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Old 07-25-2010
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truck running hot, losing transmission fluid

Ok, so here is my story.. My truck is a 1993 XL supercab 4x4, auto, with 40k....The truck was a shop truck until last summer, so I really don't know what maintenance was done during that time...

Anyway, this summer my check oil light began coming on sporadically, just for a few minutes at a time..I took it to a shop, they said it was the oil fill sensor, so no biggie...

So I'm driving home, I keep thinking I see smoke coming out the back, but it's so hazy I really can't tell..So I pull off to take a look under the hood, before I can pull off, my coolant temp needle starts jumping. (not a normal rise/fall, but snap your fingers and it goes to hot, back to normal, back to hot, etc....) I check my coolant, its full, let the truck sit for a bit, then start again.. As I'm driving down the road, I feel like when I push down on the gas, not much is happening. Truck is at the upper end of the normal range, but not in the danger zone. I pull off at a gas station, and when I try to pull back on, my revs go up, but I have zero power...Truck overheats, spews nasty dark kinda thick brown coolant from the plastic reservoir, and loses all the transmission fluid. (IDK where the fluid came from, I couldn't pinpoint it at the time.)

I get it towed to a shop.. The guy fills the transmission fluid, and the truck is running and shifting fine, but it is running really hot really quick... I haven't talked to him yet to see if the trans fluid has leaked out yet.

Does this spark up anyone's brains? Anybody have an idea what could be the possible problem? I'm thinking maybe the trans cooler, or something, I may have him replace the thermostat...I'm kind of at a loss here. I don't want to spend booku money and still not have a reliable truck that i can trust...

Last edited by scamry; 07-25-2010 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 07-27-2010
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sounds like the trans cooler inside the radiator took a dump. The dark coolant is most likley the atf and the coolant mixing.
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Old 07-27-2010
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that's what i'm thinking too...my question is where did all the transmission fluid come out at? it isn't leaking now...what could get hot and leak like that?
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Old 07-28-2010
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I have the same Exact problem right now

I'm going to bypass the radiator cooler and put an after market cooler on - there is a possibility that our Upper Vent is clogged on the top of the tranny causing it not ot vent properly, and then it's overheating as well.

I'm going to do the external cooler tonight probably or this weekend, but I'm going to drive it tonight. I actually overfilled the tranny the night it happened AFter I dumped all the tranny fluid, but it drives Fine now.

i'm hoping that the external cooler will help and keep it running until I get it ironed out I won't be driving more than about 30 miles at a time.

Glad to hear someone else is having the problem BTW, I had slight front Tranny seal leak, but it DUMPED everything when it got hot, and with no fluid it wouldn't move, now with fluid it moves fine and drives fine.

Subing to this to see if your fix can fix mine if my fix doesn't work.

OH, I'm planning on M5OD swap due to this or a ZF swap because I didn't like being towed home one bit...
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Old 07-28-2010
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get the zf tranny

it is a hell of a-lot better transmission
and a-lot more stout
plus you can install a atlas 2 transfer case with a cable shifter

that is what a alot of jeep people do

multiple choices of forward drive functions

they are pricey but well worth the cost
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Old 07-28-2010
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Well if I do that will be a little longer till I do the swap so definately donig the external cooler and not running through the radiator.
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Old 07-28-2010
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the radiator cooler for the tranny is not a cooler at all

the engine coolant just heats it up even more
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Old 07-28-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheese_man View Post
the radiator cooler for the tranny is not a cooler at all

the engine coolant just heats it up even more
elaborate on this please.
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Old 07-28-2010
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the tranny cooler resides in the bottom of the radiator on older model rangers

the newer rangers have a separate tranny cooler mounted in front of the radiator

the older model radiators with the built in tranny coolers actually heated up the transmission fluid even more from the original temperature the transmission fluid flowed in at

the best place to place the aftermarket tranny cooler is directly in front and centre of the radiator

if you look at the centre of the ford emblem ,, that is where the centre of the aftermarket cooler should reside
so it gets unrestricted air flow through the grille

am i clear now
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Old 07-28-2010
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yes thank you kind sir. very informative. after doing some research, i think this is indeed my problem...plan of action is to look at the thermostat, then check out the radiator.

Should i replace the radiator if i am going to be using a external tranny cooler?
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Old 07-28-2010
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the proper maintenance thing to do is!

replace all of the coolant hoses -- including the heater core hoses as well

replace the thermostat with 1 called FAILSAFE
( if it does fail , it will fail in the open position , it will over-cool the coolant rather than lettting the engine overheat , and preventing a costly engine rebuild

and yes you might as well replace the radiator

consider it added insurance for the next few years
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Old 07-28-2010
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the trans cooler inside the radiator does actually work as a cooler, say the coolant temp is 200 degrees and the trans temp is 250 degrees, the coolant will extract the heat from the trans fluid. My truck for instance has a trans cooler in the radiator and also has an external cooler from the factory. I would def replace the radiator and thermostat, so your not getting any coolant inside the trans. Coolant inside the trans can wipe out clutches and bands. When you put your radiator in, i would flush out the coolant passages and get the trans fluid out.
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Old 07-28-2010
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yeah, i will definitely be doing a lot of flushing haha... should i be worried about the transmission???

..like i said earlier, it lost all the fluid when it overheated, but when it was filled up again, it shifted fine...


and thanks for the info on the failsafe, i don't know why all thermostats aren't made like that? haha
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Old 07-28-2010
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yes true but

that totally destroys the function of the radiator to cool down the coolant temperature

when it reaches the bottom of the rad -it is then reheated by contact with internal tranny cooler tank

switching to an independant cooler serves a far better purpose of keeping the tranny fluid cool
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Old 07-28-2010
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i say take it to a tranny mechanic and have drop the tranny pan

he can determine if there is any internal damage from the overheat problem
( I:E metal particles / grit in the bottom of the transmission pan
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Old 07-28-2010
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i have it at a shop but the guy doesn't seem to want to fix it, so i'm taking it somewhere else, just gotta find the right guy.
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Old 07-28-2010
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any tranny shop can drop the pan and do a full assessment of the tranny
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Old 07-28-2010
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Well,

Same problem here, I came home, flushed the radiator, all coolant passages and then took it for a drive.

I picked up a RV size tranny cooler and I'm curious as the best way to block off the existing tranny lines that run into the bottom of the radiator. I will do the radiator replacement but i just picked up the truck and I'm honestly trying to get it running to get the inspection done - have to fix the header leak, and then also get the exhaust sorted out because it won't pass inspection with that, so get her running Right, off to the exhaust shop for tailpipes, and then I'll get back to a replacement radiator.

So, you guys are recommending to bypass the stock cooler that runs to the bottom of the radiator with the large aftermarket one I got.

If so, best way to close off the stock inlet and outlet tubes would be?
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Old 07-29-2010
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any plumbing hardware store has the proper threaded bolts to seal it off

but the best way to delete the tank is to get a new rad , but order 1 for a vehicle that has a standard transmission ( but with the same factory options ) IE: air cond power windows etc
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Old 07-31-2010
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ok, so my plan is thermostat, radiator, and huge tranny cooler. then dump the pan and have someone take a look at it.

if i end up having to replace the transmission, is it a straight swap if i want to go to a 4r44e or 55e, since they are mechanically identical? does anything else have to be done?
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Old 07-31-2010
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you will have to ask the dealer about that
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Old 07-31-2010
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Did a Huge RV cooler, discovered previous own had one on but ran the line BACKWARDS - by that I mean the cooled it fine, but sent it from external oil cooler to the bottom of the radiator instead of the top after the oil cooler.

it flow's Great now, however, the seal is so shot it still leaks:(

Now to decided if it's M50D - found an explorer for 450 with everything... That includes an extra 4.0 with only 30k on it...

Another Auto, found the reman for 699 with 24k mile warrenty to my door for 750...

Or, look for a ZF which i haven't found yet...
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Old 07-31-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scamry View Post
ok, so my plan is thermostat, radiator, and huge tranny cooler. then dump the pan and have someone take a look at it.

if i end up having to replace the transmission, is it a straight swap if i want to go to a 4r44e or 55e, since they are mechanically identical? does anything else have to be done?
I was told the ECU's are different for the 4r44e and the 55e's...
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Old 08-05-2010
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attempted to change the thermostat today...one bolt came out just fine..the other broke about a quarter of the way up...excellent.

now to see whether i trust my hand at drilling in and putting an ez out in there..don't feel like missing and making a new hole...
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  #25  
Old 09-09-2010
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Did you figure it out man?
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