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Old 03-15-2015
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: woodbury, New Jersey
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Leaking Oil or Coolant above exhaust manifold. Need Help Please!

I have a 2001 Ford Ranger EXT. 4.0L with 193k miles on it.

Heres my issue: I am leaking either oil or coolant. It is leaking down on the right hand (Driver Side) right above the exhaust manifold, specifically the third cylinder (The middle of the three). I am unsure of this motor, as I have not done much research but it seems like its engine oil. I start the truck and within a couple of minutes, the truck smells like burnt fluid as it covers that top of the exhaust manifold in fluid. I am unsure of what exactly the problem is and how I would fix it. If it is engine oil, I do not burn much at all, it is a really slow drip becuase weeks after an oil change it appears I may be a half a quart low. My thermostat housing was also recently leaking so thats why I can't say for certain that it isn't coolant.

I can provide any answers to more in depth questions that would give some insight into this problem. I dont know if it'd be the exhaust manifold gasket? valve cover gasket? Maybe a head gasket?

I am willing to do the work required to fix this leak. Looking forward to hearing from you guys.

Thanks in advance

(I have a video I took to really show whats going on that I cannot attach to this message, I can send it privately in an email or grab a multitude of photo's if need be.)
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Old 03-15-2015
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Location: Vancouver, BC
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Coolant burning smells sweet and isn't "smoky" it dissipates fairly fast, oil burning doesn't smell sweet and is smoky, sticks around as it burns.

Most likely valve cover gaskets need replacing.
I haven't done this on a 4.0l SOHC but reads like it is just common sense wrench work, outside of a longer socket extension no special tools are needed.
Simple how-to here: 4.0L SOHC Valve Cover Gasket Job - Some Notes - Ford Explorer and Ranger Forums "Serious Explorations"

I would also replace your PCV Valve, the Positive Crankcase Ventilation(PCV) system uses the engines vacuum to keep Blow-by from polluting the air.
Blow-by comes down past the piston/rings each time a cylinder fires, it will create a pressure inside the crankcase and valve covers which can push oil out of these areas.
A working PCV valve keeps the blow-by pressure in the negative pressure area, so helps prevent leaks from starting.
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Old 03-23-2015
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Shasta, Ca
Posts: 15
Like the other guy said it most likely a valve cover gasket. If it was on the other side I would say that it could be one of your heater hoses that was leaking. As far as half a quart low on oil all of the 4.0 rangers that I have had they seem to "consume" that amount of oil between oil changes. 5qts in 4 1/2qts out at 3 to 4k miles and I could never find any leaks. I have had a 1999 (that I put 125k miles on it, end 205K) , a 2005 w/ 175k miles, (I put 90k) and I have a 2009 with 145k miles on it. Owned this one for 18 months and put 60k miles on it. Same oil loss on all three. Coolant on the 4.0 is another issue. The SOHC water inlet housing, what I would call a thermostat housing are a weak link in the water system. They crack all of the time. And could send coolant places that will make you think that something else is broken. The fan clutch is also another weak part. They come on too early and causing the water pump and the fan clutch to fail prematurely. I know I have replaced a lot of them in these 3 trucks. Another concern is the new "yellow" coolant. It is very caustic to the exterior systems. If they are leaking too long it will cause the crank positioning sensor to fail and the truck will not start. Also I had it destroy the rubber damping strip on the harmonic balancer. I hope all of this helps.
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