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  #1  
Old 05-04-2011, 05:55 PM
MooDib MooDib is offline
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Unhappy Help! Something in my Engine Coolant

So I have some type of contaminant in my radiator coolant and I'm also not sure if this is a long term problem or a new one. I bought my truck last October and the coolant seemed a little dirty but it had 112k miles on it and I wasn't sure when the last time it was changed so not too worried. When I bought it I flushed the radiator, replaced the coolant, and performed all other general maintenance. This, I guess, caused the coolant to begin leaking from the back of the engine block. I put in stop leak and that fixed that problem (for now). Also, the transmission has never been in tip top shape since I bought the truck, although it is not bad either. I did just change the oil and it seemed a little dirty for only 3k miles but not too bad and not milky. The transmission fluid seemed to have been new when I bought the truck and still looks pretty clear, but I'm not sure if there would be that much difference if it was diluted by antifreeze.

So how do I tell if this brown color is from the stop leak (yay!), the oil (dang), or the transmission fluid (double dang)? Also if it is oil or transmission fluid, what do I need to do to find the source and fix the problem. Thanks for any help guys.
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  #2  
Old 05-04-2011, 06:37 PM
Christianguy Christianguy is offline
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Default Re: Help! Something in my Engine Coolant

Flush the Radiator 2x with radiator flushing kit

Fill with ONLY water to TEST

If it all looks good... Flush and refill with 50% water and antifreeze
(depending on your climate of coarse)
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  #3  
Old 05-04-2011, 10:53 PM
Gunner Gunner is offline
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Default Re: Help! Something in my Engine Coolant

Yeah that old stop leak stuff will make a real mess of your coolant and system. I'd be inclined to suspect that as being the source of your sludge. I've never seen transmission fluid contaminated by coolant so I don't know what it would look like. If you were leaking coolant from the rear of the block, you most likely have a hose or gasket problem.
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  #4  
Old 05-06-2011, 03:10 PM
MooDib MooDib is offline
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Default Re: Help! Something in my Engine Coolant

My only worry about flushing the radiator now is that the first time I flushed it it caused/reopened a leak. If it is stop leak will it hurt anything to leave it like that until I have time to replace the seals in case it leaks again?
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  #5  
Old 05-06-2011, 03:20 PM
Clinton Clinton is offline
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Default Re: Help! Something in my Engine Coolant

I have seen stop leak turn it a milky brown color
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Old 05-06-2011, 03:44 PM
Christianguy Christianguy is offline
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Default Re: Help! Something in my Engine Coolant

Honestly...Stop Leak is a BandAid.
It works great to get you by until a proper fix
Can be made. Have it pressure tested at a quality shop.
If it IS leaking and it CAN be fixed easily, ask if removing it yourself will save some costs.Radiators are fairly easy to remove,
A good shop can have it resoldered ,for instant, fairly cheap
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1999 Ford Ranger XL
Vulcan V6, K&N 33-2106 Filter, 3:73 Gears,
FRONT 3'' Susp Lift/REAR 3'' susp.+ 3" blocks,06 Mirrors
31"/10.5"-15" BFG on AR-172 Polished Rims,Smitybilt Console
95 Mustang Saleen Seats,Alternating Blinker MOD
Pioneer CD/iPod/GPS,6.5 Polk Audio/6.5 Sub-Woofers,
Stainless Bed Extender,Throttle and Dome Light MOD,
12" Tool Box,Billet Grille,NightShade Tint,Projector Headlamps
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  #7  
Old 05-06-2011, 03:57 PM
Psychopete Psychopete is offline
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Default Re: Help! Something in my Engine Coolant

could be a rusted out freeze plug. easiest to spot when it's actually leaking, clean up the area real well where you suspect it's coming from. Could also UV dye to find the source if you can't find it. trans and coolant can mix if the trans fluid portion of the radiator ruptures, but you'd want to look for elevated trans fluid level.
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Old 05-07-2011, 05:44 AM
crowdpleazer crowdpleazer is offline
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Default Re: Help! Something in my Engine Coolant

if its leaking from the back of the engine block, wouldnt that be a soft plug? those aren't that hard to change. drill it out and pry it sideways and pull it out, then just press a new one in....

and yes stop leak will make your coolant look brown and dirty sometimes. thats normal
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Old 05-07-2011, 08:39 AM
MooDib MooDib is offline
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Default Re: Help! Something in my Engine Coolant

Well when it was leaking I did find the source and it wasn't the freeze plug. It was, as far as I can tell, the head gasket. And I know stop leak isn't a permanent fix, but would like a three day weekend to try and change out the gasket in case I run into complications.
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