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  #1  
Old 11-25-2010, 10:52 AM
johndeerekid johndeerekid is offline
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Default Overflow tank cap issue

Hi all! I just joined this morning and so far what I've read has been really helpful.

I'm having an issue with my 93 Ranger and hope you can lead me in the right direction. So far, we've just taken it on short trips to town or to my inlaws, not more than 10 miles. Every time we stop, we smell antifreeze. Upon inspection under the hood, the cap on the overflow tank is open. This doesn't happen every time we drive it, but it has happened more than a few times and we're wondering what's causing it. The truck runs fine, no misses or anything and the temperature is where it should be.

Anybody have any ideas? My husband is wondering if we have a bad radiator cap, but thought I'd run it by you all.

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  #2  
Old 11-25-2010, 10:59 AM
DangerRangerII DangerRangerII is offline
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Default Re: Overflow tank cap issue

The same thing was happening to my 97 to and from school. So I work at jiffy lube and decided that i would change my coolant. While pumping it out there were a few air pockets that made their way through. When the air pockets get hot and up to the overflow tube they blow the bubble out and it pushes the coolant up like blowing through a straw. I would recommend getting your engine coolant flushed.
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  #3  
Old 12-03-2010, 07:04 PM
darrinq darrinq is offline
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Default Re: Overflow tank cap issue

bad head gasket will build pressure in the tank
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  #4  
Old 12-20-2010, 02:00 PM
Paulcrzy Paulcrzy is offline
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Thumbs down Re: Overflow tank cap issue

I also have a 1993 Ranger. I am dealing with an issue similar to this. We had the freeze plugs blow out on us during the summer (I know right?!). Our cousin replaced the freeze plugs and put a new radiator in. We got it back and the temp gauge is going up and down from the N in normal to the L and back again. It never goes past the L.

I replaced the thermostat, with the assumption it was going bad and was opening late and closing early. It did not work

I replaced the fan blades. In-between every blade the plastic was cracked. My thought was if the blades made the clutch off center it might not engage correctly and cause it to not get the air needed. It did not work.

I replaced the water pump. At this point I could hear water trickling through heater core area and assumed the pump was going bad and was not pushing the amount of water needed. It did not work.

Last night I was driving home and the temp gauge spiked to "/H" and did not return down with in 3-4 seconds. I cut the engine off and when I did, I heard GULPING sounds from the heater core.

I replaced the heater core this morning. I do not hear the trickling or the gulping anymore but it still goes up to L but not "/H". It did not work.

I only have the fan clutch, overflow hose, and overflow tank left to replace. **aside from the sensors themselves**

Notes on truck:
It never does this at idle.
There is no specific speed that it does it more or less at.
Often times after this happened I open the hood to find the connection from the overflow hose to the overflow tank has expelled coolant. *Not a lot but some - tank is still 1/2 full*
When I open the radiator cap after it has cooled (warm not cold) it releases pressure and I can hear it blowing air/air bubbles into the over flow tank.
After it does this the radiator cap is cool to the touch but the radiator is hot.
When I open the radiator after this has happened and the engine is cool I need to add 1/4 to 1/2 gallon of coolant.


Any thoughts?
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  #5  
Old 12-20-2010, 02:25 PM
FireRanger FireRanger is offline
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Default Re: Overflow tank cap issue

The radiator cap isa pressure relief valve and it can go bad. At about 14psi, it will open and allow coolant and/or air to vent into the overflow tank. If it is going bad, then the system will not build pressure and can start overflowing. Also, it allows the cooling system to suck excess coolant back in from the tank as it cools. Again if the cap isn't working, it won't be able to replensish what expands out of it. Replace the cap and see if the problems presist.

If that isn't the problem, then I would suspect a head gasket leak. That is the only other way excess pressure can be induced into the cooling system.
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Last edited by FireRanger; 12-20-2010 at 02:57 PM.
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  #6  
Old 12-20-2010, 02:28 PM
brobes600 brobes600 is offline
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Default Re: Overflow tank cap issue

im prob gunna say blown head gasket. drain ur oil and check for coolent while it drains. you should see it right away
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  #7  
Old 12-20-2010, 03:04 PM
Paulcrzy Paulcrzy is offline
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Default Re: Overflow tank cap issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by brobes600 View Post
im prob gunna say blown head gasket. drain ur oil and check for coolent while it drains. you should see it right away
This has been an issue since the summer. I just changed the oil about 2 weeks ago. Nothing out of the ordinary there. Since the big spike last night, are you suggesting do it again?
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  #8  
Old 12-20-2010, 03:55 PM
FireRanger FireRanger is offline
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Default Re: Overflow tank cap issue

Have the signs and symptoms changed or gotten worse since the last oil change? Also, you can sometimes see evidence of water on the dipstick and oil cap.
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  #9  
Old 12-20-2010, 06:26 PM
Paulcrzy Paulcrzy is offline
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Default Re: Overflow tank cap issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by FireRanger View Post
Have the signs and symptoms changed or gotten worse since the last oil change? Also, you can sometimes see evidence of water on the dipstick and oil cap.
Stayed the same. With the cooler weather it does not do it as often but the swings are wider. Still nothing unseen.....until last night.
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  #10  
Old 12-20-2010, 06:48 PM
FireRanger FireRanger is offline
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Default Re: Overflow tank cap issue

If the needle just jumps to H (not a slow steady rise), then it is probably due to the low coolant. The temperature sensor will spike when hot vapor hits it, since it is much hotter than coolant should be. This also jives with you hearing air and having to add coolant.

Replace the radiator cap, since it is the only thing left, and see what happens. If it happens again, I guarantee you have a head gasket leak.
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How to: Aux light wiring, relays, & fuses
Info: 300+ intake threads here on FRF
Info: HID Projectors
How To: NO HEAT Troubleshooting Guide
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  #11  
Old 12-20-2010, 07:17 PM
Paulcrzy Paulcrzy is offline
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Default Re: Overflow tank cap issue

I read on another forum about burping the system.
The steps they said were

Fill radiator (cold engine - leave radiator cap off)
Run Engine
Allow engine to get to normal temperature
Allow for burping/puking of coolant from radiator
Fill radiator as burping occurs to replace fluid and air pockets
Put radiator cap back on

Does this seem straight? I get nervous when I see fluid expelling from the top of the radiator. Am I jumping the gun and getting nervous or a normal procedure for removing air pockets?
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  #12  
Old 12-20-2010, 07:33 PM
DangerRangerII DangerRangerII is offline
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Default Re: Overflow tank cap issue

thats the procedure for an empty radiator. i work at a shop and we do it all the time.
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1997 Ranger. 4.0l 6 cyl. 4 speed.
Single cab, reg. bed. *frame problems*
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  #13  
Old 12-20-2010, 07:39 PM
FireRanger FireRanger is offline
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Default Re: Overflow tank cap issue

Its not going to come out of the radiator. It will be sucked INTO the cooling system. As you see the radiator get lower, add more.
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2003 Edge 4.0 4wd

How to: Aux light wiring, relays, & fuses
Info: 300+ intake threads here on FRF
Info: HID Projectors
How To: NO HEAT Troubleshooting Guide
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  #14  
Old 12-21-2010, 07:10 PM
Paulcrzy Paulcrzy is offline
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Default Re: Overflow tank cap issue

Well I have to concede I think it is the cylinder heads and/or gasket.

Symptoms why I think such (please correct me if wrong)

1. The truck has started to burn "something". I thought it was oil but did not smell like it. Once warm (generally) it stops.
2. I cleaned the throttle body recently and noticed oil in the plenum.
3. I did the radiator test and it kept bubbling out and did not stop 45 secs to 1 minute of coolant pushing out of the radiator and bubbles coming up.
4. On certain days at certain times you can see the puffs from the exhaust as coming from one cylinder as it is timed puffing.
5. My issue with the overflow being bubbles is this. I think the truck is consuming the coolant and creating a "negative pressure" (vacuum) on the system and then when I open the radiator cap it is sucking the fluid from the overflow back into the system (the bubbling was the amazing rate at which it was pulling it back into the system). This vacuum / void creates the hot spots that keep the truck temperature up and down.
6. Today when I went to leave for work the truck did not want to turn over (like starter was stuck). Not from dead battery, but it sounds more like hydro lock. It tried it 4-5 times and then it started up no problems.

If this is the case how much for new heads and can anyone point me to a location I can purchase them at? All I see is Edelbrock stuff for V8's.
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