM
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have you checked to see if your thermostat is opening and closing when it should?
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:09 AM
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^^^ It does sound like something is restricting circulation and causing the coolant to be forced out the overflow tube...
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:03 AM
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How would I go about checking the thermostat? Thinking further in, where the hell is the thermostat? Lower hose?
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:07 PM
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From what I recall, I believe it is located at the end of the upper radiator hose....the thermostat is on the engine itself, and that hose connects to it...As far as checking it, if you have a infrared temp. gauge you can point it at the hose and the thermostat itself to see if it is running at N.O.T. Or, you can always grab the hose to see if its hot as Hell, or cool...Either way should tell you theres an issue with the thermostat because coolant should be running through the whole system at N.O.T., which would def make that upper hose hot...
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Old 09-17-2009, 05:28 PM
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I am going to assume that you have a 5.2 or 5.9 V8 . See if you can have the cooling system pressure tested . Will show any leaks you have . The thermostat is in the top of the intake manifold , back underneath the a/c compressor . Yes it is a toughy to do . You do have a bypass hose also . It comes out of the front of the intake and goes to the top of the water pump . That is probably the most overlooked hose . Lot of people don't know about it , and after they see it they don't want to know about it anymore . I would recommend if your going to do the thermostat , tear into it far enough and do the bypass hose while your there . Any more questions feel free to ask . Tom
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Old 09-17-2009, 07:15 PM
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The engine is the 4.7 liter. The hoses are all new. The problem is not occuring while the engine is hot. When the engine was cold last night I topped it off to the cold fill line on the bottle. An hour or so later I noticed the puddle, the key was never in the ignition during this time. By the time it happened I couldnt see where it was coming from, so I may have just seen a drip off of that corner of the radiator. All the hoses and connections were dry save for the overflow hose was a little damp at the end.
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Old 09-17-2009, 07:28 PM
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when the engine is cold, and the coolant level is below the full mark, that does not necessarily mean that the coolant is low in the system...so you could have possibly overfilled the reservoir...
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:06 PM
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The engine is still cooling off but I checked it from the outside and the level is the same that it bleed down to last night. The truck was driven 150 miles since last night.
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:24 PM
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I also went out and started truck up and got back up to operating temp. The top rad hose pressures up and is HOT, I will not grab it so tightly from now on.
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