Overheating/Coolant doesnt flow back in - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


2.9L & 3.0L V6 Tech General discussion of 2.9L and 3.0L V6 Ford Ranger engines.

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Old 04-07-2010
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Icon4 Overheating/Coolant doesnt flow back in

Well im having trouble with the cooling system, the engine starts to overheat you can cool it down by running the heater. It seems to push the coolant into the overflow but does not want to let enough back in, i replaced the radiator cap and it cant be the thermostat cause i took that out. In a 200 mile trip i would have to stop 5 or 6 times because of overheating although the system was never empty, let the engine cool, open radiator, filler up, and drain the over flow so i have coolant at the next stop. My research leads me to the fan clutch, im thinking if the clutch is loose the fan would slip from time to time not spinning at full speed. If the fan isnt running at full speed that should not keep coolant from going back in. Right? There are no leaks on the engine and there is only a little white smoke in the exhaust and thats only on start up. The engine has just turned over to 115,000 miles on my 98 ranger XLT w/ 5 speed trans 4 wheel drive with "shift on the fly" option. I would like to find the problem to be something other then the fan clutch, being as im told you need special tools to remove those parts. If you can help, please do.

Last edited by Bruno; 04-07-2010 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 04-07-2010
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there is only a little white smoke in the exhaust and thats only on start up

Head gasket is leaking. Combustion gases are being forced into the cooling system and pushing the coolant out.
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Old 04-07-2010
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check to see if there is constant coolant flow going through the radiator
if just looks like the coolant is sitting in the upper part of the rad
then the problem could also be that the rad tubes and bottom tank are plugged up
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Old 04-07-2010
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I had this problem with my old subi outback, it was the headgasket going bad.
not saying you have a bad HG, but those symptoms are exactly what I was experiencing. get an test kit to check for emissions in the coolant, or take it to a shop and have them perform the test.

with my outback, I could go a max of 2 hours straight driving on the hwy. and then it would start overheating, so I would pull off the road, let it sit for 10 mins, pop the rad cap off to let the excess pressure out, then refill it will water and it would be good to go for about an hour, but it would do the same thing and it would be a rinse/repeat of above.
prior to finding out it was the HG, I changed the timing belt and everything associated with it (which includes the waterpump). when I pulled it all apart, I found the belt and everything was still in great condition, but I changed it anyways since it was already apart. doing all that did nothing to resolve my overheating problem. so I had a test run and sure enough, there was a slight emissions in my coolant.

at least if it is the HG, it shouldnt be anywhere near as much of a pain in the *** as the subi was. god that car was horrible.
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Old 04-12-2010
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My truck seems to be doing the same thing, only without the overheating. The truck overheated this winter, and then changed the thermostat, and did a coolant flush. Since then it never over heats any more. Heat works great, and I run the truck to get the system completely full with coolant(no air) and after a few drives the over flow, is overflowing, and when I look in the radiator it's half empty. The over flow doesn't bubble, like the head gasket is blown, but maybe it's just a slow leak? I'm not really sure.

Can the coolant tests to measure for exhaust be found in an auto parts store? I never saw them before.
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Old 04-12-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
My truck seems to be doing the same thing, only without the overheating. The truck overheated this winter, and then changed the thermostat, and did a coolant flush. Since then it never over heats any more. Heat works great, and I run the truck to get the system completely full with coolant(no air) and after a few drives the over flow, is overflowing, and when I look in the radiator it's half empty. The over flow doesn't bubble, like the head gasket is blown, but maybe it's just a slow leak? I'm not really sure.

Can the coolant tests to measure for exhaust be found in an auto parts store? I never saw them before.
honestly I dont know, Ive only ever seen them from online distributors.
I think I remember someone mentioning you can get an emissions tester from advanced auto, but as I havent ever looked myself I cant confirm that.
if you have those symptoms, its very possible its an HG, it could be a very small leak, which is why your not overheating.

when you check the rad, is it after its completely cooled down or are you checking it fairly immediate ?
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Old 04-13-2010
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I've checked it both after it's been cooled down, and when it is still pretty warm. The only difference is the amount of pressure in the rad.

I think I'll stop at the shop that inspects my cars, to see if they have that tester. I just don't want to go to all this trouble if I'm not 100% sure that's what it is.

Any one know of any good write ups on changing the heads on the 3.0?
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Old 04-13-2010
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yea, I wouldnt do all that work without being 100% sure its the HG.
an emissions test is pretty much going to be the closest you can get to a confirmation. but you can also run a compression test and that will give you a little more help in determining if it is or isnt an HG.

for the record, my subi also didnt have bubbles in the rad/overflow, nor was my oil milky (it was actually very clean, even after not changing it for almost 5k miles) but what you said about checking it both cold and hot is the exact same deal, if I drove the subi to run errands, came home and parked it over night and checked the next morning, the OF would be topped off and the rad empty.
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Old 04-14-2010
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Well, I stopped at the shop I use for inspections on my way home from work last night. They tested it for free with , and it showed emissions in the air that was in the radiator. Ordered the head gasket kit, as well as the oil pan gasket. Now I just need to find the torque specs for the head bolts, and I'll be in for a fun weekend.

The only part i'm not looking forward too is getting the exhaust manifolds off. I think everything else should be pretty straight forward.
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Old 04-14-2010
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IMO it may be easier to pull the manifold off with the head . If the exaust gasket between the two is still intact , the only two bolts to worry about are the two on the lower manifold , which will be easier to replace if you remove the head/manifold as one unit.
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Old 04-14-2010
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Originally Posted by OTRtech View Post
IMO it may be easier to pull the manifold off with the head . If the exaust gasket between the two is still intact , the only two bolts to worry about are the two on the lower manifold , which will be easier to replace if you remove the head/manifold as one unit.
Great point. I'd rather not risk braking off manifold studs in the head at all costs!
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Old 04-14-2010
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Originally Posted by OTRtech View Post
IMO it may be easier to pull the manifold off with the head . If the exaust gasket between the two is still intact , the only two bolts to worry about are the two on the lower manifold , which will be easier to replace if you remove the head/manifold as one unit.
good call.
sorry to hear it was the HG, but at least you took the right steps to correct the problem, unlike myself that tried everything but replacing the HG first
but at the same time, there was reasoning behind my madness, to do the HG in a Subi with AWD, its almost cheaper to just replace the entire engine block :)
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Old 04-14-2010
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Wow that's crazy. I figured Subarus would be easy. I thought after workin on my Audis everythin else had to be cake.

So anyone have the torque specs?
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  #14  
Old 04-14-2010
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Shell out the ~$20 for a Haynes manual. It has what you need along with other info that will come in handy.
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Old 04-15-2010
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Yeah, I might have to. I was a little dissapointed in the last couple haynes manuals I've had. I prefer online or pdf versions when possible though. Being in IT I am biased towards electronic documents. Plus I was spoiled by my Mitchell1 free trial, but that is gone now.

However I did just find that on Autozone.com you can sign up and they have free repair info for all vehicles. Pretty detailed info it seems.
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Old 04-15-2010
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Wow that's crazy. I figured Subarus would be easy. I thought after workin on my Audis everythin else had to be cake.

So anyone have the torque specs?
subi's with the 2.2l engine that arent AWD are basically the same as any FWD car, but once you hit the AWD and the 2.5l engine it goes down hill from there :D
I was quoted $723.00 to replace the clutch, and that was with me supplying the clutch, which cost $250.0 in itself !!
the HG was priced at $1700-$2300 depending on what else was involved.

granted, I would have saved quite a bit of money if I could do the work myself, but it wasnt much of an option as I have limited experience working on vehicles in general, but had no real desire to tackle an AWD system.

I also think getting a haynes is a good idea most of the time, if for nothing else than as a compare.
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Old 04-15-2010
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Go to Autozone, not advance auto or napa, and ask them for a block tester. It is a clear tube with a rubber thing on the end of it that you stick where the radiator cap is and then you run the truck and see if it turns color. They loan them out for free but you have the buy the fluid which is like 5 or 10 bucks.
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Old 04-20-2010
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New head gaskets fixed my issue. That was a long freakin weekend. Got my oil pan gasket on too, but now it looks like the actual pan is weeping through the rust. Can't win.
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Old 04-20-2010
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wow, and after you got it all put back together too
but with luck, once you replace that you should be good to go for a while.

did you check the timing chain and pulleys/tensioner while it was apart ?
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