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  #1  
Old 11-05-2010, 10:40 AM
turner24 turner24 is offline
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Default Brown antifreeze question.

Hey all,

I recently noticed my antifreeze has turned brown and am curious what would cause this. I've heard it could be a blown head gasket or could just be caused by rust. Either one doesn't sound good, but on another note, I hit a deer about 5 months back which dented the small radiator located in front of the main one. The fluid level has stayed the same and hasn't been leaking. The engine has also been running normal. Any suggestions on what I should do or worry about?
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  #2  
Old 11-05-2010, 11:48 AM
sgtsandman sgtsandman is offline
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Default Re: Brown antifreeze question.

I would suspect it's oil leaking into the coolant.

The small radiator in front the radiator is probably the a/c condensor.
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  #3  
Old 11-05-2010, 12:07 PM
01_ranger_4x4 01_ranger_4x4 is offline
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Default Re: Brown antifreeze question.

is it still somewhat clear but brown or does it look like cappuccino?
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  #4  
Old 11-05-2010, 01:16 PM
SPless SPless is offline
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Default Re: Brown antifreeze question.

the small radiator in front is completely seperate. It is the transmission cooler. On a side note, mine has been "brown" for the past couple years but still passes a test. Try to find someone with a coolant temp test and as long as it passes that you're fine.
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  #5  
Old 11-05-2010, 01:34 PM
Solo V8 4G Solo V8 4G is offline
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Default Re: Brown antifreeze question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 01_ranger_4x4 View Post
is it still somewhat clear but brown or does it look like cappuccino?
mmmmmm cappuccino! Im having one right now!
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:08 PM
Solo V8 4G Solo V8 4G is offline
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Default Re: Brown antifreeze question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SPless View Post
the small radiator in front is completely seperate. It is the transmission cooler. On a side note, mine has been "brown" for the past couple years but still passes a test. Try to find someone with a coolant temp test and as long as it passes that you're fine.
If your radiator has cappuccino looking fluid in it, its most definately time for a flush. Your radiator could be starting to rust on the inside. If this is the case I would flush it using the dishwasher detergent. Only use this though, as it does not foam up (think about it, ever seen you dish washer over flow with bubbles from the correct detergent?). The first step to your flush should be just getting the engine hot, drain the old coolant, with reasonable time allowing the engine to maintain warm and the thermostat open, then mix a 100% water with 1 tablespoon of dish detergent to ever gallon of water (should be 2.5 gallons) let this run through your engine for about 15 - 20 after the engine has reached operating temp. Drain the solution. Flush again with nothing but water with the drain open (to monitor the color), once the water is clear. Refill with normal 50/50 mixture. I myself would only use Motorcraft or Peak coolant. Prestone has gunked up on me and several different people I know.
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98 Ranger, Bagged 2600's in the front, 2500's in the rear. 3 Gal tank. DJM Upper and Lower control arms. 2 Thomas Compressors (garbage). 4 linked rear with C-notch. All (except cab) fiberglass. Custom Tribal Paint (soon to be Sunburst/burnt Orange).
Coming soon - 405HP 4.6L (SOHC), 4R70W
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  #7  
Old 11-05-2010, 10:12 PM
SPless SPless is offline
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Default Re: Brown antifreeze question.

I guess I should, I'll let my dad look at it next time I go home. I haven't payed any attention to it but he's a mehanic and will know what to do
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'94 Single Cab 4cyl 5spd
Still in the parts collecting stage for a 2.3t swap
Old:
1999 F150 ext cab 4.6 4x4--Totalled
1995 F250 ext cab long bed 7.3 4x4--Sold
1999 Ranger ext cab 3.0 2wd--Sold
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  #8  
Old 11-08-2010, 03:05 PM
turner24 turner24 is offline
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Default Re: Brown antifreeze question.

Thanks for the information everyone. I went ahead and flushed my radiator and broke the drain plug in the process. Had to run over to autozone and get another one. But all in all the flush was a success. I ended up using a product called "flush" which worked just fine. No leaks from my radiator and the fluid has stayed green. So hopefully I'm in the clear!

Thanks again.
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  #9  
Old 11-09-2010, 05:54 PM
bluerang3r bluerang3r is offline
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Default Re: Brown antifreeze question.

if your head gasket was broke you would know about it cause your engine would be overheating and losing water in the radiator... and the reserve tank would always be empty... thats what happened to my ol dodge.... i wasnt very happy but i changed it myself and it actually was a easy job but on a new ranger i think it would be a huge pain
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  #10  
Old 11-10-2010, 02:37 PM
turner24 turner24 is offline
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Exclamation Re: Brown antifreeze question.

Update:

After recently flushing my radiator I've noticed the antifreeze in my reservoir is now black!?! It's been 4 days since the flush. I have no idea what that could mean. Also, I've noticed there is a lot of pressure when taking the radiator cap off when the truck has idled for no more than 2-3 minutes (cap is still very cold). The good thing is I haven't had any temperature issues. Anyone know a possible cause?
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  #11  
Old 11-10-2010, 04:40 PM
bluerang3r bluerang3r is offline
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Default Re: Brown antifreeze question.

i found this posted on the internet..
Coolant contamination first comes to mind. This is not the floating engine oil stain type of black right? Is it almost like having black coffee in there?


If you have no engine oil, head gasket or ATF cooler leaks, then you
may want to check acidic coolant and a bad case of corrosion.
Particularly if you observe powdery deposits at the bottom of the
coolant reservoir tank.


If the coolant (and nothing else) is the problem, don't just drain and
refill. Get a complete power flush and refill with distilled water
diluted coolant mix of 50/50%.
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