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  #1  
Old 11-08-2020, 12:06 PM
pw2buz pw2buz is offline
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Default Cooant loss, 1993 Ranger 3.0 engine

There are no visible leaks under car or under hood. Water pump replaced May 2015 at 287,000 miles, now have 317,000 miles. I change coolant about every two years. Has never overheated since I bought the truck in 1998 (122,000 miles).

I checked coolant, engine and transmission oil for signs of contamination and found all looked clean. Loses 1 or 2 cups coolant every day or two (commute is 70 miles round trip). No white clouds from the exhaust. Heater when set hot always delivers.

Temperature gauge fluctuated 3+- needle widths in middle of gauge. Shop replaced thermostat, pressure tested radiator, heater core, engine block, radiator cap; passed test. Temperature gauge now steady, no fluctuations. It seemed the coolant loss problem solved for about three days then I checked and found coolant low in radiator & overflow tank, still no visible leaks or puddles.

I replaced the radiator cap in January 2013 with an OEM Motorcraft cap. I'll replace it and again check the overflow tank hose. I have not looked at the spark plugs. I'll run the engine until hot and thermostat is open and watch for inconspicuous leaks.

What's left to check?

PW2BUZ
Ranger 3.0, auto trans., backup camera,
317K miles +
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  #2  
Old 11-08-2020, 12:32 PM
SargeV6 SargeV6 is offline
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Default Re: Cooant loss, 1993 Ranger 3.0 engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by pw2buz View Post
There are no visible leaks under car or under hood. Water pump replaced May 2015 at 287,000 miles, now have 317,000 miles. I change coolant about every two years. Has never overheated since I bought the truck in 1998 (122,000 miles).



I checked coolant, engine and transmission oil for signs of contamination and found all looked clean. Loses 1 or 2 cups coolant every day or two (commute is 70 miles round trip). No white clouds from the exhaust. Heater when set hot always delivers.



Temperature gauge fluctuated 3+- needle widths in middle of gauge. Shop replaced thermostat, pressure tested radiator, heater core, engine block, radiator cap; passed test. Temperature gauge now steady, no fluctuations. It seemed the coolant loss problem solved for about three days then I checked and found coolant low in radiator & overflow tank, still no visible leaks or puddles.



I replaced the radiator cap in January 2013 with an OEM Motorcraft cap. I'll replace it and again check the overflow tank hose. I have not looked at the spark plugs. I'll run the engine until hot and thermostat is open and watch for inconspicuous leaks.



What's left to check?



PW2BUZ

Ranger 3.0, auto trans., backup camera,

317K miles +
When you fill the coolant do you leave funnel in and coolant to the top( don't let it run out)turn on heater to low and make sure reservoir is a 1/4 pass full. And then once funnel is done bubbling install cap and run it in park to 3500 rpms for about 10 secs and slightly let off gas pedal all the way down to normal operation for 10 sec and repeat 2 more times. Check reservoir level and repeat 1 more time. Sounds to me like you have air pockets.

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  #3  
Old 11-08-2020, 01:20 PM
pw2buz pw2buz is offline
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Default Re: Cooant loss, 1993 Ranger 3.0 engine

Thanks Sarge V6! I'll try what you recommend.

Other than the coolant problem, my slow 3.0 runs very well.

PW2BUZ
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  #4  
Old 11-08-2020, 06:11 PM
SargeV6 SargeV6 is offline
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Default Re: Cooant loss, 1993 Ranger 3.0 engine

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Originally Posted by pw2buz View Post
Thanks Sarge V6! I'll try what you recommend.

Other than the coolant problem, my slow 3.0 runs very well.

PW2BUZ
Np. Let me know if it solves the problem

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  #5  
Old 11-08-2020, 09:20 PM
pw2buz pw2buz is offline
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Default Re: Coolant loss, 1993 Ranger 3.0 engine

To Sarge V6,

I'll let you know how your fix worked. Probably driving the Ranger to work tomorrow,
70 miles round trip. I appreciate your quick response. Next time I'll do a better job proofreading my post. "Cooant" indeed!

PW2BUS
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  #6  
Old 11-08-2020, 09:24 PM
SargeV6 SargeV6 is offline
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Default Re: Coolant loss, 1993 Ranger 3.0 engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by pw2buz View Post
To Sarge V6,



I'll let you know how your fix worked. Probably driving the Ranger to work tomorrow,

70 miles round trip. I appreciate your quick response. Next time I'll do a better job proofreading my post. "Cooant" indeed!



PW2BUS
Glad to help

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  #7  
Old 11-14-2020, 10:39 AM
pw2buz pw2buz is offline
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Default Re: Coolant loss, 1993 Ranger 3.0 engine

Sarge V6,

Here's the latest on my '93 Ranger's problem.

1. Using cooling system pressure tester, tested cooling system for leaks with engine cold after sitting all night. Pumped pressure to about 15 psi, which dropped to about 13 psi after two minutes, then remained absolutely steady for four minutes. External inspection revealed no leaks. Inspected heater hose connections, thermostat to radiator connections, bottom radiator hose connections, and no antifreeze smell or wetness in cab. No evidence of water in engine oil or transmission fluid.

2. Tested for internal (engine) leaks by attaching pressure tester to radiator and starting engine, letting it idle. Pressure started building (noted readings on pressure tester gauge) almost immediately. I let the pressure rise to about eleven psi and shut off engine.

3. Removed pressure tester and coolant welled up in radiator neck and spilled over.

Looks like the truck has a bad head gasket. The remaining questions are where is the coolant going, and which cylinder head has the bad gasket? I see no evidence of it being expelled through the overflow tank (no wetness near it), and I replaced the overflow hose. Maybe the coolant is going out the exhaust.
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  #8  
Old 11-17-2020, 11:31 AM
dvrich dvrich is offline
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Default Re: Cooant loss, 1993 Ranger 3.0 engine

Have an engine oil analysis done and that will let you know if coolant is getting into the oil.
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  #9  
Old 11-17-2020, 01:04 PM
wpginterceptor wpginterceptor is offline
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Default Re: Cooant loss, 1993 Ranger 3.0 engine

pull the plugs and look at em individually!
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  #10  
Old 11-17-2020, 02:22 PM
pw2buz pw2buz is offline
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Default Re: Coolant loss, 1993 Ranger 3.0 engine

Thanks all for your replies.

I've decided to replace the engine with a rebuilt or remanufactured one. My most recent pressure test showed internal engine leakage (likely combustion gases) into the cooling system.

Since the engine has 317,000+ miles, it seems timely to replace it rather than fix the head gasket (or cracked/warped head). I went to one shop which said (not in writing) that fixing the head/head gasket would be about $4,000 and a reman. about $7,000. I had the feeling the person I spoke with wanted to get rid of me.

The second shop gave a rough estimate of about $3,000 (used engine), more if I choose rebuilt or reman.

Probably the engine has a bad lifter, too. Ticking at startup with slight engine roughness.

More later.

PW2BUZ
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