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  #1  
Old 02-23-2006
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Cheap clamps and kind people

Last nite, I'm waiting at the light just a mile down the road from where I work. It's about 6pm, I'm tired, and waiting for this long light to let me go home. I see this guy behind me get out of his car, and start to walk towards my truck. I'm wondering "did I **** someone off, does he need directions, or did something fall off the truck"?

He comes up to my side, and says "There is water just poring out of your truck". I look down at the temp gauge, and it looks normal. No weird smells are coming out, so I'm thinking "WTF?"
He asks if I've just washed the truck, and I say "nope". He tells me I've been dumping water since he got behind me, so I thank him and check under the truck.

Yup, there's green water coming from under the engine. "That's not good", I mumble to myself, as I jump back in and wait for the light to change.

I jump ahead of the other cars and pull into a gas station just up the road. There's a water outlet by the carwash, so I pull up to it. Opening the hood, I can smell antifreeze, and notice it's all over the right side of the engine. I'm hoping my new radiator hasn't cracked a seam, when I spot the culprit. The damn overflow hose has popped off the radiator and was giving the engine a glycol bath. The stupid quick clamp has come loose, and the hose popped out when the system heated up.

I grab my trusty leatherman and fix up the clamp, so I can put the hose back. I fill up the overflow bottle, and make sure the radiator digests the additional liquid. Then, I flush the remaining anitfreeze off the engine. It still smells like burnt antifreeze, but it's all I can do for now.

I nurse it back home, and grab myself a REAL clamp from my parts drawer. Of course, the radiator has to squirt the engine again when I pull off the old clamp. I install my new clamp, and then steam clean the engine bay. Problem solved.

I'm posting this so everyone will go out and check their hose clamps. The factory quick clamps aren't the most reliable of things. Just a quick tug on each hose will validate that they are good to go. Otherwise, you may not have some kind stranger tell you something bad is about to occur, like I did.
I thank the kindness of this unknown person for saving my day.

Last edited by SilverTank; 02-23-2006 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 02-23-2006
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ya my mustang smells like that everytime i get done driving it cuz theres a small hole in the overflow bottle
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Old 02-23-2006
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I'm glad that you caught it before losing enough coolant to matter. That guy probably saved you a lot of grief.

The hose to the coolant recovery bottle should see no appreciable pressure that would pop the hose off. My truck came from the factory with no clamp at all. Are you sure that the hose was fully installed onto the tee when the radiator was replaced? Also, did the replacement radiator have the same diameter leg as on the original tee? The aftermarket has been known to take liberties with such 'details'.
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Old 02-23-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwenzing
I'm glad that you caught it before losing enough coolant to matter. That guy probably saved you a lot of grief.

The hose to the coolant recovery bottle should see no appreciable pressure that would pop the hose off. My truck came from the factory with no clamp at all. Are you sure that the hose was fully installed onto the tee when the radiator was replaced? Also, did the replacement radiator have the same diameter leg as on the original tee? The aftermarket has been known to take liberties with such 'details'.
I agree, the guy might have saved my engine. I doubt the all aluminium dohc would take too much heat before things started to go bad. I owe him big time.

The radiator is a Ford OEM part installed by the dealer. There is nothing aftermarket on it. It should have been the same as the factory part.
I think the quick clamps are only made to be used once. It probably streched a bit when removed, and it was never the same again. Add the weird loop that the hose makes, the slipperiness of the antifreeze, and I could see it happening. There is some pressure when the system is hot. It's not a lot, but it would be enough to pop a loose hose.
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Old 02-23-2006
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I agree with Bob, there shouldn't be ANY pressure in your overflow tank, even when warm. The only way I could see there being pressure is if you radiator cap is bad. It's only supposed to let a very small amount pass to relieve pressure in the core, then seal off. Also, that hose shouldn't spray anything, at most drip residual fluid that didn't drain into the resivior. That could be another sign of a bad cap.

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Old 02-23-2006
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The cap is rated at 16psi, which means the system runs pressurized. The overflow tank also holds residual air, meaning the radiator runs full. Even at 70% glycol, the radiator fluid will expand. Pop off the overflow hose, and the pressure will push liquid out the pipe. It's a pressurized system, so opening a hole means it will come out under pressure. There's no air in the radiator, so it will be fluid that comes out. It will come out at less than 16psi, which is still enough for a good spray since the hole is small.

Don't believe me, start your engine, warm it up, and pop off the overflow hose. I spent last night cleaning my engine, so I don't need anyone telling me what does or doesn't happen when that hose pops off.
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Old 02-23-2006
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I know that when I changed my coolant over to evans npg+ waterless cooland I had the overflow hose off the tank and coolant came out under pressure from the upper hose that the coolant normally flows through while the engine is running.
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Old 02-23-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RNGMSTR
I know that when I changed my coolant over to evans npg+ waterless cooland I had the overflow hose off the tank and coolant came out under pressure from the upper hose that the coolant normally flows through while the engine is running.
Yes, that's how it works.
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Old 02-23-2006
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R.J.,
I'm not sure if most of the readers here realize that the 2.3 dohc has a different cooling system than most Rangers. Our "overflow" tank is called a degas tank, since it's there to seperate out the air from the cooling system. Also, 2.3 dohc's have two hoses into the degas tank, one is a fluid bypass from the upper radiator tube, while the second one is off the right side of the radiator itself (the one that popped in my case). 2.3 dohc's don't have a "radiator cap" as ours is on the degas tank and rated for 16psi. It's an active system, and you can see fluid moving in and out of the the tank while the engine runs. What this means, is that our "overflow tank" is not a simple pressure and vacuum system like other trucks. Ours is pressurized, and will backflow into the system if a hose becomes disconnected. We also have both an engine driven fan and an electric fan, so we can keep our all aluminium engine cool.

I find this system quite robust, but I still dislike the quick clamps that auto makers continue to use. I recommend checking your hose clamps on a routine basis, and replacing critical ones with conventional worm drive clamps.
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Old 02-23-2006
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I understand what you are saying, however the 2.3L DOHC engine in the 2003 is not exactely identical to that of the 2001. I do have 2 hoses going to the degas tank, they are quite small, like 1/4-3/8 id at most. My truck came from the factory with a engine drivin mechanical fan only. I do have an electric fan now that I bought/installed myself to save the un-needed strain on the engine from the stock mechanical fan. My truck had no electric fan from the factory. When they went to the 2.5L and then back to the 2.3L again, it was/is a different engine configuration.
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Old 02-23-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RNGMSTR
I understand what you are saying, however the 2.3L DOHC engine in the 2003 is not exactely identical to that of the 2001. I do have 2 hoses going to the degas tank, they are quite small, like 1/4-3/8 id at most. My truck came from the factory with a engine drivin mechanical fan only. I do have an electric fan now that I bought/installed myself to save the un-needed strain on the engine from the stock mechanical fan. My truck had no electric fan from the factory. When they went to the 2.5L and then back to the 2.3L again, it was/is a different engine configuration.
Weirdness. I guess Ford decided that the manual fan was enough, so they stopped adding the electric one. I didn't know I had two fans until Jason Allen pointed it out at a Ranger meeting. Good thing I didn't have my fingers in there thinking I only had one fan. Did you remove your engine fan when you installed the electric one, or just keep both?
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Old 02-23-2006
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Stock fan has been removed and is in a garbage dump someplace. I didn't like the fact that it was robbing the engine of power, add un-needed strain and robbing me of fuel milleage. I live in Michigan and have no need to have a fan spinning without being needed for 5 months out of the year.
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Old 02-24-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverTank
R.J.,
I'm not sure if most of the readers here realize that the 2.3 dohc has a different cooling system than most Rangers.

I find this system quite robust, but I still dislike the quick clamps that auto makers continue to use. I recommend checking your hose clamps on a routine basis, and replacing critical ones with conventional worm drive clamps.
Thanks for the explanation, George. I see what you're talking about now and that explains why your truck has a clamp while mine doesn't have or need one.

I don't have a 2.3L here to look at but I am picturing an OE clamp that looked something like one of these:


They are constant tension clamps and are used for a reason that goes beyond cost. With age and after many expansion/contraction cycles of the hose and the metal or plastic inside it, a regular hose clamp can flatten the rubber of the hose. This, combined with the heat/age hardening of the rubber can lead to leaks. The constant tension type holds the hose clamped by strong spring tension that 'gives' with thermal cycling to maintain clamping pressure over many years, even as the hose changes shape permanently.

The OE clamp (presumably) never gave you trouble before the radiator swap. This leads me to believe that the failure was related to that repair. Maybe the clamp was damaged or maybe it was incorrectly installed. As you pointed out, the coolant makes a great lubricant and could have turned a sloppy repair into a large leak.

If you prefer to use the worm-drive clamps, it might be a good idea to check them occasionally to ensure that they are still tight over the long term.



Quote:
Originally Posted by RNGMSTR
I understand what you are saying, however the 2.3L DOHC engine in the 2003 is not exactely identical to that of the 2001. I do have 2 hoses going to the degas tank, they are quite small, like 1/4-3/8 id at most. My truck came from the factory with a engine drivin mechanical fan only.
Once again, I don't have a 2.3L of any year to look at. However, the 2003 and 2004 Ford Wiring Manuals both continue to show the factory e-fan on the 2.3L Ranger. Could be a misprint.
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Old 02-24-2006
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one of those was on my lower radiator hose and it also failed last year i cought it just in time it was pouring out fluid fast.....
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Old 02-24-2006
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Originally Posted by Redneckstone


one of those was on my lower radiator hose and it also failed last year i cought it just in time it was pouring out fluid fast.....
That's on your 93, right? Not that surprising, I guess.
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Old 02-24-2006
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Originally Posted by rwenzing
That's on your 93, right? Not that surprising, I guess.
yepper on my silver truck i replaced almost all of them with the screw on clamps. i havent checked my splash with the 4.0L yet if it has them.
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